Because I was Afraid


Pogonophobia is the fear of beards. Sometimes what seems funny at first can be a very real fear for others. Even beards are a real issue for some people that come from a traumatic past experience. All fears have a reason to be there but not all fears are valid.

  • What are some fears you have that affect your life? How do you turn to God in those situations?


17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father’s household gods. 20 And Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. 21 He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates,and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

25 And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? 28 And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Jacob took his family and left without saying goodbye to his father-in-law. How did Laban respond?
  2. In what ways did God protect Jacob and his family in this passage?
  3. What are the two actions in this passage that are motivated by fear, and who did them?
  4. Describe the fear of Rachel. How does her fear compare to that of her husband, Jacob?
  5. What actions in your life are motivated by fear? What encouragements from the passage could help you respond with faith?


Jacob and Rachel both had fears, and both tricked or deceived Laban. The tendency to fear others is common in most all of us. No matter how many times we see the Lord care and provide, often we will be quick to let our circumstances dictate our actions. The grace of God to always forgive and give us another chance is utterly amazing.

  • Consider the following verses, and use them as a means to talk to God about your fears. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, upon those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalms 33:18).
  • Ask God to grow your faith so that you can trust in God more readily.
  • Praise the Lord that, though you may fear, God is quick to defend and preserve you.