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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Jacob's Flocks Increase and Jacob Runs from Laban

Jacob's Flocks Increase and Jacob Runs from Laban
Jacob's Flocks Increase and Jacob Runs from Laban

We are continuing through our Coloring through Genesis series featuring my Beautiful Word Coloring Bible.  When we last left off, Rachel had just given birth to Joseph.  After Joseph's birth, Jacob wanted to go back to Canaan, his homeland.  Jacob had worked for Laban for many years in order to marry Leah and Rachel.  Now he is ready to return, with his wives and children, to his own family. 

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Jacob wishes to leave Laban and return to his own family.

Laban knows that the Lord has blessed him because of Jacob so he wants Jacob to stay.  He says to Jacob, "Name your wages and I will pay them."

Jacob tells Laban that his flocks have increased through the years that Jacob has worked for him.  Now he wants to do something for his own household.

Jacob and Laban made an agreement.  Jacob tells Laban:

"If you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them.  Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark colored lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat.  They will be my wages.  And my honesty will testify for me in the future whenever you check on the wages you have paid me.  Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted or any lamb that is not dark colored will be considered stolen." Genesis 30:31-33

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban

 Laban agrees and then puts three days distance between himself and Jacob.  

Jacob takes fresh cut branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees and makes white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.  Then he places the peeled branches in all the watering troughs so that they are directly in front of the flocks when they come to drink.  The flocks mate in front of the branches and then bare young that are streaked, speckled, or spotted.  

Jacob separates his flocks from Laban's flocks but when the stronger females go into heat, he places the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they that mate near the branches.  If the animals are weak, he does not place the branches in the troughs.  The weak animals go to Laban and the strong animals stay with Jacob.  Jacob becomes prosperous and comes to own large flocks.  

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Jacob separates his own flocks from Laban's flocks.

Jacob finds out that Laban's sons blame him for taking their father's flocks and gaining wealth from what belongs to their father.  He also notices that Laban's attitude toward him isn't what it once was.

The Lord tells Jacob:

"Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives and I will be with you." Genesis 31:3

Jacob's Flocks Increase and 

Jacob Runs From Laban 

Jacob sends for Leah and Rachel.  He tells them that God has taken away Laban's flocks because the young are born streaked or speckled so God has given them to Jacob.  Jacob, Rachel, and Leah all agree that they should leave.

Rachel steals her father's household gods and then Jacob flees to Canaan with his wives and all he owns.

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Jacob flees with his family and all he owns without telling Laban he is leaving.

When Laban finds out that Jacob has fled, he pursues Jacob for 7 days.  He catches up with him but God tells Laban, in a dream, not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.

The next day, Laban confronts Jacob and asks him why he has fled without even allowing him to say goodbye to his daughters and grandchildren.  He wants to know why Jacob fled and why he stole his gods.

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Laban confronts Jacob about his leaving without notice.

Jacob explains to Laban that he was afraid Laban might take away his daughters.  He adds that he has taken nothing from Laban's home but Laban can search and if he finds his god, whoever took it will be put to death.  Jacob has no idea that Rachel took the god.  

Laban searches but doesn't find the god because it is hidden beneath a saddle and Rachel is sitting on it.

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Laban searches for his stolen god but does not find it.

Jacob is angry because he is falsely accused so he says to Laban:

"I have been with you for twenty years.  Your sheep and goats have not miscarried nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.  I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts.  I bore the loss myself.  And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.  This was my situation.  The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night and sleep fled from my eyes.  It was like this for the twenty years that I was in your household.  I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks and you changed my wages ten times.  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the Fear of Isaac had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed.  But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands and last night, he rebuked you." - Genesis 31:38-42

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Jacob is angry because he is falsely accused.

 Laban answers Jacob:

The women are my daughters.  The children are my children and the flocks are my flocks.  All you see is mine.  Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine or about the children they have borne?  Come now and let's make a covenant and let it serve as a witness between us." Genesis 31:43-44

Laban and Jacob make a covenant:

Jacob takes a stone and sets it up as a pillar.  He tells his relatives to gather up stones.   They take the stones and pile them in a heap, and they eat there by the heap.  Laban calls the heap Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob calls it Galeed.  

Laban says that the heap is a witness between himself and Jacob on this day.  That is why it is called Galeed.  It is also called Mizpah, because he said:

"May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.  If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me." Genesis 31:49

Let's talk about this verse for a second.  When my husband was in the Marine Corps, this is a verse I claimed for us when we were apart. 

"May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other." 

This is a good verse to claim when we are separated from the ones we love but I realize now that in its original context, it was a prayer about asking God to make sure Jacob and Laban did right by each other when they were not together.  This verse was not a loving sentiment but a pact between two cheats. 

I thought this was and interesting observation so I wanted to include my thoughts about it. 

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Jacob and Laban make a covenant.

 Laban goes on to say:

"Here is this heap and here is this pillar that I have set up between you and me.  this heap is a witness and this pillar is a witness that I twill not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me.  May the God of Abraham and God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." - Genesis 31:51-53

Jacob takes an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.  He offers a sacrifice there in the hill country and invites his relatives to a meal.  After they eat, they spend the night there.  The next morning, Laban kisses his grandchildren and his daughters and blesses them.  Then he leaves to go home.

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Laban kisses his grandchildren and goes home.

Teach the Children

There really isn't a lot of content out there for this particular lesson for kids but I did find this one and it's a good one.  This lesson from Ministry-to-Children uses this Bible story to teach children that our God and His blessings are unstoppable.  There is a complete lesson plan with review questions and activities.

You'll find this lesson here at Ministry to Children.

Jacob Runs from Laban
God's Blessings are Unstoppable:  An Bible Lesson Activity for Kids

Here is a video of this lesson to watch and discuss with your kids.

 

Images from this Bible story are from Sweet Publishing via Free Bible Images.

New Printables!

I have added several new printables to my shop.  I hope you'll stop by Abundant Family Living on Etsy and take a peek.  

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him. - Genesis 2:18

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
As long as the earth endures, seedtime & harvest, cold & heat, summer & winter, day & night will never cease - Genesis 8:22

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
I have set my rainbow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  Genesis 9:13

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. - Genesis 6:9

Jacob's Flocks Increase and He Runs from Laban
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. - Genesis 28:15

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Jacob's Flocks Increase and Jacob Runs from Laban
Jacob's Flocks Increase and Jacob Runs From Laban


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Scripture Printable for Wedding

Scripture Printable for Wedding
It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. Genesis 2:18.

Scripture Printable for Kitchen

Scripture Printable for Kitchen
As long as the earth endures, seedtime & harvest, cold & heat, summer & winter, day & night will never cease. Genesis 8:22

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway