• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 10, 2021

Daily Reading: Genesis 30-31

Genesis 31:41

Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.

Laban, Jacob’s father-in-law, suffered from the same selfish attitude that Esau had. He lied about Jacob, acting like a victim. But in reality, Jacob was the victim. Perhaps you have been in a situation where someone took advantage of you, and then blamed you for things that you did not do. If so, there is a gem of great value in this story for you.

Jacob served Laban for 20 years. Seven years he served for Rachel’s hand in marriage, yet Laban substituted Leah for Rachel. Taking it in stride, Jacob then served his father-in-law for another seven years for the right to marry Rachel, which he did. Later, Laban made a business deal with Jacob wherein livestock that were born with certain coloring would become the property of Jacob. This is all a matter of Scriptural record. Yet, when confronting Jacob after his leaving, Laban accused him of stealing his daughters, children, and livestock.

Of a fact, Rachel and Leah were the daughters of Laban, the children they bare were his grandchildren. However, Jacob was their authority. He was their husband; he was their father which supersedes Laban’s claim. With regards to the livestock, Laban bartered them with Jacob as payment for his labor. Laban seemed to be the kind of man that wanted to control everything and everyone, even the things that he had given away.

However, there is a God in Heaven that ultimately makes things right. Sooner or later, in one way or another, in this life or in the next, God dispenses justice. Jacob said it like this in Genesis 31:42: Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight. Even with this truth now out in the open, Laban was unrepentant. Saying in the very next verse, And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine…

Whether it was regret, pride, covetousness, or just plain selfishness on Laban’s part we do not know. But we do know this, God was with Jacob just as He promised He would be. In Genesis 28:15 God told Jacob I will be with thee. He repeated that promise in Chapter 31:3 (the same chapter in which this story is related). God was with Jacob as He promised He would be.

Today, you and I have the same promise, one place it is given to us is Hebrews 13:5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Just as the Lord God was with Jacob, He will be with you.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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