BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 21, Day 5: Genesis 25:27-34

Summary of passage:  Genesis 25:27-34:  Esau became a hunter while Jacob stayed home.  Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob more.  Esau sold his birthright for a meal, implying he despised his birthright.

Questions:

11a)  That Jacob had obeyed his parents by traveling to and taking a wife from Paddan Aram instead of a Canaanite woman.

b)  After God spoke to Jacob in a dream, he vowed for the Lord to be his God and he set up the pillar upon which he slept as God’s house, promising to bring God a tenth of what God has given him.

c)  Jacob worked for 7 years in order to win the hand of Rachel.

d)  God is with Jacob and has allowed no harm to come to him.  God has blessed Jacob with Laban’s livestock.  While Jacob cared for Laban’s flock, the flock never miscarried nor were attacked by wild beasts.  Jacob worked for 14 years for 2 daughters and 6 years for the flocks.  God rebuked Laban for his deception and ill-will towards Jacob.

e)  Jacob prays to God to protect him as he finally returns home to the promised land from his brother Esau whom he is still afraid.  But God has told him it is time to return home so Jacob has obeyed.

12a)  Faith

b)  Jacob is one of the patriarchs of His chosen people–the people who will obey God and shine His light into the world.  God chose Jacob to receive His inheritance and to love him and to be His treasured possession.  To serve God (Isaiah 41:8-9).  To redeem him and summon him by name.  To protect and lead.  (Isaiah 43:1-2).  Continuing in Isaiah 43, we are precious and honored in God’s sight, loved, and He is with us (4-5).  To be God’s witnesses here on earth (10, 12).  To save (11).

13)  He sold his birthright for a meal.  He married Hittite women.  He married more women in an attempt to be like Jacob and win the birthright back but it was all an act in my opinion.

Conclusions:  In ancient times as soon as the  words God of Abraham, Isaac, and/or Jacob was mentioned, everyone knew which God you were talking about.  And that is how they identified God since there were so many pagan gods in ancient times.  Most knew who Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were and no more need be said.

Today, that is not the case.  Even in Christian circles I believe the names are recognized but the details are not known as they were in ancient times.  Important details were memorized since not many could read.  We don’t memorize Scripture like the ancients since we take it for granted that we can look it up in the Bible.

For me it has been fun throughout the study of Genesis to cement in my mind who’s who. I was talking to my husband about Isaac and Rebekah and my husband had forgotten a few details about it all.  So now when the Bible refers to the “God of Isaac” I know exactly what Isaac did and why God is referred to as the God of Isaac and its significance.

I was reading to my kids about how people today don’t take the time to notice nature and observe it like they did long ago.  With the wealth of information out there about God and what we know I think sometimes it was easier to get closer to God in ancient times because they did more praying, more contemplating, more thinking, more studying of God than we do. We are so distracted by technology that we may miss God in a simple book.  Something to ponder at least…

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 21, Day 4: Genesis 25:27-34

Summary of passage:  Genesis 25:27-34:  Esau became a hunter while Jacob stayed home.  Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob more.  Esau sold his birthright for a meal, implying he despised his birthright.

Questions:

8a)  Who wouldn’t?  From Question 6 from yesterday, we learn the birthright entails in this case the promise of Abraham which is having nations bow down to you, be lord over your brothers and all your relatives and others, and may those who despise you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  Deuteronomy says the firstborn should receive a double share and is the sign of his father’s strength.  Jacob would be the chosen one of God to perpetuate His nation.  Sign me up, too!

b)  As we explored in 7d yesterday as well, we learn Esau does not have a heart for God. He marries Canaanite women (Genesis 26:34–notice not one woman but two which is not what God desires for man).  He despises his birthright (Genesis 25:36) while Jacob embraces it.  And we see that Jacob will do anything (nothing morally right) but anything to receive the blessing.  So he desires it.  And we must assume both Esau and Jacob knew the heavy expectations with this birthright.

It’s like in our day.  Those who persevere and desire something the most usually achieves it.  Although the methods Jacob employed did not sit well with God, God chose Jacob anyways.  Because of his heart.  God chooses.  Not us.

c)  Abraham lacked faith in God’s promise of a son, believing Sarah was incapable of having a child, so he had a child with Hagar.  I’m not quite sure if Jacob ever had unbelief. He believed he had the birthright already and he did what he had to do in order to receive it.  I’m assuming BSF is looking for some answer like this, “Well, if Jacob would have waited God would have given him the birthright anyways.”  True.  But he wouldn’t have received it from Isaac on earth.  And I’m not sure if unbelief was the motivation behind Jacob’s actions.  It’s a stretch in my opinion.

9a)  Our inheritance is to be like Jesus, to live a Godly-life, following God’s laws, and to do His work set before us. Some Christians don’t like having to live up to these higher standards so they follow the world instead of God’s word and God’s will for their life. They think it unfair despite what Jesus did for us on the cross.  So they chose to ignore God and listen to the devil instead.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I do my bible study every day.  I pray.  I try to do God’s will in my life.  I try to be more like Jesus every day.  I take my God-given purpose seriously.  I try to show Him the best I can.

10)  They are adopted as sons of God.  They have divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises.  We have Christ indwelt through Jacob’s family and are reckoned with God.

Conclusions:  Seems like this was an expounding of yesterday.  It seems intuitive but a lot of Christians/unbelievers don’t grasp the concept:  Christians are blessed; they are different; they do have a spiritual inheritance and spiritual advantages because of Jesus; and they do have a responsibility once Christ lives inside of them to make this world a better place.

Christians are set apart by God.  They have a God-given purpose for their brief time on earth.  It is our responsibility to act on everything Christ has done for us.  It is our job to save as many people as possible.  And rewards await us when our body gives out.

So what are you doing for Him today?

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 21, Day 3: Genesis 25:27-34 with Hebrews 12:11-17

Summary of passage:  Genesis 25:27-34:  Esau became a hunter while Jacob stayed home.  Isaac loved Esau while Rebekah loved Jacob more.  Esau sold his birthright for a meal, implying he despised his birthright.

Hebrews 12:11-17:  Discipline is never pleasant but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.  Strengthen yourself.  Make every effort to live in peace with others and be holy so those others will see the Lord in you.  Make sure trouble is not sown and bitterness nor sexual immorality or godlessness like Esau because you weren’t holy.  Because Esau could not inherit his blessing after he had rejected it.

Questions:

5a)  Because Esau would bring Isaac wild game.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It’s hard to say since this is all that is recorded of Isaac’s love.  Based off of what we know, superficially.  If that is the only real reason Isaac played favorites, then it would have saddened God (as it does us).  He probably didn’t approve of the rationale but we are human.  We all play favorites whether we admit it or not.  It’s what we do when we know we have a favorite that matters.

c)  Not shown such outward actions.  Shown more love towards the non-favored.  Made their best effort NOT to play favorites and treat each equally.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Same as in c.  It’s hard not to play favorites with your kids.  Shower the others with just as much as you would the favorite.  If the kids recognize the favorite, make extra effort to prove to them as least otherwise.

6)  In this case, you received the promise of Abraham which is having nations bow down to you, be lord over your brothers and all your relatives and others, and may those who despise you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.  Deuteronomy says the firstborn should receive a double share and is the sign of his father’s strength.  God’s mercy and grace to bless those whom He chooses.

[NOTE:  I think this is a typo in the passages.  It should probably be Romans 9:14-15 but I would read all of Romans 9 for Esau and Jacob are mentioned specifically from 8-18.]

7a)  No

b)  Highly unlikely.  Abraham is rich and had many servants.  I’m sure one of them was cooking something at that exact time as well.  Snacks?  I’m sure there were some snacks lying around.  Or I’m sure Esau could have made his own food or ate some leftovers or something.  This is why he despised his birthright.  He took the easy way out.

c)  He despised it.  He didn’t care enough.  He let his immediate needs of hunger supercede his birthright.  Seriously?  If that’s not disdain, I’m not sure what is.

d)  God knew all along the choice Esau would made and that’s why He chose Jacob as the worthy one to carry on the Promise.  Esau is called “godless” in Hebrews 12:16.  God Himself even says He hated Esau and He turned Esau’s mountains into wasteland and left Esau’s inheritance to the jackals (Malachi 1:3).  This passage is repeated in Romans 9:13 by Paul.

Lessons learned:  God knows our heart and He will give us what we deserve.  As Romans says, all things are through God’s mercy and compassion, not our effort (Romans 9:15-16).  Esau was not worthy of the birthright even though it was his right by birth so God took it from him.  We must be worthy in God’s eyes to receive His blessing.  We must have a heart for God and not for ourselves.  We must make choices in line with God’s Will and Word.  We must seek Him and not our fickle needs.  God’s needs.  Not ours.

Conclusions:  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be “hated” by God like Esau was.  Can you imagine?  We’re told as little kids not to hate anyone.  But God hated.  So are we allowed to as well?

Well “hate” in this context is really “reject”.  God “loved” or “chose” Jacob.  He rejected Esau.  Our human emotions are not the same for God.

I think hate though doesn’t correlate with forgiveness and compassion.  We can hate someone but still forgive their wrongs towards us and show them compassion when the occasion arises.  But we don’t have to like them or approve of them.  For God still blessed Esau who became the father of the Edomites (Genesis 33:9, 36) despite his hard heart.  As we must do as well.  Feelings are different than knowledge of God’s will.  Great lesson for me!

Great explanation of God’s love and hate HERE

I also like the favoritism lesson for, admittedly, I favor my son over my girls.  Because he’s the youngest.  I did this with all my babies before the other one came along.  But I am conscious of it and I try with all my might to hide that from my kids and shower my girls with extra attention.  For I love all of them more than myself.  And I bet over time as my son becomes less needy this will change.

END NOTE:  Please read Romans 9.  I think this lesson will have greater value for you and you’ll see more of what BSF is trying to teach you if you do.

FINAL END NOTE:  See?  I did get something out of this lesson, didn’t I (referring to my doubts from YESTERDAY)? So just keep plugging away.  God will show you what you need.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 21, Day 2: Genesis 25:19-26

Summary of passage:  Isaac was forty when he married Rebekah.  Isaac prayed when he discovered Rebekah was barren and God granted her twins.  The Lord told her she carried two nations, one will be stronger and the older will serve the younger.  Esau was the first born (his name may mean hairy.  He was also called Edom which means red for he was red-headed).  The second born was Jacob who came out clasping Esau’s heel (his name means he grasps the heel or he deceives).  Isaac was 60 years old at their birth.

Questions:

3a)  20 years

b)  Yes

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The passages we are referred to say so God’s work can be displayed and so that they (Isaac and Rebekah) will learn God’s decrees and so they will cast their cares on the Lord so He can sustain them.  It is estimated that about 12-15 percent of women can’t have kids, have trouble getting pregnant, or have trouble carrying a baby to term.  They could have been one of these couples.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  They prayed and the Lord answered in His timing.

4)  “Two nations are in your womb” refers to how Esau will be the father of the Edomites (Genesis 36) and Jacob the father of the Israelites.  Abraham was promised in Genesis 17:4-6, 16 that many nations would descend from him and Sarah.

“Two people within you will be separated” means they will live apart.  1 Kings 11:14-16 shows how the Edomites fought against the Israelites and lost.

“One people will be stronger than the other” is the Israelites will be stronger.

“The older will serve the younger” shows how the Edomites will be subjects of the Israelites.  2 Samuel 8:12-14 discusses how David struck down the Edomites and subjected them to his rule.

2 Chronicles 21:8-10 speaks of how Edom rebelled against Judah’s rule.

The tiny book of Obadiah is prophecy from the Lord about Edom and Israel, basically saying in sum that Israel will be the last one standing and Edom will disappear from the face of the earth.  The last people of Edom were destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 when they took Jerusalem and destroyed the temple of the Lord.

Conclusions:  I’m not exactly thrilled about re-visiting Scripture we have already visited for an entire week.  And tomorrow is Hebrews–again.  Help.

I didn’t like 3b.  That was a “duh” to me.  Obviously.  Isaac was God’s chosen one to establish His people.  How else is he going to do it?  I thought we’d pick up at Genesis 28:10.

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to this week.  To me, this is another filler lesson. Or I’m too impatient.  All year I’ve been looking forward to Joseph.  I’m ready.  Let’s move on!

End Note:  Just being honest here for those of you whom I’m sure will comment what a bad attitude I have and how I should drop out or quit or what-have-you (it could be a reflection of my state-of-mind right now as some of you have suggested as well.  I don’t know.  I’m not a psychologist).  This is how I feel about this lesson.  And I make no apologies for saying so.  But see this POST.  I’m doing it despite how I feel about it.  For I’m sure God has something here for me whether I see it or not or whether I feel like learning it or not.