Father of the Brides
As you come now to God’s Word, ask that he will speak to you and make his ways known to you.
Read Genesis 31:22-42
 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled.  Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.  Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”  Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too.  Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.  Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps?  You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing.  I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’  Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household. But why did you steal my gods?”  Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.  But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.  So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent.  Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing.  Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods.  Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down?  Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.  “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.  I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.  This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.  It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Jacob prosper despite Laban's deceit (42)?
Jacob is becoming an increasingly solitary person. Surrounded by wives, servants, children and animals, he nevertheless cuts a lonely figure. He’s a man on the run: from his brother and now his father-in-law. There’s no strength for him in numbers. But God speaks in a dream and everything changes: Laban must not harm Jacob and, to his credit, Laban does as he’s told. Just as God changed the course of Jacob’s life through a dream, he now protects him by speaking to someone else in the same manner. God will have his way in this family. He will have a people who will bear his name and out of whom will come the Rescuer of humanity. The picture is always big for God. But he is known personally, as experienced by Laban. It’s all grace for Jacob. As the Scripture says, “‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom. 11:34-36).
Reflect on how God has worked in you over time and changed your life for the better. Then, thank him.
Lord, I know You are lovingly working out Your will for me and my family. Guide and bless us, I pray.
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