Different perspectives—Genesis 31:42-43

What we see sometimes depends on the lens through which we view reality. What is right in our eyes may be wrong (Prov 3:7; 12:15; 26:12, 16; 28:11; 30:12); what matters is how things appear in God’s eyes, for his standard is truth (Deut 6:18; 2 Chron 16:9; Ps 34:15; Prov 5:21; 15:3). As Proverbs 21:2 declares, “Everyone’s path looks straight and right to them, but the Lord evaluates human hearts.”

Jacob had labored hard and Laban had cheated him. In their culture, Jacob could count on their mutual relatives to value a sense of fairness (31:37). Laban, however, insists, “All that you see is mine” (31:43), as if Jacob is the one who has taken what belongs to Laban (31:1). Genesis is plainly on Jacob’s side, although not approving of everything he did. But whereas Laban emphasizes “all that you see,” Jacob appeals to what God has seen—Jacob’s affliction (31:42). Jacob’s appeal is right; in the end, it is ultimately God who vindicates Jacob.

Sometimes we are too ready to believe what others think of us, whether good or bad. People also can wrongly accuse or excuse themselves (cf. Jer 17:9; Rom 2:15). But God is the righteous judge, and we can entrust our way and our vindication to him.

(This is part of a series of posts on Genesis; see e.g., Sodom; floodcreation; fall; God’s favor.)

1 comment

Comments are closed.

Previous Post

Wise philosophers misunderstand Paul–Acts 17:18

Next Post

Why Paul referred to an altar of an unknown god–Acts 17:23

Related Posts