Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.
Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. He took his relatives with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. God came to Laban, the Syrian, in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Take heed to yourself that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.”
God had told Jacob that it was time to go back to the land of his father and because God had told him, God was prepared to make sure that Jacob had everything he needed to make the trip. It appears, however, that Jacob decided to sneak away because he was afraid of what his uncle would do. It isn’t wise for us to fear a man more than God. It reveals our lack of faith. Thankfully, God will deal with us and cause our faith to grow as He was doing with Jacob.
What God tells Laban in the dream is very unusual. He tells him not to say anything good or bad to Jacob. That was probably a very difficult request. Jesus doesn’t want us to take vengeance on our enemies while we are here on earth, but that doesn’t mean that we are to go along with their evil. The reason that He doesn’t want us to take vengeance is because He has reserved that for Himself. God has promised to take vengeance on our enemies. Another reason that we shouldn’t take vengeance on our enemies is because we have been forgiven. All of us have been someone else’s enemy and all of us have been given forgiveness by God. We should hope that our enemies will also be forgiven.
God’s words to Laban don’t allow him to bless Jacob. This indicates that Jacob’s relationship with God needed improvement. Notice, however, that God also kept Jacob from harm. Although, God disciplines those He loves, He is still protecting them.