Experience #1: Meeting people with a different outlook in life (v. 1-8). After about two weeks of traveling, Jacob finally arrived in the land of his relatives from his mother's side. What was the first thing that Jacob saw, observed and wondered about in this new place? Share how you act in response to people who don’t think the way you do? What lessons do being surrounded by non-Christians who have different beliefs and values as you do teach you? Will you conform to their worldly values or can you stand your ground when you are with them?
Experience #2: A warm welcome and hospitality extended (v. 9-14). After a tense journey, Jacob was overjoyed that he finally met his relatives. How did his Uncle Laban receive him? When would you consider a visitor to be overstaying (even if that person were a relative)? Share if you have experienced being genuinely welcomed with love and grace. Have you extended the same love and grace to others as Romans 12:13 tells you to do? How is warm welcome and hospitality being extended in your church?
Experience #3: Being in-love (v. 15-20). Because of Jacob’s extended stay in Laban’s household, Laban asked him how he could pay him for the work he had been doing for him. What was Jacob’s response? Describe how much Jacob was in-love with Rachel. Why is being in-love a wonderful thing that can motivate you to do what you normally don’t want to do? On the other hand, being in-love can also distort or blind you from reality. How can a person guard his/her heart so that even when in-love, he/she will avoid making bad decisions and big mistakes?
Experience #4: Being deceived and taken advantage of (v. 21-26). Jacob wanted to marry Rachel after fulfilling his seven-year agreement with Laban. What took place after their talk? How did Jacob feel about the deception? Do you think he remembered how he deceived his own father? Have you ever taken advantage of someone and had the same thing done to you? What does it teach you about the importance of not doing to others what you would not want others do to you?
Experience #5: Going through adversity and accepting it (v. 27-30). When Jacob confronted Laban with his deception, Laban offered the terms that Jacob can also have Rachel as wife after a week, in return for agreeing to serve Laban for another seven years. Jacob didn’t fight back but simply accepted the fact that he was taken advantage of. Discuss how you can handle adversity or the problems of life without feeling bitter. What does the Bible teach about why God allows you to go through adversities (James 1:2-3,12)?