And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you.” And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake.” (Genesis 30:25-27)
It would seem that Joseph was born about the time that the fourteen years of service Jacob had committed to expired. That would explain why Jacob chose that time to ask Laban to “Give me my wives and children that I have served you for.” His request also implies that Laban had control in some way. In response Laban desired that he would stay and acknowledged that the LORD had blessed him because of Jacob. Because his flocks and herds had grown since Jacob arrived, it was quite obvious to everyone that Jacob’s presence among them had brought prosperity. And according to the blessing given to Abraham, that is the way it was supposed to be — Israel’s mandate is to be a blessing to the nations.
Later, Joseph would live in Egypt unwittingly preparing the way for the rest of his family to join him in a time of crisis. In the meantime, the nation of Egypt and Pharaoh grew quite prosperous because Joseph was in their midst. It is a fact that nations are blessed when God’s people are among them and are walking in obedience. Walking in obedience brings blessing and very often others benefit because of the blessing upon our lives. As Messiah said, it rains on the just and the unjust suggesting that, when God pours out blessing upon His people, those around them are subject to the blessing as well.
It is also true that God is able to bless His people and simultaneously bring judgment upon the wicked that surround them. As we consider the ongoing crises in this world and the rebellious spirit that is so pervasive in the world, God’s people should be committed to walking upright before our God believing that, if we turn from our wicked ways, He will heal our land. Nevertheless, it is only a matter of time before those who are in defiance of His Word will begin to suffer because of their rebellion. While we pray for a change of heart in those people, let us also pray that the Father will shield us from what the nation may have to suffer because of rebellion. May He set a distinction between us and the world and may that distinction bring glory unto Him.
Blessings and Shalom,