February 09, 2011

On the Move

Genesis 31:1-21

Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.
Genesis 31:2


In some things Jacob did pretty well as a fugitive. He met a beautiful girl named Rachel and was able to marry her. His father-in-law, Laban, however, was about as devious as Jacob (see Gen. 29-30). So there were some complications involving his in-laws, and yet God blessed Jacob with many children.

Jacob also did well financially. Going into the livestock business with his father-in-law proved to be a good idea—for the most part. But again there were complications with the in-laws that eventually required Jacob to leave.

Actually, it seemed Jacob succeeded at almost everything he did. But just about everything he did also ended up with complications. Jacob learned what it was like to be cheated and deceived by family members, just as he had done to his brother and father (Gen. 25:27-34; Gen. 27).

Packing in a hurry becomes more difficult when you’ve accumulated flocks, servants, and a large family. Your wealth can make it harder to pull up stakes and run. The more you have, the more you have to worry about.

But Jacob managed to get away from Laban. Despite his troublesome ways, Jacob had the Lord’s help. We might wonder, How long would it take Jacob to realize he should follow God’s way and not his own?

God, help us to see the difference between our ways and your way, and to live for you rather than for ourselves. May we rest secure in you. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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