Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Gen. 30:25-31:55

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Genesis Chapter Thirty

(Chapter Thirty outline continues from yesterday)

  1. Upon completion of his second marriage contract, Jacob declares his intention to depart, but Laban once again cuts a deal (Gen. 30:25-34).
    1. Laban knows that he is reaping temporal-life blessings so long as Jacob stays with him (vv.27,30).
    2. Laban continues to push the sale, and closes the deal with a third work contract (vv.31‑34).
    3. Jacob strikes a bargain that seems foolish, but he apparently does so under Divine inspiration.
  2. Jacob undertakes six years of animal husbandry, manipulating the mating habits of Laban’s flock, and making a fortune for himself (Gen. 30:35-43).
    1. Externally, Jacob utilized a mysterious colored rod method to control the color of the offspring.
    2. The reality of the matter, though, was that Jacob was simply following God’s guidance on a daily basis, as the Lord communicated instructions to Jacob by means of his nightly dreams (Gen. 31:10-12).
    3. Ten times in the course of the third contract, Laban changed the terms of the agreement (Gen. 31:7,8).
    4. Jacob is finally learning how to leave his dealings in God’s hands, and how to walk by means of grace through faith (Gen. 31:9).

Genesis Chapter Thirty-One

  1. Jacob observes a growing hostility on the part of Laban and his sons (Gen. 31:1,2).
  2. The Lord informs Jacob that the time has come for his return to Canaan (Gen. 31:3,13).  Note: God calls himself the God of Bethel, and holds Jacob to his foolish vow (Gen. 28:20-22).
  3. Jacob summons his two main wives, and plans the escape (Gen. 31:4-16).
    1. They make their plans in the field, away from Laban’s sons or servants.
    2. Rachel and Leah agree that they can no longer remain with their father (vv.14‑16).
  4. Jacob arrived in Haran fleeing from one hostile brother, and he now departs Haran fleeing from many hostile brothers-in-law and a hostile father-in-law (Gen. 31:17-22).
    1. He flees as fast as he can with four wives, twelve children, and great numbers of camels & livestock (vv.17,18).
    2. Rachel, unbeknownst to Jacob, steals Laban’s teraphim (household idols) (v.19).
    3. Jacob gets three days away from Laban before the escape is discovered (v.22).
  5. Laban chases Jacob, and catches him on the seventh day (Gen. 31:23-55).
    1. The night before catching Jacob, Laban is visited by God, and commanded to not “speak to Jacob either good or bad” (vv.24,29; Gen. 24:50).
    2. Laban demanded an explanation from Jacob for his secret departure (vv.26-28).
    3. Laban claims that he is only sparing Jacob because of God’s interference on Jacob’s behalf (v.29).
    4. Laban also demands that Jacob explain himself for the theft of the teraphim (v.30).  In the Mesopotamian culture, those teraphim could be used by Jacob in an inheritance dispute.
    5. Jacob confesses his flight was motivated by fear, but denies that he took the teraphim (vv.31,32).
    6. Laban ransacked Jacob’s encampment, but was out-Labaned by his daughter Rachel (vv.33-35).
    7. After Laban’s unsuccessful search, Jacob can freely make accusations against Laban’s unfair treatment over the past 20 years (vv.36-42).
    8. Laban concludes his side of the argument by claiming that everything of Jacob’s is really his (v.43).
    9. Laban & Jacob part ways by entering into their fourth contract—an obligation on Jacob’s part to take no more wives, and treat Laban’s daughters well, and a mutual contract to remain apart from one another (vv.44-55).