Skip to main content

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 30

Genesis 30 (link) continues Jacob’s story while he is in Paddan-Aram. He continues to work for and live with his father-in-law, Laban. The conditions are not the best—Jacob is still a sojourner with not much to his name.

His family, though, continues to grow. He has children through both wives and both wives’ servants. Jacob has 11 sons at this point. That’s a good number.

He talks to Laban about departing, returning to Canaan. That’s where his wealth is, where all of his property is. Laban, though, persuades him to stay and work a few more years. They agree to a set of wages, where Jacob can have the animals with spots and stripes and odd colors. Makes it easier to sort them out…

Which is what Laban does as soon as the deal is struck. I think the ESV rendering is to be favored, where they fill out the pronoun structure to show that Laban goes, has his sons separate out the animals and drive the ones that would be Jacob’s three days away from the flocks Jacob can see.

Laban expect to deprive Jacob of making too much profit. Jacob attempts to use a sort of trick to induce the animals to produce striped and speckled animals. The end result? God provides for Jacob’s enrichment. Does Jacob recognize it as God work? We see in the next chapter that he does.

Jacob and Laban are both trying to enhance their position in this chapter. Laban is showing a better understanding of genetics than Jacob, but both are ignoring the biggest relevant factor: what does God have to say and do about the situation?

In all honesty, Jacob would have been better to just go back to Canaan. Take enough to make the journey and return to his own inheritance—and let it go.

I think that’s an overlooked aspect of the message of this chapter, and neatly summarized by Kenny Rogers: know when to walk away, know when to run.

At this point, Jacob should recognize it’s time to walk away. Later, he finds it’s time to run. It’s worth noting when you just cannot see a point in continuing a job, a residence, a relationship any longer and go forward. That would have been the better move for Jacob here.

Sometimes it’s the better move for us, too.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…