Genesis 31: The Difference Between Legality and Morality

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 31 at
  • Ethics is the difference between what I ought to do and what the law demands I do
  • Jacob lacked ethics, resulting in the painful parting as a consequence. Dong God’s will by returning to the land of promise but not doing it God’s way
  • Rachel most likely stole the household gods to establish a claim on the inheritance and headship of the family
  • You might be following God’s will but are you following it in God’s way?
  • Laban was more concerned with these gods than his daughters. He searched for them in this order: Jacob, Leah, maids, Rachel
  • The covenant ensured for Labon that Jacob would not seek headship or inheritance. He is calling upon Jacob’ God to keep him in check
  • The treaty was no tribute to Jacob’s character
    • Laban had lived with Jacob for 20 years and was convinced of his lack of integrity
    • Jacob, however, is convinced of his integrity. He equated morality with legality
      • a meticulous keeping of the law does not make us acceptable to God
      • The law is a minimum standard
  • Our deception even if done within the law, leads others to go beyond us
    • Jacob “stole” Laban’s daughters and property which he had legal rights to and Rachel seeing this actually committed theft, thinking she was entitled to it
  • Our methods must always be consistent with our master if we are to honor Him

*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis


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