I will be with thee. —Genesis 31:3
Read Genesis 31:36-55
After twenty long years, Jacob finally left Haran to return to Ca-naan. It was God’s time, for we read that the Lord specifically commanded Jacob to return to the land of his fathers and to his kindred, promising, “I will be with thee.” Jacob obeyed this com-mand and, with Rachel and Leah, left without saying farewell to his uncle. Again, Jacob fled. He had come to Haran as a poor fugitive and left a rich and prosperous man. Above all, the Lord was with him.
Jacob was able to speak well of the Lord to his two wives and to Laban as well, who caught up with Jacob’s family ten days after their departure. Although the confrontation was serious, Jacob was able to look back without regret on twenty years of hard labour and faithful service. The unfair treatment Jacob had received had taught him patience; this was a fruit of God’s grace. Jacob could end in God because the Lord had saved and blessed him through all his misery and labour. And therein lies man’s com-fort; the Lord knows all our troubles and He will provide deliverance. All the glory must go to Him. Jacob testified of God’s deeds to Laban. Although Laban had witnessed them all those years, he did not repent of his ways. And yet they did not part their ways as enemies, but made a covenant to respect the land and property of one another. When we look back on our lives, can we testify of the Lord’s work in them?
What comfort is conveyed in the words, “I will be with thee”?