Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
Isaac told his son not to marry a Canaanite woman, but to take a wife from his mother’s family. So Jacob left to go find a wife among his own people. Now, twenty years later, he is finally released to go back. He now has two wives and a lot of flocks- all obtained from a father-in-law who cheated him, tricked him and treated him unjustly all those years.
Oh, now there’s a word for someone ~ You may have arrived empty-handed and had to stay much longer than you planned, and you may have endured mistreatment while you were there, but one day God will call you back out, and you will not leave empty. You will come out with plunder. You will come out with far more than you went in to get.
Jacob obeyed his father and it was harder than he thought it would be. And I want to just go stand next to him and link arms. Because some days obeying my Father is so much harder than I thought it would be too.
But I see something else in this chapter...
Laban’s sons looked at Jacob’s wealth in the form of sheep & goats, and they said that wealth should have been Laban’s (and by implication, theirs) (Vs. 1). Rachel & Leah both believed that their father had spent all of “their” money. (Vs. 14-16) Laban claimed that his daughters and his grandchildren, as well as Jacob’s flocks, all belonged to him. (Vs. 43)
Part of the sin nature we are born with is the desire to “own”, to have, to claim something (everything) for ourselves. To have, to hold onto, to keep. Building our kingdoms, and filling our pockets. Obsessed with what is ours.
But then — enter Jesus with His salvation and cleansing blood and His upside down ways.
And now we’re invited to give everything away, including ourselves. “Follow Me” means we walk away from our kingdom to help Him build His. Earthly treasures have lost their value. The desire to make more money takes a step back as making disciples steps forward.
Grace and love have changed our minds and our dreams and our destiny. Our inheritance is secure so we are free to decrease, to go low, to open our hands and live that way.
Let us not be found fighting for what is ours. I pray we will be more prone to giving than we are to keeping, because we know that this world has nothing for us.
All that is ours is in Christ.