Jacob desires nothing. Our story picks up right after the birth of Joseph. Jacob’s seven years of service that he agreed to serve Laban for Rachel has come to an end and now he is ready to move on. He desires to go to his home and country. He has been sojourning in Haran for fourteen years and now he is ready to go back to his parents. He is ready to return to the place of his birth. He is ready to see the land of promise again. Notice that Jacob is calling Canaan his home and country. Remember that he is in the land that his grandfather was born in. He is in the Mesopotamia where Abraham was from. But the separation that God started in Abraham had taken root in the family. Yes, Laban and his family were relatives but they were not home. They were a part of another country. In verse 26, we see what Jacob wants as he leaves Haran. What does he want from his uncle? Nothing. Jacob says, “Give me my wives and children for whom I served you.” I paid the dowries with my service. I owe you nothing. So, let me leave with what is mine, my family. It is here that we begin to see parallels between Abraham and Jacob. When Abraham rescued Lot from the coalition of kings and returned with all of the King of Sodom’s wealth what did Abraham take? Nothing. He did not want the king of Sodom to be able to take any credit for the blessing of God. Jacob desires to take none of Laban’s material wealth. He only desires to leave with his family. Laban desires stuff. Laban is not so much concerned about family but he is concerned about money. This is what we have learned about Laban from past stories. Laban says to Jacob, “If I have found favor in your sight.” By which he means if you care for me at all, then stay. Why does Laban want Jacob to stay? He says, “I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.” First, let’s deal with the word divination. What is divination? It is the act of either foretelling the future or discovering things that are secret or obscure. In this case, Laban used divination to discover the obscure because he learned that Jacob was the reason why he prospered. In the past, divination was divided into two kinds, natural and artificial. Natural divination came about through inspiration from superior beings, aka demons. Artificial divination came from different practices involving things like entrails, bones, lots, astrology, and the like. Which way Laban used, we are not told. But, at the time that Moses is writing this, he has the Law of God which clearly states that those that practice divination are to die. So Laban knows that Jacob is his ticket to material wealth and therefore does not want him to go. So, he tells Jacob to name his wages. This line of thinking worked the last two times with Jacob and so Laban must think that if he offers to pay Jacob for his work then he will take up the offer. You can see the distinction between the two men. Jacob was not with Laban because he was a hired hand. Jacob was in Haran to get a wife and to let Esau’s anger cool. He was not there to make money off of his relatives or for his relatives. He was a sojourner and Jacob always has in his mind that he must go back home. Laban on the other hand is scheming to get ahead. He knows that Jacob is a cash cow and he will do what he can to keep Jacob with him. Jacob is growing in the knowledge of God and His ways while Laban is directed by his own desires.