Day 6: Vayetze/Genesis 31:22-32:2
YHVH sees everything. He sees the arrogant and prideful in their insolence, just as He watches the humble of heart being beat down. The Creator sees every behavior in between these contrasts and observes all the actions of man, recording them for the day of judgment. For those who repent from their evil inclinations and deeds, their records are wiped clean of the regretted sins.
So often, people have a seemingly unrelenting need to be the one that’s right, as well as be the originator of a deed and, especially thought. When others come up with an original idea or are correct in answers, many are ready to pounce on them with critiques, negativity, and naysaying. Thus, when a righteous man has an inspired thought or is found in righteous deeds, the negative, selfish, and arrogant of the world stand in line to castigate their character and conviction.
The negative want to disprove, ridicule, or just plain grump about anything and everything. The selfish have a hard time accepting any other person’s thoughts or see their benefits because they are self-absorbed and are left out of the attention or spotlight. The arrogant just plain think everyone is beneath them. These are the people, even as believers and Covenant keepers, who believe they have a corner on righteousness. All those other people should be seeking their permission before taking action or pronouncing a conviction.
Yacov found himself up against a man, Laban, who suffered from such prideful flaws. Being selfish and arrogant, Laban exuded character anomalies by taking from others, lying, usurping, and changing his mind at random, especially when it suited his best interests.
At the end of Laban’s relationship with his daughters and Yacov, Yacov set up a pillar and told his kinsmen to heap stones at Gilead. Being the corrupt man that Laban was, he immediately takes control of the situation touting his actions of setting up the heap and pillar. How sad that this individual would need Yacov around in order to sustain his own self-esteem. His own merit was not enough to warrant such a reward. Furthermore, Laban seemingly couldn’t think for himself but stole the ideas and practices from Yacov whom he knew to be blessed of Elohim.
On the other side of a covenant established between Laban and Yacov was a man who had made an oath to YHVH. He knew that no matter where on earth he dwelt, Elohim watched over him, saw his actions, and would hold him to task in his deeds and speech. To Yacov, it did not matter if Laban saw, knew, or judged him. Elohim was in charge and knew the truth of Yacov’s every transaction and every deed. When it came time to make a covenant with Laban concerning their future, Yacov did not argue over who set up the pillar heaped the stones for the memorial altar. He did not indulge his flesh but allowed Laban to distinguish Who the Judge would be and to Whom they would fulfill their oath so as not to harm the other party.
Yacov knew that YHVH was in control and that the Almighty knew the score between these two men and their family squabbles. As such, he humbled himself to Laban and to Elohim in submission to YHVH’s will. It did not matter who took credit for the altar or the name of the place. What mattered was that YHVH was being glorified and He would be Judge. Arguing with a man over who was right or who built what was moot, since YHVH sees justice and injustice, pride, and humility.
As Yacov went on his way from Laban, the angels of Elohim met him. This was a confirmation to Yacov that he was not only to keep his vow, but that Elohim heard and saw all of Yacov’s actions, words, and vows. Soon, this would be proven in Rachel’s death.
Yacov had just made the proclamation that whoever had the household idols would not live. Even though the idols were not found, Rachel did have them and she would die in childbirth. YHVH was witness to Yacov’s vow and He would exact the oath. By naming the camp Mahanaim, he declared that there were indeed two camps and two vantage points—man’s and Elohim’s. YHVH is always a witness.
We cannot hide from the Almighty. He sees and knows all the actions we take and the words we say. Our integrity must be measured by YHVH’s standard and not man’s or our own.
There are plenty of Laban’s still around, today. They seek to devour the righteous while heaping stones of negativity, doubt, and worry on our acts of faith. The Laban’s of this world twist our words and take what does not belong to them, touting it as their own. They are consumed by pride. Having the knowledge of YHVH, they deny His power, even as the adversary plants those usurping thoughts into their minds.
We, on the other hand, do not have the luxury of such sin. In our obedience and worship, we dance in the company of both men and angels. We have witnesses of both men and Elohim. Man may have the intent to do us harm. He may even come after us with ill feelings, pride, and contempt. YHVH is just, though, and will not allow His righteous to be discarded or consumed. He will vindicate our cause as we humble ourselves so that He is esteemed in our stead.
Dwell upon Psalm 138:6-7, “For though YHVH is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.”