Jacob exemplifies faith in action. We have been teaching on walking by faith, not by sight and that faith is a fact but faith is an act. Jacob had a dream wherein he heard God. He then acted as best he could on what he heard. He initiated and God completed. Let’s look at the situation more closely.
After agreeing with Jacob that the speckled, spotted or streaked lambs would be his wages his father-in-law, Laban, removed all the speckled, spotted or streaked male goats from the herds. Laban agreed the terms of the deal but cheated Jacob by removing what in natural terms would be the genetic source of his spotted, speckled and streaked lambs. He thought he had Jacob locked in forever. But in verse 11 and 12 of Genesis 31 Jacob shared: “The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' And he said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you’. Jacob heard from God through an Angel that the herds would be streaked, speckled or spotted despite what Laban would do.
Having heard the Lord he acted by faith. He cut and peeled branches so that they were striped and placed them in front of the flocks while they were mating. We know that isn’t going to do anything in determining the coloration of the lambs. Modern biology has taught us that the DNA determines the coloration. Walking by sight we would say he was superstitious or primitive or uneducated thinking that the sticks were going to make any difference. But he was acting on faith. His actions were evidence of his faith in what God had said. He was exercising faith in the only way he could possibly think of. Genesis 31:10 Jacob said: "In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted.” Jacob saw by faith through a dream what would be his. So he acted on this.
God honored his faith. The Lord was vindicating Jacob and blessing him in the eyes of Laban. Laban was constantly cheating Jacob. Genesis 31:8,9 “If Laban said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, 'The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me.” Laban was not a man of his word, but no matter how often he changed the conditions, the Lord intervened producing the offspring to match the terms and conditions set by Laban.
We need to pray believing we have what we asked for and then act upon it in some way. The correlation between your action and the desired result may be as obscure as Jacob’s branches affecting genetics but it is the faith that produces the results. God responds to faith.
(excerpt from Faith: The Currency of Heaven - available through this website/Amazon)
(image courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)