ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Flipbook - Page 59
flock began to produce speckled young. And when he changed his mind
and said, ‘The striped animals will be your wages,’ then the whole flock
produced striped young. In this way, God has taken your father’s animals
and given them to me.
“One time during the mating season, I had a dream and saw that the
male goats mating with the females were streaked, speckled, and spotted.
Then in my dream, the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ And I replied,
‘Yes, here I am.’
“The angel said, ‘Look up, and you will see that only the streaked,
speckled, and spotted males are mating with the females of your flock.
For I have seen how Laban has treated you. I am the God who appeared to
you at Bethel, the place where you anointed the pillar of stone and made
your vow to me. Now get ready and leave this country and return to the
land of your birth.’”
Rachel and Leah responded, “That’s fine with us! We won’t inherit any
of our father’s wealth anyway. He has reduced our rights to those of foreign
women. And after he sold us, he wasted the money you paid him for us. All
the wealth God has given you from our father legally belongs to us and our
children. So go ahead and do whatever God has told you.”
So Jacob put his wives and children on camels, and he drove all his livestock in front of him. He packed all the belongings he had acquired in
Paddan-aram and set out for the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac,
lived. At the time they left, Laban was some distance away, shearing his
sheep. Rachel stole her father’s household idols and took them with her.
Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, for they set out secretly and never
told Laban they were leaving. So Jacob took all his possessions with him
and crossed the Euphrates River, heading for the hill country of Gilead.
Three days later, Laban was told that Jacob had fled. So he gathered a group
of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with Jacob seven
days later in the hill country of Gilead. But the previous night God had
appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream and told him, “I’m warning
you—leave Jacob alone!”
Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of
Gilead, and he set up his camp not far from Jacob’s. “What do you mean
by deceiving me like this?” Laban demanded. “How dare you drag my
daughters away like prisoners of war? Why did you slip away secretly?
Why did you deceive me? And why didn’t you say you wanted to leave?
I would have given you a farewell feast, with singing and music, accompanied by tambourines and harps. Why didn’t you let me kiss my daughters
and grandchildren and tell them good-bye? You have acted very foolishly!
I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night