Read Genesis 31 – Breaking free.
Jacob saw that his in-law side of the family were starting to resent him, so when the LORD met him in a dream, telling him to return to the land of his father and grandfather, he did not hesitate. Jacob saw the ways Laban cheated him, changing his wages 10 times but he also saw how God more than redeemed what Laban took(:7-12).
He called Leah and Rachel in from the fields and explained the situation to them. They were fine with it. Their father was not fair with them either, reducing their rights to that of foreign women, and wasting all the money Jacob paid him (:15). Laban made it so that Leah and Rachel and their children would not inherit anything.
As they were packing up, Rachel stole her father’s household idols. :19 Beloved, who can say why? A heart betrayed and abused can make strange choices to retaliate.
It would be 10 days before Laban would learn that Jacob had fled and catch up with them. And the night before he did, the LORD appeared to him (Laban) in a dream, telling him, “I’m warning you – leave Jacob alone!” :24
Laban peppers Jacob with questions over why he left in such a hurry, as though he were a good and noble father, before he gets to the thing that matters most to him, “But why have you stolen my gods?” :30 We have the term, gaslight, for Laban’s behavior, when a person psychologically manipulates another to question their own sanity in order to gain control.
Jacob permits him to search everyone stating: “But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die!” Jacob did not know it was Rachel, and she is shrewd to hide them under her saddle.
Now Jacob is mad, and he points out Laban’s abuses :36-42. Laban does not own up to it, but changes the subject – again, a standard gaslighting move. He proposes a covenant between them. Jacob agrees, and the next morning each goes in peace.
Beloved, what does the LORD want you to see in this passage? Is it time to move on from something? Is He asking you to persevere in a hard situation? Is He wanting you to make peace?