The last verse of our reading section this morning says “In this way the man (Jacob) grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.” Notice the phrase “in this way.” It’s interesting because the previous passage tells about Jacob’s plot to mate the flock before some kind of reed that would guarantee their health and color. I don’t think the phrase “In this way” refers to that. I think it refers to the fact that there was someone watching over him through this whole ordeal.

If Laban would have had his way, Jacob would never leave and would end up with little or nothing. Fortunately, as Boice observes, “Jacob had an ally who was open-handed, upright, straightforward, generous, and compassionate. His ally was God. The secret of Jacob’s success in working for Laban is that even in the unpleasant earthly relationship, he was really working for God, who would protect him and prosper his efforts. He worked as Paul advised those of his day: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free” (Eph. 6:7–8).”

I expect Laban was an unpleasant man to work for. I expect Jacob did not get along too well with him. I expect that we too often struggle with those we work for and it becomes a very unpleasant relationship. But we too must remember like Jacob did that we are working for God not our employer. God can and will reward us even when those around us would rather we end up with little or nothing.