Summary: To lead the people to understand that godly people may experience abuse at the hands of carnal individuals, but we should always turn all of our pain over to the Lord’s care, deliverance and dealing.
Unit 9 – Family
Lesson 26 – Jacob Returns Home – Gen. 31:1-33
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand that godly people may experience abuse at the hands of carnal individuals, but we should always turn all of our pain over to the Lord’s care, deliverance and dealing.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Jacob was a devoted man of God who experienced more trouble than any of the patriarchs in the Old Testament. However, Jacob learned how to turn all of his suffering over to the Lord since he knew that the heavenly Father knows what is best. As Jacob returns to his homeland he is frightened of what Laban might do to him, but he overcome evil with good. We all need God’s special wisdom to know when to let things go and graciously exit. There is God’s time for beginnings and time for endings. Jacob learned that it is best to leave the presence of some people like Laban are hard hearted and selfish. However, through all of his vexation, Jacob saw the hand of God leading, protecting and carrying out His broader plan.
3. The Bible Story: Our lesson teaches us how to respond to abusive oppressors like Laban. God knew that Laban was a wicked man who abused others for his own selfish purposes, even members of his own family. As Jacob journeys for his homeland, Laban pursues him. Bad people will do more to serve their evil passions at the expense of others good people will often do to serve their legitimate wants. We need to use the shield of faith in blocking the fiery darts of anger, accusations and judgement that carnal people hurl against us. Do not give into the unjust criticisms of others but learn to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION is used to find out what are some of the tendencies of evil bosses who take advantage of those they are over. Ask the people what are some of the selfish things that evil rulers do? See if the people can recall what some of the evil rulers of past have been found guilty of? Ask the people why the Lord cannot bless people like Laban who try to abuse, misuse and deceive their employees? The BIBLE STORY teaches us that God can deliver godly people who are undergoing abuse, provocation and misuse by their leaders. God has all wicked leaders under his control and will not tolerate their abusive behavior for long. We should remember that bad people will be justly limited in their ability to harm us just as satan was restricted in how much harm he could inflict on Job. We should remember that God gives us the choice to refuse to surrender to the powers of evil, but to overcome it with expressions of good. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES helps the people make applications to the lesson. See how the people will react the next time they are abused by a tyrant like authority figure may it be a bully, a policeman, a teacher or an older student.
CLASS TIME (Begin with prayer)
Help the people to find out what are some of the tendencies of evil bosses who take advantage of those they are over. Ask the people what are some of the selfish things that evil rulers do? See if the people can recall what some of the evil rulers of past have been found guilty of? Ask the people why the Lord cannot bless people like Laban who try to abuse, misuse and deceive their employees?
The Bible Story
Jacob flees from wicked Laban responding to the leading of God’s orders. There comes a time when righteous people should leave the presence of bad company. The law of self-preservation calls people to do things which may not make sense to bosses like Laban regardless of the explanation. Jacob knew that if he did not depart secretly Laban would have done everything to hinder his progress. However, Rachel was not honest like her husband because she stole Laban’s false idols which greatly angered her Father. It is never right to do wrong thinking one can return evil for evil. Leave vengeance of the wicked in to the hands of God, He will repay at the proper time and way. In this instance God intervened and rebuked Laban and sheltered Jacob telling Laban not to speak to him with either good or bad. (Gen 31:24) God can speak to the wicked in their dreams or in their conscience to chasten them.
Laban shows his evil character by immediately pursing Jacob so he could put him in bondage. Evil men are not content to slander the righteous person’s reputation. Laban wanted to totally subjugate Jacob in everyway. Do not fear the wicked, but continue to fear God. The Bible assures us that the wicked will flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Know that believers have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7)