Lesson 5: "Points of Change" Genesis 30:25 Ė 31:55
"The Lord said to Jacob, ĎGo backíÖ" Genesis 31:3
Changes that forever alter the way we think and act
Jacob has faced several major change points by now. First, he ran away from Esau and his home. Second, he met God at Bethel. Third, he was deceived and married Rachel and Leah.
After the birth of Joseph, Jacob makes plans to leave. His statement reflects the authority structure in the Eastern extended family. (30:26)
Jacob had changed at Bethel, but he still needed to deal with his weaknesses. God used this time with Laban so Jacob would see his own deceitfulness reflected in Laban.
A Dramatic Dialogue
Notice Jacobís statements and Labanís responses. Laban offers to pay Jacob his wage. (30:28) Note his practice of divination (30:27). Laban saw Jacobís influence.
Jacob had a clear idea of what he wanted (30:32). Laban agreed, but it is clear he didnít much trust Jacob. (30:35)
Ironically, Jacob did have a hidden agenda. But Godís hand was in it. (30:39)
Laban continues to break his word to Jacob. (31:7-9) At this point, God tells Jacob to leave. (31:3) Jacob reveals that God gave him the idea of keeping the speckled animals (31:12). But, God had also told him to leave six years earlier (31:13, 31:41)
A Quick Exit
Rachel and Leah see no reason to stay (31:14,15) so Jacob and his family leave immediately (31:17,18). This greatly angers Laban (31:20-30)
In leaving, Rachel steals her fatherís household gods (31:19)
God spoke to Laban in a dream (31:24) Labanís encounter with God made an impact. His statement in 31:27-29 is the most straightforward thing he has said yet.
Jacob ran because he was afraid (31:31), but he was becoming sensitive about being accused of stealing (31:32). He didnít know the deception gene had been passed on to Rachel (31:34,35)
Finally, after being vindicated, Jacob unloads on Laban for 20 years of abuse (31:38-42)
Remember, God had told Jacob He had noticed Labanís deceitful actions (31:12)
Laban could not argue with the facts. So, he offers to make peace in the family (31:44)
Had Laban had his own Bethel experience? (31:49,50,53)
The two families part, and there is no record that they ever meet again (31:55)
#1) When we take matters into our own hands, we will eventually experience negative consequences
God designs experiences and utilizes events to assist us in overcoming our character weaknesses