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The Seven Day Pursuit of Jacob?
Laban would immediately round up his clan of relatives, and go after him. Laban is now in pursuit of Jacob, and it wouldn't be until seven days had passed, before Laban and his clan are able to catch up with his fleeing son-in-law.
(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 31:22-42)
In the last article we'd taken a look, at the one crucial mistake, that the Sacred Record had charged Jacob with -- when it came to his 20 year ordeal with Laban? And although by world standards, it would seem that Jacob had every right to leave Laban's household (especially since he'd feared for his safety). He would still be accused of wrong doing, by the Sacred Record.
Understand that Jacob's mistake came about, because of the way he had left -- when it came to the situation that he was having with Laban.
Now, if Jacob would have trusted God more, perhaps he wouldn't have given in to his fears, when it came to Laban?
But unfortunately for him, this wasn't the case -- and now because of this, Jacob has given Laban an opportunity, to turn the tables on him, by trying to play the victim.
Now like I stated before, I find this move on Laban's part, to be very interesting -- being that it was Jacob, that had been victimized by Laban for the past twenty years. Nonetheless, you would think that Laban would have had no chance, of successfully spinning this situation in his favor? And you know what, Laban probably had thought the same? But this doesn't stop him from trying. So we'll see how he fares, as we move forward with this account?
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Laban's Seven Day Pursuit?
Now it's at this time, that the Sacred Record has revealed, that two days had passed -- since Jacob had decided to unexpectedly take his family, and flee from Laban's household. Now it wouldn't be until the third day, after Jacob and his family had departed, that Laban is told of the disappointing news. And needless-to-say, Laban wasn't happy when he heard about Jacob leaving unexpectedly.
And because of this, Laban would immediately round up his clan of relatives, and go after him. Laban is now in pursuit of Jacob, and it wouldn't be until seven days had passed, before Laban and his clan are able to catch up with his fleeing son-in-law. And it's at this point, that Laban had spotted them, from around the hill country of Gilead. But he wouldn't make immediate contact with Jacob at that time. But what he would do instead, is rest for that night, before approaching his son-in-law.
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God Gives Laban A Warning?
And as Laban had settled in for the night, it would be at this time, that the Lord had visited him in a dream. And from within this dream, God had warned Laban: "Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad."
But in spite of this, Laban wouldn't be obedient to what the Lord had warned him against. For we now find, that Laban would still approach Jacob and his family, after they had pitched their tents, and setup camp in the hill country of Gilead. Now keep in mind, that Laban and his group, had also settled from within the same camp area, that Jacob and his family were in as well.
Now after Laban had approached Jacob, it's at this point, that he begins to place false charges against his son-in-law? Now keep in mind, that Laban is able to do this, simply because Jacob departed from his household without telling him. And remember, that I'd pointed out, that Jacob could have avoided all of this -- if he had trusted God all the way through the ordeal, that he was having with his father-in-law.
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However that may have been, we now have Laban trying to spin this situation into his favor. Laban attempts to do this, by trying to place the blame directly on Jacob, instead of him being accountable for his own previous actions:
"What have you done? You've deceived me and have carried off my daughters like captives in war. Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of tambourines and harps? You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughter's goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. I have the power to harm you, but last night the God of your father said to me, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.' Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's house. But why did you steal my gods?" -- Genesis 31:26-30
Now keep in mind, that Laban is trying his best to spin Jacob's unannounced departure, into some kind of self-pity party -- by trying to portray himself as a victim? And personally, I believe that Jacob had every right at this point from within the argument, to point out Laban's 14 year deception over him, and how he had stayed committed to his father-in-law, throughout their entire twenty year commitment between each other, in spite of his mistreatment by Laban.
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Jacob Responded In A Different Manner?
But Jacob being the man that he was, does no such thing at this time. Instead, he tells Laban: "I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. But if you find anybody who has your gods, he shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there's anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it." -- Genesis 31:31,32-
But keep in mind, during this time, Jacob knows nothing -- when it comes to his wife Rachel, stealing Laban's idols
Nonetheless, after hearing what Jacob had to say, Laban begins to search Jacob's tents. And he does this, by starting with Leah's tent first. Now the Sacred Record reveals, that Laban wouldn't find anything there. So he goes into the tents of the two maidservants Bilhah and Zilpah. And once again, he comes up empty, after he searches their tents. Next, Laban goes into Rachel's tent, and it would be at this time, that he finds her sitting on a saddle that she was using for her camel.
So Laban begins to search his daughter's tent, and when he came to where she was sitting, Rachel told her father: "Please don't be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I'm having my [monthly] period." -- Genesis 31:35
Laban believed his daughter, and so therefore, he didn't make her get up. But he continues to search the rest of her tent, but to no avail, he didn't find the idols. Know that Rachel had hidden the "idols" in the camel's saddle, the one that Laban had seen her was sitting on.
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Jacob Takes Laban To Task?
And after Jacob had saw, that Laban hadn't found what he was looking for, he begins to realize that Laban's alleged accusations, were perhaps untrue? Jacob becomes angry, and finally takes Laban to task:
"What is my crime? What sin have I committed that you hunt me down? Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us. I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beast; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from whatever was stolen day or night.
"This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sheep fled from my eyes. It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you." -- Genesis 31:36-42
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Jacob Tells Laban -- You Were Unfair?
So basically up to this point, from within the heated exchange -- we find that Jacob had reminded Laban, that he had been a very hard master, and unfair boss towards him. And yet, Jacob would endure this mistreatment, as he'd continued on to be a good servant, and employee -- when it came to tending Laban's flocks over the span of that 20 years.
And also at this time, that Jacob informs Laban -- that it was because of his hard and unfair treatment, that he had endured at his hands, that God had kept watch over him during those years. Jacob also tells Laban, that God had blessed him: with favor, provision, and protection, throughout that enduring span of time. As a matter of fact, God would in part, confirm Jacob's account to Laban before he'd even heard it? And this confirmation had came through a dream, that Laban had the night before.
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
Now that Jacob has stood his ground, will Laban back off and take responsibility for his past actions? Or, will he continue to hold himself unaccountable, by continuing to play the blame game against Jacob? Or, perhaps Jacob and Laban will put their differences behind them, and they both will move forward with their lives?
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