Genesis 31 Today’s world mirrors what we see in the lives of Jacob and Laban. Neither were men of integrity, the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. One will come to be after some testing while the other will remain steadfastly ignorant of the ways of God and His refining work.
Because Jacob lacked this quality, God placed Jacob in the school of the boiling pot with Uncle Laban being the cook. God allowed Jacob to simmer in Laban’s pot for 26+ yrs. for two wives and 2 concubines so he would learn what God desired. Like a pot that finally comes to boil, Jacob’s emotions boiled over. Jacob and his wives came to understand that Laban would never change. A deceiver will be a deceiver unless God changes their heart. And so Jacob chose to leave surreptitiously while Laban was away. Laban’s true character is revealed when he became furious, not that Jacob and his children were gone, but his idols were missing! Even so, God, in his mercy reached out to Laban speaking to him how to face Jacob.
There are some lessons in this story. The first one is that without God’s intervention, we all are similar to both men. Secondly, God blesses men of integrity but those who are not will face God’s refining fire with the purpose of a heart change. Thirdly, God can and will protect those He has called from those who are not.
So where are you in this story? Perhaps this prayer of David’s is fitting: “Examine me, O Lord, and test me! Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives.” [Ps 26:2]