Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued after me? Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.
“These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine: and what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? Now come, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be for a witness between me and you.”
Here we find out how things were really going under the management of Laban. Evidently, Laban didn’t stay consistent with the wages he was paying and it doesn’t sound like those 10 changes in Jacob’s pay were raises. He was even required to pay for animals that were attacked in the wild. Laban didn’t even allow him to use the sheep for food. He had to pay for his own food. He had to stay out in the heat and the cold with the flocks. Evidently, he didn’t get much vacation time.
It is a bit startling to me that Laban, after selling his daughters, and agreeing to the trade of the speckled sheep, still considered it all to be his own. Fortunately, God put him in a difficult place by threatening him in a dream. It sure looks to me like Laban would have stolen everything back at this point if it wasn’t for that dream.
Remember how Jacob cheated his brother out of his blessing? Notice that God caused Jacob to know what it felt like to be deceived and be robbed from. God really is a just God. Even though Genesis doesn’t spell out all of the wrong things that were going on, we see from its recorded history, that God caused people to get back what they gave out.
Jesus made it very clear when He spoke to us. He told us to do unto others as we would have them do to us. That’s how it really works as we see here. God is keeping track of the evil and the good. We get back what we give out. God can also give us mercy, however. If it wasn’t for that, there wouldn’t be any hope.