Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Genesis 28:10-29:20 #eebc2018

Jacob leaves. It's time, after all, before Esau's anger turns to direct plotting. I read one commentary that suggested Esau had no intentions of acting on his anger, because later on, he does not kill Jacob. That flattens the narrative: there's around 20 years that intervene between Jacob's departure and return. In that time, Esau had the opportunity to mellow, Isaac and Rebekah had the opportunity to help build the bridges needed.

Meanwhile, Jacob's on his way back to Haran. This is the land Abraham insisted Isaac not go back to--but Isaac hadn't tricked Abraham out of anything, either. The cover story is that Jacob is going in search of a bride from his mother's family, and since the principle of "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is timeless, who could object? Esau could not have said "No, he needs to stick around so I can get revenge!"

Jacob goes to Haran, meets Rachel, and finds out that he's not the only one willing to deceive someone else. Laban is less than forthright with Jacob, and the results are somewhat troubling. The final results are in further readings, so we'll look more at them then.

For now, take a long, hard look at Jacob at Bethel. Here, things are really about as bad as they will get for Jacob. He's traveling, apparently alone, and does not even have reasonable bedding with him. He's reduced to a rough campout, and he's not young at this point! It's hard to nail a definite age down, but one estimate has him easily in his 60s.

And he's sleeping on the ground with a rock for a pillow. If it were Esau, you might say that he was a hunter, so no big deal. But Jacob tended to stay home. So he's in a rough spot, personally.

It is here that God meets him. Just because things are not going well does not mean you are in the wrong place. You may be exactly where you should be.

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