It is interesting to see the variety of ways that mankind responds to the voice of God. Scripture often shows God speaking to people, but each response is often different. While there are frequent responses that show people submitting to God in fear (and rightly so), there are also examples in scripture of people responding in ways that are a little different. Though the Bible teaches that God is the Most High God, and has sovereignty over all things as the Creator and Possessor of all things, it is interesting to see human beings respond to God in ways that don't align with these truths.
In Genesis 31:22-35 the Bible shows God making progressive efforts to fulfill His promises through Jacob. The Bible explained that Jacob and his family left the area of Haran that Laban owned and sought to go back to the land of Canaan. Genesis 31:22-35 explains that Laban pursued Jacob. When Laban heard that Jacob and his family had left, his bitterness towards Jacob grew and he pursued him to confront him. However, the scriptures reveal that God interceded. The Bible explains that God came to Laban in a dream at night and told Laban not to engage with Jacob. God was clear that Laban should leave Jacob alone and that Laban should not even talk to him. The scriptures are also clear to explain that Laban clearly heard and understood God's communication.
The response of Laban is interesting. The Bible explains that Laban pursued Jacob anyway and that when he finally caught up with Jacob, he threatened him in sorts. Scripture states that when Laban approached Jacob, Laban first questioned why Jacob left without saying anything. Laban spoke about Jacob's wives and children as if they were his own. Though Jacob's wives were the daughters of Laban, scripture was clear to reveal that the selfish nature of Laban caused him to turn his back on his daughters because of the jealousy he had against Jacob. However, after Jacob fled Laban, he was suddenly acting as if he were a victim that was depraved of his family and extended family, even referring to Jacob's children as his own. Laban tried to give Jacob a guilt trip though God had instructed Laban to keep his mouth shut. Laban told Jacob that if Jacob would have just stated he wanted to leave, Laban would have sent Jacob and his family off with celebration and songs of joy. This is untrue since scripture reveals that Laban kept Jacob in his household for 20 years and changed his pay 10 times!
God had told Laban to leave Jacob alone. In response, Laban approach Jacob to give a fake sob story as if he were a victim. Then Laban accused Jacob of being a thief. Before Jacob and his family left Laban's household, the Bible explains that Rachel took some of Laban's household idols for some reason. Laban took notice of this and informed Jacob that his things were missing. Jacob had no idea that Rachel had taken his "gods." Thus, Jacob invited Laban to search the premise to see if he could find his gods. The Bible explains that Laban first searched Leah's things, the maidservants' things, then Rachel's things. Upon coming into Rachel's tent, the Bible states that Rachel hid the gods in the pouch of a saddle and then sat on it. When Laban came in to search her tent, she lied and said she could not get up from the saddle because "the manner of a woman was with her." Laban left infuriated.
It is ironic to examine the response of Laban in this testimony. The Living God spoke to Laban and sternly warned Laban to leave Jacob alone. Laban heard and acknowledged the voice of God, and even told Jacob that God said to leave him alone. However, Laban continued to do the things he wanted to do and refused to obey the command of the Living God. Instead, Laban searched and tore Jacob's possessions apart looking for some little idols that served to be his gods. Laban stressed over some gods that could be hid in the pocket of a saddle and was angry when he could not find them, yet would not obey the voice of the Living God that he both heard and acknowledged. This simply doesn't make sense! It is amazing to think that one would disobey the voice of the Living God, but then seek after a silly idol that can not speak, respond, and can be taken, hidden, and destroyed by anyone at any time. What kind of a god is that? There is a great lesson to be learned in this testimony. The silliness of Laban's response to God - Yahweh - should cause one to examine the things that one puts trust in, and the things one pursues. If one's pursuits in life and one's "gods" can be so easily misplaced, lost or destroyed, one must reexamine the amount of value and trust that one puts into such things. There is one Living God and there is no other. Pursue Him!