Daily Word

Don’t touch my boy | Genesis 31:22-30

22 Three days later, Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 So he gathered a group of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with Jacob seven days later in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But the previous night God had appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, “I’m warning you—leave Jacob alone!”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of Gilead, and he set up his camp not far from Jacob’s. 26 “What do you mean by deceiving me like this?” Laban demanded. “How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war? 27 Why did you slip away secretly? Why did you deceive me? And why didn’t you say you wanted to leave? I would have given you a farewell feast, with singing and music, accompanied by tambourines and harps.

28 Why didn’t you let me kiss my daughters and grandchildren and tell them good-bye? You have acted very foolishly! 29 I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night and warned me, ‘Leave Jacob alone!’ 30 I can understand your feeling that you must go, and your intense longing for your father’s home. But why have you stolen my gods?”

Genesis 31:22-30 (NLT)

The chase

Laban finds out three days after Jacob and his clan left. He immediately starts out after them and in seven days, overtakes the slower-moving group. Jacob must have expected this but we see no indication he planned for it. He was defenseless, exposed. Laban likely could have forced him to return – or at least taken all he wanted – and even killed Jacob.

Fire spittin’ mad

Laban is a little hot under the collar. Actually, he seems to be fire spittin mad about it. He accuses him (rightly) of leaving without notifying him but goes well beyond this in his chastisement. To it he adds: deception, robbing him of the opportunity to send him off with a blessing (but whether this is true or not we don’t know), and enslaving his daughters (and “his” grandchildren). But the final accusation is a trigger for Jacob – Laban accuses Jacob of stealing his (household) gods. 

Don’t touch my boy

Of course God knew Jacob’s vulnerability. He came to his rescue. He had earlier, though a dream, instructed Jacob to leave – though Jacob’s abrupt departure likely was not God’s plan. God makes it clear to Laban that he is not to mess with His (chosen) boy: “You mess with him, you mess with Me”. 

RЯeflection

  • What a comfort to know that the God of the universe is also our Heavenly Father looking out for us. Even when we fail, He still is engaged in our lives and working to direct our steps and protect us (often from ourselves!). Let’s give thanks and praise Him – even right now.
Godfather with two thugs. Image from Pxfuel.com

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