Laban will not go away – nor will he release Jacob. When Jacob seeks Laban’s blessing to leave, Laban agrees to pay Jacob whatever he wants because Laban understands his wealth is because of Jacob (Gen. 30). Many questions are raised about the speckled sheep and Jacob’s unique breeding program, so if you’re interested in the science behind it, I have listed a couple of interesting articles at the end of this article. However, for my sanity, I am not going to try to describe it myself.
Every time Laban changes Jacob’s wages, the strategy changes to increase Jacob’s wealth, and family relations become strained. You see, one cannot live off another’s anointing and call forever. To attempt it is to invite bitterness and resentment into the relationship. People must be released into their God-given callings, and in Genesis thirty-one, God speaks to Jacob that it is time to leave. God reminds Jacob that he had made God a solemn vow, and God was calling it in. It was time to flee, and Jacob’s wives are in on it.
However, rather than confronting Laban head-on, Jacob once again circumnavigates things by his deceptive practices and leaves without informing Laban. Rachel steals her father’s idols, which will provide her father with a basis of pursual. Never leave with that which doesn’t belong to you spiritually. It creates the foundation for a pursuit that can be problematic.
It’s a good thing that God is constantly intervening on Jacob’s behalf. He still has yet to step into any prophetic identity. When Laban pursues Jacob, God warns Laban not to say anything good or bad. When they meet up, Laban makes his unhappiness clear and brings up his household gods. In all twenty years, Laban could have made Jacob’s God his, but he was content to be the recipient of God’s blessing without the accountability to God, and now he will be left alone, without even his gods to comfort him. Jacob is correct, “He [God] issued His verdict last night.”
God will not suffer Laban to get away with drawing on the work God is doing in you. It may be years that you work under someone who claims everything is theirs, including all that God has invested in you. But God will redeem it all. When Jacob and Laban make a covenant, Laban names it Jegar-sahadutha, witness heap, but Jacob called it Galeed.
Here’s an important point. After twenty years, Laban and Jacob still weren’t speaking the same language. Communication is always vital. God’s promise to Jacob had included Laban for a time, but Laban’s house was not Jacob’s destiny. Sometimes the covenant to be made is one of peace that requires separation (Gen. 31:48-53). Jacob had to establish a permanent boundary that neither he nor Laban would cross. They would never see one another again; however, Jacob left in peace. He left the right way.
Whatever you are trying to escape, know that God has a plan for you. It may require time and service on your part, but God will deliver you from Laban. In fact, God may so move that, like Laban, a blessing is left behind for your legacy (Gen. 31:55). Maybe your Laban isn’t a person; perhaps it’s a job, or something else you have felt is inescapable. You are not stuck in a permanent holding pattern. There is an entire destiny awaiting you! Even though it seems Jacob is constantly fleeing the repercussions on his own choices and actions, God has not abandoned him. Jacob still holds the promise, and so do you!
It’s said Jacob was fifty-seven when he originally left to find a wife and approximately ninety-seven when he leaves Laban, at which point he hasn’t yet been given his new name. No, you’re never too old to step forth into all that God has for you. His plans and thoughts toward you have never changed. Never give up! Keep moving forward! There is so much more that God wants to do in and through you. Listen. Obey. Laban is leaving, and you are moving on without him.
Father, you know I have felt stuck where I am at for a long time. Things seemed so clear when You initially gave me Your promise. Now it looks like a distant dream. Teach me to wait quietly for Your timing. Help me develop a hearing ear to know Your voice and extract myself from this situation at the proper time. Thank You that Your plans toward me have never changed. You have always had my best interest at heart, and I am being changed as You bless me. Thank You for not abandoning me to Laban. I choose to trust You! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.