Jacob Flees Laban

 

I’m starting where we left off in the last story. Rachel has Joseph, and Jacob finally is done with putting up with Laban, sort of. They strike an agreement that Jacob will stay on a while longer and take all the blemished sheep and goats. He would leave all the pure white ones for Laban. This is interesting to me since in the rest of the Scriptures it’s the ones without blemish which are of value, which are acceptable for the sacrifice.

Laban cheats and takes all the blemished sheep out of the flock before Jacob can. We learn that God gave Jacob a dream about animal breeding. God intervenes because he sees how slimy Laban is acting and has been acting towards him. Jacob’s blemished flock prospers and Laban’s diminishes. And time passes.

Jacob has been with Laban for 20 years. God tells him to go back to Canaan, his family’s land. He sneaks off and Laban chases after him. They strike an agreement to do each other no harm, though Laban still claims that all Jacob has is his.

We learn that Rachel stole away Laban’s gods, which means some little statues I guess. Why would she take them? Why didn’t she worship the God of her husband when she saw how blessed he was? Was it because she saw herself as not blessed?

She was blessed to be part of the story of Israel. She was blessed to be the mother of Joseph. She didn’t see the blessing. She saw her lack instead of the God who provides. She acknowledges Yahweh, the God of Israel in asking for another son, so why did she steal those gods? Did she really credit them with the blessing of Joseph? Had she made a deal with one of them? I do wonder at her attachment.

I can tell you something about idols. You will sin to get what you want. If she had an idol of children, she would turn to a false god to get it. That’s one way to spot an idol. Are you willing to lie to get something? Bend the rules a little? Justify an action? If you are willing to act less than uprightly, then you are hooked on an idol and need to repent.