Genesis 30:27
But Laban replied, "If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you."
ExperienceA. K. H. Boyd, D. D.Genesis 30:27
ExperienceJ. Parker, D. D.Genesis 30:27
ExperienceSeeds and Saplings.Genesis 30:27
Learning by ExperienceHomilistGenesis 30:27
Moral and Religious Lessons Gained by ExperienceW. M. Taylor, D. D.Genesis 30:27

The Scripture teaches us to put the facts of common life in the light of God's countenance. The true foundation on which family welfare rests is God's faithfulness and favor. The intense desire of the Hebrew women for children, especially sons, a testimony to the Divine covenant; the original promise pervading all the national life.

I. The birth of Joseph a REWARD OF FAITH AND ANSWER TO PRAYER. God remembers, though we think he forgets. Reproach may lie awhile on the true believer, but is taken away at last. Syrophenician woman; seeming neglect calls out stronger expression of faith. Pray without ceasing.

II. BLESSINGS WAITED FOR are the more appreciated and the richer WHEN THEY COME. "Joseph a type of him who, though he was sent after many prophets and long tarrying, was greater than all his brethren. The Rachel, the true beloved, the chosen bride, the Church in whom the true Jacob finds special delight, waits and prays. When God shall show that he has remembered and hearkened, the elect one shall be abundantly satisfied. God hath taken away my reproach."

III. All experience of Divine faithfulness is a great help, in looking forward, to cherish expectation. "The Lord shall add to me another son," We ask for more when we know that our prayer is heard. - R.

I have learned by experience.
The words are Laban's, and, taken in their connection, they intimate that even an utterly wordly man, such as he was, may be forced to acknowledge the moral providence of God, whereby He takes especial and peculiar care of His servants. Look at the moral and religious lessons which a thoughtful man may learn by experience.

I. We learn by experience MUCH THAT IS WHOLESOME ABOUT OURSELVES. By the blunders we have made, the falls we have suffered, the injuries we have sustained, the sins we have committed, and the wrongs we have inflicted on others, God has enlightened us in the knowledge of ourselves, and made us feel that it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

II. Experience has taught us MUCH REGARDING THE WORLD AND ITS PLEASURES, POSSESSIONS, AND ENJOYMENTS. Even in the case of the Christian, there is much to wean him from the world as the years roll on. As he grows older the world becomes less and less to him, and Christ becomes more and more. He learns to delight in God, and his growth in holiness becomes the ambition of his life.

III. The experience of the lapse of years teaches US MORE AND MORE OF GOD AS THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. We have increasing proofs of God's wisdom and God's faithfulness. Whoever has been false to us, He has remained true. This testimony of experience thus grows with our growth and strengthens with our strength. It is a fortress which is utterly impregnable.

(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

Find men where you may, they all agree in owning that they owe much to the same Instructor: they all agree in owning that they have grown wiser for the teaching of that unflattering Preceptor, who knows no royal road to truth, and in whose stern school you must stumble once, that you may learn to avoid falling again. And truly here is the best way to learn — the way that sinks the deepest, and is remembered the best. And if it be true, as the proverbial saying would have it, that experience teaches the foolish, surely it is true no less that experience makes the wise. And as experience is the teacher that instructs all men. and instructs them unthanked and unasked, so there are many things which no other can teach us: many lessons we never learn, and many matters we never rightly understand, till we have "learned by experience." We shall never know, for example, what our hearts can feel and bear, by the descriptions of other people; no account can make us understand what great sorrow is, or great anxiety, or buoyant gladness, or hearty gratitude, or fixed determination; we must feel in ourselves the quickened pulse of hopefulness, the laden heart of care, the blankness of disappointment and failure; or we shall never know what they mean. Even Jesus Christ, our Maker, gained that consummate sympathy with us which it became our Saviour to have, through actual experience. But there is one class of subjects one great subject which above all others we must know by experience, or we shall not know at all. My brethren, this is a thing that is hard upon mere human reason; this matter of the real power and efficacy of prayer. If there be any truth in what we believe of the power of prayer, it is the mightiest agent — save God Himself — in all the universe: it is stronger than the hurricane that wrecks a navy: stronger than the great ocean to which man's mightiest works are as a plaything. Christian brethren, let us frankly confess what a weak state, what an insecure position we should be in, if we were taking all this on hearsay. Why, it looks such a truly monstrous deal to believe, that positively for your credit as a reasonable man, you would be half ashamed to say you fancied all this. Never concern yourself to unravel the threads the sceptic has twisted; never set yourself to answer by argument the objections he has raised. It can be done, but there is a far better way. Tell him that your Bible bids you pray, and assures you that prayer shall prevail; but tell him more — and God be thanked if you can say so much — tell him that you have put the matter to the proof! — that you were not content to take the thing on the word of others; that you fairly tried, and that you "learned by experience" that prayer is heard and answered! Another thing that we may learn by rote, but that we never shall really believe till we learn it by experience, is the insufficiency of this world to satisfy the soul; the great truth, that "This is not our rest." For experience alone is enough to bring men to the strong belief, that all worldly things, even when possessed in their intensest degree, leave an aching void within the soul — many a stated man of pleasure, many a successful man of ambition, has told us as much as that — but it needs God's Holy Spirit to touch the soul, before it can take the next step — before it can draw the final conclusion — that the right things for the soul to love and seek are beyond the grave, and that the heart's true home and abiding treasure are there. But we shall give the remainder of our time to looking at one great fact which is best learned by experience — I mean the preciousness, the all-sufficiency, the love and grace, of our blessed Saviour. You remember it is written, "Unto you which believe He is precious." Now that seems to mean, that to those who believe, He is more precious than He is to other people; that, in a peculiarly strong sense, His preciousness is a thing that must be learned by experience. So it is. And it is easy to see how it must be. For the value of a thing is understood fully only by those who know how much they want it. And if a man feels that he does not want a thing — that he can do perfectly well without it — why, he will esteem it as of very little value indeed. Now a perfectly worldly and unconverted man feels he needs food, he cannot do without that; and so of course he sets a value on it. He feels he needs a home to dwell in — he cannot do without that; and so of course he sets a value on it. He feels he needs friends — that life would be a poor, heartless thing without them; and so he sets a value on them. But the quite worldly and unconverted man, who brings everything to a quite worldly estimate, does not feel he needs Christ; he never feels any want of Him; he thinks he can do quite well without Him; and of course he sets no value on Him; of course the Saviour is not precious to that man — how can He be? But, brethren, look to the man who has been convinced of his sin and misery by the Spirit of God; and that only our Redeemer can save us from that dismal estate, and see what he thinks of Christ! Yes, that convicted sinner has found his need of the Saviour. He has learnt that food and raiment, and all things men work hardest for and value most, are not the one thing needful — are worth nothing when compared with a saving interest in the blessed Lamb of God. He has "learned by experience I " He has felt a want, felt that the Saviour alone could supply that want; and he knows what Christ is worth, by what Christ has done!

(A. K. H. Boyd, D. D.)

1. The true teacher.

2. The universal monitor.

3. The indisputable evidence.

4. Experience of sin, pardon, peace.

5. Character thus becomes argument.

6. Let sin be subjected to this test.

7. The Christian triumphant here.

8. Many can answer by experience who cannot answer by controversy.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

The world is a school, and the period of our remaining here is the school-time of our existence. The school is a severe one, the discipline is hard, and the process is often tedious. God is the teacher, and He has many assistants, which in various ways and manners are used to bring the soul to saving knowledge of the truth. Now, there is no method so potent for impressing facts on the mind as actual practice. Theory is an ideality which amid the whirl of time and business is soon dissipated. It is only when we ourselves apprehend, through actual touching and handling, that we get a positive and practical knowledge of anything. The most learned engineer who ever lived would feel at a terrible loss if put to drive an express locomotive or to superintend the engines of a vast steamship, if he had never seen one before, although he might have read and written on the subjects all his life. The most skilful theoretical architect would shrink from the ordeal of practical building.

I. We learn by experience THE FLIGHT OF TIME. The child is scarcely conscious that time moves at all. It is to him a calm, placid, unruffled lake. But the illusion is gradually dispelled. Youth deepens into maturity, maturity glides into incipient decay, and the soul is startled to find how rapidly life is passing. Then it begins to fly by like a rushing river torrent.

II. We learn by experience THE FRAILTY OF HUMAN NATURE. The curse of decay comes as a revelation. Death of a playmate or relation startles the little soul and awakens an unknown terror. Then with the flight of time comes the realization of weakness within ourselves.

III. We have learned by experience the DISAPPOINTMENTS OF EARTH. How has the sanguine heart grown broken and seared! The rosy vision has minished into darkness. Disappointments!

IV. We have learnt by experience THE VANITY OF TRUSTING TO SELF. Self-sufficiency is man's heritage and Satan's mightiest weapon. The best contrived scheme brought to nought, the wisest forethought nullified, the labours of a lifetime lost, have shown us how vain is man.




1. The unsatisfying nature of all earthly objects.

2. The preciousness of Christ.

3. The efficacy of prayer.

4. The benefit of affliction.

5. The sustaining power of God's grace.


1. Because we will not learn our duty without it.

2. Because the lessons thus acquired are the most valuable and permanent.

3. Because we are then more useful to our fellow-men.

(Seeds and Saplings.)

Asher, Bilhah, Dan, Dinah, Gad, Issachar, Jacob, Joseph, Laban, Leah, Naphtali, Rachel, Reuben, Zebulun, Zilpah
Account, Allow, Bless, Blessed, Diligently, Discovered, Divination, Divined, Experience, Favor, Favour, Grace, Laban, Learned, Observed, Please, Pleases, Sake, Signs, Stay, Tarry
1. Rachel, in grief for her barrenness, gives Bilhah her maid unto Jacob.
5. Bilhah bears Dan and Naphtali.
9. Leah gives Zilpah her maid, who bears Gad and Asher.
14. Reuben finds mandrakes,
15. with which Leah buys her husband's company of Rachel.
17. Leah bears Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah.
22. Rachel bears Joseph.
25. Jacob desires to depart.
27. Laban detains him on a new agreement.
37. Jacob's policy, whereby he becomes rich.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 30:27

     5861   favour, human

Genesis 30:25-43

     4684   sheep

Genesis 30:27-30

     5339   home
     5523   servants, good

Meditations for Household Piety.
1. If thou be called to the government of a family, thou must not hold it sufficient to serve God and live uprightly in thy own person, unless thou cause all under thy charge to do the same with thee. For the performance of this duty God was so well pleased with Abraham, that he would not hide from him his counsel: "For," saith God, "I know him that he will command his sons and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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