Genesis 31:31 NKJV Then Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid,
for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.’
After Jacob’s nefarious dealings with his uncle Laban over a 20 year span, where he labored 7 years only to receive the sister of the woman he wanted to marry as his wife, another 7 years for the woman of his dreams, and 6 additional years for some livestock with his wages being changed 10 times (Genesis 31:41), Jacob feared that Laban wouldn’t allow him to leave and would force him to work the rest of his life for him. Jacob longed to be out from under the thumb of his cheat of an uncle. Then the Lord spoke to Jacob to return to his hometown.
Genesis 31:3 NKJV Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
Jacob was in bondage. He was in bondage to Laban’s schemes and in bondage to the fear of what Laban would do to him. God doesn’t want us to fear. God is our deliverer. Jesus came to set us free. John 8:36 NKJV Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. God had shown himself faithful to Jacob and gave him supernatural wisdom through a dream of how to prosper and grow his flock while under the bondage of servitude to Laban. Now God wanted Jacob to return home. Jacob, though he feared, heeded the voice of God, packed up his family and left. Though I don’t agree with the way Jacob left, as he did not leave honorably, he did obey the voice of God nonetheless. When we are in obedience to God’s Word, we have nothing to fear.
Laban did set out to capture Jacob and his family, but God intervened and sternly cautioned Laban to be careful with how he spoke to Jacob. You see when God asks us to do something, He makes Himself responsible for the outcome when we act in obedience to His Word. If God has asked you to do something, volunteer in children’s ministry, quit smoking, or tell your neighbor about Jesus, then He is right there with you to accomplish the task. So FEAR NOT.