Laban and his kinsmen make their way to Jacob’s tent and Laban is not going to leave without first scolding Jacob. Laban has a four-part lecture prepared for his son-in-law. a. You tricked me. This is his first complaint. You tricked me and didn’t tell me you were leaving. The root word for tricked here is to steal as we might say in English, “you have stolen away from me.” You snuck away and you treated my daughters like captives of the sword. Clearly, Laban did not know how his daughters really felt about him. They were not there against their will. They felt as if they were goods to be traded. They were chattel to him. They were ready to leave him behind. b. You’re a fool. Laban suggests that Jacob didn’t need to run away like he did because they would have thrown a party for him on his departure. He would have known he was leaving there would have been feasting. Jacob missed out. And then Laban complains that he didn’t even get a chance to kiss his family goodbye. Jacob robbed him of Laban’s chance to say goodbye and bless his family. All of a sudden Laban has become the father of the year. What is Laban doing here? This is clearly a guilt trip. He is laying on thick but Jacob does not respond and so he tries a different tactic. c. I could hurt you. Laban says, “I have the power to do you harm.” This is obvious since he showed up with a bunch of guys who were probably armed. If he just wanted to say goodbye, why show up with the kinsmen? It seems as if Laban is saying that he would have hurt him except God said that he couldn’t. Laban says, “the God of your father,” which is a telling statement. Not our God, but your father’s God stop me from attacking you. d. You’re a thief. Here we go. Finally, we get to the main reason Laban is out in Gilead. He is missing his gods. They’ve been stolen and since they disappeared the same time Jacob left, he assumes Jacob has stolen his teraphim. Of course, we already know that Rachel has them, but Jacob doesn’t know this. Laban is an idol worshipper and not a follower of God. Many years later, Joshua will remind the nation of Israel that they came from idol worshippers in Mesopotamia and warn them not to follow them. This is the kind of contradictory reasoning that comes from one that does not follow God. This is the debased mind and futile and fruitless thinking of one that does not acknowledge God and give Him thanks.