A bit of the end of Genesis 31 goes like this: Jacob took an oath before the fearsome God of his father Isaac to respect the boundary line. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast.
God is described as a fearsome God. The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge, understanding. If we don’t start with the fear of the Lord, then we haven’t even begun. We can’t begin to come to know the Lord without coming through the fear of the Lord.
The Bible says that God’s kindness leads to repentance. Pure fear of the Lord is just the beginning. You won’t progress in your wisdom and knowledge and understanding if you stay there. You’ll be stuck at the beginning.
It’s the Lord’s kindness that He knows us and allows us to know Him. It’s His kindness that draws us to Himself when His holiness and justice demands wrath poured out on us. His kindness made a way through Jesus and the washing of His blood sacrifice for us to come to Him.
It’s His kindness that wants us to come to Him, to know Him, to speak with Him, to be His adopted children, to call Him Abba, Father. It’s His kindness that opens His Word to us and reveals Himself to us. It’s His kindness that sends His Spirit so that we are never left alone. It’s His kindness that doesn’t just require fear, but feasting! God’s children, the Israelites, are given commands to feast at certain times.
In our story right now, the feast is to seal the covenant agreement between Jacob and Laban. They offer a sacrifice and invite everyone to the feast. That’s what a sacrifice was. An animal was killed before the Lord to honor Him, and then there was a barbeque. You feasted on the meat.
While fear of the Lord may demand a sacrifice as an act of worship, a giving up, and a giving over, the return to you for the obedience of worship and sacrifice is joy and feasting. The blessing is in the giving. The feasting is in the sacrifice. Begin with the fear of the Lord, but end with feasting.
What does feasting look like? Ephesians 3:19 …To know [the love of Christ] that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.…