25 After Rachel had Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban. He said, “Send me on my way. I want to go back to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and children. I worked for you to get them. So I’ll be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If you are pleased with me, stay here. I’ve discovered that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 He continued, “Name your pay. I’ll give it to you.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you. You know that your livestock has done better under my care. 30 You had only a little before I came. But that little has become a lot. The Lord has blessed you everywhere I’ve been. But when can I do something for my own family?” 31 “What should I give you?” Laban asked. “Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “Just do one thing for me. Then I’ll go on taking care of your flocks and watching over them. 32 Let me go through all your flocks today. Let me remove every speckled or spotted sheep. Let me remove every dark-colored lamb. Let me remove every speckled or spotted goat. They will be my pay. 33 My honesty will be a witness about me in days to come. It will be a witness every time you check on what you have paid me. Suppose I have a goat that doesn’t have speckles or spots. Or suppose I have a lamb that isn’t dark colored. Then it will be considered stolen.” 34 “I agree,” said Laban. “Let’s do what you have said.” 35 That same day Laban removed all the male goats that had stripes or spots. He removed all the female goats that had speckles or spots. They were the ones that had white on them. He also removed all the dark-colored lambs. He had his sons take care of them. 36 Then he put a journey of three days between himself and Jacob. But Jacob continued to take care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.
Jacob did something. He did something that God could bless. When faced with a dishonest and conniving Laban, who moved all the speckled sheep and goats away, Jacob didn’t sit in the dust and say “woe is me”. He didn’t play the victim card and he didn’t try to get even. He just got busy.
It reminds me of a verse in Deuteronomy 8:18…
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
If things are going bad I need to remember to get off my backside, trust in the ability that He has already provided and do something that He can bless. That’s what Jacob did. Lord, please help me do the same.
Written by Boudy Van Noppen