Genesis 31:1-31 – Jacob Separates from Laban

Now Jacob heard what Laban’s sons were saying: “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s and has built this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2 And Jacob saw from Laban’s face that his attitude toward him was not the same.

3 Then the Lord said to him, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”

4 Jacob had Rachel and Leah called to the field where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, “I can see from your father’s face that his attitude toward me is not the same, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I’ve worked hard[a] for your father 7 and that he has cheated me and changed my wages 10 times. But God has not let him harm me.8 If he said, ‘The spotted sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born spotted. If he said, ‘The streaked sheep will be your wages,’ then all the sheep were born streaked. 9 God has taken away your father’s herds and given them to me.

10 “When the flocks were breeding, I saw in a dream that the streaked, spotted, and speckled males were mating with the females. 11 In that dream the Angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And He said, ‘Look up and see: all the males that are mating with the flocks are streaked, spotted, and speckled, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you poured oil on the stone marker and made a solemn vow to Me. Get up, leave this land, and return to your native land.’”

14 Then Rachel and Leah answered him, “Do we have any portion or inheritance in our father’s household? 15 Are we not regarded by him as outsiders? For he has sold us and has certainly spent our money. 16 In fact, all the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So do whatever God has said to you.”

17 Then Jacob got up and put his children and wives on the camels. 18 He took all the livestock and possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram, and he drove his herds to go to the land of his father Isaac in Canaan. 19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. 20 And Jacob deceived[b] Laban the Aramean, not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 He fled with all his possessions, crossed the Euphrates, and headed for[c] the hill country of Gilead.

Jacob overhears Laban’s sons griping about the flocks and acting a whole lot like their father by blaming him for stealing all the good livestock.  Jacob decides to call a family meeting with his wives out in the field so no one else will hear what he is saying.  Contrary to popular belief, men held women, especially their wives in high regard and Jacob would not have made a move without the consent of his wives.

Rachel and Leah have no problem with leaving because they know that their father had essentially sold them to Jacob and spent all of the money so that they felt they had no place there anymore.

Rachel had also taken her father’s household idols and this is a significant thing.  In those days and in that particular region, whomever held the household idols essentially had claim to the inheritance when the patriarch of the family died.  It must have been Rachel’s plan to use these idols when her father died to get what she felt was rightfully hers.

This is one of the first steps in the sanctification of Jacob and a very significant one as we learn in our walk with the Lord.  Jacob realized that he had to separate from Laban, or in a sense the world, because the world had nothing but contempt for him.

What he had was the promise of God that he would not be harmed in the things that were going on around him.  We have the same promise from God.

Matthew 10:28

Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

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About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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