Monday, January 10, 2011

Keep It In The Family

"You must sleep with me.  I paid for you with my son's fruit."  If I ever heard some major sweet talkin' between spouses, that's it.  I'd love to see what a family counselor would do to try and help these people.  As our daily reading continues, the dysfunction just ramps up from there.  Laban, Jacob's father-in-law, tries desperately to keep his son destitute, only to have it backfire and make him rich.  Jacob decides to run away without telling Laban, which you'd think would be a problem, but when he tells his wives, they both say, "Our father treats us like dirt.  He's squandered every penny of our inheritance.  He practically sold us like slaves.  Everything that was our father's now seems to be yours, so what do we care?  Let's go."  So they do.

But then Laban catches up and accuses Jacob of dealing poorly with him.  Ah, the irony.  An added twist to the story is that Rachel steals Laban's household idols.  Maybe this was because she didn't believe in Jacob's God, which would mean this detail adds another layer of division within Jacob's family.  That very well may be the case, but I wonder whether this is really just one, last, passive aggressive lashing out from a daughter who hates her father.  Eventually Laban and Jacob come to terms and set up a boundary between each other.  They agree that they will not cross into each other's territory "for harm," and I wonder, at this point, why else would they cross into each other's territory?

This chapter in this family's life ends in tragedy.  Laban will never again see his daughters.  Laban will never again see his grandchildren.  Laban will never again be blessed through his son-in-law's hard work, and all that is because of a simple, little, character flaw called greed.

Stopping point: Genesis 31

No comments:

Post a Comment