When Jacob walked by Laban’s sons he couldn’t help over-hearing their conversation.
“Jacob got rich off Abba’s flocks.”
“Yeah, everything he has once belonged to Dad.”
“Why are his goats so much bigger than our goats? How’d that happen?”
One glance at Laban and Jacob felt like the outsider he was. That looked carried so much suspicion you could almost hear his thoughts.
As Jacob walked back to his family Jesus showed up beside him. “It’s time to return to Canaan. Don’t be afraid. I’ll be with you.”
Jacob looked at the flocks of sheep and goats on the hillside. His sons were running through them. He smiled. When he turned to talk to Jesus He was gone.
He got the attention of one of his servants. “Tell Rachel and Leah to come here, please. I need to talk to them.”
The servant ran to the tents and returned with Jacob’s wives.
Jacob was sitting on a rock surveying all he had. “Twenty years ago all I had was a walking staff. Now, eleven sons, one daughter, numerous animals… God has told me to return to my homeland. What are your thoughts on this?”
Leah sat on the ground. “I feel no better than one of those goats out there. Abba sold us to you so you’d work for him. I don’t feel like staying here.”
Rachel put a hand on Jacob’s shoulder. “Your God has truly blessed you, Jacob. If He tells you it’s time to go then let’s go. There’s nothing holding us here.”
The next morning all the tents were folded up and loaded on camels for the trip to Canaan.
A week later Laban approached with some men as Jacob rested in the mountains of Gilead. “What have you done stealing my daughters and grandchildren away like this? Why didn’t you give me the chance to see you off with a celebration?”
Jacob stood. He looked at the men behind Laban. “I was afraid you’d insist we stay longer, or you’d forcibly take your daughters back.”
Laban walked up to Jacob. “I could do you harm now, but your God spoke to me last night. Let’s make a treaty right here.”
Jacob nodded. “Gather some stones. Let’s have a feast here.”
After the meal Laban stood. “Let this heap of rocks be a witness between us. We shall not pass by it to do you harm and you shall not pass by it to do us harm. Agreed?”
In the morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and daughters good bye.
Jacob faced west and wondered what Esau was thinking about.
One down, one to go.
I think that’s what was on Jacob’s mind at that point in his life. Twenty years of struggling with his mom’s brother had brought him a large family and several animals. He was wealthy by that day’s standards.
Would any of that matter when Esau was back in his life?
God had promised him He would protect him. Jacob was so used to conniving his way through life he must have felt it was up to him to get through this mess he had to deal with.
How much are you like Jacob?
You know your circumstances. You know a good way to deal with it, so you charge ahead with your agenda.
Did you ask God for direction first?
God has this mess you find yourself in, too.
God stepped in with Laban by talking to him in a dream. Jacob missed that point in the conversation. Farewells were said. Kisses were granted as one generation departed from another one.
The last time Jacob saw Esau he held the same expression Laban did before he left two decades before. Suspicion, envy and hate all rolled into one look.
A lot can change in 240 months. Jacob feared the worse from his twin.
Peace was made with Laban. That chapter closed well. The next chapter was yet to be revealed. What were the chances of two good outcomes in a row?
Jacob’s life didn’t have a great track record for such things.
We can read the Bible and see God in the details. Jacob didn’t have that assurance in his life.
You have documentation of how God can step in and change the heart of another person. Pray for peace.
We’ll never know what plans Laban had for Jacob and his family when he left Haran because God stepped in first.
God can step into your situation as well.
No, there isn’t any promise that the other person will change just because you pray for that.
That may not be the point in your circumstance. Maybe the change needs to occur in you, my friend.
Romans 8:28 does promise all things are working together for our good.
Romans 8:29 points out that our good is to become more like Jesus Christ.
Jesus’s enemies remained His enemies throughout His life. God didn’t change them then.
Some of them didn’t change until after Jesus’s resurrection.
Perhaps when others see changes in you they’ll want to change themselves.
Jesus received a lot of ridicule and abuse during the crucifixion. He could have stopped it then, but He endured it to help you change.
An important part of this whole salvation experience is the coming of the Holy Spirit into your life.
Jesus had to return to heaven for that to take place.
An important part of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to make you new.
Others may choose to hold on to their hate and vengeful spirit, but you need to take the high road, just like Jesus did.
No, you can’t do that on your own power. Just like Jacob couldn’t control either Laban or Esau.
Let God step in and make the necessary changes in you.
Ask Him to make changes in the other person.
As much as it depends on you live at peace with others.
They have to answer for their actions.
You’ll have to answer for yours.
Choose wisely, my friend.
I’ll see you later. Wade