HIS DESIRE TO RETURN TO HIS HOMELAND
By now Jacob had a fairly large family, he had served Laban well and Laban had become very rich and prosperous, other than his family, Jacob had nothing to show for all his labours. He had been away from his home for approximately fifteen years and was anxious to return, and was becoming increasingly restless and dissatisfied with his situation.
It is amazing how God deals with His servants: when the time comes to move on to other spheres of service He causes us to become restless and sometimes dissatisfied, so that He can get our attention in order that we may follow His leading. So it was with Jacob, and finally he went to Laban and announced his decision to return home. “But Laban said to him, “If I have found favour in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.” He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
Laban had to finally confess that God had blessed him because of Jacob; but note how Laban arrived at this fact: [divination (experience KJV) Strong’s# 5172 nachash (naw-khash’); a primitive root; properly, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate (omen, predict, foretell): KJV– X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe. (DIC)] Laban may have been concerned that if Jacob left, the blessing would cease.
One of the lessons Jacob learned during his service to Laban was that God would supply all his needs. No doubt he always had in mind the words of Jehovah that night back in Bethel, as a result he wanted nothing that Laban could give him. His faith in God caused him to propose a method of payment that would cost Laban nothing but would allow God to bless him materially. It should be noted that neither Laban nor Jacob could have any control over the proposal that Jacob made; both would have to accept what God was about to do. “What shall I give you?” he asked. “Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-coloured lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-coloured, will be considered stolen.” “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
The results of this proposal far exceeded the imagination of both Laban and Jacob, and definitely pointed to Divine Intervention on the behalf of Jacob. “And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.”
Thus Jacob prospered under the hand of God to the extent that Laban and his sons became envious and angry. It was now God’s time for his servant to begin his homeward journey. . “Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.”‘
God not only sends His servant, He goes with His servant, and it is wise for us to act when God speaks. “So do whatever God has told you.”