June 6– Genesis 31:17-55

Dear Father, we come before You in praise and with thanksgiving for You give us our,

‘But God’ moments. You orchestrate our lives for Your glory. May we in our quiet time recognize You for who You are: our Lord God, the God of Israel.

First, do your own quiet time and 4R journaling.  When you are completed, come back here for the lesson.



Request God’s help

Read Genesis 31:17-55

Record a verse that stands out to you

Respond to God

But God came in a dream

We are continuing on with Jacob, but focusing in on Laban. This is an interesting incident of ‘But God” because here it is not directly pointed to Jacob, it is directed at his oppressor, Laban.  What?  Sneaky, cheating Laban gets his own moment?  What?

There he was marching along angrily and steaming because Jacob stole away without warning, taking his daughters and what he claimed were his possessions away from him!  And then… God went to him. Verse 24, “But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.” It’s the same verbiage as found in Genesis 24:50, “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good.” For Laban knew that Jacob went because God had directed it, thus he couldn’t say or do anything about it.  Was he happy about it? Oh no!  In fact, he still pressed Jacob and accused him of taking his idols.  Of all the things to fuss about, it was the idols. And even in that moment, Jacob was protected.

Laban may have been restrained by way of not utterly destroying Jacob (and thus keeping intact the Abrahamic covenant), but his heart was just as hard, cold and callous as it was when he was stomping along in hot pursuit of his prey.  John Calvin writes this about it, “The ungodly, even when they have had proof of the power of God, yet do not entirely submit themselves to his authority. Wherefore, when God manifests himself to us, we must also seek from heaven the spirit of meekness, which shall bend and subdue us to obedience unto himself.”  Not everyone who comes face to face with the Great I Am, will submit to Him.  But for those who do acknowledge Him as the I Am, they will surely lower themselves in obedience and meekness.

This is such a great example of why it’s so important to pray for others, because we don’t always see God’s working in other people’s lives.  Sometimes our blessings are made way by God working on the consciousness of the oppressor.  For God has a hold on all humans, not just His own flock.  He will come to them in the night, come to them while they are sleeping and lay hold of them, knowing full well that it is His own flock who will be delivered.

But God!

When others are oppressing you, cheating you, or the like, know that our God is faithful.  He keeps His promises and His steadfast love extends to you and never tires.  God is working faithfully whether it is seen or not.

“ Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,”

Deuteronomy 7:9

(Further Reading: Genesis 12:17-20; Genesis 20:3-7; Isaiah 26:3-4; Romans 8:6-7)

Dear Heavenly Father,  we praise You for You are the master coordinator, the controller of all things.

What’s next?

As the Spirit leads, in the comment section below, share what He has laid on your heart.  Then join us again tomorrow for the next commentary.

My Verse: Genesis 31:23-24,  “He took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

3 Comments. Leave new

  • v. 42b “God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.” Despite the trickery and mistreatment that Jacob experienced from Laban, Jacob never doubted God, never forsook his belief in God. Jacob acknowledged that God was on his side. Oh Father, give me a faith like jacob shows us here, to trust in You fully, during the bad times as well as the good. May I trust in Your faithfulness and not lean on my own understanding.

    • Sharon Gamble
      June 7, 2024 9:08 am

      Jo, please forgive me for the delay in approving this. I am still learning my way around this new website. I love it when others comment. And I love your comment. Yes. We can trust Him in the bad times as well as the good, and oh how it must please His Abba-Father heart when His children trust Him even when the circumstances are confusing and hard.

  • Sharon Gamble
    June 6, 2024 7:34 am

    My verse: Genesis 31:42 “In fact, if the God of my father had not been on my side—the God of Abraham and the fearsome God of Isaac—you would have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen your abuse and my hard work. That is why he appeared to you last night and rebuked you!”

    I love the “But God” in this verse!! Jacob is celebrating his father’s God, even though he’d just put in a hard twenty years of unfairness at the hands of Laban. Despite it all, Jacob saw You, Lord, in the middle of it, helping him. And I love how he eventually calls You “his God” later on in his story. For he truly saw you work miraculously on his behalf. Nothing is impossible with You.


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