The deal between Laban and Jacob, a mound of stones from Genesis 31:43-55 and questions

The peace of God

In verse 43, the anger of Laban had faded, and I think that the peace of YaHaWaH had dawned on Laban, Jacob and all the people gathered around them. Laban said that everything was his, he didn’t mean that he owed everything, he just wanted to express that he was the source, that they all were his dear family. That Jacobs’s sons and daughter came from his daughters and their maids, former the maids of Laban, and that all the flocks of Jacob came from his flocks. I think at this moment the love of God governed Laban and he included Jacob and all his in his family, Laban wanted friendship.

To climb up and watch from there

Both Laban and Jacob wanted peace between them and made a deal not to harm each other, however, they didn’t trust one another to mutually keep the deal, they needed gods to vindicate it and protect it in the future. Therefor they heaped up a huge mound of stones for the gods to climb up there and from the top of the mound be able to watch over the covenant to be kept by both parties.

Three different gods

Laban trusted in several gods, but he also respected the God of Abraham, Jacob’s God as we can see in verse 49 were Laban calls God by his name YaHaWaH and asked Him to watch over both. In verse 53 however Laban calls on three different gods, first the God of Abraham, the god of Nahor, his grandfather and then on the god of Terah his great grandfather.

The Fear of Isaac

Nevertheless, Jacob didn’t accept these false gods, swore only by one God, the real God, and called Him “The Fear of Isaac”. Jacob knew his God by the way his father Isaac feared Him and now by the way God had vindicated him for 20 years in Haran and here protected him in the hill country of Gilead. Jacob knew that this God was holy, mighty and reliable. Wither he thought YaHaWaH was the only god I cannot say; however, Jacob had experienced that his God was superior to all the other gods if any.  

Questions

  1. How many gods do we have?
  2. How do you know, which god is your god?
  3. How can we know God?

Jacob fled, Laban pursues Jacob, from Genesis 31:22-42 commented by ASV and questions

Laban was a threat to Jacob

Jacob fled three days before Laban detected it and pursued Jacob and overtook them after seven days, in the Hill country of Gilead south of the sea of Galilea and east of the river Jordan. To reach that far in ten days they must have moved quickly, probably on the backs of camels and mules, Jacob undoubtedly feared Laban.

In his anger

Laban gathered his relatives in Haran, and they could have been many, may be 200 grown up men trained as soldiers as were the custom at that time. Laban came with a small army and it was obvious the he meant to harm Jacob; Laban came in his anger.

His proper name

Laban believed in several gods; however, the real God spoke to him in a dream and he understood that this was the awesome God of Abraham that Eliezer spoke about when he fetched Rebekah to marry Isaac 120 years ago. Laban had learned to know this mighty God and called Him by His proper name, YaHaWaH, when talking about him. Laban feared this mighty God that defended and blessed Jacob. God told Laban to watch his tongue when speaking to Jacob.

Speeches to cover up and impress

When Laban met Jacob, he made a speech, he blamed Jacob for running away without informing him, but all these words were mainly to convince and impress all his relatives coming with him, of his great personality and goodness, however Jacob and Laban’s daughters new who Laban really was. The same goes for leaders today, who they are do not matter to them, they make speeches.

There is another story

Now Jacob answered Laban and told quiet another story. That Laban was greedy and ruthless and was not concerned about Jacob or his own daughters or his grandchildren. Jacob revealed Laban’s plan to leave him with nothing, giving him only one option, to stay in Haran and continue to work for his master.

Not to fight back

Crafty and greedy people will always exploit others, but to fight them is not the way, we must take the losses and leave it to God, He is not just mighty He also have magnificent ears and sight and He is not slumbering on His 24/7 watch.

Questions

  1. Is it difficult to leave things to God?
  2. Do God love your enemies?
  3. What did Jesus say about the matter?

Jacob leaves for home without informing Laban about it, from Genesis 31:14-21 commented by ASV and questions

Fear of man

Here Jacob shows that he didn’t believe God in everything. Jacob left with all his camp without telling Laban, leaving Laban’s flock of sheep and goats unguarded. Jacob believed his God helped him, however he feared Laban more than he trusted God. Instead of facing the problem having faith in God, he runs away with his wives and small ones on camels. Jacob crossed the river Euphrates and headed for the hill country of Gilead east of the Jordan River and south of the sea of Galilea.

Give God the credit

With God, we can face the troubles in our life, we don’t need to run, and we can stand up with the strong hand of God on our side always presenting the truth. Moreover, remember when things go your way, give God the credit.  

Questions

  1. Do you avoid or escape the truth in your daily life?
  2. Do you lie instead of facing the real facts?

Jacob meets God and prepares for home, Laban turns angry towards Jacob from Genesis 31:1-13 commented by ASV and questions

Countenance

When Laban thought he could fool Jacob he was friendly towards him, however when he saw that God took his sheep and goats away from him and gave them to Jacob, he turned hostile towards him. In his heart and mind, he was angry. This is described in verse 2 here, but is translated wrong, the translators tries to help God, for instance Amplified says that Jacob noticed that Laban’s “attitude” had changed, the King James is closer, “And Jacob beheld the “countenance” of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before”.

Face

The Hebrew word is, פָּנִים pronounced “panim”, and simply means face. Moses who wrote this was spiritually a lot closer to God than we are today. He understood better than we do how the human body works. For instance if you are happy in your heart your face is radiating it, people can see it and if we are sad people can notice that too. Laban was angry with Jacob and Jacob saw that his face had changed when he talked to him or just met him in the field.

Actor

Today most people try to pretend to give the impression they want to present, not what they feel inside “in their heart” this is hypocrisy giving the false impression. Hypocrisy means acting, being a hypocrite is being an actor. 

Belongs to God

Jacob had now done what he promised Laban, he did not owe him anything, Jacob had no more debt, and he had fulfilled his obligations and was free to do what he wanted. Laban cheated Jacob and changed his salary ten times however, Jacob didn’t cheat Laban, Jacob had learned that he was responsible not to Laban but to his God. Jesus explained it this way “love your enemy”, and Paul said that we should give room for God to act by not retaliate or by not do any kind of revenge, it belongs to God.

Go home

Now Jacob had his freedom and God spoke to him, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your people, and I will be with you.” God told Jacob to leave for his home in Canaan, Jacob had longed for a long time to go home and meet his family there. Humanly thinking this was dangerous for Jacob, Laban had a strong army and could hurt him if Jacob left.

Esau at home threatened to kill him

In addition, his brother at home was hostile and wanted to kill him because Jacob had no news of that Esau’s attitude had changed. Jacob felt trapped between two hazards. Jacob could have thought that the best thing for him to do was to stay with Laban; however, God put a longing for home in Jacob’s heart and assured him of His Company, “and I will be with you.”

The branches

Jacob prepared branches to put in front of the rams and the male goats, when they mated at the water throws, here in chapter 31 we got the reason for why Jacob did this. God gave him a dream where He said, “Look up and see, all the rams which are mating are streaked, speckled, and spotted; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.” 

God’s spiritual workshop

YaHaWaH told Jacob to take his eyes away from the white rams and male goats and look up to God, into His spiritual workshop where He works, where the righteousness is His tools by the Word empowered by The Holy Spirit.

Three options

Because God had noticed how Laban had cheated and treated Jacob and because Jacob didn’t retaliate, he actually did the opposite and served Laban with all his strength. How did God help Jacob, He did it by giving Jacob all three options; streaked, speckled or spotted offspring. Jacob needed options because when Laban saw what the offspring looked like, he changed Jacobs’s salary to another appearance. Crafty humans like Laban can cheat people, but not the only God, YaHaWaH. 

Kept His promise

YaHaWaH assured Jacob that he was the God he met at Bethel where Jacob promised to have YaHaWaH as God and give Him tenth of all that He gave him. It seems that Jacob also thought that there were several gods, but he chose to follow and believe in this one because He proved to be beneficial. This God kept His promise and helped Jacob with wat he prayed for when he anointed the stone and made a vow to God.

The position

My advice is, be bold when you talk to God and promise what is in your heart, and then you will be on your way to find the will of God for your life. To find the will of God and stay in it is a position of happiness and contentment.  

Questions

  1. When God say something to you, do you remember it?
  2. How many gods are there?
  3. How do you recognise God?
  4. Do you have many gods?

God makes Jacob rich with flocks and herds, camels and slaves and whatever he needed, from Genesis 30:37-43 commented by ASV and questions

To know the hand of God in what’s going on

What Jacob is doing in these verses, humanly thinking seems stupid actually, and those branches he made wouldn’t have had any influence on the color of the offspring, of course not. So why did he do it, the answer is that he communicated with God and told Him that if the offspring is not white when mating at the sticks I know that You have answered me, for this is not possible.

He knew without doubt that God made him riche

God made Jacob rich, his flocks increased and he separated them from the white sheep and goats, which he pastured. His sons looked after his own flock. However Jacob’s flocks grew bigger and bigger, and when he needed more labor he just bought “slaves” in the “slave markets” in Haran. Jacob also prepared for his travel home and bought camels and donkeys.

Not many or much

What we can learn from what Jacob did here is that when we pray to God, additional to our prayer we also have to act “put our hand to something” God cannot bless what we don’t do. What we say is not too important; you don’t need to use many words, and not many people to pray for you.

First step

What is of much more importance is the condition of your heart; in your heart, your spirit and soul are located. First step is to change your spirit, throw your old away and install a new one; 2 Corinthians 5:17. Now you are ready to change, but in the physical, nothing has happened.

Second step

Second step is to change your lifestyle, from a life with the world, to a life with the Word. You have to conduct what is influencing your brain, your way of thinking. You have to turn off all the information from TV, from your friends, from the medics, all? Yes all because in the beginning you are not capable of selecting and filter the info being thrown at you.

Not want to, but need to

Then you need to open up for the Word to move your brain to think like God, you have to dig deep in the Bible, slowly, deep, and chronically, from the beginning to the end. After being baptized in water and in the Spirit you need to discipline your body with all your 5 senses, instead of saying I want, your saying should be; “I need to”

Expose the lie

 It is not hard work; in yourself, it is impossible; you need Jesus by The Holy spirit to help you, every day? Yes every day, shutting the doors, where the devil can slip in. He is slippery as a snake; however, The Holy Spirit will expose the lie and give you the truth.

Questions

  1. Do you have the new spirit in your heart?
  2. Do you understand that the Word is Jesus?
  3. Do you think your body is your friend?
  4. Do you need some of the Bible or the whole Bible?
  5. Do you need some of your body or the whole body?

Jacob had been 14 years with Laban, Laban tries to cheat Jacob again, the deal. From Genesis 30:25-36 commented by ASV and questions

No more dept. ready to bargain

Now Jacob had been with Laban for 14 years, he had labored for both Leah and Rachel, he bought Rachel on credit, and however, now she belonged to him, fully paid for. Jacob wanted to go home to Canaan to his family there. Laban however wanted him to stay and pasture his goats and sheep. Nevertheless, this time he had to give Jacob salary and asked Jacob what he wanted for the work.

Nothing

This deal between Laban and Jacob is not easy to understand, and Hebrew is not always easy to translate, however if we get the keywords it could be done. Jacob answered Laban, “You shall not give me anything. But if you will do this one thing for me I will again pasture and keep your flock:” This was the essence of the agreement; that Laban shouldn’t give Jacob anything, only agree and do what he proposed.

Greedy

Jacob wanted to separate all the not pure white goats and sheep and give them to Laban and that was what they did. Laban took all the speckled, spotted and dark among the sheep and goats and gave them to his sons. Laban left with Jacob only the pure white goats and sheep. For Jacob to earn salary those white goats and sheep had to produce “not white” offspring, Laban knew that this was impossible, he was a greedy human and the deal pleased him.

Hard work for nothing

Laban knew that Jacobs God was YaHaWaH and that this God blessed him because of Jacob, Laban believed in many gods, but those gods hadn’t blessed him as Jacob’s God did. Laban used God’s name, however he didn’t know Him, Laban was happy with the deal to give Jacob “nothing” for the hard work, as it was to pasture goats and sheep in all kinds of wetter. 

Timing

However, God had prepared Jacob for this deal; God had given him 4 wives, 11 sons, and one daughter, some of them old enough to help looking after the flocks. Jacob had been patient and understood God’s timing, the wives worked in the camp, looking after the small ones and made the food ready when Jacob and the boys came back from the field, everything was in good balance, and Jacob was prepared to receive from God.

Questions

  1. Are you ready to receive from God?
  2. Does the preparation of being ready take time?
  3. Do you detect what God is doing for you?
  4. When you ask God for help and He helps you, do you end up saying, “look I did it” or “we made it”?

Rachel prays to YHWH for a child, Joseph is born, from Genesis: 30:22-24 commented by ASV and questions

Pray to the only God

Then God remembered Rachel, why did God remember her, yes because of her prayers, this time she prayed to the real God, the God of Abraham with the name YHWH. Prayer is a strong way to communicate with God, they give Him pleasure, not because of many words, but because they come from the heart with faith in that God is able to answer.

Joseph is born

Rachel conceived and gave birth to a son and named him Joseph meaning; “may He add” She hoped for even another son and said, “May the LORD add to me another son.” Rachel showed that she was not content with the gift God had given her she wanted more. However, Rachel for the first time used God’s proper name YaHaWaH. This time Rachel credited the God of Abraham for her child Joseph.

Questions

  1. Do we need to acknowledge and know in our heart, that God the father of Jesus is our only provider?
  2. Do we accept it, if the answer is “read the bible every day, stop watching TV, stop slandering, gossiping and complaining?
  3. Do God know you, by looking at your heart? 

Rueben finds mandrakes, Rachel buys the mandrakes, Leah gives birth to Issachar and Zebulun, from Genesis 30:14-21 commented by ASV and questions

The night

Reuben Leah’s first son found some mandrakes in the field, a narcotic plant they meant could cure infertility. Rachel wanted children and asked Leah for some of the mandrakes, she said no, but then Rachel offered Leah to sleep with Jacob the coming night. Both the sisters wanted children and Leah gave Rachel the mandrakes and Jacob went into Leah that night.

Reward and elevated place

Moses writes that God answered Leah’s prayer, she conceived and gave birth to her fifth and Jacob’s ninth son and she called him Issachar (reward) reminding her Husband that God is blessing her with children. Then Leah conceived again and gave birth to her sixth son and Jacobs tenth. She named him Zebulun (elevated place) which gave Jacob the message of Leah’s position having given him six sons.

Boys not girls

Then Leah gave birth to a daughter she named her Dinah. Dinah is the only daughter mentioned among the children of Jacob, wither she was the only female child in the family we don’t know, but as we recon today it would normally have been as many girls as boys. However, then again Leah and Rachel prayed to God for boys not girls.  

Questions

  1. Do we understand that God is the giver?
  2. Why Leah and Rachel did desired children?

Leah gives Zilpah to Jacob and fights her good fight, from Genesis 30:9-13, commented by ASV and questions

The battle

The battle between the sisters is going on and Leah gives Zilpah to Jacob and she gives birth to Jacob’s seventh son and Leah names him Gad, good fortune, Leah is telling Jacob that he is lucky having her. Then Zilpah gives birth again to Jacob’s eighth son and Leah calls him Asher (happy) telling her husband that she is happy and brings happiness to Jacob.

Our battle

How can we fight the same battle as Leah did, is it important for us to fight the same fight in this modern world, actually it is. What we can do is linking certain labels to our name. Labels like; honesty, kindness, thinking of others first, always doing the best we can in our work even when nobody watches, treating everyone the same. When people see or hear your name, they think by themselves; oh, that’s the honest good one, him or her can we trust.

Questions

  1. Where do you find your good personality?
  2. How can you change from bad to good?
  3. Is it vital whom you get along with daily?  

Rachel gives Bilhah to Jacob, Bilhah gives birth to Dan and Naphtali, from Genesis 30:1:24 commented by ASV and questions

Words selected tells a story

Moses wrote this book and the words he used told a story, here in these verses Leah called God with his proper name; YaHaWaH when God blessed her with children. Rachel on the other hand used the word Elohim, it could mean the only God, but could also mean any god that would help her. In her heart, Rachel probably worshipped several false gods.

A property changes owner

When Rachel could not have children, she gave Bilhah to Jacob to have children by her. Jacob told her that God had denied her children and she wanted God to take this curse away from her by her maid. Bilhah was a young girl and Rachel’s property, and now she gave her to Jacob, then Bilhah became Jacob’s property and his wife.

How we become man and wife

Moses is here telling us how the matrimony works, if a man and a woman have sexual intercourse they become man and wife, they are one. This is what God has created; the man and woman are now responsible for a family.

Any god

Bilhah gives birth to a son and Rachel calls him Dan, she wants to tell Jacob that God has looked into her case and has acquitted her in His heavenly court; she is free and ready to have children. However, Rachel still uses the word Elohim for God and not his proper name, she probably prays to any god for help.

Wrestling and struggle

Dan is Jacob’s fifth son and the name means He judged. Bilhah gets pregnant again and gives birth to her second son and Rachel calls him Naphtali meaning “my wrestling”. Rachel and Leah were sisters; however, they were not friends. Leah married Jacob first and thought she was his rightful wife, and then Rachel comes and steals him away from her. There is a battle going on between the two sisters and Naphtali, Jacobs’s sixth son verifies it every time someone uses his name.

Questions

  1. What or who is the god in your daily life?
  2. How do you relate to your enemies?
  3. Do you listen when God talks?