From Genesis to Now
Laban vs. Jacob: Let the Games Begin
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I think the first time I remember hearing that old adage, or at least when I took notice of it, was in an Anne of Green Gables movie. The point being that Anne was falling into the same pattern of pride that had robbed Morella of the love in her past.
If ever there was an example of a family characteristic being passed from generation to generation it’s revealed in Rebecca’s family. Deception is connected to so many family members that you can’t really miss it.
Here in the second half of Gen 30, there’s a stand off between two manipulators—Laban and Jacob—and they are each doing what they tend to do—getting what they want through trickery.
Jacob has been far from home and family for many years now. Nothing is mentioned about any connection between him and his parents. Maybe in those days people left and were never heard from again. I don’t know. But, sometime after Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob gets restless and wants to go home. After at least 14 years Jacob is probably thinking his parents are old, that he wants them to see Joseph (the favored child), and surely Esau doesn’t seem as scary as he once did...at least not yet.
God may have blessed Laban through Jacob, but Jacob through Laban had acquired two wives, two concubines, which had given him a significantly large family.
So, as Laban and Jacob discuss their terms, the parleying begins—not unlike the circling of two wrestlers sizing up their opponents—searching out the other’s weak spot and strengths. Only Jacob has a trick in his pocket that neither one of them recognizes at the moment.
the parishioner who doesn’t do anything
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