Labanizing is my word for putting off doing something that you know you need to do. It comes from the story of Abraham’s servant getting a bride for Isaac in Genesis 24. Please see the previous blog.
Another example of Labanizing occurs later in Israel’s history. The people who returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple weren’t getting it done. Then Haggai rolled in and assessed the situation:
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.”
Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet,
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1.1 – 4, ESV)
The people didn’t say that rebuilding the temple was a bad idea. It just wasn’t the right time. It didn’t have to be done now.
Of course they had been in country 15 – 20 years, but the time still wasn’t right apparently.
Haggai would have none of it. He told the leaders and the people:
This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says, … “Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD.” (Haggai 1.7, 8, NLT)
“Now go up, bring down timber…” sounds hard. It will take intentional effort. They will have to stop other things they are doing. In chapter 2, as he affirms their initial efforts, Haggai challenges them to be strong and do the work.
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2.4)
And God blesses them for getting started (see Haggai 2.9).
Let’s make 2017 the year we quit Labanizing and get started! I have written a little book, Join the Adventure! A Practical Guide to Mission and Discipleship for Everyone. You can read about it and order it by clicking the Join the Adventure tab at the top of this page. One key idea is starting small—pushing over the ¼-inch domino that sets off a great chain reaction. And this blog is not meant to be a book promotion! There is enough information on the Join the Adventure tab to get you started whether you buy the book or not!