God had promised to protect Jacob and bring him back to his homeland (Gen. 28:15) and he reiterates that promise here (31:3,13). What do Jacob’s actions in this section of Scripture indicate about his trust in God’s word? How does God respond to Jacob despite his wavering trust? What lessons do you think the Lord was teaching Jacob while he was stuck with Laban?
How do you handle times in life when you feel “stuck”? Any areas of your life where you are scheming more than trusting? Do you think it is possible to learn to trust the Lord in a deeper way without experiencing difficulties in life? How do you think being forced to deal with his scheming and deceitful uncle impacted Jacob’s trust in the Lord and his awareness of his own shortcomings? Read Gen. 31:4-9
How can we determine whether the Lord wants us to stay and persevere in a difficult situation or escape from that situation? Jacob wanted to return home in Gen. 30:25 but he wasn’t “released” until Gen. 31:13 – six years later. What role did his desires, his circumstances, his relationships, and God’s word play in this decision?