The Coat of Many Colors–Genesis 37 Part 2

Probably, the actual name should have been the “Target” of many colors.  Joseph was Rachel’s oldest–she died when Benjamin was born.  Israel loved Joseph.  He was obedient, loved God, loved his family and generally pleased his dad.  Not so much with the rest of the clan.  They were older and had their own families.  They had shown on at least one other occasion that they would do what they deemed right–no matter the advice of their father.

So in light of the jealousy, the coat and Joseph’s dreams; poor Joseph was not on the list for “brother of the year”.  It would have been a great deal more safe for him to keep a low profile; and, simply keep what God was showing him to himself. In the grand scheme of life, however, well, it simply would not have mattered.  Joseph’s coat was not the target–it was his relationship with his father and Heavenly Father–that was the true target.

In our lives, when we chose to follow God closely and humbly–it was as if, we too, put on a coat of many colors,  The enemy sees we choose to allow God to prepare, protect and provide for our life and needs.  Our desire to please God impacts the world in the same way the coat impacted Joseph’s brothers. 

It is why Paul urges us to put on the full armor of God (I Corinthians 6)–to protect us from our enemy.  He prowls like a roaring lion (I Peter 5) seeking whom he WILL devour.  Unless we are battle-ready and battle-tested, the enemy will take us down.  Still, no matter what our preparation and intent–be ready for God’s plan to pull us in directions we would never have imagined.  He is God–We Are NOT!!! Trust and follow him, and enjoy the coat, no matter what the color!

God Bless You

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

The Adventures of Joseph–Genesis 37 Part 1

Every great superhero story starts with a young protagonist, minding his own business when, circumstances well outside their control impact and change his life.  Joseph was, by all accounts, a superhero.  He was the favored son of Israel.  Rueben, Israel’s oldest son had an affair with one of his father’s concubines.  That destroyed their relationship.  So Joseph, Rachel’s oldest son was clearly his favorite.

God gave Joseph the ability to dream and see the future.  Joseph, was pleased and shared it with his dad and his dad  and his siblings–So started the adventure.  Between Israel’s love and favoring Joseph, and his brother’s jealousy and rage–it was clear things were going to get difficult for Joseph.  For now however, Joseph was loved, blessed and devoted to God with all his heart.  He was content to simply listen and follow.

We, like Joseph, have the ability to simply move forward and follow God.  We do not know what all lies ahead in our future, we just know that our Father in Heaven holds the future and his plan for our lives.  While God’s plan is not easy to discern, his promise is.  “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you;  plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.  We have to follow God’s lead–both with humility and grace.  We only know the end–we have to trust him for the journey in between.  We can rest assured, that, if we will–the journey will be an amazing one!

God Bless You

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Back to Square One–Genesis 35 Part 1

Once again Israel’s young life had been turned upside down.  After the attack upon his daughter and the slaughter of the Canaanite’s that were responsible, God called Israel to purify and start again.  So it says that everyone got rid of their personal idols and they resettled in Bethel, the place where God and Jacob wrestled and God changed his life.  As they traveled, The other locals were afraid and no one dared pursue them as a people.  Once again, God prepared, protected and provided for his chosen people.  When they arrived, they set up an alter and a memorial; and there they worshipped God.
 
When our lives get turned upside down, we should also follow the model.  We need to purify our lives by simply evaluating and acknowledging what personal idols do we house.  Then as we identify them, we, like Israel, must walk away from them and worship God and him only.  Then, we need to go back to where we started and worship God as we did when we began our relationship with him.  As we do, we will experience his peace and power in our lives.  Our enemies will fear us, and we will see a shining pillar of his presence in our lives…Not  a bad trade.  Help me, Lord to exchange my idols for your peace and freedom.
 
God Bless You
Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.

Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel,[a] because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

Never OK–Genesis 34

Horrific can never be OK.  Dinah goes out to meet the ladies in the area–The Prince sees her and takes and rapes her.  Then he thinks I like this one.   After the attack, he thinks…She’s awesome, I want to marry her! He and his dad bop over to Israel and seek his permission to bring son and daughter together in marriage.  In fact, to simply become one big happy family.  Everybody wins, right…But wait she was raped!!!!!

When a culture is godless, the value of life and others is minimalized and self interest is made king.  Hamor and Sheckem  saw the attack as an opportunity to merge the peoples–Jacob and his family saw this horrific and deplorable act as an act of war.y these men demonstrated their lack of respect for life, for others and for God. As such, The boys wiped Hamor, Sheckum and the tribe out. Israel was upset that it might hurt neighborhood relations,,,what?!?!  That is why God was clear–Israel was to remain separate from the Canaanites.

We may not be able to choose where we live, but we can choose how and with whom we live.  We have to live with Christ as our lead and his standards as ours.  Selfless; not selfish.  We value life and others–we don’t simply use them.  Further, we cannot look at others that abuse and exploit the lives of others and think, Awe, that is just how they are. We shall never approve of those that self-absorbed and abusive.  Such actions cannot ever be excused or adopted as our life.  We have to remain Godly and expect that of all with whom we interact.  Be Holy as God is Holy!

God Bless You

When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he did nothing about it until they came home.

Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and furious, because Shechem had done an outrageous thing in[a] Israel by sleeping with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.

But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade[b] in it, and acquire property in it.”

11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I’ll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the young woman as my wife.”

A Nation is Born–Genesis 33 Part 2

 So, life in the new nation–Israel had begun; not in the way one would usually see the birth of a nation, but, instead–a true and organic nation built by the birth of a family. God changed it’s patriarch from a deceiver, to the chosen leader of the nation.  And the leader bought land on which to settle.  Unlike his grandfather before, Israel came to settle and grow.  His sons were establishing their own families, and for the first time since Terra settled in Haran, the people were settling in.  It was a strange sense for them, but, they had no idea, that these simple steps, would set in motion our ability to know and be known by God.

God made the covenant, first with Abraham, the again with Israel that all nations would be blessed through his family—we can affirm that that covenant is true. A world that knows about God; and people in every nation that are in relationship with God wave as a glorious  banner to the fulfillment of God’s original covenant. We, should wake each morning truly grateful for that covenant.  We should recognize that we are, by spiritual adoption, a beneficiary of that covenant.  With that, we should never hesitate to be a part of the execution of God’s plan to fulfill that covenant.

In my life, each morning—I am confronted with the very proposition, how is the world being blessed through me?  Most days, the answer truly remains a question mark.  But, like Israel as he settled in, we have no idea how God intends to use us, our families and those in whom we pour our lives. In the early 20th century, a tent revival preacher was coming to the end of his ministry.  He knew the end was near, because people were no longer coming to the tent in mass, and those that came, were not being moved as they once had.  Yet, as the week was drawing to a close, the old preacher gave the invitation and after several verses, only one person came forward to start a relationship with God.  Dejected, the old preacher tossed in the towel and retired.  What that evangelist did not, or could not have known–was that the person that came forward that night was none other than Dr. Billy Graham.  We remain faithful–then allow God to make the difference.

God Bless You

14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”

15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”

“But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.”

16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir. 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth.[a]

18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram,[b] he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver,[c] he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel

The Homecoming!!!–Genesis 33 Part 1

Well, the time had come.  Jacob had to face the music–as he approached his old home, there marched Esau and his 400 fighting men…actually, at this point, the story becomes “dramatically” anti-climactic, Esau runs up, hugs Jacob and invites him home for dinner.  Further, he only accepts the gift from his brother after Jacob insists several times. Finally, He allows Jacob to get settled in his time and way–no pressure, what so ever–pretty snoozy, story.  God came before and prepared the way for ISRAEL’s return.
 
Now, Israel’s dread behind him, he could focus upon being where God wanted him to be and raising his family to honor God and become the nation of priests–for which they were called.  In a nutshell, there was nothing in the Jacob’s life that could not be handled if properly left in God’s hands.  Sound Familiar?
 
Jesus told the people sitting on the hillside, listening to the famous “Sermon on the mount”–“Seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness–and all these things will be added to you!” Matthew 6:33.  In Jacob’s life and in ours, the same rule applies–we follow God, and God prepares, protects and provides.  If we could somehow redirect the time, energy and effort we expend on worry and trying to control God’s plan; then, we would be charged and blessed as he executes flawlessly what he always had waiting for us.  As God’s chosen, we are called to be different.  We are urged simply to allow him to do what he does, and follow humbly and gratefully.  If we can somehow manage that; then, as Paul so eloquently wrote, “My God is faithful to supply all your needs–according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4:19
 
God Bless You

Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked.

Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.”

Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down.

Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?”

“To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said.

But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.”

10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.

Wrestling With God–Genesis 32 Part 2

It seems that when all is going well, people tend to accept the status-quo.  However, when life turns upside down and the wheels fall off–then we start planning, praying and wrestling with God.  Such was the case with Jacob.  He had been in the employ of his uncle/Father-in-Law for the last 20 years.  He had 2 wives, 2 maidservant wives and 11 kids.  God blessed him with tremendous wealth in livestock and supplies and he literally had the world by the tail.  Then, things turned dark at Uncle Laban’s and it was time to go home.  As he approached the land of his youth, his brother–from whom he stole the birthright and blessing–heard of his approach, and sent 400 men to meet him, there stood Jacob, upside-down and wheeless!!
 
Jacob did what we do, he wrestled with God, his promises and his plans.  Jacob and God wrestled through the night, then at daybreak, God blessed Jacob–he changed the man he was–“The Deceiver”, to the “Chosen man of God”–Israel! From that time until now, Israel has been distinguished from all other peoples; just as Jacob had been set apart from all other dads.  Israel was now the patriarch of a nation–not simply a father of a rag-tag family.
 
Like Jacob, we also find that, in the times when we are most dependent upon God for our very survival–we tend to have our greatest impact.  It is when we can focus on God–not on ourselves and/or what we possess, that we can see him bless us in ways the world could never imagine.  It is not that we should pray to be turned upside down, it is simply learning to look to him first and always when those times come.  Then as we seek him and his blessing, understand, that is what he wanted to do all along.  In Psalms 37:4 it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord–and he will give you the desires of your heart!”  Israel would soon see, no truer verse had ever been written!
 
God Bless You
 

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

The Plot Thickens…Genesis 32 Part 1

In almost every action movie, the hero is placed in a position where the plot crisis is to either surrender and comply with the villain, or lose the life  of someone dear to the hero.  As Jacob was traveling home to Canaan, he sent a message to his brother Esau announcing his return, after 20 years.  He was met with the response that his brother and 400 men were coming to meet him.  Jacob was pretty sure the 400 were not a mariachi band to celebrate his return. So he was faced with a difficult decision–turn and run or face his brother. 
 
Jacob divided his group into two factions and prepared to meet his brother and accept the consequence of his earlier deceit–but keep his wives and children safe, in a completely different group.  What an amazing change from the young deceiver that stole the birthright and blessing–to a selfless husband, father and leader willing to sacrifice himself and all he owned to save his family–a true superhero!  Jacob had no idea that the years of chasing sheep and goats would prepare him to shepherd his family and ultimately the nation of God’s people.
 
It is the same with us.  We each travel through life and our path takes interesting twists and turns.  Hills and valleys; victories and defeats, all honing and sculpting us into an image of Christ.  It is a process that takes a lifetime, but the end is, like in Jacob’s case, a different person than the follower of our youth.  The trick is, however, to allow the refining that God does to make you better–NOT bitter.  If we become bitter and withdraw, then, the enemy wins the spiritual battle, and we and our legacy never experience the victory and blessing his spirit can bring. Allow God to work; and compile the work he does into an amazing legacy.
God Bless You
Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim.[b]Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’”

When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups,[c] and the flocks and herds and camels as well. He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group,[d] the group[e] that is left may escape.”

Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

Beloved Father–Genesis 31 Part 2

Jacob had reason to fear.  While his uncle and brothers-in-Law knew of God, clearly they did not respect God’s leadership.  So as Jacob left with his God given fortune, he knew he would be pursued.  What he did not know was–his beloved Rachel was not willing to give up her family idols–so, she stole them from her dad.  Since Jacob had no interest in them, nor had he promoted polytheism in his home; he had no reason to believe such a theft would happen.  So, when he said Laban could kill whomever stole the idols,he had no way of knowing–he sentenced his beloved wife to death.

Fortunately, Laban would never harm his daughters.  After searching the camp, he was at a show down with Rachel–she gave an excuse to end the search–and Laban had a way to save face–so, he let it go.  That’s what dad’s do.  Laban probably knew–but, he would not lay a finger on his Rachel–he was willing to let go of his rage and bitterness–to save his little girl.  As we look at the proposition that humans were created in God’s image–that is a characteristic that stands out.  The Heavenly Father is in no way seeking to destroy those that he loves!!!

In our journey, time and again we intentionally or unintentionally put a wedge between us and our father.  We try to help God out or simply try to do things in our own power and control.  Usually, that ends in disaster.  God tells us we can choose, but our choice will exact a price.  Still, in the end, as with any father, God looks to restore and redirect us into the path he has laid out.  He does not want us to experience the hurt and loss our wrong choices cause.  He wants us to enjoy our lives and our journeys.  He wants us to build a legacy of trust, faith and grateful hearts.  God will, for as long as any hope remains, continue to redirect us, restore us and forgive us for our stubborn self-will choices.  When a scoundrel like Laban can show such compassion, we have to know our Father in Heaven–who, incidentally, knows everything, will exceed the patience and grace of even the finest men!

God Bless You

And he drove all his livestock in front of him. He packed all the belongings he had acquired in Paddan-Aram and set out for the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac, lived.19 At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her.20 Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, for they set out secretly and never told Laban they were leaving.21 So Jacob took all his possessions with him and crossed the Euphrates River,[b] heading for the hill country of Gilead.
Laban Pursues Jacob
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?”
31 “I rushed away because I was afraid,” Jacob answered. “I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the household idols.
33 Laban went first into Jacob’s tent to search there, then into Leah’s, and then the tents of the two servant wives—but he found nothing. Finally, he went into Rachel’s tent. 34 But Rachel had taken the household idols and hidden them in her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. When Laban had thoroughly searched her tent without finding them, 35 she said to her father, “Please, sir, forgive me if I don’t get up for you. I’m having my monthly period.” So Laban continued his search, but he could not find the household idols.

When its Time To Go! Genesis 31 Part 1

 It was time for Jacob to return to Canaan–How did he know, well it might have been the way his brothers-in-law were talking about how he had stolen their flocks, it may have been the way that his father-in-law had changed the way he was dealing with Jacob.  It could have been the dream Jacob had telling him to go home.  Whatever was the reason that spurred him, Jacob knew it was time to go.  After 20 years of shepherding and caring for his and his father-in-law’s flocks, Jacob would return to Canaan with his own wealth and family.
 
It would not be easy, it would not go over well, but, Jacob gathered his family, his belongings and left–Haran.  Not too surprising was the fact that uncle Laban would not be pleased–nor, would his brothers-in law.  It would also be difficult on his family to leave all they had known for the last 20 years; but, Jacob knew God was telling him to go–and he knew that if God was calling him to go, then God would make the move possible.
 
In modern day, it is very easy to make decisions using all the media, research and technology available.  Sadly, often times, we forget the best tool of all–seeking God’s guidance.  Jacob was led to change, but, often we change–then simply ask God to bless our decision and alter his plan to meet ours.  That is not how God works.  He will allow us to choose our own course, but, if we will wait on his course and direction, then we can be assured he will be the one that does it–leads, guides and directs our path.  We can never quit believing, nor, should we ever move God aside to accomplish our plan.  Isaiah said it best, “Those who wait on the Lord, will renew their strength–they will soar on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
 
God Bless You
Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.

Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.

10 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’”