Teaching Kids Key Life Learnings from 100 Biblical Characters: No. 16 – Laban

Laban and Jacob

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.


If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website.  It is great for parents because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.  

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About Liz Hagler

Liz Hagler is the illustrator and co-author of Hooked On The Book. Liz loves to draw silly drawings, write crazy poems, walk her dog down the block, talk to her kids on Skype, and eat taco salad.
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