Ep. 024: Leaving Laban

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Ep. 024: Leaving Laban

Jacob wanted to have a private conversation with his two wives, so they met out in the field. He said to them, “I worked hard for your father, even though he changed our deal ten times. The Lord protected me, and every time Laban changed our agreement, God changed how the lambs were born. Now your father is angry with me. So the Angel of God has told me to return to the land of my fathers.”
Both women agreed with him. They said, “Do what God has told you to do. Our father sold us to you and then spent the money. You haven’t gotten anything from him that doesn’t already belong to us and our children.”
So without telling Laban, Jacob took all that he had, and started driving his herds toward Canaan. Before they left, Rachel stole her father’s family idol.
Three days later, Laban heard that Jacob had left. He immediately took a group of men and chased after Jacob. It took seven days to catch up with him. The night before, God appeared to Laban and said, “Watch out! Don’t do anything to Jacob, good or bad.”
The next day, Laban met Jacob and said, “Why did you do this to me? You left like a thief in the night, and took my daughters and grandchildren like they were prisoners. If you had told me, I would’ve put on a grand party and sent you off with a flair.”
“Now you’ve disgraced me, and if I wanted to, I could destroy you right here. But last night, the God of your fathers told me not to do anything to you.
“I suppose I can understand your being homesick and wanting to go home. But why did you steal my family idol?”
Jacob said, “I didn’t steal your idol. Look for yourself. Go ahead. Search our tents. If you find it, I’ll kill the person who took it.” He didn’t know that Rachel had taken it.
Laban searched the tents belonging to Jacob, Leah, and the two maidservants. He then went into Rachel’s tent. She was sitting on her camel seat, where she had put the idol. She said, “Father, please forgive me for not standing. I am having my monthly period.” Laban looked throughout her tent and didn’t find his idol.
At this point, Jacob became angry. He said, “You’ve chased me here like I was a criminal. You’ve searched everything I have. Have you found anything that belongs to you? Bring it out and put it in front of your men.
“No, you haven’t found anything! I worked for you for twenty years. I endured the extreme heat in the day, and the frost at night. I worked without much sleep, so you could prosper. I endured these hardships, and you still mistreated me through it all.
“Then you made me bear all the loss for anything that went wrong. I had to pay you if someone stole a sheep. If an animal killed a lamb, suddenly it was my lamb.”
“You changed our agreement ten times. I would be standing here penniless if God hadn’t made things right. Now he’s protecting me from you.”
Laban said, “Everything you have belongs to me. Those are my daughters! Those are my grandsons! Those are my flocks! But what can I do now? Let’s make a firm agreement that can’t be changed. Everyone here will be a witness to it.”
So all the men took stones and piled them in a mound. Jacob and Laban agreed that neither man would ever go to the other side of the mound. Laban said, “These rocks are an agreement between us. You’re not to mistreat my daughters and take any other wives.”
Jacob then made a sacrifice to God and afterwards everyone sat down to a meal. The next morning, Laban kissed his daughters and grandchildren, and blessed them. He then returned to his home.


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