In our study of Genesis chapter twenty nine, we look at the fact that there are consequences in this world for the way that we choose to live and act towards others.
"Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples." NIV translation
Jacob left Bethel and continued heading east until he reached Haran which would have been in the modern country of Iraq. There is significance in the fact that he was heading east and we are reminded that biblical directions are always based on Jerusalem which is the chosen city of God. In Genesis 3, we saw that, after the fall, Adam and Eve were sent away to the east of the Garden of Eden. Throughout the Bible, east and heading in the direction of east would become a symbol of alienation from God with the hope of returning.
How does this idea of alienation from God fit into the history of Jacob? As we saw in chapter 28, God had made Jacob the promise that He would be with him and that He would provide for all of his needs.
Although we understand that God is everywhere at all times, Jacob probably thought that God was still in Bethel. Even so, he decided to continue his journey to the east and so made a conscious choice to roam outside of the will of God for his life.
With the vision of the angels, Jacob was shown that God was going to be active in his life and that included his search for a wife. He had the opportunity to seek God's will and provision in the matter of marriage but chose to go on and find her himself. He could have rested in the promises of God and let God select the wife for him but he chose to trust in his own efforts.
As we shall see, alienation from God will bring about some tough consequences in your life. That is not to say that everyone who is going through a hard time is out of the will of God but you can be sure that, if you are out of the will of God for your life, you will face tough consequences.