“So the man entered the house. Then Laban unloaded the camels, and he gave straw and feed to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.”  Gen. 24:31

Previously we noted Abraham served three angels (Gen. 18), and Lot put up two angels for the night before the destruction of Sodom  (Gen. 19) and so we know Laban has grown up in an hospitable family.  To make food and lodging preparations for upwards of ten men, their belongings and the camels, would be no quick task on short notice, when you live in a time without grocery stores or refrigerators.  Slaughtering animals for food takes time; as does harvesting and cleaning fruits and vegetables.

Unfortunately it is difficult to determine Laban’s motive in this case.  It is also difficult to ignore that the scripture tells us of Laban’s noticing the ring and bracelets in conjunction with his welcoming the servant.  Our perception may also become skewed when we consider Laban’s  dealings with Jacob some years from now.

If Abraham’s servant showed up alone and unremarkable, instead of with a small company of men bearing gold and other gifts, would Laban have treated him the same way?  When we cannot know the answer to the question, perhaps it is best to ask ourselves what we would do.

The scriptures were given to us to shape us, test and challenge us, and grow us spiritually.  They were made for pondering and for reflection.  And while the Old Testament tells us the story and allows us to arrive at a conclusion on certain matters, the New Testament writings are much more direct on this point.  There are several passages that speak against favoritism toward the rich.  (James 2:1-7; Luke 14:12-14; 1 Tim. 5:21, and others.)

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