But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you. Name your wages, and I will give it.” Genesis 30:27
Those who know God should make the lives of the people around them better. How sad when believers have the opposite effect. Sometimes we even drive people farther away from God.
Jacob has been working for his Uncle Laban for fourteen years. He has married Laban’s daughters, Leah and Rachel, and had many sons. Now they are haggling over Jacob’s wages, and Laban admits that he has prospered financially through his relationship with Jacob. Even though he is not a believer in God (Laban practices divination and has household idols), he proclaims that the Lord has blessed him because of Jacob. This is the kind of result God wants to see in every believer’s life. And how has Jacob done this? By consistently showing up and doing his work, by doing his work well, by taking responsibility, by sticking to his word, by remaining accountable to his uncle who has authority over him. Jacob sets a great example in his work that all of us should follow. The New Testament admonishes us that whatever work we do, we should do it with our whole heart, as unto God and not man (Colossians 3:23).
Unfortunately, Jacob and Laban eventually fall out and the result causes a terrible rift between their families. Laban keeps trying to change Jacob’s wages to suit himself and hurt Jacob. Jacob responds by deception and eventually by fleeing with his family while Laban is away. They eventually manage to forge an uneasy truce, but the ties will never be mended and they part ways forever. I suspect much of Jacob’s favorable impact on Laban was lost by this final conflict. What do you think? Could Jacob have handled his departure in a better way that would have preserved his relationship with his uncle?