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.