101-131 Genesis Part 3 Chapter 31
Jacob continued to prosper and to have considerable wealth of his own. Jacob was faithful to the common duties of man that God teaches. We are to serve God through whom the blessings of this life are bestowed upon us. In this life we will go through various stations and in each one we are to work diligently in our duties in honor to our Lord and God.
Men of a selfish heart will consider themselves robbed of all that passes them by and their covetousness for that which others have worked for will even destroy their affection for them. Men mistakenly over value the things of this world and tend to think that what one man has worked for they have been deprived of. The love of wealth is the root of covetousness, envy, and all evil. Greed is an evil God of men in this world and men’s lust to have it all will cause them to take that which belongs to another. This evil in our hearts causes discontent, envy, and discord between men. There are possessions that can be found in this world and happy are they who seek them first. In all of our stations in life we should have respect to the command and promise of our God. If God be with us, then we should not fear for the wants of our life here or fear the perils that surround us. The perils are many in this world but knowing that we are in the providence of God and trusting Him is the greatest encouragement to our heart. To each there is a measure of good and bad in our lives and God is faithful to carry us through each of them. In the difficult times it is good to take refuge in the comfort found in the good seasons of the past. Take encouragement that God who has led us this far is faithful and able to lead us all the way home. Keeping our communion with God is the best refreshment in time of difficulty. God is faithful to fulfill His promises so let us be faithful to fulfill ours.
The sons of Laban took notice of the increase of Jacob and became envious of his prosperity. Jacob knew that Laban’s sons had reported to him and Laban was no longer friendly towards Jacob. God told Jacob to return to the land of his father and that He would be with him.
Laban’s father Nahor had left the Chaldees to get away from their idolatrous practices and now Laban is chasing Jacob to regain the Idols of his Gods. It was foolish of Laban to call things which could be stolen Gods. Our enemies may steal our goods but enemies cannot steal our God. We read that Rachael stole the images belonging to her father Laban and a scene of iniquity opens up. It seems then that Laban who swore by God also swore by Malcham as well. (Zepheniah 1:5) This is so much like the time we live in as many try to serve God and mammon. Great numbers of people will acknowledge the true God but in their homes and lives serve all kinds of spiritual idolatry. When we give ourselves up to covetousness like Laban, the desires of this world becomes our God. If we reside with the idolaters of this world we will become as they are. We must not forget that we serve the one and true God and it is He whom we serve and it is He who will provide for us.
Jacob suffered the heat of the day and the cold of the night to serve Laban for twenty years. This long effort of fourteen years on Jacob’s part to gain Laban’s two daughters for wives. Six more years Jacob worked to gain a flock from Laban. Laban now has pursued Jacob wanting that which Jacob had earned.
Jacob testified of his faithfulness to Laban that he had cared for his flocks. Jacob had suffered the losses for himself and prospered Laban. Laban was so unjust as to require Jacob to absorb the losses himself. This requirement by Laban was in violation of God’s law in Exodus 22:10-13. In Ezekiel 34 God spoke harshly towards shepherds of Israel that did not take proper care of their flock. In John chapter 21 Jesus tells Peter to tend His sheep. As members of the body of Christ we are a part of His flock. We are to love one another and care for one another. Jacob’s faithfulness to Laban is an example of his faithfulness to God, trusting God for the eternal reward of the Promised Land.
God spoke to Laban and warned him not to speak bad or good to Jacob. Laban knew that Jacob was blessed by God by seeing how he had prospered him and how God had prospered Jacob. So Laban feared the God of His father Isaac and offered to make a covenant with Jacob. If man is willing to work so long for worldly possessions that will pass away what should we refuse to endure to become the children of God whose reward is eternal?