*Gen 31:32-53 ISV* Now as to your gods, if you find someone has them in their possession, he’s a dead man. Take our relatives as witnesses, search through our belongings, and take whatever belongs to you that’s in my possession.” But Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen the idols. So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, Leah’s tent, and the tents of the two maid servants, but he didn’t find them. Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. Meanwhile, Rachel had taken the idols, placed them inside the saddle of her camel, and sat on them. Laban searched through the whole tent, but found nothing. Then Rachel told her father, “Sir, please don’t be angry that I cannot stand up in your presence. It’s that time of the month.” So Laban searched for the idols, but never did find them. Then Jacob got angry and started an argument with Laban. “What have I done?” he demanded. “What’s my crime that would cause you to come pursue me so violently? Now that you’ve searched all my belongings, what did you find that belongs to your house? Set it here in front of our relatives and we’ll let them judge between us! “Meanwhile, these past 20 years that I’ve been with you, your sheep and goats never had miscarriages, I never once ate any of the rams from your flock, and whatever was torn by beasts, I never bothered to bring to you. Instead, I bore the losses myself. Even so, you demanded that I provide restitution for anything that was stolen, whether during the day or the night. “As it was, I was attacked by drought during the day and by cold at night. I never got any decent rest. I’ve lived in your house these 20 years—serving fourteen years for your two daughters and another six years for your flocks. During all that time you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father—the God of Abraham, the God whom Isaac feared—had not been with me, you would have sent me away empty handed. But God saw my misery and how hard I’ve worked with my own hands—and he rebuked you last night.” But Laban answered Jacob, “These women are my daughters. These children are my children. The flocks are mine. In fact, everything that you see belongs to me. But what would I do today to my daughters and the children they have borne? Come, let’s make a covenant just between you and me. And let it serve as a witness between you and me.” So Jacob took a stone and raised it as a pillar. Then Jacob told his relatives, “Go gather some stones.” So they picked up stones and stacked them one on top of the other. Then they had a meal together there by the stack of stones. Laban named the place Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob named it Galeed. Then Laban said, “This stack will serve as a witness between you and me today.” That’s how the place came to be named Galeed. It was also called Mizpah, because Laban said, “May the LORD watch between you and me, when we are estranged from each other. If you mistreat my daughters or if you take other wives besides them, though no one is watching us, keep in mind that God stands as a witness between you and me.” “Look!” Laban added, “Here is the stack of stones and here is the pillar that I’ve set up between you and me. This stack is a witness, and so is this pillar, reminding me not to cross beyond this stack of stones, and reminding you not to pass by this stack in my direction, intending to cause harm. May Abraham’s God and Nahor’s god judge between us.” So Jacob made an oath by his father’s Fear,

It’s very interesting when we offend our offenders even for just once. All of a sudden they start to rebuke us so sharply as if they have become messengers from God! These are the people that our Master were referring when he said, “Why do you see the speck on your neighbor’s eyes but never see the log on your own eyes? First remove the log from your own eyes so you could clearly see the speck from your neighbors eyes. You hypocrites!” Now having said that, how should we response to our offender if we know that we were wrong? It’s very tempting to rebuke them back when they start to accuse us but we need to calm down. First, we still should confess our sin and we may also state our motivation for our action but we should never make the wrong they did to us as a license for doing them wrong. Then, only after confessing our sin that it’s appropriate to tell them what their sins were and rebuke them as well thus giving them the opportunity to repent. And once they do repent next action may lead us to reconciliation which is a wonderful thing!

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