Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 54

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  Save me, O God, by your name, and vindicate me by your might.

2  Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

3  For insolent men have risen against me, ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before them.

4  Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.

5  He will repay my enemies with evil; in your faithfulness put an end to them.

6  With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.

7  For you have delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

Jacob vs. Laban

Genesis 31

1.       Upon what basis do the sons of Laban resent Jacob?  What warning might Patriarchs take from this perception of Laban’s sons?

2.      What does Jacob perceive about Laban’s disposition toward him?  What weight do you give to an authority’s “attitude” or “favor” toward you?

3.       How does Jacob explain his success to his wives?  What is their response?

4.       In explaining his flight, Jacob pleads “Because I was afraid...”  Do you consider this an honest explanation?  How does this echo both Abraham and Isaac in their appeal to authority?  Is there a Patriarchal lesson here?

5.       When Jacob finally stands up to Laban, how does he time his argument?  What is the evidence of his argument?  Is there a contemporary application here?

6.       How do Jacob’s patience and suffering profit him?  How does he interpret God’s involvement?  How confident are you that God’s “got your back”?

7.       What is Laban’s claim about Jacob’s family and Jacob’s possessions?  What is his reason for relinquishing his claim?

8.       Who initiates the covenant, or alliance, between Laban and Jacob?  What are its conditions?  What is the purpose of such visible boundaries and numerous witnesses in the business of a Patriarch?

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.