The Laban in your life

By Dave Henning / November 29, 2023

“Let’s talk about the Laban in your life.  I know.  You’d rather not.  You’d rather talk about something — someone — more pleasant.  Your Laban is . . . demanding . . . conniving . . . deceptive . . . manipulative. . . .  A future with no Laban, for the time, is not an option.  Maybe you wonder why in the world God has a Laban in yours.”- Max Lucado

“For I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you.  I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me.  Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.”- Genesis 31:12-13 (NIV)

In Chapter 7 (“Life with a Louse”) of God Never Gives Up on You, Max Lucado talks about handling the less than pleasant Laban in your life.  For 5,110 days, Pastor Lucado figures, Jacob asked himself why God allowed Laban in his life.  Fourteen years!

Above all, Jacob’s family and his troubles multiplied during the second set of seven years.  Consequently, when Jacob arrived camp after fleeing Esau, he came with nothing.  And at the end of his fourteen stressful years, Jacob’s headaches had increased.  But his bank account remained the same.

In fact, Pastor Lucado points out, Laban altered his method of computing Jacob’s wages ten times in six years.  As Genesis 31:41-42 states, Jacob told Laban:

“It was like this for twenty years I was in your household.  I worked for you for fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac had not been with me, you surely would have sent me away empty-handed.”

Yet, God was present in the midst of the chaos.  Most significantly, God answered in the form of a dream.  An odd dream that included streaked, spotted, and speckled male goats.  And these animals matter.

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you deal with the Laban in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Making a difference?  God is!”

About the author

Dave Henning

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