This passage acts as the second “bookend” holding together twenty years of history in the life of Jacob and his family. At God’s command Jacob will embark on the 300-mile journey from Haran back to Canaan, the land of his
fathers. Over the course of two decades, in the convoluted household of Laban, God was faithful to provide for Jacob. Our Father’s sovereign provision does not often fit the expectations and ideals of his people. Yet the perfection of God’s care is highlighted all the more when contrasted with the ways of earthly fathers.
In following God’s direction to part ways with Laban, Jacob steps up and leads his family in a way we have yet to see. He cares for his wives, he gives praise and credit to God, and he leads spiritually. In response to this, Jacob’s wives also act in a way we have yet to see. They respond in unity, in support of their husband, and in faith in God.
Twenty years earlier Jacob made a vow to God at Bethel (Genesis 28:20-21). If God would be faithful to be present and provide, Jacob would submit his life to God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob, was and is and will be faithful in his presence and provision. His presence was most supremely shown in the incarnation of Jesus. His provision most lovingly shown in the sacrifice of Jesus for the salvation of all who will believe.