by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
"But, Mom," Chara whined. "She always gets more than I do." And it was true. When Jewel poured chocolate milk into the glasses, she always poured more into her own glass and less into Chara's. When they had pizza for dinner, Jewel always took the largest slice.
This time there was only one piece of cake and Jewel picked up a knife to divide it. Their mother came into the room when she heard Chara complain.
"I have an idea," their mother said with a grin. "Jewel can divide the cake, but Chara gets to choose first."
Jewel was very careful to cut the cake into two pieces that were exactly even. When Chara tried to choose which piece she wanted, she laughed because both pieces were the same. The two girls giggled, then happily ate their cake.
After Joseph, the twelfth child, was born into Jacob's family, Jacob decided it was much too crowded to stay with Uncle Laban. Now that he had such a large family to support, Jacob felt he needed his own land and his own herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats.
Jacob met with Laban to discuss the situation. "Uncle Laban, I have worked for you fourteen years. I have twelve children and I need a place of my own. I want to take my wives and my children back to my old home in Canaan where I can live on my own land."
"OH HO, my boy," Laban heartily responded. "Don't be so quick to rush off! The Lord has blessed me because of you. Stay a little longer. Tell me what I can do to change your mind so that you will stay with me. What kind of deal can I make with you?"
Jacob thought about it for a moment. It would be rather difficult to move that large family of his, and if he could get Laban to agree to a good deal, it just might be worth it to stay. "I don't want your money or anything that belongs to you," Jacob explained. "I will stay with you on one condition."
"All right, my boy. Tell me what it is you have in mind," Laban urged.
"You know that you had very few cattle before I came, and now you have a huge herd," Jacob reminded him. "I will stay and continue taking care of your animals if you will allow me to separate them. I will give you all the solid color cattle and goats, and I will take all the speckled and spotted ones. I will also take all the brown sheep and give you the rest. The animals I take will be my pay in exchange for staying here and helping you become prosperous."
Uncle Laban was a shrewd businessman and couldn't let a deal of any kind pass him by. But he wasn't such a good farmer. In those days, they thought animals with spots, or speckles or stripes, were not as good as solid-colored animals. Laban thought he was getting a good deal and quickly agreed with Jacob's plan.
Jacob and Laban separated all the animals and took the two groups to different pastures, three whole days journey apart. The streaked, spotted and speckled animals now belonged to Jacob and the solid-colored animals belonged to Laban. Jacob took very good care of all the animals, both his and Laban's. Jacob cut branches from poplar trees and chestnut trees and put them near the water that the animals drank. He believed it was a magic trick that would cause baby animals to be born with streaks, speckles and spots.
Later, when the animals had babies, the babies were born with streaks, speckles and spots! However, we believe that it was God that caused the animals to be born with streaks, speckles and spots so that Jacob would prosper. It was not the magic trick that caused it. Since more speckled, streaked and spotted animals were being born than solid ones, Jacob's herds and flocks became larger and larger. After several years, he had many more animals than Laban had.
Laban's sons didn't like it that Jacob was having such good success in raising and breeding the animals. They were getting angry at Jacob and complained to their father. "He's taking all your animals! You'd better do something to stop him before he steals everything we own!"
Jacob had heard the complaints and accusations against him, and it appeared that he prayed about the situation. The Lord told Jacob to leave Laban and take his family to Canaan.
Jacob had a talk with Leah and Rachel. "Your brothers and your father are angry with me. You know I have worked for your father all these years and have done nothing wrong, even though your father keeps changing his deals and has been deceitful with me. God told me to leave here and take all of you back to Canaan. What do you think we should do?"
Rachel and Leah didn't have to think very hard to give Jacob an answer. "Our father has dealt badly with us, too. Even though we are his daughters, he treated us like slaves selling us to you as if we are no better than cattle. He doesn't care about us, and since we have brothers, we won't even receive an inheritance from him. He will give everything to his sons. If God told you to leave, then we are willing to leave with you."
While Laban was out in the field shearing sheep, Jacob set his wives and children on camels, and, rounding up all his herds and flocks, they formed a large caravan heading toward Jacob's old home in Canaan.
Three days later, Laban hadn't even noticed that Jacob and all of his family were gone. Someone told Laban that Jacob left taking his family and animals with him. Laban was not a bit happy to hear that news. He gathered a group of men to go with him to help find Jacob. They traveled seven days and finally came within sight of Jacob's caravan.
Since it was growing dark, they decided to make camp and catch up with Jacob in the morning, knowing he would also have to stop and make camp. During the night, in his dream, Laban heard the voice of God speaking to him saying, "Laban, don't speak to Jacob. Don't hurt him."
Now Laban was well known for tricking people and making deals, but he knew better than to try to make a deal with God. When he finally caught up with Jacob, he was as kind as he could be. "Why did you leave without telling me?" he asked gently. "I would have liked to at least said goodbye and given the children a hug." Then he added, "I could have caught up with you and done you harm during the night, but God told me not to hurt you."
Laban continued speaking to Jacob: "I know you miss your old home and want to go back there. I can understand that, but why did you steal my idols?"
Jacob answered Laban, "I left quickly because I was afraid you would try to stop me by taking your daughters away from me, but I don't know anything about your idols. I have no need for them and didn't take them. If you don't believe me, go ahead and search all of our stuff. If you find your idols, then you can severely punish the person that took them."
Laban and his men searched through all of Jacob's sacks and packs. After that, they searched everything belonging to everyone else in the family. Laban was sure the idols had been stolen, but Jacob, not knowing that Rachel had taken them, continued to deny it.
Rachel knew she would be in big trouble if her father found the idols. While the men were searching through the bags and sacks, she secretly removed the idols from her belongings, put them on her little seat on the camel, and sat on them. When Laban searched through her things, he didn't find the idols.
Jacob was becoming more and more angry with Laban. "What have I done to you?" he asked. "Why did you come here? Why are you searching through all of our stuff? Have you found anything that doesn't belong to me? I have worked for you for twenty years and have always been honest, even though you kept changing our agreements.
I only took the ugly animals that were speckled, streaked and spotted. I left all the pretty solid-colored animals for you. If something bad happened to one of your animals, I replaced it for you. It is God that has blessed me. If God hadn't blessed me, you wouldn't have anything, and I would be leaving you with nothing to call my own."
Laban wouldn't agree with what Jacob was saying, but he knew Jacob was right. Even so, he was insistent that Jacob was trying to steal from him. "Everything you have here belongs to me," Laban argued. "These are my daughters, and these are my grandchildren. All the flocks and herds you have came from my flocks and herds. But because God spoke to me, I will make a promise to you that I won't follow you any further and I won't cause you any harm."
Jacob took a large stone and set it up as a pillar. Jacob told Laban's men to gather stones to add to the one he had set up. Each man added a rock.
"This heap of rocks will remind us of our agreement," Laban said. Jacob named the rocks Galeed and Laban named them Mizpah, which means "The Lord watch over me and you when we are separate from each other." Then they made another promise to each other that neither one would journey past the rocks, into the other person's territory.
After all the promises had been made, Jacob offered a sacrifice to God, and all the people from both groups ate together and spent the night together.
Early the next morning, Laban got up and hugged and kissed his daughters and his grandchildren. Then both groups went their separate ways. Laban and his men went back to their home in Padan-aram, and Jacob and his family continued their journey to Canaan.
- How many years had Jacob worked for Laban the first time he
wanted to leave?
- How many years had Jacob worked for Laban the second time he
decided to leave?
- Had Jacob been honest with Laban?
- Had Laban been honest with Jacob?
- Who took the idols?
- Why did Jacob and Laban pile up rocks?
Hard work and God's blessing caused Jacob to prosper;
not deceitfulness, dishonesty, or magic.
A VERSE TO LEARN
"The Lord watch between me and thee,
when we are absent one from another" (Genesis 31:49).
Dear God, thank You for all the good things
You have provided for us. Help us remember
that You love us, and You will take care
of us. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Genesis 30:25 - 31:55
Laban Confronts Jacob
Jacob Separated The Goats
Genesis 31:49 Coloring Page
Colour the Bible Book 1: Genesis - 2 Chronicles
Story of Jacob (Bible Colour and Learn)
The Book of Genesis (Bible Colour and Learn)
Bible Stories to Color and Tell (ages 3-K)
Bible Story Cards Coloring Book - Old Testament
Bible Story Coloring Pages (Reproducible)
Children's Coloring Books
My Bible Coloring Book (Shirley Dobson)
Old Testament Scenes Stained Glass Coloring Book
Smart Coloring Books
The Game of Solids and Stripes
Jacob Lives in Haran
The Birth of a Nation - Abraham to Joseph
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Baby's First Bible
Bible in Pictures For Toddlers
Early Reader's Bible
Five Minute Devotions for Children (ages 4-8)
Little Hands Story Bible
The Children's Illustrated Bible
Pilgrim's Progress for Kids
Spanish Children's Books
The Picture Bible (Spanish)
Story Cards to Keep and Share
Bible Detectives: Genesis
Extreme Adventures with God: Isaac, Esau, and Jacob (Arthur, Kay)
Best Book of Bible Activities
Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
The Humongous Book of Games for Children's Ministry
Amazing Bible Mazes
Memory Verse Games for Kids (Take Me Through the Bible Series)
Big Book Of Bible Puzzles (Reproducible)
Bible Puzzles: Word Search
Big Book Of Bible Story Activity Pages V1 (Gospel Light Big Books)
Christian and educational toys
Children's Activity Books
Bible Word Search
Hands Are Made For Working
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs w/2 CD
Bible Songs with Cedarmont Kids
Bible Comes Alive Series (Your Story Hour)
Brothers at War - Episode 5 (Animated Kids Bible)
Great People of the Bible: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob & Joseph
Jacob DVD (Bible Collection)
Old Testament Bible Stories: The Sons of Abraham
The Story of Jacob and Joseph
Amazing Bible Stories
Read and See DVD Bible
The Birth of a Nation - Abraham to Joseph (watch online)
Puppet Crafts For Kids
Craft Ideas For Any Story
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget (Grades 1 & 2)
Bible Crafts & More (Ages 6-8)
Bible Crafts On A Shoestring Budget (Ages 5-10)
Big Book of Bible Crafts (Ages 3-12)
Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
Praise God With...Craft Series
Praise God with a Paper Plate (PreK-Grade 2)
Really Big Book Of Cool Crafts For Kids w/CD-Ages 4-12 (Reproducible)
Children's Crafts & Hobbies
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS
Jacob's Family(Adobe Reader Required)
Jacob's Journey(Adobe Reader Required)
Jacob Becomes Israel
Extreme Adventures with God: Isaac, Esau, and Jacob (Kay Arthur)
On The Way 3-9s Book 1 - Creation, Abraham & Jacob Curriculum
801 Questions Kids Ask About God (Focus on the Family)
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher (Bruce Wilkinson)
Bible Crafts and Activities for Any Story
Big Book of Bible Games (Gospel Light)
Bulletin Board helps
Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul
Children's Church Resources
Church Nanny Sos: Teaching Discipline Essentials for Preschool Ministry Volunteers
52 Games That Teach The Bible
Flannel Graph Story Sets to Purchase
Free educational videos
God's Servants Teach Me (Instant Bible Lessons)
God's Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs
Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher (Focus on the Family)
Hermie Scripture Memory
How To Lead a Child To Christ
King James Version Award Bibles
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids (Kay Arthur)
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
Memory Verse Ideas
Memory Verse Resources
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
Resources for Teachers
Seven Laws of the Learner (Bruce Wilkinson)
Sunday School Attendance Boosters: 165 Fresh Ideas
Sunday school resources
Talking to God (Instant Bible Lessons)
Teachers' Reproducible Classroom Pages
Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives (by Howard Hendrickss)
The Big Book of Bible Skits
Things To Make Craft Activities
20 Bible Verses Every Child Should Know /CD (Heritage Builders)
Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know
(by Elmer Towns)
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