25 As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children
for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed
me because of you. 28 Name your wages, and I will give it.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30 For
you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 He said, “What shall I give you?”
Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and
every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and they shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted
among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34 Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35 But that day Laban removed the
male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36 And he set a distance
of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock.
37 Then Jacob took fresh sticks of
poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks
came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the
lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding,
Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the
stronger Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
I know that this was a longer reading, but I want to get the whole picture of the continued deception that is playing out. The Lutheran Study
Bible states: “Laban deceives Jacob by taking away the livestock he promised. Nonetheless, the Lord blesses Jacob by miraculously prospering his livestock and granting him shrewdness with honesty. In business, you will be tempted to act dishonestly,
as Laban did. Instead, pray for wisdom and shrewdness. In all cases, remember and give thanks that the Lord daily and richly provides for your needs of body and soul. In His faithfulness, He gives us the blessings of His cross in Word and Sacraments and will
set all things right at His second coming.” Nothing like family love… right?
I pray: Come, Lord Jesus, and grant
us Your wholesome wisdom. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 64). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.