Gen. 30:25-36 "Send me away..."

            Gen. 30:25 “And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country. 26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee. 27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake. 28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it. 29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me. 30 For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?

31 And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock. 32 I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. 33 So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me. 34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.

35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstreaked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36 And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.”

The time for Jacob to return to the land of Canaan had come and Jacob went to his uncle Laban to get his blessings to return to the land of Canaan.  Laban told Jacob that he had learned by experience that the Lord had blessed him for Jacob’s sake.  This parallels the fact that God has blessed us for Christ’s sake.  Also, we know that sometimes we receive blessings because of our proximity to other people as well.  I believe there have been times that the Lord has abundantly blessed the preaching of his word for certain individuals in the congregation and it was a blessing for all the members of the congregation.  This should also encourage us to make close fellowship with godly people as we may be blessed for their sake.

Again, Laban proposes a contract of work with Jacob.  Jacob has learned by past experience not to trust Laban with his proposals and this one will be different only in that the Lord intercedes on behalf of Jacob and his family.

Laban considered the contract of labor to be a gift that he was giving Jacob, however, Jacob believed that he would earn through his labor the portion that would fall to him. 

Jacob proposed to again care for the flock of Laban and the wages would be only those cattle that had certain markings on them.  To this Laban agreed.  However, Jacob said that he would separate out those who had the particular marking at the beginning and Laban beat Jacob to it and gave those marked cattle into the hands of his sons. 

Gen. 30:37-43  Fables and Genetics

            Gen. 30:37 “And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. 38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. 39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstreaked, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstreaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle. 41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. 42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. 43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.”

            The above illustrates that God knew and revealed the truth even when men were convinced of fables.  Jacob thought that when cattle conceived when they were looking at certain objects that the cattle would be in likeness to the objects.  This was apparently widely believed at that time.  Of course at one time, the earth was believed to be flat and not round, but the scriptures told us multiple centuries before that God sitteth upon the “circle” of the earth!

            At first Jacob believed that his practice of putting objects before the cattle was the cause of the cattle bringing forth young in the likeness of those objects.  However, later God showed Jacob the truth: Gen. 31:9 “Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled. 11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.”  In the dream, God showed Jacob that the reason the cattle brought forth as they did was based on genetics and not based on some commonly believed fable.  Moreover, when we realize that modern genetics was not discovered and generally believed until the middle of the 20th century, we must say, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”  The bible is scientifically the most accurate document known and revealed great scientific truths long (often centuries) before scientists discovered those truths. 

            “And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.”  In this we see, the Lord interceding on the behalf of Jacob and taking away the wealth of Laban, who had gained much of that wealth through his deception of Jacob.  The scriptures say, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord” (Rom. 12:19).