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. 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?