The University of Hard Knocks

By Dave Henning / November 27, 2023

“You find yourself far from home, far from hope, and far from the life you’d hoped to find.  You’re working hard on an advanced degree from the University of Hard Knocks, and graduation seems forever away.  If that describes you, before you blame Laban or scowl at Leah, take a long look in the mirror.”- Max Lucado

“Don’t be deceived — you cannot mock the justice of God.  You will always harvest what you plant.”- Galatians 6:7 (NLT)

Max Lucado concludes Chapter 5 of God Never Gives Up on You with four ways Jacob received a taste of his own medicine at Haran.

1.  Jacob fooled his near-blind father, Isaac, in a tent.  A Jacob blinded by wine, night, lust, and love, found himself in a tent, married to Leah.

2.  Jacob used calculating stealth to obtain the birthright from Esau.  But Laban tricked Jacob into a marriage he could not void.

3.  Jacob begrudged and resisted the tradition of the firstborn going first.  Furthermore, he fell victim to Laban’s explanation that he must offer Leah, his firstborn daughter, in marriage before Rachel.

4.  Finally, Jacob complained to Laban that he cheated Jacob.  Most significantly, that’s the same word Esau used to label Jacob’s deceit.

In conclusion, Max talks about the Alnwick Garden in Northumberland (England).  Certainly, the garden boasts the usual scenery of primroses, lavish blooms, ivy, and cascading fountains.  However, when you walk deep into the heart of Alnwick, you find yourself at the black iron gates of the Poison Garden.

Nearly one hundred of the world’s deadliest plants fill the Poison Garden.  Strict rules prohibit smelling, touching, or tasting.  Hence, many of the deadly plants people encounter exist naturally alongside the many plants they love.

Therefore, Max concludes:

“Both death and beauty sway in the wind as you walk through the park . . . and it all starts with a little seed.  What seeds are you sowing today?  Just as seeds of deceit result in a harvest of deception, seeds of truth give way to a barnful of life.  Consequences have compound interest.”

Today’s question: What represents the University of Hard Knocks in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Broken vessel – God’s grace”

About the author

Dave Henning

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