Ep 204 | Trust Unites, Mistrust Divides
Trust unites, but mistrust divides. Today’s story features Jacob and Laban and how their mistrust divided them.
‘Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you.” So Jacob called Rachel and Leah out to the field where he was watching his flock. He said to them, “I have noticed that your father’s attitude toward me has changed. But the God of my father has been with me. You know how hard I have worked for your father, but he has cheated me, changing my wages ten times. But God has not allowed him to do me any harm.’
‘Laban caught up with Jacob as he was camped in the hill country of Gilead, and he set up his camp not far from Jacob’s. “What do you mean by deceiving me like this?” Laban demanded. “How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war? Why did you slip away secretly? Why did you deceive me? And why didn’t you say you wanted to leave? I would have given you a farewell feast, with singing and music, accompanied by tambourines and harps. Why didn’t you let me kiss my daughters and grandchildren and tell them goodbye? You have acted very foolishly! I could destroy you, but the God of your father appeared to me last night and warned me, ‘Leave Jacob alone!’ I can understand your feeling that you must go, and your intense longing for your father’s home. But why have you stolen my gods?”
“I rushed away because I was afraid,” Jacob answered. “I thought you would take your daughters from me by force. But as for your gods, see if you can find them, and let the person who has taken them die! And if you find anything else that belongs to you, identify it before all these relatives of ours, and I will give it back!” But Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the household idols.’
- Have you ever experienced division in your life? Did people separate peacefully with hostility?
- Jacob was dealing with an unfair boss, Labon. Have you ever dealt with an unfair person in a position of authority (boss, teacher, parent)? Share your story, including any regrets and anything you handled well.
- How should have Jacob and Laban dealt with things differently to avoid such a big conflict?
At the end of your discussion, go around the group and ask for prayer requests.