This week we read about God directing Jacob saying, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” (31:3). Jacob makes his plans to leave but does it without telling Laban. It appears that Jacob is afraid of how Laban will react so he decides to sneak away. We can understand why Jacob was tempted to sneak away – Laban isn’t a man of integrity and is already upset at Jacob’s success, plus his two daughters are leaving, too. Jacob’s decision to leave secretly (or as secretly as you can with the huge livestock herds he owned!) was born of fear and not faith. The courageous thing to do would have been to tell Laban face to face. Remember that God promised Jacob that “I will be with you”.
When we decide to be faithful to God’s leading, we can utterly count on Him to protect and provide for us. By attempting to sneak away, Jacob makes Laban mad and incites him to come after him. He also sets the stage for Rachael to steal Laban’s household idols, probably for some sense of protection. We see that God protects Jacob by warning Laban in a dream. This is a reminder to us that God has unlimited means at His disposal to help us when we choose to trust and obey. If Jacob had gone directly to Laban and told him his plans, God would have dealt with Laban effectively and probably eliminated the drama and theft.
When we are following God’s lead we need to carefully choose how we do it so He is honored through the whole process. Doing God’s will in a God-honoring way helps others see faith in a light that may attract even our adversaries and detractors decide to follow.
Senior Pastor 703.971.4673 ext. 104 www.newhope.org