Posted: February 21, 2015 in Genesis, Genesis 31
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This Way Out © Ross Cochrane using and

This Way Out © Ross Cochrane using and

The Lord says to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you” (Genesis 31:3 NLT).


The message from heaven is clear. It’s communicating effectively to his present boss that bothers Jacob the most. Laban doesn’t exactly have strong interpersonal skills. He is a little afraid of what Laban will say about him leaving. Will he have to endure an explosive outburst? Some time ago Jacob said he was leaving and ended up staying on for 6 years longer after renegotiating his contract. This time he is sure it’s time to go.


He doesn’t expect his boss is going to stand there and say “Let’s shake hands and be friends” but eventually that’s what he would like. His last employment led to his brother Esau wanting to kill him and he had to be placed in protective custody with his uncle. If only this time he could aim for mutual respect as he leaves his uncle’s employment (Genesis 31:43-55). It’s difficult to leave a job, even if it is a nightmare. How do I do leave with respect?


What questions are you asking? Do I stay and face the workplace bully, get fired because of false accusations and innuendo about my work ethics, or quit? There will be consequences whatever I do. If I go home, I will still have some unfinished business to settle, not only with Laban but with my father and Esau. 

I can stay and take what comes – prosperity or poverty without the promise. Or I can go and perhaps stir up all kinds of trouble on the way. If my focus is on what I will lose then I won’t go. If my focus is on obeying God then it may be at the expense of friends, security and it will definitely involve a risk.


Jacob decides to leave without notice and abandon his nightmare job. He’s overdue for long service leave and he thinks, “It’s not as if I am leaving on good terms. My boss isn’t going to give me a reference anyway.” Is leaving without saying a word doing the right thing? No handover, no farewell speeches, no watch for long and faithful service, no briefing other workers, no reasons given for leaving on record. Leaving a nightmare job is never easy. Abandonment of employment is rarely a good idea. Is it only going to create more problems in the future? Jacob, think of the consequences!

For those who know Christ, the promise to you remains unchanged from the time when God spoke to Jacob and assured him of His presence back in Genesis 28. “I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. … I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you” (Genesis 28:15 NLT). Sweet words in a time of turmoil. Perhaps God is saying to you, “Now get ready and leave…” (Genesis 31:13 NLT). 

Pastor Ross

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