Thursday, October 05, 2006

Genesis 31 "Jacob's Journey Home Begins" Part1

Genesis 31:3 "And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee."

I've heard that when a mother eagle wants her young to learn to fly that she will somehow make the, otherwise comfortable nest, very uncomfortable to encourage the young to leave the nest. Jacob has been very comfortable, except for the hard work, in the land of Laban. Now things start looking unfavorable and so he realizes it is time to leave.

Where has Jacob come from and how has the Lord blessed him even in a far land? Issac, his father, was well off with lots of cattle and wealth. When Jacob left, he had not yet been given all that Issac had as Abraham had done to Issac. Look at what Jacob said of what he possessed when he crossed the river as he left home:

We have to jump over to chapter 32 verse 10 "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan."

Jacob is returning with much wealth but he apparently left with only the clothes on his back and his staff. I have found no mention of any others who journeyed with him when he left home.

Chapter 31 starts with Jacob realizing that he had lost favor with Laban and his family.
*Laban's sons complaining v1
*Laban's countenance had changed v5

He, of course, is going to take his wives and family with him but they have never been any place but near their father's house and so Jacob called them to him in the field v4 to explain why he is leaving so they will be content when they leave. He explains how he has served Laban and the deal for his wages. He goes on to explain how the Lord blessed him with lots of speckled cattle. Finally, the wives reply "...whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do." v16.

For fear, Jacob did not tell Laban he was leaving but after 3 days Laban is told and he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught him at Gilead. A heated conversation between them takes place but in the end it seems that Laban was not worried about his grandchildren or the wealth Jacob had accumulated. Look at v30 "And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?" No wonder the Lord did not want Abraham and his children to hang out in that part of the country. Laban has been corrupted with strange gods.

Unknown to Jacob, Rachel had stolen the gods. Jacob now challanges Laban to find anything that belongs to him with the penalty of death on whoever took it. Laban searched but could not find his statues because Rachel hide them in the camels furniture and sat on them. Jacob rubbed it in with Laban after the search but it was a close call for his wife Rachel. After this, a truce is made between the two men and "...Laban departed and returned to his place."

Jacob has been gone 20 years and now he is 7 days on his journey toward home. He left with a staff but returns with quite a lot more.

Proverbs 26:11 "My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me."

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