ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 60


and warned me, ‘Leave Jacob alone!’ I can understand your feeling that
you must go, and your intense longing for your father’s home. But why
have you stolen my gods?”
“I rushed away because I was afraid,” Jacob answered. “I thought you
would take your daughters from me by force. But as for your gods, see if
you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you
find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives
of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had
stolen the household idols.
Laban went first into Jacob’s tent to search there, then into Leah’s, and
then the tents of the two servant ­wives—­but he found nothing. Finally,
he went into Rachel’s tent. But Rachel had taken the household idols and
hidden them in her camel saddle, and now she was sitting on them. When
Laban had thoroughly searched her tent without finding them, she said to
her father, “Please, sir, forgive me if I don’t get up for you. I’m having my
monthly period.” So Laban continued his search, but he could not find
the household idols.
Then Jacob became very angry, and he challenged Laban. “What’s my
crime?” he demanded. “What have I done wrong to make you chase after
me as though I were a criminal? You have rummaged through everything I
own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in
front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us!
“For twenty years I have been with you, caring for your flocks. In all
that time your sheep and goats never miscarried. In all those years I never
used a single ram of yours for food. If any were attacked and killed by wild
animals, I never showed you the carcass and asked you to reduce the count
of your flock. No, I took the loss myself! You made me pay for every stolen
animal, whether it was taken in broad daylight or in the dark of night.
“I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through
cold and sleepless nights. Yes, for twenty years I slaved in your house! I
worked for fourteen years earning your two daughters, and then six more
years for your flock. And you changed my wages ten times! In fact, if the
God of my father had not been on my ­side—­the God of Abraham and the
fearsome God of ­Isaac—­you would have sent me away e­ mpty-­handed. But
God has seen your abuse and my hard work. That is why he appeared to
you last night and rebuked you!”
Then Laban replied to Jacob, “These women are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, and these flocks are my fl­ ocks—­in fact, everything you see is mine. But what can I do now about my daughters and their
children? So come, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and it will be a witness
to our commitment.”

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