Let me go through all your flock today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark colored-lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. (Genesis 30:32)
No matter how much we try and engineer our circumstances, it is ultimately God who decides whether we succeed or fail. Jacob wanted success and prosperity, so he convinced his Father-in-law to give him any “speckled or spotted” sheep from his flock. He desperately tried engineering his own circumstances for success. He plotted against his Father-in-law and ultimately tried to deceive him by “ tricking” his Father-in-laws’ livestock into breeding with each other by a visual, pole-stripping method. See: “Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.” (Genesis 38)
Jacob thought he was cunning. God, who ultimately gave Jacob the blessing of multiplying the sheep that were spotted, must have been watching his efforts with sadness. You see, God was planning to bless Jacob, regardless. He was the one who ultimately increased, and gave Jacob the livestock. Yet, Jacob could only see that his own efforts had led to his success.
This method that Jacob used is unscientific. This method does not work. The way that Jacob truly received a bigger portion of the flocks was because God gave them to Jacob. He blessed Jacob.
So many times we think that our own efforts have brought about our blessings or success. We say, “I’ve worked hard for this.” Yet, the praise is misplaced. God is the bigger picture and in all his sovereign Glory, he both allowed and gave the blessings and success that you are experiencing today. To God be the Glory, Amen! So today, whether you succeed or fail, it’s in his hands anyway.