After all these years, Jacob was still serving Laban (Rachel’s father). Laban believed that Jacob brought him prosperity in that the Lord had blessed him on Jacob’s account, and he didn’t want to see him go. Jacob was ready to go home, however.
They struck a deal in which Jacob would pasture and take care of Laban’s animals. In return, he would keep all the striped, spotted, and black goats and lambs as his wages. Laban tried to cheat him by separating and hiding the spotted animals so that Jacob’s herd would be smaller. Meanwhile, as Jacob took care of Laban’s animals, he took the strong animals and put poplar and almond and plane tree in their water to increase their fertility. He did not do this for the weaker animals. The white flocks belonging to Laban, in the care of Jacob, ended up giving birth to goats and sheep that were black, striped, and spotted. A deal’s a deal, and though Laban tried to cheat Jacob, the Lord turned things around and multiplied Jacob’s herd. Of course, this made Laban’s sons angry and they accused Jacob of stealing their father’s animals. The Lord told Jacob it was time to leave. Jacob took his wives, his children, his livestock, and all that belonged to him and headed to his father, Isaac, in the land of Canaan. Unfortunately, before they left, Rachel stole her father’s idols.
Laban was incensed and pursued Jacob for seven days and finally caught up to him in Gilead. However, the Lord came to Laban in a dream and warned him not to hurt Jacob. Laban questioned Jacob, asking why he fled with no good-bye, then he accused him of stealing his idols. Jacob had no idea that Rachel had taken them, and Laban did not find them since Rachel was sitting on them on top of her camel, but his suspicions did not wane.
At this point, Jacob exploded on Laban, pointing out all the years he’d served him, all he’d done for him. Laban didn’t see it his way, of course, but they made a deal not to harm one another, with God as their witness. Then early the next morning, Laban kissed his daughters and grandchildren good-bye and went home.
The Lord took care of Jacob when his enemies were trying to cheat him and do him harm. The Lord takes care of us too. Though bad things do happen to God’s children sometimes, He is always with us, protecting our hearts and our peace of mind. Besides, imagine all that He has protected us from that we don’t even know about.