Genesis 20:25 – 31:55
Today’s reading continues with Jacob beginning to want to go back to his own land. TWENTY years he has been at Laban’s land working–slaving–for both of his daughters (14 years for the girls) and he’s about to work 6 more for his flock. Laban and Jacob make an agreement–Laban keeps the perfect sheep and goats and Jacob will take the spotted ones as well as the black sheep.
Deceivement continues in both parties. Laban has his sons take the spotted ones away and Jacob streaks the stronger sheep and goats with pealed branches—as a result becoming wealthy. I can imagine he had years to think about different things he could do…and even after all of this–the Lord is with him. How thankful I am that the Lord is with us even when we do not do what it right.
Finally, Jacob decides to make his break after 20 years of labor. And it isn’t hard for him to convince Rachel and Leah to go too. HOW SAD I thought that their father had reduced their rights to the foreign women. Laban has put his girls in a position to have to struggle with feeling value from their husband by marrying the same man, and now he doesn’t even bless them with rights as his daughters. Laban let his feelings toward Jacob effect his relationship with his daughters. It’s easy to think RIGHT NOW that it would be hard to have brokenness in my relationships with my own children as they are so little…but I am NOT above anything—and I must stay ever close to the Lord for my own heart’s sake, their heart’s sake and for our relationships to be healthy and sustained.
So…they all sneak out of town–but ole Rachel steals Laban’s idols—and when Laban realizes Jacob is gone with his girls he sets out in HOT pursuit after them. Although they had a 3 day headstart, 7 days later HOT Laban catches up. The day before he caught up the Lord warns Laban in a dream. A reminder—God can put a bridle in the mouth of the wicked to refrain them from malice. How thankful I am for this!!! God is OUR protector! He will see His people through so His will is furfilled! We have no fear…when the world seems to be against us…the Lord is ALWAYS on time and will step in when He needs to for our sake. AMEN!
The part of the story here that seems like “extra” is Rachel’s stealing the idols. Laban accuses Jacob of stealing them, but because Jacob didn’t know about his beloved Rachel’s actions–he tells Laban to search for them and he can kill the person who has stolen them. For me the story is just interesting having Rachel sit on them on her camel and uses her monthly cycle as a reason she can’t get up. BUT this was recorded for a reason. And I wondered if it was more for me and my feelings this morning. I realized my heart in some way WANTED Rachel to get caught. I wasn’t empathizing and part of my heart wished Laban had caught her and that Jacob would have been upset with her. This is recorded for a reason…but I wonder if it’s more for the reader than part of the story itself. Why does my heart want Rachel to get caught? Is it because I have felt so sorry for Leah? Is it because I want her to get caught for her wrong doing? Or would it just make for a more dramatic story? Yesterday at church, our pastor gave us 4 people to pray for…and the last was for people that are in trouble. These are the people I often do NOT pray for…I just don’t. I don’t pray for those in jail who have done wrong…I don’t NOT WANT to pray for them…I just don’t think about it. I pray often for justice–but I forget to pray for those who are the ones causing the injustice. THEY NEED OUR PRAYER! Rachel in this story is the one who really needed prayer. She was hiding sin and hurt…and she was confused about what she was owed. Much sin is justified by what the sinner is owed or what has been done to them. What a reminder this morning who I need to be praying for this morning!
Thank you for walking scripture with me another day. May your day be filled with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, may your heart be filled with unspeakable, unexplainable joy among whatever hardship you are facing, and may your mind be filled with creative spurts of engaging with your child/children so your relationships may be closer today.