Now who exactly was Laban in the bible, he was the son Bethuel, Laban was the brother of Rebecca, brother in-law to Isaac and Uncle of Jacob and Esau. Now Laban is not usually mentioned as one of the characters people study in the bible, however it is a very important character. His two daughter’s Leah and Rachel married Jacob who was also called Israel and was the father of the Israelites. Jacob could have married so many other women but God ordained it that he married from Laban’s house. So like Abraham and Isaac, Laban was an ancestor of Jesus and the Israelites. In Genesis 31:24 the bible says, “But God had come to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night.” So God does not speak to everyone, but He spoke to Laban and warned him not to harm Jacob. So Laban was actually special, his name Laban means white. However he had a problem with his character, he was very deceitful and cunning. He felt the only way to profit was to cheat another person. Despite Laban knowing and acknowledging that God existed he preferred to worship idols.
In Genesis 31 we read that Jacob was living with Laban however when he noticed that Laban and his sons were jealous of him he decided to secretly move back to his country with his family based on God’s instructions. However when Laban found out he pursued him. In Genesis 31: 41- 42 Jacob said to Laban, ”Thus I have been in your house twenty years; 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-handed.” In Genesis 29 we see Laban tricked Jacob to marry both his daughters. He wanted to marry the younger Rachel by working for Laban for 7 years, but Laban gave him the older Leah, because in those days you do not unveil your wife until after marriage. Laban now asked Jacob to work another 7 years for Rachel, making it 14 years. Then he asked him to work 6 more years to get sheep. During these years Laban kept reducing Jacobs salary in order to cheat him. Despite all this God still blessed Jacob. So no matter how people want to cheat or take advantage of you, God turns it into a blessing for those who love and fear Him. See what Laban told Jacob in Genesis 31:43-44, “ And Laban answered and said to Jacob, “These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and this flock is my flock; all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne? ”. Wow so Laban admitted he was helpless even though he knew that all Jacob had was from him, he could do nothing because God had transferred his wealth to Jacob.
It is important to note that Jacob like Laban was also a very deceitful man, he deceived his father to get the blessings of his brother Esau. He also deceived Laban in getting his best flock. His name Jacob means supplanter or to replace or trick someone. Jacob was also anointed and God appeared to him several times. So what is the difference between Jacob and Laban, after all both are deceivers. One thing is clear is that God is merciful, Jacob also enjoyed the blessings of his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham. Jacob, like all of us, was not perfect, however he loved God and put him first. This was Laban’s problem: he still held on to idols, God is jealous and does not want us to love anything above Him. Laban also thought we could succeed with his human wisdom while Jacob acknowledges it is God alone that gives success. So use your anointing to glorify God ,and do not be an anointed deceiver like Laban. Have a blessed day.