Jacob Overhears His Brothers-in-law. Remember that Jacob had stayed fourteen years with Laban so that he might marry Rachel. Upon the completion of those years, he had asked Laban permission to leave his household and to takes his wives and children back to Canaan. Laban convinced Jacob to stay and a wage of animals was set. But Laban had taken some of the animals, gave them to his sons, and had them move a three days journey from Jacob. Six years have passed and Jacob is still waiting for the time to move back to Canaan. When could he go back home? In this passage, we find how a culmination of things motivates Jacob to leave Haran. The first is that Jacob learns that Laban’s sons have been talking about him. Rumors and gossip spread just as easily back though maybe not a quickly as it does now. So Jacob hears that his brothers-in-law are saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all his wealth.” There is a bit of truth in what they are saying. Jacob’s wealth came from the wages that Laban was paying him for his work. Yet, they are speaking in an accusatory way, as if Jacob had done something wrong. But what happened to the flocks that Laban had given to them to watch? Jacob had nothing to do with those. Those were a whole separate flock. They are speaking out of envy because Jacob’s flocks had exploded in number and were strong compared to the fewer and weaker animals that were Laban’s or by inheritance theirs. Envy is a sin that runs strong in this family. Some sins plague whole families and envy is a weakness in Laban’s. Notice too that this is all about money. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It seems inevitable that those that are in the world will have money and power as their motivation. Jacob See Laban’s Attitude. This is the second motivation for Jacob to move. “Laban did not regard him with favor as before.” The Hebrew says that Jacob saw Laban’s face was not toward him anymore. This is the opposite of what the blessing of Aaron in Numbers 6:25-26 says. The Lord make his face shine upon you. The Lord lift up his face upon you. If someone’s face was toward you that meant they were with you. But if they turned away, then they were against you. And so, Jacob sees that Laban, who had been favorable toward him for the last twenty years has now turned against him. Even though Laban was always cheating him, he liked Jacob. But envy seems to have gotten the better of him as well. c. Jacob Hears From God. This is the final, and seemingly most important motivation for Jacob to leave. God appears to Jacob in a dream, which he will describe in detail in a few verses. God says, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” Six years before this Jacob had a desire to leave, but he was convinced to stay in Haran. Doubtless, his desire to leave was with him all those years. He had come to Haran to allow his brother’s rage to pass and to find a wife, both of which seem to have had occurred six years earlier. Even the turning of Laban and his sons against him was not enough to make Jacob leave. Over the other motivations to head home, it was the word of God that drove Jacob from Haran. Sometimes we need a shove by God to do what we know we needed to do all along. God’s word ought to be our main motivation to act. We shouldn’t rely upon our interpretation of our circumstances which is often faulty because of our limited view. We shouldn’t rely upon our emotions or if we have had a feeling of some sort because those are easily manipulated. We should base our decisions upon the perfect, authoritative, word of God.