Gen. 31.1-2  Blessing by Association

Gen. 31:1 “And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. 2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.”

So long as Laban and his sons were prospering at the labors of Jacob they were satisfied and supportive of him and wanted him around.  However, when the Lord begin to bless him and they ceased prospering from his labors, their attitude toward him changed.  The sons acted as though Jacob had stolen the cattle from them and their father.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, God was taking from Laban that which he had gathered through deceit and giving it to Jacob who had been deceived and yet faithfully labored for Laban and kept his end of the contracts that he had made with Laban. 

How typical the above is with many of God’s children.  The world loves them so long as the world can prosper from their labors.  Once the prospering stops then the world will turn upon them and act hatefully toward them. 

So long as the Lord blessed Laban for Jacob’s sake, then Laban wanted Jacob around.  However, when the Lord ceased blessing Laban for Jacob’s sake, his countenance toward Jacob changed.   

Gen. 31.3-16  Jacob Submits

            Gen. 31:3 “And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.

4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, 5 And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstreaked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstreaked. 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. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? 15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. 16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.”

Jacob had gone to Padanaram at the direction of his father and mother and while traveling along the way, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and this was a life changing experience for him.  Jacob had vowed a vow unto the Lord: Gen. 28:20 “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”  God had honored his end of the vow and now had instructed Jacob to return to his father’s house and that the Lord would be with him. 

Jacob went about explaining and convincing his family that they needed to pack up and go to the land of Canaan.  First, he reminded them how that their father had turned against him and how he had attempted to deceive him in wages ten times.  He also pointed out how that the LORD had interceded on his behalf and caused the cattle to bear so that the young would be Jacob’s and his family.  Finally, Jacob told them about God instructing him in a dream to return to the land of his kindred. 

Rachel and Leah agreed with Jacob and encouraged him that both he and his family would do whatsoever God had said unto Jacob to do.