Devotional Short Note of Genesis 31


From my “rib’s” Band Genesis English Bible Reading online I collected the following extracts. They are all on Genesis 31. Let me tell you about my wife. Has a Phd in New Testament and they wanted to ordain her as an elder and she refused and said: “only a deaconess”. And they did. Sabbaths we preached together on the pulpit although she does not accept Woman Ordination as biblical as I also follow. Next to me I preach in English and she is translating in Korean. Then suddenly I hear her to continue talking quite long of things I did not say. Those were the times I kept quiet and listen to her preaching instead of me with a satisfactory smile in my heart. She takes the audience to a further text that was not on my list. That is the way God works. He does not only work in a man but in a female equally well. So I decided for this chapter to let her speak.

Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice Genesis 31:1-2.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep"(Romans 12:15). You may truly rejoice at other people's prosperity if you understand your own prosperity. Let us enjoy the blessedness in Jesus, the freedom and heavenly blessings.

Common Sense and the Holy Spirit "And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee." Genesis 31:3.
The usual answer for such a case would be, "Endure with patience. Persevere as a Christian for victory." However, God asks Jacob to go back to his home country here. It is perhaps because of the messianic promise of God to give the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham. To love and persevere and endure should be the character of every Christian. Yet, to accomplish the will of God, we need to give heed to the small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Family Counsel of God Genesis 31:4-7.

There are meetings from time to time. In countries, in the work, and also in churches, we have meetings. Here Jacob opened a family meeting and tried to find solution on Laban who changed his wages 10 times. God also had a family meeting. Through that "counsel of peace" (Zechariah 6:13), a decision was made that Jesus, the 2nd Person of Godhead, would come down to the world to destroy the work of Satan, by giving His life for the salvation of humanity. There is a photo of the thorn crown of the cross and the golden crown leaning on each other.

Fear God Genesis 31:8-9.

We see Jacob served Laban with diligence and honesty while Laban was a covetous and selfish man. Jacob was honest and sincere because he feared God. "Fear God, and give glory to Him"(Revelation 14:6). This is the first part of the passage known as the Everlasting Gospel or the Three Angels' Messages in Revelation 14. It is fear God, give Him glory and worship Him.

God Is Watching Over You Genesis 31:10-12.

Some think negatively that God is watching over every move of us to find out our faults. However, to the contrary, God keeps His eyes on us to protect us, and to lead us and make righteous judgment. This thought gives such a security in our hearts. Let us live before God as Jacob did. My wife attached a beautiful card of a sheep standing with a branch of a tree in his foot and two birds sitting on the branch reading: “Swaying branches swing and sweep – Rocking birdies off to sleep. Nestled in, they softly coo. God is watching over you.”

Give Thanks in Everything "I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar, and where you vowed a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred." Genesis 31:13.

"Beth" means house and "El" God, thus Bethel is the House of God. As Jacob heads to Haran to escape Esau, he saw there in a night dream a ladder reaching heaven. God promised to give that land to Jacob and his descendants (Genesis 28). If Jacob felt his life in Haran was comfortable and secure, he would not have thought of going back home. We are to give thanks in all circumstances.

It Is Not Self-Debasing Genesis 31:14-16.

"For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands."(1 Pet 3:5). They say women learn to obey God through their own subjection to their husbands, while men learn to subject to God as they see their pious wives submissive to them. Dear ladies, it is not self-debasing to be submissive to your own husbands, by obeying the word of God.

I'll Go Back to My Father Genesis 31:17-18.
20 years of living in his wives' home was like 20 years of living as a servant (Genesis 31:41). That was between 2130-2110 BCE. Only during recent 6 years, he could get some cattle and possession by God's help. Now he is about to leave for his father in Canaan. Since Isaac died in the age of 180 in 1960 BCE, it means that he lived past the Fall of Ur III in 2004 by the invasion of the Elamites and Armaens of the desert (Genesis 35:28). He saw all the 12 sons of Jacob.

Misunderstanding of Rachel Genesis 31:19-20.

Teraphim were household gods in Mesopotamia. Rachel may have stolen Teraphim in her wish for family security. On the other hand, according to the document from Nuzi, it represented the ownership of the land. Rachel thought her husband was usurped by her father, and perhaps she stole Teraphim thinking the true owner of the land was Jacob. However, the promise of God was in Canaan and not in Haran. Rachel's stealing of the image was not an act of faith anyway.

Toward the Mount Gilead Genesis 31:21-23.

Since Laban knew about Jacob's flee, it must have taken 7 days to overtake him. Jacob headed toward the mount Gilead, which was before they cross Jordan river, that is, south-east of the sea of Galilee, east of Jordan. What will happen to Jacob as he meets Laban again?

Both parties are evil. The family of Jacob did some stealing of precious housegods for gain. Laban was also sneaky by not keeping his word to Jacob. Now we find him playing policeman against Jacob. Sin plays ugly tricks on people and the goal of Satan is to create chaos, hatred and misunderstanding. Satan hates love.

God Loves Jacob Genesis 31:24-25.
God truly loves Jacob. In danger after deceiving his brother, God let him flee to Haran. Laban his uncle changed his wages 10 times, but nevertheless he became great with much possession. Nobody knows what could have happened to Jacob if God did not intervene for him in a dream and spoke to Laban when he overtook him. Thank You, Lord!

People Are More Important than Possession Genesis 31:26-28.

If Jacob had told Laban he was now going back to Canaan his home country, would Laban have allow it? Jacob should have lived the rest of his life as a servant of Laban, or even his life could have been in danger. The covetousness and selfishness are sometimes cherished more than the family relationship in human heart.

Do You Know the Lord Personally? Genesis 31:29-30.

We see the ancient Bible people, whether good or not, knew God personally and communicated with Him. Christianity is not only a religion of teachings, of morality, or of good deeds, it is a religion to know the Lord personally, our Creator and Redeemer, and have communion with Him.

God Certainly Loves Us
"And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, maybe you would take by force your daughters from me." Genesis 31:31
Do you not perceive God always cares for you, protect and guide you? In reflection, it is indeed touching that He is always with us though we do not have such value in ourselves. The Lord Who offered His own life, Who is interceding even today as the High-priest in heaven, certainly loves us. Jacob had to do a lot of rationalization in his life to explain away his bad actions and so did Isaac and Abraham before this.

Are You Not Hiding Teraphim? Genesis 31:32-33.

Laban and Rachel also knew God and served Him, then why was Teraphim so important to them? Are we not serving the god of mammon, of position, or relationship, because God doesn't seem enough? Do you not believe those gods will protect you and give you happiness? Let us search our hearts whether we do not have Teraphim in our hearts. We should shake off and stand up from where we serve God and also cherish idols.

The Idol in Camel's Saddle Genesis 31:34-35.
Rachel as well as Laban thought the Teraphim that you can hide under the camel's saddle would protect them and their families. We see it was foolish. As in the case of Rachel, the image cannot protect you but rather will only give trouble. Let us cast away all the idols from our heart. "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!"(Joshua 24:15). Amen!

Humility, and a Meek and Quiet Spirit Genesis 31:36-37.

Laban searched all the tents but could not find what he lost. Jacob becomes angry. Together with the treatment as if he were a thief, perhaps he suddenly felt distressed about the past years' unfair situations. We sometimes experience that way too. "To be a Christian is to be Christlike, to possess humility and a meek and quiet spirit that will bear contradiction without being enraged or becoming insane"(Testimonies for the Church 2:572). Possible only by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Process of Jacob Becoming Israel Genesis 31:38-40.
"You know water by crossing, and a person by getting along," it says. We see here Jacob was honest and faithful regardless of Laban's treating of him. How many people can be accepted even after they are experienced? However, God requires us to be complete by being born again daily through the grace of Jesus. Jacob overcame hardships by depending on the Lord. That's how Jacob could become Israel to represent the people of God. Amen.

Passing down Your Faith Genesis 31:41-42.
God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac. It is now Jacob's turn. If Jacob forsook the faith in God, He could not be called as the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob. Are you keeping the faith inherited from your parents? Are you passing your faith down to your children? If there is any fakeness in your faith, your children will immediately know. Let us love Jesus sincerely so that the house of Jacob may prosper.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Common Genesis 31:43-44.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had another matter in common. Though they were weak, those around them feared them and suggested for a covenant. Let us make a covenant, so that you and I, and your children and my children, may not trespass the border with each other. Do the people around us know that the Lord God is with us even though we are small and weak? If God is indeed with us, people notice that.

Patriarchs Set up the Altar of Covenant Genesis 31:45-48.

On the way to Haran at Bethel, Jacob saw the Lord in a dream and set up a pillar of covenant with the stone that he used as a pillow(Gen 28). Today, Jacob and Laban set up a stone pillar for a covenant and ask God to be a witness between them. Let us enjoy the grace of God in the mornings and evenings to meet Him through His word and prayer, following the examples of the patriarchs who set up the altar of covenant.

Mizpah and Ebenezer Genesis 31:49-50.

Mizpah in 1 Samuel 7 is a different place from Mizpah in Genesis 31. It belonged to the tribe of Benjamin and was west of Jordan. Prophet Samuel summoned the people of Israel for a prayer meeting there, and as a result, God defeated the Philistines who came to destroy Israel. As Israel pursued them up to Bethcar, Samuel also set up a stone pillar there and called it Ebenezer (eben=stone; ezer=help, thus stone of help). The Lord God helped them thus.

An Opportunity for Character Development Genesis 31:51-52.

"The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night." This is Psalm 121:6. Since my help is from the LORD, He will not allow my foot to slip. Since we believe the promise that He will preserve me from all evil, we don't have to fear in any situation. If there comes any unexpected circumstance, let's take it as an opportunity to develop our character. Because God always leads us for the best.


Dear God The chapter calls us to contemplate our own actions and consider whether we are worshipping you with “ifs” and “but” trying to rationalize our actions away or whether we cast everything at the foot of the cross. Raise us up in our worship of You. In Jesus Name. Amen.