Have you noticed that when people are embarrassed, they either go very quiet, or else just keep talking and talking.
Jacob had taken enough hassle from Laban over the years, then when Jacob tried to get his family away from the Laban homestead he’d chased after him. Then Laban started to harangue Jacob, making out that he’d cheated him out of a fond fairwell, and then to cap it all, he played high-and-mighty about some household images that had apparently been stolen. Jacob had heard enough, and finally answered him back (Genesis 31:25-42).
Did that put Laban in his place and shut him up? No. He was the type to just keep talking. Realizing he couldn’t win, he decided to settle for a draw, and suggested a treaty. Jacob was happy with that, so they gathered the stones and prepared a feast. Laban kept talking, making out that he was doing Jacob a big favour. Then they named the pile of stones – in their two languages, that it was a ‘witness’ (Genesis 31:43-54).
They both knew that God was watching. But for Laban, he saw this as a threat – “You’d better watch your step, ’cause God’s watching you!” (my paraphrase) It was all he could hold over Jacob now.
Did Jacob feel threatened? Not at all. He knew God had watched over him with love and care, meeting his needs and providing for him when Laban had tried to cheat him (v42). He had nothing to fear, and he had a clean conscience. He was glad to have God watch him.
God is watching you, whatever you do and wherever you go. Is that thought welcome, or does it make you feel cornered? Is it a threat or a promise? Do you sense his beady eyes following you, or feel his loving eyes watching over you? Your response may speak volumes about your relationship with your loving Father. But there’s one thing sure – he loves your company, however you feel about his.