Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp? ~Genesis 31:27
Have you ever driven on a freeway and accidentally taken the wrong exit? If you have, you might have felt anxious and frustrated. Fortunately, in this day of advanced GPS technology, we can quickly get our bearings corrected and be back at our desired destination. A wrong exit can also be a hasty departure that has not been well-thought-out and that can lead to ill will and long-term animosity.
We see the decision.
Jacob assembled his entire clan together and told them that God appeared to him and told him to leave Laban. He unloaded to Rachel and Leah the mistreatment and losses that he endured during the twenty years he worked for Laban. That, in turn, led to feelings of ill will that the women had towards their father as well. So, Jacob and his clan packed up, took all of the flock that was his, and, abruptly and without notice, left the country of Syria by night. The decision to leave was made in Jacob’s heart long before God told him to go. What do we learn from this? First, it is always the right thing to have a mutual discussion with your employer, ministry leader, or whomever you are responsible to about your departure before actually leaving. There are many times when it is time to make a transition, and it should be done in an ethical and proper manner. Second, it is never the right thing to leave your marriage or abruptly walk away from your parents. Marriages can sometimes have seasons of stress and conflict. Walking out on your spouse because you have had enough does not solve the problem. It might be a quick escape, but it is never the solution. Third, it is never right to leave your church or abruptly walk away from pastoral leadership because you feel that you were offended or hurt. In most situations, there is a misunderstanding or an unwillingness to meet for resolution. Be very careful of exiting important relationships because of emotional feelings.
We see the damage.
When Laban realized that Jacob had abruptly left without any discussion and without saying goodbye, he became very angry and pursued after him. Laban saw that his idols were missing and assumed that Jacob may have misappropriated other possessions that belonged to him. Jacob’s unannounced actions made the hostility between the two worse. When we make an abrupt exit, there is much damage left behind. It makes forgiveness much more difficult. It removes all trust and confidence in each other. It makes for long-term enemies instead of amicable good will. It hurts the names and reputations of both sides to the unsaved and saved. Both sides have their version of what happened, but, in the end, it leaves a bad testimony to the cause of Christ. Unresolved issues only lead to negative disparaging that both sides have towards each other.
We see the duty.
Laban caught up with Jacob and they had a heated talk. Jacob angrily let Laban know that he was upset about how Laban cheated and took advantage of him. Laban, in turn, angrily told Jacob that he was wrong for leaving on bad terms. Even though they made a covenant between each other, it basically drew a line that they would have nothing to do with each other. What is our duty? First, make all wrongs right. Second, seek peace with each other. Third, resolve to be a friend. Fourth, end the meeting with prayer. Last, pray for one another. A wrong exit can be costly, stressful, and avoidable.
Have a guided God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 16-17