Peter Barnes: Genesis 30:25-31:55
SERMON NOTES: RESOLVING MATTERS WITH LABAN (Genesis 30:25-31:55)
– Romans 12:18. Laban tries to cheat Jacob, Jacob pushes back, and finally he gets away after making a covenant with Laban.
- The duplicity of the half-religious.
– Laban is essentially a self-server who has some religious notions. Re. 30:27; the NKJV says ‘by experience’ but the ESV and the NIV say ‘by divination’. That is the usual way to translate the word.
– Jacob says that he will only take the rare animals, and it looks like Laban will be left with virtually everything. Laban leaps at the idea – 30:34. Laban tries to cheat Jacob by stacking the deck even more so in his favour – 30:35-36. But God prospers Jacob – 30:37-43. Calvin says that it was a miracle.
– Laban resents God’s blessing of Jacob – 31:1-2. It is time for the great escape – 31:3-7. Laban has kept the dowry that rightfully belongs to Leah and Rachel – 31:14-16. Hence Rachel steals his idols – 31:19, 35-36. It is farcical as Laban wants his gods back – 31:29-30.
– the true God has to threaten Laban – 31:24. This is a man who does not know himself, the moral indignation of the deluded (31:25-28).
- Jacob’s growth in integrity in the Lord.
– Gen.30:31-33. Jacob is learning integrity and trust (30:31-33), patience that comes from knowing God is sovereign (31:7).
– 31:11-13; the Angel of God is God. Jacob lets fly at Laban – 31:36-42. Jacob the cheat has learned how to live with integrity and honesty.
- The blessings of a civil covenant of peace.
– 31:43-54. This is a civil covenant of peace, taken before God with a heap of stones as a witness, and accompanied by a meal. It is there because they do not trust each other.