Genesis 31 – The Exit Strategy

Jacob finally had enough of his uncle Laban’s attitude and after a message from God, finally got the nerve to return to his hometown and face his brother. He met with his wives privately in the fields to plan his exit strategy. He put forward his case in front of Laban’s daughters, pointing out how badly their father had treated him and let them in on his dream, that he thought was from God, asking him to go back to his homeland.

Rachel and Leah were on-board almost immediately, as they too felt that their father had sold them and treated them unjustly. Jacob packed all his belongings (wives, children and livestock) and started his journey towards Canaan. But unbeknownst to Jacob, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Combine that with Jacob’s sudden departure, one can very well imagine how furious Laban would have been.

When Laban found out how Jacob and his family had left, he took some relatives along with him and pursued them for seven days till he caught up with them. But God had come to Laban in a dream and warned him against saying anything to Jacob. Laban took that under advisement and when he finally met Jacob, calmly confronted him.

Above everything else, he was most worried about his idols that were stolen from his house by one of Jacob’s family members. Jacob approved for an impromptu search and even added the stipulation that if found guilty, his relative who had stolen the idols will be killed. Obviously, he did not know that his partner in crime, Rachel, was the one who stole the idols.

When it was Rachel’s turn to be searched, she made an excuse of her monthly cycle because of which anything she was sitting on was deemed to be unclean and was not searched.

Vindicated that Laban could not find the idols. Jacob blasted him and aired all his grievances against him. Finally, Laban wanted to make amends and they together planted a pillar of stone as a covenant between them.
And Jacob was finally freed from the clutches of his evil uncle.

Questions Discussed in this Podcast

V2: Why did Laban’s attitude towards Jacob change?

V5: Why does Jacob refer to Yahweh as the “God of my father”?

V13: How do we know that a dream is from God?

V14: Why are Rachel and Leah angry at Laban?

V24: Why is God Speaking to Laban, a pagan worshiper?

V35: Even after seeing how God is leading both her husband and her father why is Rachel still lying?


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