Laban boldly said that everything Jacob had actually belonged to him. Yet in a supposed act of generosity, he said to Jacob, “It is mine but, out of the kindness of my heart, I’ll let you have it.” (v43)
Laban went to save face and since he could not dispute one single word, he proposed a peace covenant. (v44)
A stone was set up as a pillar, and a pile of stones was erected as a monument (v45 – 46).
Looking at the terms of this covenant, Laban expressed how suspicious he was of Jacob. He never really trusted Jacob all along (v48-50), Neither Laban nor Jacob felt safe around each other so they agreed to form a treaty, a covenant which created a boundary that both consented to not cross. (v50)
Laban wants to make the peace covenant to assure that Jacob would be a good husband and that both Laban and Jacob would be good neighbours. (v49-50)
Jacob swore to an oath by the GOD of his fathers to express the gravity of the covenant. (v53)
Jacob shared a covenant meal with his family. Eating together speaks of friendship and fellowship. (v54)
Laban showed that he cared less about Jacob when he embraced and kissed only his daughters and grandchildren. (v55)
After a proper good-bye, Laban saw his daughters and grandchildren for the last time. Jacob took his family to Canaan and never returned to where Laban lived. (v55)
God did not allow Jacob to return to Canaan without making things right with Laban. (v55)
Don’t be a Hypocrite
Laban had nothing to say about the charges that Jacob had just leveled against him, He knew only too well how much he really owed to Jacob but had no intentions of admitting any wrong. As Christians, we must be humble enough to admit or faults whenever we are in the wrong. (James 5:12 ESV)
The best solution for Jacob’s in-law problems was for him to separate from Laban. Therefore, they set up a pillar to be a barrier between them. (2 Corinthians 6:17, Genesis 2:24)
God’s warning to Laban in his dream and Jacob’s forceful defense made Laban know that he had been defeated, but he still tried to make everyone think he was a peacemaker. (Genesis 31: v43-44)
Just as Isaac parted ways with Abimelech by entering into a covenant, Jacob and Laban also parted ways with a covenant (Genesis 26:28-31)
To Laban, the pile of stones used as a witness of their covenant meant that neither he or Jacob would cross this boundary mark in future to annoy one another, it also stipulated that Jacob would not harm Laban’s daughters (Genesis v51-53), To Jacob, the memorial was not a boundary but a blessing. It was a good bye to the past rather than a guarantee for the future. (Philippians 3:13-14)
There is wisdom in having some separation from in-laws. The Bible says, therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife(Genesis 2:24). Laban and Jacob seemed to have more problems than most families, so their separation was extreme.
The events in our text this week confirmed that Laban was a hypocrite, it is interesting to note that he did not embrace Jacob but with a bitter spirit embraced his daughters and grandchildren alone even as they part. (Genesis 31v55, Matthew 23)
Selfish interests not only harm our relationships with God but can bring divisions in our family that will never be healed. (Philippians 2:3)
God is interested in our relationships with others, note that Jacob could not go to Canaan until he had resolved all issues with Laban by cutting a covenant of peace with him. (Hebrews 12:14)
If we are going to follow God faithfully, we must reconcile our relationships. (Matt. 5:23-24, Matt. 6:15, 1 Peter 3:7, Romans 12:11)
Father, you are my sure defense in the day of trouble, raise a voice for me where I cannot defend myself. Raise a voice for my children where it matters the most.
As from today, let my ways please you Lord so that all my enemies can be at peace with me.
Father, cut your covenant of peace with me and my family permanently as from this day.
Sweet holy spirit, grant me a forgiving spirit. Take away every malice and unforgiveness that can hinder your blessings upon my life.
Every modern day Laban making my life miserable, Arise O lord and deal with them in your fury today in the mighty name of Jesus.
My father and my God, you specialize in turning curses into blessings, in your mercy, terminate every curse in my life and turn it around to great blessings.
Father, preserve and maintain my lot forever, don’t allow any Laban to take away all that is mine.
According to the scripture in Genesis 31:49, watch my back, O’ Lord. Watch out for my interest all the time and protect me from every form of evil.
Father, by your unfailing grace, remove every virtue waster out of my life.
God fulfilled all his promises to Jacob in Laban’s house, Father, do not remain silent or rest until your promises are fully fulfilled in my life.