Family Dynamics

Family Dynamics

17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.

19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. 21 So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead. Genesis 31:17-21

I vacillate between Jacob being a man of God and a great liar. Well, it turns out he’s both.

Then Rachel continued the family trait by stealing from her father. Forget for a moment what she stole (probably small statuettes or trinkets resembling a god the people invented). Consider instead the value Laban placed on the god. He would’ve been livid when he found out. Rachel knew that he would be angry but she seemed to be getting “even” with Laban for some reason.

The main point of this passage is the obvious though: Jacob and his household fled. They were uprooting their families and moving onward. They would meet up with Laban shortly, but for now they were headed to Bethel.

It may have even been Jacob’s way of nicely detaching his wives from their family. It’s all they’d ever known, and they had enough trouble with each other and their husband that they didn’t need their father to complicate matters.

Pray for your own family today. Only you know all the issues that complicate the inner workings of those relationships. Reach out to a family member you haven’t talked to in a long time. You’ll be glad you did.

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