Jacob Moves His Flocks to Canaan

I often tell my people that I don’t want any fellow who has a job working for me. What I want is a fellow whom a job has. I want the job to get the fellow and not the fellow to get the job. And I want that job to get hold of this young man so hard that no matter where he is the … More


God could not allow Jacob to settle forever in the land from which years before he had called Abraham, so He allowed things to turn sour. Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining. He also noticed thst Laban was not as friendly as he had been before. Jacob decided to leave for Canaan for basically two reasons. First, animosity was growing against him by Laban and his sons (vv. 1-2).  The second was that God had told Jacob to return to his own land (v. 3). Up to this point it seems that Jacob had been motivated by two goals. They were to marry Rachael and to get rich. He had achieved both, but neither brought contentment because neither money or marriage can fulfil our deepest needs. Jacob decides to leave Mesopotamia secretly and move his family and possessions to Canaan (vv. 4-9).

1. First he holds a family conference with hiw two wives Rachael and Leah who agree to move.

(a) They discuss Laban’s dislike for Jacob (vv. 4-5).

(b) They discuss Laban’s dishonesty toward Jacob (vv. 6-9).

2. Next he makes a confession as to what God is doing in his life (vv. 10-13).

(a) As it had to do with his prosperity (vv.10-12). He confessed that his prosperity was not a result of his cleverness but because of God’s grace.

(b) As it had to do with his prospects (v. 13). It had absolutely noting to do with his own conniving but in God’s guidance.

3. Finally he leads his family to a final commitment(vv. 14-16). They all readily agreed with Jacob about this proposed move for they were feed up with Laban’s tricks. Certainly a man cannot ask for anything better than to have his own loved ones endorse wholeheartedly and without reservation his own desire to do the will of God.


As in the case of Jacob it can be a great blessing to me when the world which looks so attractive turns sour. It is then that I will be willing to listen to what God has to say. Is there something in my life that God wants me to give up so He can bless me?

Genesis 31:1-16 (English Standard Version)

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