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, Jacob feared that Laban wouldn’t allow him to leave and would force him to work the rest of his life for him. He worked for Laban for seven years to marry Rachel, only to receive her sister Leah instead. Then had to work another seven years to marry the woman of his dreams. Then he worked six additional years to earn some livestock, during which his wages were changed ten times. Jacob was ready to go. He longed to be out from under the thumb of his cheat of an uncle. Then the Lord told 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 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” God had shown himself faithful to Jacob by giving him supernatural wisdom through a dream of how to prosper and grow his flock while working for Laban. Now God wanted Jacob to return home. Jacob was afraid but he obeyed 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 obey God’s Word, we have nothing to fear.
Laban 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 like 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.