31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.
3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
When reading chapters concerning Jacob’s life, we see an incredibly dysfunctional family and a man who is in many ways not a man of integrity. If we look at the patterns of his life we see the consequences he pays for his own sinfulness. He cheated his brother out of his inheritance. Then he was cheated by his father in law. In chapter 31 when he heard his brothers in law complaining about him and had noted Laban’s change in attitude toward him he wasn’t upfront about it, but devised a scheme to sneak away. It was the way he left that was most upsetting to Laban.
26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war. 27 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? 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. 29 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.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household. But why did you steal my gods?”
Did Jacob long to return to his Father’s house hold? No, he had to face his older brother whom he had cheated and devised more schemes to placate him when he arrived.
The good thing about Jacob, even with all his flaws he listened to God and followed what God told him to do. It’s a relief to know that no matter what we’ve done we are not beyond value or usefulness in God’s eyes. What a reminder, that when we tend to judge others for being less than full of integrity, even they are valuable to God.
Lord, Thank you for your Holy word that help us to know your character and know that you love us, no matter what. You long for that relationship with us and you have a plan for each of our lives. Allow us to see clearly the dysfunction in our own lives that would cause turmoil in our lives and the lives of our families, friends, and even within the church. Thank you for your plan of salvation through Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.