Jacob’s Arguments Jacob, who is now prepared to leave Laban’s household now must go to Rachel and Leah and explain to them that they must pack up everything and leave their homes. It is never an easy task for a husband to ask their wife to leave the comfortableness of their home to follow him to a place that they do not know. Jacob shows love and honor to his wives by presenting a case as to why they should move. First, he sends for his wives and they meet him out in the field where they can talk in private. Then Jacob begins telling them his six points as to why they should move. i. Point 1: Your father is against me but God is for me. He points out the fact, which was probably obvious to them, that their father was no longer on Jacob’s side. Yet, even though Laban had turned against him, God had not. The God of his father was with him. ii. Point 2: I served your father well. Jacob reminds his wives that he had served their father with all his strength but their father cheated him and changed his wages ten times. Rachel and Leah know the inconsistency and cheating ways of their father all too well. iii. Point 3: God kept me safe. Even though Laban had acted this way, God did not permit Laban to harm him. Jacob points to the fact that God often restrains the evil that worldly people would do against God’s children. God was in control and Laban could only act with the permission of God. iv. Point 4: I prospered despite your father’s efforts. Every time that Laban changed his agreement with Jacob then how he prospered matched it. If striped sheep were what Laban said would be Jacob’s then the striped sheep would multiply and be strong. If Laban then switched and said speckled then the speckled ones would multiply and be strong. Laban couldn’t get ahead. Why? “God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. It was God’s doing. If you remember the story just before this Jacob was cutting and stripping sticks. Now he admits that God is the one that has brought prosperity and it wasn’t because of his magical sticks. v. Point 5: God showed me it was him. Jacob can say for a fact that he was not the cause of his prosperity because Jacob had a dream. In the dream, God showed him what was going on. It was God’s providential care for Jacob. “I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.” God was well aware of Jacob’s situation. We must remember this too. If we are getting cheated or mistreated in some way, remember that God is watching. He is keeping a record of all the wrongs that are done against you. He will repay the evildoers. God is your kinsman redeemer. He will avenge the wrong that has been done. vi. Point 6: I made a vow to God I must fulfill. “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go.” God points Jacob back to the ladder dream in Bethel. Remember what Jacob said there. Genesis 28:20, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God.” God is saying to Jacob that he kept him, gave him food to eat and clothes to wear, and now it is time to return to your father’s house. God has kept his end of the vow, now will Jacob make God his God? Will Jacob return home and see if God will allow him to get there in peace? b. Rachel’s and Leah’s Response. Now that Jacob has explained why he thinks they should go, he waits for their response. I wonder what answer he was expecting to get. What he does get is Rachel and Leah complaining about their father. They have several points of their own. i. Point 1: Our father has excluded us from the inheritance. Laban’s plans for the future do not include his daughters. Maybe because he has successfully married them off he turned to just focusing on his sons, which would fit with what he has already done when he gave the sheep and goats to his sons. At any rate, Rachel and Leah feel as if there is no future with their father. ii. Point 2: Our father treats us like foreigners. Laban’s treatment of his daughters has caused such a large riff that they feel completely alienated from their family. They are now strangers to the rest of the household. iii. Point 3: Our father treated us as goods to be sold. This undoubtedly is their way of venting their frustration of how Laban treated them 14 years ago. Jacob had no money when he came and asked for Rachel and so he worked for seven years for the dowery which belonged to, first Leah, and then the second seven years belonged to Rachel. Would they see any of this dowery? Would the 14 years of hard labor Jacob worked come to them? No, Laban treated Rachel and Leah as items to be sold. Everything that God has taken away from their father actually belonged to them and their children. So God just took away what didn’t belong to him in the first place.