Laban’s sons began to accuse Jacob of taking away their father’s wealth as noted in Genesis 31 and Laban’s attitude toward Jacob began to change. Jacob was told by the Lord to return to Canaan so Jacob talked to Rachel and Leah about the situation. Both realized that their father’s attitude toward Jacob had changed and agreed to leave their home and go with Jacob. They were concerned about their inheritance but rationalized that what Jacob had gained from their father was now their inheritance.
Rachel, Leah, and the children left with Jacob as he returned to his homeland in Canaan. They took the livestock and goods with them. When Laban heard what had happened, he went in search for them. Upon finding them, he and Jacob had a confrontation but God had told Laban in a dream to not say anything that would destroy their relationship.
Laban and Jacob met together and made a covenant at Mizpah which is summed up in verses 49-50. “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.”
So Mizpah was an agreement between Laban and Jacob. God was their witness. The meaning today is a bond between people who are separated. The meaning is made tangible today with the use of jewelry which is exchanged between two in a relationship. It’s in the shape of a coin cut in two with a zig-zag line bearing the words “The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”
We are never completely prepared for what life brings our way. In today’s passage, Laban’s sons accuse Jacob of taking away their father’s wealth. All we can do is step ahead with faith and believe God will pull us through.
Jacob had worked hard for Laban over the years. He had gained wealth because of God’s guidance even when Laban would put obstacles in his way. He listened to God’s direction when told to return to his homeland. In a time of despair or doubt, always remember that faith gives courage to get through any situation. This day with God, maintain the passion to finish strong on the journey to where we need to be by remembering that hope gives optimism and we can do anything with His help.