Jacob had a problem. Make that at least three problems: Uncle Laban and his sons (the plural indicates at least two sons and maybe more.) After twenty years, a lot of Laban's wealth had transferred from uncle to nephew, and they were jealous.
Unlike earlier times in his life, Jacob hadn't cheated his way into fortune; rather, Laban kept trying to cheat him (remember substituting Leah for Rachel on his wedding night?) by changing his wages, but God turned the tables each time, until Jacob ended up with more, and stronger, animals.
Jacob was under pressure and discussed it with his wives. He didn't know what to do.
That's when God showed up--and told him it was time to go home, to the place where he was born.
In fact, the mixture of dream, circumstances, and family councils so blend together that Jacob's description of the dream from his father's God sounds a bit like Tevye's dream from Fiddler on the Roof. Final proof that they should pursue a course of action Jacob always thought was best.
The events that forced Jacob to leave make me wonder if he had settled in Haran and never expected to go home again.
It reminds me of my own decision to leave Colorado. I arrived in Denver in 1990 and immediately felt at home. It still holds my heart and many of my most precious memories. If God hadn't intervened, I doubt I would ever have chosen to leave.
But God did act. My daughter died. The job I had loved for nine years changed and I no longer found the same joy in going in to work. My mother's health declined, and she had to move out of our shared apartment into assisted living.
At the same time, my son had married and settled in Oklahoma--and was expecting his first child. The siren call of family made it clear the time had come to leave my much loved home of Colorado and go to Oklahoma.
Like with Jacob, God had to force me out of a comfortable place to another place where He would bless in ways I never ever dreamed. (but that's a story for another day)
How about you? Has God, and how has He, made it clear it was time for you to leave your comfort zone?