Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” [But] he set a three days’ journey between himself and Jacob and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock. Genesis 30:34,36
Laban’s view of Jacob was very limited. He did not know the struggles of the first three decades of Jacob’s life. All he saw was the blessing of God on Jacob during those seven years. Everything Jacob touched prospered. So when Jacob offered to take the least amount of the flocks (the striped, spotted, and black), it sounded like a great deal to Laban. But then misgivings set in. Though Laban understood that he had the advantage on paper, he had also witnessed God’s blessing on Jacob. He knew that, somehow, Jacob would prosper. Scheming ensued to ensure Jacob would remain the disadvantaged party in the deal.
All of us have looked at the life of someone God blesses and witnessed firsthand how God takes whatever little they have in their hands and produces abundance. Jealousy can set in. Human nature delights to find flaws in their character, and in their family, and then it’s tempting to tell others that they are not so perfect. Such are the compulsions of our flesh without God.
Laban’s issue was with God, not with Jacob. If he felt second-rate, it was not Jacob’s fault. Since Laban didn’t even acknowledge Yahweh, he had no way to cope spiritually with the seeming inequity except to take matters into his own hands.
I remember visiting a church where there had been divine healing of a young man’s cancer. After being prayed for, the tumor disappeared. His testimony was shared with the congregation and praise erupted. Next to me was an acquaintance who was battling brain and breast cancer. Healing prayers had also been prayed for her, but God had not done for her what he did for the young man. Though she clapped and celebrated his good news, I wonder if there was a brief struggle in her soul. That would be an understandable stumbling block.
If you are in painful times today and your trust in God is shaken by another’s blessing, press through your anger to seek God. Looking at others’ lives through momentary lenses is dangerous.
Help our unbelief. We often despair that your plans for others are good — but we are excluded from them. Time proves otherwise but help us trust You before we have such divine eyesight. Amen