Lesson 29: Jacob's Experiences at Haran
In an earlier lesson, we learned how Jacob was sent away from home to get away from his angry brother, Esau. Jacob's mother, Rebekah, and Jacob's father, Isaac, wanted Jacob to choose a wife from the home of his Uncle Laban in the city of Haran. We also learned that God encouraged or strengthened Jacob on his journey to Haran. God appeared in a vision to Jacob and renewed the promises to him. (Genesis 28:12-15) These promises are the same promises God made to Abraham and Isaac...that they would some day possess the land forever and that all nations would be blessed through them. These promises will be fulfilled or come to pass when Jesus returns to the earth.
Jacob came to a well in Haran and there he met Laban's daughter, Rachel. Rachel had come to the well to water her father's flock. Jacob rolled away the stone for her and he watered the flock. Jacob told Rachel who he was. Rachel ran to tell her father, Laban. They took Jacob home to their house. They were so happy to see Jacob. They asked him to stay with them for a while. Laban could see that Jacob would be very useful to him because Jacob had been a shepherd all of his life. Laban had flocks that had to be taken care of.
Jacob learned to love Rachel very much so he agreed with Laban to work for him for seven years for Rachel, so she could become his wife. Laban was not a very honest man because when he should have given Rachel to Jacob, he gave him Leah, Rachel's older sister, instead. Jacob did not like this so after a week he was given Rachel also, but he had to work for Laban another seven years.
Perhaps some of this trouble came on Jacob to punish him for having deceived his father, Isaac. God always punishes people who do not do as they are commanded by Him. He also tests or tries us to help make us better people.
Laban was very crafty, or dishonest. Laban changed Jacob's wages (what he earned for working) ten times. But God was with Jacob. No matter how hard Jacob had to work for Laban, God blessed him and made his flocks to become stronger and better than Laban's. Because Laban was not honest, God made his flocks become weaker and smaller in number.
So now we see that God blessed Jacob because Jacob was trying to do his best to serve God faithfully. God will also bless us when we try our best to obey Him and honor Him.
- Why was Jacob being sent away from his home?
- Why did Jacob go to his Uncle Laban's house?
- What are the promises about that God renewed to Jacob?
- What is the name of Laban's daughter that Jacob learned to love?
- Was Laban an honest man?
- When Laban should have given Rachel to Jacob, who did Laban give to Jacob instead?
- How many times did Laban change Jacob's wages?
- Did God bless Laban or Jacob?