Motivation – The Estimation 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?”

Jacob worked the first seven years because of love, but the second seven years Jacob worked because of a law. When Jacob’s motivation changed, it affected how he felt about himself, the person he was serving, and if there was an end to service. But, there is a final thought that must be considered! Motivation not only has an effect upon the one that is serving, but it has an effect upon the one being served. The people that we serve generally know why we are serving! Have you ever tried to imagine the emotions of these two women and their estimation of Jacob’s service? Rachel could say, “Jacob delighted to work seven years for me and would have worked more if necessary.” What about Leah and how Jacob made her feel? Leah would have to say, “Jacob worked seven years and not a day more, all because he had to.” With that in mind, how do you think God feels about our motive toward serving Him? Do we only declare our love for God with our mouth or does our motivation tell the Lord that we love Him and that we would do anything for Him? It is not the labor of our hands that God wants, it is the love that is in our hearts that so pleases Him! Do you remember the greatest commandment? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37 What motivates you?