Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 15 Jacob and Laban :Buying and Selling

I heard on the news this morning that retail sales has reached a 40 year low, the housing foreclosure rate increase 81% over last year, and that Madoff accused of $50billion swindle didn't physically make the fraudulent investments himself!

Perhaps in this time of recession we could take the time to see the costs of what we actually sell and evaluate what we buy. There is probably good reason that there are three commandments addressing wanting and possession what belongs to others.

Gen 30 &31 Jacob and Laban have an interesting relationship, both are grabbers and when Jacob shows without a shadow of a doubt before all, that God is blessing him and not Laban re the animals, Laban understands he does not have the upper hand anymore. Jacob is astute enough to recognize the change in Laban's demeanor towards him and YHWH encourages Jacob to get out.

Jacob could have stayed with Laban and he would have had a good life, he had extended family around him and we could say not real reason to move. But Jacob had come to his limit of what he could cope with. He did have a demanding family situation, with 4 women to satisfy with children, and of course he was the outsider and at some level probably felt that this not his own household. No matter what happened or how he was blessed, he was still earning wages from his father in law
Gen 31:26ff we see how Laban views the move, as stealing and tries to "save face" by intimating that Jacob would hurt Rachael and Lea, and offers a covenant between them.

A Covenant is drawn up, a line drawn in the sand, between them, Laban swears by the God of Abraham and the God of his grandfather Nahor. Jacob swears by the Fear lit"terror" of Isaac. The "awe of God" that YHWH seen in Abraham's eyes when tested with Isaac would have no less impact on Isaac and was passed on to his son Jacob. They will part, the buyer and the seller, which of them do you believe got the better deal?


  1. My tendency is to say Jacob because of God' blessing and his possesions. However, maybe Laban received the better blessing because God didn't kill him. God had warned Laban not to pass judgment on Jacob either good or bad, and yet he still accusses Jacob (Gen 31:24, 26).

  2. opps keep forgetting to sign off. Shirley Fay

  3. I agree with you Shirley, Jacob was God directed even if he stumbled his way through it. As the story of Jacob unfolds, you will discover that God spoke to him at every important, crisis in his life. Who could desire a greater blessing than this. On the other shoe as Shirley you shared he should count himself lucky to not have had God destroy the deceiving heathen he was.

  4. opps my brain meaning the other shoe is Laban.Diana