What practical key life learnings can we glean from the life of Laban?
Context (Genesis 24:1-31:55): Laban was the brother of Rebekah and the brother-in-law of Isaac. When Isaac’s son Jacob went out looking for a wife, he came to the family of Laban, his mother’s brother. Laban was a wealthy owner of many sheep.
Jacob fell in love with Rachel, Laban’s daughter, and asked Laban for her hand in marriage. Laban told Jacob that he would have to work for him for 7 years for her. Jacob gladly did that, but during the marriage ceremony, Laban switched his older daughter Leah in and Jacob unknowingly married her. Laban made another deal with Jacob so Jacob worked another 7 years for Rachel.
In the end, Jacob turned the tables and tricked Laban by asking for wages only of giving to him the spotted or speckled sheep. Jacob made sure that the strongest sheep mated with the speckled and spotted and he became very rich with vast, strong flocks, while Laban’s flocks became weaker.
Key Life Learnings:
- Those who use people will eventually find themselves used (Genesis 30:25-41). Although Laban tricked Jacob into working an extra 7 years for him, eventually Jacob got him back by selective breeding and taking the best of Laban’s flocks. He also took Laban’s two daughters and their grandchildren away. Using others may appear to make sense in the short run, but in the long run it damages relationships and we may get earthly riches, but not those riches that matter in heaven.
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