BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 5: Genesis 28:10-22

FINALLY!!!  SOMETHING NEW!!!!

Summary of passage:  So Jacob left Beersheba to Haran.  He stopped along the way, put a stone under his head, and had a dream.  In the dream he saw a stairway from heaven to earth on which the angels of God were going up and down.  The Lord was there and He repeated His promise to Jacob (the covenant He gave to both Abraham and Isaac), saying He’ll give Jacob the promised land and his descendants will spread out.  All people on earth will be blessed through him.  God said He is with him and will watch out for him wherever he goes.

When Jacob woke, he took the stone he had been lying on and poured oil over it and called the place Bethel. Then Jacob vows that God will be his God and the stone will be God’s house and he will give God a tenth.

Questions:

12a)  The stairway linking heaven and earth now reveals access to God.

b)  Jesus is the stairway, the way to heaven.  Jesus says the angels of God ascend and descend on the Son of Man.  John 14:6 says he is “the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Hebrews says we will enter the Most Holy Place (heaven) “by the blood of Jesus.”

13a)  “I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.  Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.”

b)  Same as a. “I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.  Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south.”

c)  “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”

d)  “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.  I will not leave you until I have  done what I have promised you.”

14a)  He had the fear of God now and realized God was with him and in this place.  He took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil over it to make the place, which he named Bethel or house of God.  He made a vow, saying if God does what He promises, then God will be my God, the pillar will be God’s house, and he will give God a tenth of all that God has given him.

b)  Through the Holy Spirit, God is with us and watches over us wherever we go.  He will not leave us until His work is done. (See Philippians 1:6 for a similar message).  We return a tenth to God of what is His.  He is our God and our pillar.  Hopefully, we believe first and then receive without the same stipulations Jacob makes (see Conclusions below for elaboration).

Conclusions:  Well, we moved on but I literally typed up most of the passage for my answers.  It felt like a copy exercise I might give my kids for school.  I did like saying specifically He is with us wherever we go and He will not leave us.  Something I needed to hear today.

The significance of this passage is that Jacob has finally realized God is everywhere and not just in certain places.

However, what BSF missed and what I find fascinating (of course we could see this next lesson if we repeat this passage again as seems to be the custom), is how Jacob responds to God’s promises.  Jacob doesn’t quite believe God will do all of these things He promises.  We see this in his response in verses 20-22:  IF God will be with me and IF He will provide, THEN the Lord will be my God.”

Do you see it?  He’s not quite sure if God will be with him and if God will provide.  But only after Jacob sees all this, then will God be his God.  Jacob is trying to make his own deal with God instead of humbly accepting God’s promise.  However, in God’s grace, He punishes Jacob through Laban in order to gain Jacob’s whole heart.

End Note:  Now God has personally appeared to all three patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac, and now Jacob.

Fun Fact:  Bethel means “House of God” and is second only to Jerusalem to the number of times a town is mentioned in the Old Testament.  God even refers to Himself as the “God of Bethel” in Genesis 31:13.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 4: Genesis 27:42-28:9 with Hebrews 12:6-14

Summary of passages:  Genesis 27:42-28:9:  Rebekah hears Esau’s plans to kill Jacob so she sends for Jacob and tells him to go and live with her brother Laban in Haran until Esau’s temper cools. She tells Isaac she doesn’t want Jacob to marry a Hittite woman so Isaac blesses him and commands him to go to Paddan Aram to the house of his mother’s father Bethuel and take a wife from the daughters of Laban.  He blessed him again with fruitfulness and with the blessing given to Abraham.

Esau learned what had happened and he took a wife from Ishmael’s line in an effort to please his father.

Hebrews 12:6-14:  The Lord disciplines those He loves and punishes everyone He accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline for God is treating you as a son.  For if you are not disciplines then you are not sons of God.  Everyone is disciplined.  God disciplines us for our good so we may share in His holiness.

Discipline is never pleasant but it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Questions:

10)  Jacob got sent away from the only home he has known.  He has to endure Laban.  He is tricked into marrying Leah.  He had to work for 14 years to have Rachel.  He slept with her maidservant when she couldn’t have kids (sound familiar?). He has to flee from Laban.

Rebekah spends the rest of her days without Jacob.  She dies before he returns-never seeing him again or getting the chance to say good-bye.

11)  Just the fact that Isaac is giving Jacob the blessing willingly when he really wants to give it to Esau shows he trusts God when God chose Jacob to be the heir.  He trusts God to find a wife for Jacob.  He blesses Jacob with the same blessing God has blessed him with:  bless him financially and multiply in number and take possession of the Promised Land.

Conclusions:  I have nothing positive to say about this lesson so I won’t say anything at all.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 27:26-41

Summary of passage:  Isaac kissed his son.  He smelled Esau’s clothes and concluded this was Esau.

Isaac blessed Jacob, asking God to give him abundance and have the nations serve him and bow to him, have him be lord over his brothers and have those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

Esau returned from hunting and brought in the food to Isaac.  Isaac realizes he had been tricked by Jacob.  But it was too late.  Isaac cannot bless both.  He did not reserve another blessing.  Esau wept and Isaac tells him he will serve his brother and he will live away from the earth’s riches but eventually he will throw off Jacob’s yoke.

Questions:

6a)  God will grant riches of the earth and an abundance of grain and wine.  Many nations will serve Jacob and people will bow down to him.  He will reign over his brothers and mother’s sons.  May those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

b)  God will punish the nation that enslaves His people (Genesis 15:14) but afterwards they will come out with great possessions.  Same as those who curse him be cursed.  Repeated in Genesis 12:3 where God says “I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse.”

7a)  According to Webster’s dictionary, regret is “to mourn the loss or death of; to miss very much; to be sorry for.”  Repentance is “the act or process of repenting (to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to feel regret) for misdeeds or moral shortcomings.”

As you can see, their meaning are the same in a way.  Regret is more to feel sorry for what you did (or did not do).  Repentance is to feel sorry for what you did but also to resolve to change and it’s emphasis is more on sin.

b)  Esau is regretful.  He’s sorry for himself that he did stupid things like sell his birthright for a meal and marry unbelievers.  But he doesn’t change his ways. Immediately, he wants to kill his brother–for his mistakes (of selling the birthright) but also for God’s will as I’m sure they all knew the prophetic words revealed to Rebekah. His heart is not repentant at all.

Jacob is repentant.  He realizes he tricked his father and lied to him and I think he’s truly sorry.  God spoke to him afterwards and does not condemn his actions.  For He doesn’t need to as Jacob has learned his lesson.

8a)  It would have gone against God’s will as spoken to Rebekah (Genesis 25:23).  Esau was flippant and despised his birthright as we see in Genesis 25:29-34 when he sold his birthright for a meal.  Esau married Hittite women (Genesis 26:34) which would have jeopardized the raising of his sons in terms of faith in the Lord.  Esau wants to kill his brother (Genesis 27:41)–a direct violation of God’s law of murder.  He is vengeful and his heart is not God’s.  Definitely not something God wants in the line to Jesus.

b)  They doubt.  They sin when they know it’s wrong.  They have no desire to do God’s will here on earth. They are in the world instead of of the world.

c)  He’s a provider.  He brings home meat for the family.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I hope going in the right way.  I’m trying every day to be more like Jesus.  I’m trying to be in the Word as much as possible.  I’m trying to follow God’s purpose for my life.  I’m trying to raise my kids to know Him.  I’m trying to be a good wife and spouse to my husband.  We are at a turning point in our lives where we’re trying to plan for the future and put God at the center (both with our money and our hearts).  My husband and I are finally on the same page about this.  I pray I do His will every day.

9)  Isaac’s prophecy is:  Esau will dwell away from the earth’s riches.  He will live by the sword and will serve his brother.  But he will eventually throw off his brother’s yoke. During the Exodus, Moses asked to pass through Edom’s lands which they refused and so Israel turned from them (Numbers).  David conquered the Edomites (2 Samuel 8:14).

Edom did rebel against Judah (Israel) in 2 Kings 8:20-22.  Another war is depicted in 2 Kings 14:7 between Judah and Edom.  Another time Edom attacked Judah in 2 Chronicles 28:17.

Obadiah is where God has had enough of the Edomites and their sins against the Israelites.  God tells Israel to not abhor Edom for Edom is their brother (Deuteronomy 23:7) but when the Edomites cheer the fall of Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion and help plunder the city and prey on fleeing Israelites God says through Obadiah “There will be no survivors from the house of Esau” (verse 18).

God says “As you have done, it will be done to you” (verse 15).  Like I said BEFORE, the Edomites were obliterated from history when Rome conquered Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Conclusions:  Question 9 is almost the exact same as Question 4 on Lesson 21 except here they give us the passages and last week they did not.

I’m really struggling here.  I’m floundering to be precise.  So I’m praying through this. This repetition and re-wording of the questions with virtually the same concept is driving me mad to be honest with you.

I GET it!  I do.  Part of me feels like BSF doesn’t trust me to get it.  So I’m being bombarded with the same passages (which in my view is not really all that hard when compared to say Isaiah for instance).  So I’m spending 3 lessons on the same thing (and tomorrow is Hebrews!).

I’m no Biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination.  But I understand right and wrong and why Jacob was the chosen one (simple–cause God chose him and God can do whatever He wants) and why Esau wasn’t worthy, etc, etc, etc.

Instead of growing I feel stuck.  I’m at the point of skipping some classes to be honest with you.  The last two weeks have been difficult.  My group has fallen to half its normal size from September.  So has my kids’ classes.

I can’t remember ever feeling like this with BSF before.  So I’m praying.  That’s all I can do really.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-25

Summary of passage:  Isaac, now old and blind, asks Esau to hunt him some wild game and prepare him a meal at which he will give him his blessing.  Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau this so she told Jacob to go and bring her some young goats to prepare for him so that Jacob can go and receive Isaac’s blessing.  Jacob wonders though if Isaac touches him what to do because Esau is hairy and he is not.  His mother said not to worry.

Rebekah prepared the food and then dressed up Jacob in Esau’s clothes.  She covered his hands and neck with goatskins and sent him in to Isaac.  Jacob says he is Esau and bids his father to eat.  Isaac wonders how he found the game so quickly.  Jacob says the Lord granted him success.

Isaac suspects a trick and asks to touch Jacob.  He knows Jacob’s voice but falls for the goatskin trick.  Isaac blessed Jacob but is still unsure if he is Esau or not.  Jacob lies again, saying he is.  Isaac ate of the game.

Questions:

3)  Isaac planned to bless Esau and give him the birthright, which defied God’s plan which He revealed to Rebekah before Esau was even born (Genesis 25:23).  God intended Joseph to have the “older serve the younger.”

4a)  In this passage only, Jacob and Rebekah conspire to gain the blessing by having Jacob pretend to be Esau.  Jacob dressed up in goatskin to simulate Esau’s hair.  He wore Esau’s clothes.  Rebekah cooked a meal for Isaac.  Jacob lied to Isaac about his identity.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Don’t lie or deceive or white lie.  Numerous times I have posted about not lying to your kids so they will trust you in the big things.  HERE and HERE if interested.  Have an open relationship.  Have God at the center.  For if God is the center, love and honesty reign.

5a)  She did everything in her power to have Jacob receive the blessing as God intended.  And it worked.

b)  They were deceptive and involved lies and tricks.  Rebekah would have been better served if she had confronted Isaac about his intentions and told him to pray to God to ask for the truth.

c)  Same as above.  White lies.  Or lies.  Cheating people.  Deceiving people.

Conclusions:  Not happy AT ALL about this filler lesson.  I thought we had milked this passage already and here it shows up again?  Seriously?  Enough with the review.  In my opinion, nothing is learned in this lesson we didn’t already know.  We knew God’s plan.  We knew the deceptions Jacob and Rebekah do.  And we know the deceptions Christians (as all people-not just Christians) do today.  Wasted lesson in my opinion.

My time is valuable.  There’s so much in this world I don’t have time for.  And redundant study of a passage is something I don’t have patience for.  A year-long bible study in this society is a huge commitment.  And if indeed this lesson is just to stretch it out I have qualms with that.  I’d rather end a week earlier.  I have no problems being done in April.

In my class, you can tell people are dropping out.  Not as many women are coming nor kids.  This happens every year at the end of the study from my observations.  And maybe lessons like this is part of the reason why.  Something BSF should consider as they are analyzing attendance and growth numbers.