June 20 – Genesis 31:22-55

June 20 – Genesis 31:22-55

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Dear Heavenly Father, You know better than anyone how difficult relationships can be, especially family relationships. You see not only how we treat each other, but our motives behind it. Sometimes we mistreat others because we are fearful, sometimes from anger, sometimes we want to get the first word in because we feel we don’t have a chance otherwise. But one thing I am learning is that most sin, involved in our relationships or not, is rooted in selfishness and pride. We act a certain way because we feel we “deserve” better. We want to “win” the argument, or we are just tired of losing every argument. But the truth is, we get so much more than we deserve from You. That is called grace. Receiving things, we don’t deserve, like Your love, Your protection, Your gift of salvation at the expense of Your Son’s life. What we deserve, we don’t get. That is called mercy. What we deserve because of our sin and disobedience, is eternity away from You. And if that is what You give us, it is what we truly deserve. Your gift of mercy and grace is our only chance. Why can’t we give our friends and family more mercy and grace? I know I am not the example of this as I have not always treated people as You would want me to treat them. I ask Your forgiveness and I thank You for working on me to help me see the changes I need to make. It isn’t easy because those other people we need to treat better, don’t always treat us well. As a matter of face, they seldom do. But we aren’t asked to do what is easy, Father, we are asked to do what is hard, but the things that are easy, are seldom of value. Those things that are difficult, that is where You teach us. That is where we grow. Showing love to others is a true picture that we belong to You and are growing in You. Thank You Father for loving me when I don’t deserve Your love at all. Thank You for loving me when I am so obviously unlovable.
In Jesus’ name.

Jacob pretty much left the land of his uncle’s without saying goodbye. What do you believe drove this decision?
How could things have been so much better between the two men so that the departure could have been so much sweeter?
As we live daily, has God ever protected you, even when you were partly or wholly responsible for your predicament?
What a mighty God we serve!

Genesis 31:22-55
22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled,23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead.24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, "Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad."25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead.26 And Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword?27 Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre?28 And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly.29 It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.'30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you steal my gods?"31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.32 Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's.34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them.35 And she said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me." So he searched but did not find the household gods.36 Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, "What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me?37 For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two.38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks.39 What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.40 There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes.41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times.42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night."43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne?44 Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me."45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar.46 And Jacob said to his kinsmen, "Gather stones." And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap.47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.48 Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." Therefore he named it Galeed,49 and Mizpah, for he said, "The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another's sight.50 If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me."51 Then Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me.52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm.53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac,54 and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.55 Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.


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