In our last visit with Jacob in Haran, we found him working his second seven-year stint for his father-in-law, Laban. Jacob had acquired two wives, Leah and Rachel, each of whom had a personal handmaiden.
Now we find that he wishes to depart for "home" with the rather large family he has now engendered, for he is the father of eleven sons by the four women with whom he lives. The building of this family and the loving kindnesses exhibited between his two wives who are sisters is a story that should be studied. It is detailed in the thirtieth chapter of Genesis. Here we pick up the story following the birth of Joseph to Rachel, her first-born.
"Aw, c'mon, Jake," Laban pleads. "The LORD has blessed me in your presence and in your tending of my flocks. Stick around. I'll make it worth your while. Name your price."
"You know, Uncle, that I've served you well and you have prospered hugely. So what about my provision for my household? Make me an offer I can't refuse."
"What'll it take, Jacob? I need you here."
"Okay. Here it is. Give me nothing. That's right. Nothing. But rather let me sort through your flocks and take all the speckled and spotted cattle and all the brown sheep, and all the mottled goats. Let these be my wages."
Laban said, "Done, and done, my Boy."
And so it was that Laban removed all the brown sheep, and all the spotted and rain-straked cattle and goats and gave them to his sons; then he took off for parts unknown, leaving Jacob to care for the rest of his flocks.
The next six years draw on much too long to detail here, but suffice it to say, geneticist that Jacob was, and more importantly, the favor of GOD on his life, Jacob prospered beyond even his wildest dreams. He wound up with vast herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. He had many camels and donkeys and servants in abundance to assist him in his work. And his beasts were stronger and healthier than were Laban's.
Needless to say, Laban's sons were ticked.
Few of you, I'm sure, had as many children as did Jacob, but Happy Fathers' Day to all men who strive to raise their children in the way they should go, and to those who have already done that.
A truly great Fathers' Day post: Trey nails it here.