It was time for Jacob, the wayward son, to return home. God had told him so (v. 3). And so, as only seemed fitting, Jacob snuck away with his family and possessions, fleeing from Laban without telling him. This, of course, didn’t go over well with Laban, who chased down Jacob and his daughters and caught up to them over a week later.
The uncle and nephew aired their grievances with one another before finally making a covenant to settle their differences. But unlike the covenants we have seen to this point—covenants initiated by God that focused on provisions and blessings for His people—this one was different. This was a covenant of warning and division. The two relatives would stay away from each other or face judgment. And with that, Laban exits the story.
The account of Jacob and Laban is marked by deceit, rivalry, favoritism, threats, heartache, and tension—all the fruit of sin. How different it could have been had these two men trusted God and lived with love and honor. Their parting would surely have been different.
Are there any relationships in your life that need healing? What steps toward reconciliation can you take this week?