Read Genesis 31-32
Reflect Things between Jacob and Laban become even tenser and God tells Jacob to head back to his family. Jacob has Rachel and Leah’s agreement so they leave. I find it interesting though that Jacob presents him blameless to his wives. Genesis 30:37-43 shows that Jacob tried to influence the flocks.
The end of 31 reveals some character flaws as well:
17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram,[a] to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. 21 So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead.
Genesis 32 is Jacob’s first encounter with Esau since he stole the birthright and blessing from him. He had made peace with Laban, but as Jacob came closer physically to his deceitful actions, his fear increased.
Jacob presents himself as blameless to his wives and his father in law. Although he was unaware of Rachel stealing the family idols, Jacob’s confrontation of Laban was filled with the treachery of 20 years of service. It doesn’t seem to come up that Jacob had run to Laban in fear and prior to working for Laban was basically homeless as he was running for his life from Esau.
Still, God’s hand is with Jacob and peace is made with Laban and with Esau. Jacob has spent 20 years growing flocks, having children and becoming established as his own household. It’s recorded that God blessed Jacob in all his endeavors, and yet we don’t see much worship from Jacob. Yes, he turns to God when he needs help, but his household still worships other gods under his nose. Laban made a covenant with several gods as witnesses.
Record Do you see yourself in this story at all?
What do you think of Jacob’s character?
Why do you think God continued to bless Jacob?
Review: I find that it’s easier to relate to Jacob in this story than I’m happy about. I too spent over 20 years of my life living it for my personal desires and goals while running to God when it was convenient for me.
As my understanding of God deepened and my awareness of my sin increased I became a more consistent worshipper of God. Still, God blessed me by providing financially, with good health, and great friends regardless of what idols I allowed into the focus of my life.
What I’ve come to understand is that God was revealing his character to me. He was showing how consistently he loves me and all the ways he is true to who he is while I was cruising through life. This consistency would be the thing I needed to remember in the wilderness.