The spirit that controlled Laban in the Bible, is rampant in Las Vegas and it takes wisdom to know what to do about it in various circumstances of everyday life here. We call it the “bait and switch.” Unfulfilled promises everywhere. “Spend your money in the machines and at the tables and you can be a millionaire.” “Pay the exorbitant money to go to the night clubs and you’ll meet the hottest girl or the greatest guy.” These promises rarely get fulfilled, yet people are lured in by the thousands.
But it’s not only in the casinos that this bait and switch happens. It’s in the construction industry as well and probably exists in more places than I even know of. You’ve probably seen it in your own towns.
Only wisdom will keep a person out of the trap of these spiritual jaws. The key is to ask the Lord for wisdom, like it says in James. Then expect that He is giving it.
Knowledge is information, but wisdom is how to use the knowledge, how to apply it for successful results.
God says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth [scolds] not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (Jas. 1: 5-8).
The way to keep from wavering in and out of faith for the wisdom, is to act on it as quickly as you get it. Don’t give yourself time to doubt. Just act on the first thing, then stop there. If you need more wisdom later, then ask for the next thing, then act on it, then stop again. It’s a step by step process. We don’t give up until the results come.
The story of Laban and Jacob in the Bible is a great example of both the spiritual power of the bait and switch demon, and the amazing, life-changing wisdom of God. The record starts in Genesis 29. Jacob came to his relative Laban’s place and began to work for him. “And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel” (Gen 29: 16).
“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, ‘I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.’ 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 it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he [Jacob] 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?’” (vss.18,20-23, 25).
There it is, the spirit of the “bait and switch.” Laban knew all along the scam he was going to pull off on Jacob.
“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 [Rachel] also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years” (vss. 26-27).
So Laban got 7 more years of work out of Jacob so that Jacob could have Rachel as his wife. But Laban, controlled by the demon, wasn’t about to stop there. Jacob stayed in Laban’s service until he had many children by both wives. Jacob cared for Laban’s cattle, sheep and goats, and they had increased in number. But Laban had never given Jacob his own cattle or other means of supporting his own family. Jacob was still under the power of Laban’s control, until finally, he told him, “Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee” (Gen 30:26).
Laban was planning to just use him and take from him. When he saw that Jacob was serious about leaving, Laban offered to pay him wages for his work, but Jacob was on to him by now. He didn’t want wages, he wanted to leave and have his own life.
Here’s where the great wisdom of God came into play. Jacob told Laban he didn’t want wages, he wanted cattle and sheep and goats. Inspired by God, he told Laban he’d take the weaker ones, the ones who were speckled and spotted. Laban quickly gave in to that idea. He figured Jacob wouldn’t be able to prosper enough to leave if he only was taking the feeble animals. The feeble ones would die for sure and Jacob would have to stay.
But the wisdom of God always works for His people, no matter how crazy it may look to others. God told Jacob to do some odd things that I don’t understand but it worked.
“And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
“And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted” (Gen. 30: 37-40).
God’s will prevailed: “But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses (vss. 42-43).
An angel came and told Jacob to get out with all he had and it was three days before Laban discovered he had gone.
Jacob escaped as a prosperous and happy man because he had relied on the wisdom of God to show him how to righteously and lawfully take from the “bait and switch” spirit in Laban, rather than the other way around.
In Las Vegas I’ve learned from the wisdom of God, how to be Jacob. I am able to enjoy the best (for me) of what’s offered, without giving Laban anything. I have to totally rely on the wisdom of God to direct my ways.
I hope this will be helpful to any of you who may run into a similar situation. God’s wisdom will always get you around and out. Ask, act quickly without doubting and wavering, and receive.