It’s not about rights and justice for me, it’s about service God’s purpose

Genesis 31:19-23

19   Laban went to shear[1] his sheep and goats, and Rachel stole the household gods[2] that belonged to her father. 20 And Jacob stole the heart of Laban the Aramean because[3] he didn’t[4] tell him that he was running away[5]. 21 And he ran away with all that belonged to him, and he got up and crossed over the (Euphrates) River[6] and set his face (toward) Mount Gilead.22 And, on the third day, Laban was told that Jacob had run away. 23 (So, Laban) took his brothers with him, and was chasing[7] after (Jacob for) seven days and caught up[8] with him on Mount Gilead.


It appears that Jacob waited for a head start, a time when Laban would be gone for a while, so that he could run away.

Anyway, they packed everything they owned, and Rachel found her father’s household gods, and packed them, too.  The Bible says in two consecutive sentences that a) Rachel “stole” her father’s household gods and that b) Jacob “stole” Laban’s heart.  For whatever reason, Laban didn’t want Jacob to go, and I guess the possibility of his departure had been discussed from time to time.

Jacob, along with everything and everyone with him, crossed the Euphrates river… now, that would have been a sight, as there weren’t too many bridges… probably none.

Three days after Jacob’s departure, Laban heard about it, and he gathered his brothers… pretty much everyone he thought could fight, and chased Jacob for seven days, catching him at Mount Gilead.

It’s obvious that something not so good is about to happen.  Rachel had “stolen” her father’s gods, and Jacob had “stolen” her father’s heart.  Whether it means that he stole away, or that Laban loved Jacob (or what Jacob brought in terms of prosperity), we don’t know.  What we do know is that Jacob left in a deceitful way.


Father, it’s so easy to get off on my own rights and justice for me. Please help me to see things from Your angle.  Please help me to be immediately forgiving and loving.  I so need Your Spirit, and ask that You take over, because my own spirit is so intrinsically evil.  Please help me to fulfil Your commission, and please speak clearly to me.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

[1] גָּזַז – gazaz – Strongs 1504 – (v) – “to shear/shave/shearing/shearer/shear sheep/shear one’s head/die/to be cut off/be destroyed/cut off your hair …. To shear/mow/shear sheep/shear one’s hear [Qal] …. shearer [Qal participle] …. to be cut off/be destroyed/die [Nifal]

[2] תְּרָפִים – târaphiym – Strongs 8655 – (n . m) – “household idols/household gods/idolatry/idols/images/teraphim/family idols/false gods used in family worship/carved image/graven image

[3] עַל, עַל־כֵּן, עַל־מוּת – ʿal – Strongs 5921 – (prep) – “upon/among/before/toward/against/when/during/in additions to/on the ground of/according to/on account of/on behalf of/concerning/beside/together with/beyond/above/over/notwithstanding/next/at/down upon/down from/up to/from/because that/although/under”

[4] בְּלִי – bâliy – Strongs 1097 – (substantive) – “lack/no one/without/wearing out/negation/no/not/no more/no one/nor/nothing/nothingness/want/yet so”

[5] בָּרַח – barach – Strongs 1272 – (v) –  “fled/flee/fleeing/fees/ran away/passthrough/gone away/put to flight/to go through/flee/run away/put to flight/chase away/extend/hurry away/hasten/cause to flee/to drive away/come quickly/drives his away/drove him away”

[6] נָהָר – nahar – Strongs 5104 – (n . m) – “stream/river/the River (i.e. Euphrates)/Tigris/Nile”

[7] רָדַף – radaph – Strongs 7921 – (v) – “pursue/chase/hound/driven/to be behind/follow after/put to flight/dog/attend closely upon/run after/persecute/harass/try to secure/strive/pass away”

[8] דָּבַק – dabaq – Strongs 1692 – (v) – “to cling/stick/stay close/cleave/keep close/stick to/stick with/follow closely/join to/overtake/catch/to be joined together/to cause to cleave to/to pursue closely/to be made to cleave/deeply attracted/fastens its grip/held/hold fast/holding fast/joined/remained steadfast/stay/stay close/stick together/stuck … to cling/stick/stay close/cleave/keep close/stick to/stick with/follow closely/join with/overtake/catch/stay close/be united/happen [Qal] … to be joined together/be joined fast/be stuck together [Pual] … to cause to stick/to stick to/to cause to cleave to/to pursue closely/to overtake/plague/cause an epidemic/be associated/catch up [Hifil] … to be made cleave/to be caused to join/to be made stick [Hufal/Hofal]”