Friday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on February 1, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 31:1-18 (NKJV)
31:1 Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has acquired all this wealth.” 2 And Jacob saw the countenance of Laban, and indeed it was not favorable toward him as before.
3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock, 5 and said to them, “I see your father’s countenance, that it is not favorable toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. 6 And you know that with all my might I have served your father. 7 Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me. 8 If he said thus: ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore speckled. And if he said thus: ‘The streaked shall be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked. 9 So God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me.
10 “And it happened, at the time when the flocks conceived, that I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the flocks were streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted. 11 Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, ‘Jacob.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And He said, ‘Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.'”
14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? 15 Are we not considered strangers by him? For he has sold us, and also completely consumed our money. 16 For all these riches which God has taken from our father are really ours and our children’s; now then, whatever God has said to you, do it.”
17 Then Jacob rose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 And he carried away all his livestock and all his possessions which he had gained, his acquired livestock which he had gained in Padan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
For 20 years there had been a running battle of wits between Laban and his nephew Jacob. Jacob had served his uncle faithfully all that time, but still was not allowed to depart with Laban’s promised daughters, Rachel and Leah. Since the divine plan was for Jacob to dwell in Canaan, and not Haran, God Himself revealed to Jacob that the time to leave had come: “Then the LORD said to Jacob, ‘Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.'” Jacob knew that returning to Canaan meant dealing with another uncertain future. He had left behind an angry and jealous brother, whose temper had twenty years to either abate or fester. The promise of God to be with him, therefore, had tremendous significance.
As a believer, Jacob knew that God’s promise to be present was not a mere “well wish.” When God is present with us, we not only stand in awe before His Holy presence, but we draw comfort in knowing that all things are under His watchful eye. Surely, then, as our omniscient and omnipotent Immanuel, God will guide and protect us every step of the way.
We pray: Almighty and Everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.