The following three psukim (31:1-3) appear one after another in this order:
(i) Yaakov heard Lavan’s sons claiming that Yaakov had taken everything that belonged to Lavan and that Yaakov’s financial success was achieved on their father’s back,
(ii) Yaakov realized that Lavan’s attitude toward him was not the same as it had been in the past, and
(iii) HKBH tells Yaakov to return to Eretz Yisroel where He will be with him. (See Sforno for an analysis of the order of these psukim.)
Rav Yaakov Weinberg ZT’L understood from these psukim that before a person can ‘hear’ HKBH’s word and merit the special relationship with HKBH available to a Jew in Eretz Yisroel (the third pasuk), he must first realize that his host’s attitude toward him is not as cozy as he might think it is (the first two psukim); we have to realize that we’re in golus and lacking Eretz Yisroel before HKBH makes it available to us.
Gal Einai, Copyright © 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org