Motivation – The Emotions of Service

Genesis 29:15-30 “And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid. And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.”

Text Genesis 29:15 “shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?”

Having begun serving for love, Jacob found himself serving because of a law. Since love and law accomplish the same task, the purchasing of a wife, should we even consider the motivation of service? Some would say that motivation does not matter so long as the job gets done; I’m not inclined to agree. The motivation of service determines the way we view ourselves! Under love, Jacob saw himself as a servant with a delightful privilege. Under law Jacob saw himself as a slave shackled to the demoralizing service of another. Your motivation determines not only how you feel about yourself, but it determines how you feel about God! Service motivated by love made Jacob somebody! Service motive by law made Jacob nobody! In the first seven years, he saw himself as a servant, and man doing something honorable and worthy of esteem. The second seven years, Jacob became a demoralized slave to the ways of Laban. Jacob’s perception of Laban changed with his change in motivation. Previously, Laban was one worthy of Jacob’s labors, but now Laban was a tyrant and hard taskmaster that would always ask for more than should ever be required. We may not like the picture that is being painted, but there is a host of believers that hold God in the same contempt that Jacob held Laban and its all due to motivation. Is God spoiling your life by asking too much? Your motivation will determine the answer!