On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.” (Genesis 31:22-24)
The Bible says that Laban overtook Jacob after seven days’ pursuit, apparently with the intention to kill him. Had it not been for the fact that God intervened and warned Laban in a dream not to meddle with Jacob, things might have turned out much different. He was was warned not to entice Jacob to return with nice promises or threaten him with harm. Obviously the dream bothered him enough that he didn’t go against Jacob’s God; the only resistance he could muster was to feign disappointment and surprise that Jacob would do such a thing.
This was not the first time God had protected His people by speaking to their adversaries in a dream; God intervened on behalf of Abraham in the same manner with Abimelech. It would not be the last time that people were warned in dreams to leave God’s alone. The Shepherd of Israel never slumbers and continually keeps watch over His people even when they unaware of His care. Jacob had no idea that the night before Laban caught up with him that God had warned his father-in-law not to touch him. How reassuring it must have been to hear his accuser have to admit that “Your God is watching out for you.”
Here is why this important to you and me: if God watched over Jacob in such a manner do we not have the same promise of protection and care? How many times has God prevented harm from touching our lives because He intervened without us being aware? Just because He isn’t acting in a way that we would prefer, doesn’t mean that He isn’t acting on our behalf. In time, it will become clear just how He has orchestrated events in our life and how He has preserved and shielded us from our enemies. Mark my words — there will come a day when our enemies will have to profess, “Your God is God!”
Blessings and Shalom,