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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Summary of Genesis 30:25-43:

Jacob asks Laban if he may return to his home country with his wife and children and flocks.  But Laban asks him to stay for he knows he has prospered only because of Jacob so he offers Jacob to name his price to stay.  Jacob says he will stay if Laban will give him as wages every speckled or spotted sheep and every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat that is born.  He will separate out the current speckled and spotted and dark-colored animals and those will be cared for by Laban’s sons, which will decrease the odds of these being born.

Laban divided the animals as agreed upon and separated the flocks.  Jacob then placed tree branches in the water troughs so when the flocks came to drink they would mate. Jacob, caring for the solid-colored animals, kept his flocks separate from Laban’s and he only kept the strong ones.  The weak ones went to Laban.  Jacob grew exceedingly prosperous.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

9a) Laban tries to say that he has learned by “divinination” that God has blessed him because of Jacob, which he did not. Jacob agrees with the idea in mind to trick Laban into him getting more sheep and goats by breeding for colors that he thought he could choose. He made separate flocks for him and Laban. Jacob’s grew strong, while Laban’s did not.

b) God, as always

10a) I always ask to myself when these “why did God do something,” why not? God can do what He wants. Why not bless Jacob if He wanted to? Why does/should God bless anyone? None of us deserve it. Genesis 12:1-3 tells us that God has promised to bless Abraham, and since Jacob now has the blessing, God will bless Jacob. Colossians 3:22-25 says we are working for God. 1 Peter 2:18-20 says to submit to your masters even if they are harsh. 1 Peter 3:9 says to repay evil with blessings. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says to give God your worries.

b) God has a plan, and it is good. He will bless you in His time.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Funny how neither one has learned anything as they have gotten older. Both Laban and Jacob are back at scheming again.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 30:25-43

Jacob wants to go home, so he asks his master, Laban, for permission. Laban does not want him to go, knowing that he has prospered thanks to God’s blessing on Jacob. Jacob takes the spotted sheep and goats for his flock and intends to keep only the colored ones that are born, leaving Laban with all the others. Laban thinks he is getting a great deal since the spotted ones are rarer. However, he forgot who God is blessing — Jacob, not him.

Jacob cared for Laban’s solid color animals. Laban’s sons cared for the speckled and spotted ones three-days journey away.

Jacob put branches in the troughs to increase the number of spotted animals born so they could be his. He used the modern-day practice of selective breeding to get the characteristics (in this case, spots) that he wanted. We will see in Genesis 31:10-13 that God was behind it all.

God blesses Jacob because of the covenant promise, not because of anything he does/did. We are blessed through Jesus Christ, not anything we have done/did.

We see the example through Jacob of working for others in faith God will bless you, of working hard, and of trusting God to do the rest.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 20, Day 4: Genesis 26:12-35

Summary of passage:  Isaac planted crops in the land of the Philistines and the Lord blessed him.  He became rich and had so many flocks that the Philistines became jealous so they filled all his wells with dirt.  Finally, Abimelech told Isaac to move away because he had become too powerful.

So Isaac moved to the Valley of Gerar and re-opened the wells.  Isaac’s servants dug two new wells but the locals quarreled over them.  He dug another well that was undisputed, which showed Isaac the Lord would provide.

At Beersheba the Lord appeared to Isaac and told him He would bless him and increase his descendants. Isaac built an altar there and called on the Lord.  He also dug a well there.

Abimelech saw how Isaac continued to prosper because the Lord was with him and became afraid.  So he along with his  adviser and commander approached Isaac to make a treaty not to harm them.  This was done.  Another well was dug.

Esau married Judith and Basemath, Hittites, and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Questions:

9a)  God multiplied Isaac’s crops by a hundredfold.

b)  The Philistines became jealous of Isaac’s success so they filled all of his wells.

c)  Abimelech kicked him out of the land

d)  He just moved and kept digging wells until he found one undisputed.

e)  God appeared to Isaac and told him He will bless him and have descendants.  Isaac responded by building an altar and calling on the name of the Lord.  He pitched his tent there and dug another well.

10a)  Proverbs says “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him”.  The Philistines sought a treaty with Isaac out of fear of the Lord.  God approved of Isaac, blessed him, and protected him by giving him peace.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  If you follow God’s ways, you will have peace with your enemies.  I’m unsure how to answer this one for I have no real enemies like Isaac did.  We live in a time of relative peace compared to ancient times so it’s hard for us to understand this.  Even if we have personal enemies we must love them and do what is right and trust God to bring the peace.

Conclusions:  Good lesson of overcoming adversity.  Most of us don’t have wells that are taken from us but we have other things (and if you’ve been through bankruptcy you know what I’m talking about here).

God gives and takes away and at some point most of us have had things taken from us (either jobs, finances, kids, dogs, family members, relatives, or personal items such as homes or cars).

It’s how we respond that God is seeking.  Like Jesus?  Or not like Jesus?

We will have peace if we do what Jesus would do.  That is God’s promise.

End Note:  Note the name of the wells.  Esek means dispute.  Sitnah means opposition. And Rehoboth means room.  God uses dispute and opposition to give us room.  Neat, huh?

Abraham is known for building altars.  Jacob will be known for tents.  Isaac is known for wells.  All different ways of God’s provision for His people.