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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 30

BSF Study Questions Lesson 30: Book of Genesis

Well, we made it. I usually just do one post for Lesson 30 since they are all personal questions. Plus, since I just lost my cat, I’m having a really hard time doing anything right now.

Day 1:

For me, I was impacted by how God can do anything he wants, from choosing who he wants to his punishments and consequences of sin. Unsure of his will for me. I just keep plugging along, hoping it is God’s will.

Day 2:

I always have loved Joseph. He faced so many challenges and struggles in his life, yet God had a plan to save the world (and us) through him. It’s one of the most hopeful stories in the Bible. If you can believe that God has a plan for your life and everything works together for your good, then life will be infintely easier.

Day 3:

I hate these questions. I don’t know. I always hope I’m a better person, but it’s truly hard to see that in my life.

Day 4:

Same as Day 3. I’m truly uncertain.

Day 5:

Keep on shining God’s light as best as I can as a flawed human. That’s all I can do.

Day 6:

Trust God.

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They DO Love Each Other!
joseph interprets cupbearer and baker's dreams www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 5: Genesis 40:9-23

Summary Genesis 40:9-23:

The cupbearer said in his dream he saw three branches on a vine. It budded, blossomed and ripened into grapes. Then he squeezed the three grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave it to him. Joseph told him that he would only be in jail for three days and then he will be restored to his position as chief cupbearer to Pharaoh and continue to put Pharaoh’s cup in Joseph’s hand. Joseph then asks the cupbearer to remember him with Pharaoh to help get him out of this prison since he is an innocent man.

The baker tells his dream to Joseph, saying he dreamed he had three baskets of bread on his head. The top basket has all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating the goods. Joseph tells that baker that in three days Pharaoh will behead the baker and hang him on a tree. The birds will eat his flesh.

Both dreams came to pass. The chief cupbearer was restored in three days, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, and the baker was hung. However, the cupbearer did not remember Joseph.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 5: Genesis 40:9-23

13) Joseph was honest in his assessment. He could have lied to the baker and said he would live, but he did not.

14) To remember him and mention him to Pharaoh so that he could go free since he has been wrongly imprisoned.

15) The cupbearer was restored his position. The baker was hung. Joseph was forgotten and stayed in jail.

16) Joseph still was in charge so he found comfort in his work. He knew God was with him. God has given him the correct interpretation of the dreams. He was still alive.

17) Taking it day-by-day. You get up and do all that you can do to keep going. You pray; you hope; you pray some more. That’s really all you can do.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 5: Genesis 40:9-23

So many time those who have helped others are forgotten when someone reaches success. Remember it’s not about glory here on earth; it’s about the glory in heaven you will receive for doing your good deeds. God remembers; that’s all that really matters.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 5: Genesis 40:9-23

God uses pictures that makes sense to the two men. Wine is made from grapes, which the chief cupbearer dealt in wine all the time.

Note that these are not far off dreams; both will happen in three days. This allows God to give Joseph immediate credibility.

Note how Joseph is working for his release. This shows us we have to take action, too, in what we want. God will help, but we must be active participants.

Joseph delivers the bad news along with the good news. How many of us want to know this as well and need to hear it? The message of judgment is just as important as the message of redemption.

We an assume that the baker was guilty of what he was accused of, while the cupbearer was not.

For Jesus, even a message of death can mean good news if you have accepted him as your Savior. Going to heaven is good news, indeed.

It was not Joseph’s time yet. He still must linger in prison. Preparation for greatness takes years to be molded. Having the patience is allow God to do His work is key.

God speaks to cubearer and baker in a dream www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

Summary of Genesis 40:1-8:

Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker offended Pharaoh and were put in the same prison as Joseph. Both men had a dream that they could not interpret. Joseph saw that they were sad and asked them why. They said they could not interpret their dreams, so Joseph told them God could and to tell them the dreams.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

11) Joseph noticed that they cupbearer and the baker were sad and asked them why. They said they could not interpret their dreams, so Joseph told them God could and to tell them the dreams. This shows that Joseph knew the men well enough to know when they were dejected and cared enough to ask and to offer help.

12) My family. Be more present with them, ask more questions, listen more.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

I’m wondering about the repeated phrases here I never noticed before: the repetition of their positions and the fact they were in prison. No word in the Bible is wasted, so there has to be some reason here.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 4: Genesis 40:1-8

The cupbearer was responsible for tasting all of the drink and food before Pharaoh ate it to make sure it was not poisonous. The baker cooked Pharaoh’s food. Scholars believe there was a plot against Pharaoh, and these two were accused. However, the cupbearer and the baker were in prison for God’s reasons and plans.

Note how Potiphar, who is the captain of the guard, assigned these men to Joseph. Potiphar probably believes Joseph is innocent as indicated by this action. (Genesis 39:1).

Here’s we see Joseph’s heart is like Jesus’s. He helps others and pays attention to their feelings. Most people would not have cared about the sadness of these two men. After all, they were all leading desperate lives as prisoners, so why care about others?

Joseph had a sincere desire to help these men feel better about their dreams. He knew God used dreams to foretell the future like the dreams God had given him.  (Genesis 37:5-11), Note how it’s God who knows. Joseph takes no credit for these dreams.

God Uses Dreams To Foretell the Future in the Bible

Fun Fact: The Bible records God speaking to almost twice as many nonbelievers as believers. God uses all people in His plans the world.

Not all dreams are prophetic (Ecclesiastes 5:35:7). and some are from false prophets (Deuteronomy 13:1-5Jeremiah 23:25-28).

We know God speaks to us in the Bible for sure. He can speak to us individually as well in other ways.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23

Summary Genesis 39: 19-23:

Joseph was sent to the prison where the king’s prisoners were held after Potiphar’s wife claimed he tried to seduce her. God does not abandon Joseph here either. God granted Joseph favor with the prison warden. Joseph was put in charge of all those held in prison and all the happenings there, allowing the warden the ability to not do anything either, like Potiphar.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23

7) God granted Joseph favor with the prison warden. Joseph was put in charge of all those held in prison and all the happenings there, allowing the warden the ability to not do anything either, like Potiphar.

8 ) God was with Joseph, and God gave Joseph success in everything he did and on those around Joseph. God uses us to bless others and uses our situation to do so, no matter how dreadful it is.

9a) See Genesis 50:20: “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Psalm 119:50: My comfort in my suffering is that your promise preserves my life.

John 16:33: Jesus has overcome the world. You can have peace in this world.

Romans 8:28-29: God works in all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

2 Corinthians 4:17: “Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

1 Peter 6-7: Your suffering, grief, and trials are so that your faith may be proved genuine, and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus is revealed.

and Revelation 21:4: The old order will pass away and so will grief, death, mourning, crying, or pain.

b) Our suffering grows our faith. We suffer because Jesus suffered. Suffering is only on this side of heaven. This is encouraging.

10) Wisdom, patience, waiting on God, depending on God, plus he had years of practice managing households and the jail so he was prepared to manage the country.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23

I love how God never leaves Joseph. However, I am also wondering because Joseph saw how he was blessed at Potiphar’s if he knew God would bless him wherever he went? Or, he expected it? Or, if you have that mindset that God will do great things always, life and trials would be infinitely easier.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 3: Genesis 39:19-23

Spurgeon noted that Joseph’s silence was eloquent, saying nothing when your reputation and character are at stake. This is a prime example of letting your actions speak for themselves.

Bible scholars believe Potiphar was angry at his wife because he probably knew this was a false accusation, but Potiphar was forced to punish Joseph because he was a slave and for his wife’s reputation. Now, Potiphar will have a lot more work to do himself without Joseph running his affairs.

We know this was God’s plan as always so Joseph could get in front of Pharaoh. Yet, it was an odd plan. Joseph could have gotten to be 2nd in command of Egypt without going to prison just from his reputation at Potiphar’s house. God’s plans and ways are not ours. Perhaps Joseph needed one more lesson along the way of rising and falling and being faithful throughout.

The Lord was with Joseph and blessed him all throughout his life  (Genesis 39:2; 3; 5; 21:23)

joseph is potiphar's slave www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 2: Genesis 39:1-18

Summary of Genesis 39:1-18:

Joseph was purchased by Potiphar who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, his captain of the guard. God was with Joseph, and he prospered. Potiphar noticed that God was with him and blessed him in everything he did, so he put Joseph in charge of his household. Potiphar was blessed as well because of Joseph and did not have to do anything except feed himself.

Potiphar’s wife wanted to have an affair with Joseph because he was handsome, but Joseph refused to sin against God in that way. She kept asking, and Joseph kept refusing. One day, she grabbed his cloak and asked him to sleep with her. He refused and fled, but she kept his cloak. Potiphar’s wife then claimed that Joseph tried to sleep with her, using his cloak as proof.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 2: Genesis 39:1-18

3a) God blessed Joseph in Potiphar’s house, and Potiphar noticed so he had Joseph be his attendant. He put Joseph in charge of his entire home, and God blessed Potiphar because of it, both in the house and the field. Potiphar did not have to worry about anything.

b) I see God’s work in my life every day, and as I seek, He reveals. I keep on, keeping-on, but I know He is working through me to accomplish His plans. As God has blessed Joseph, so he does all of us.

4a) Potiphar’s wife flat out asked/told Joseph to come to bed with him. When he refused, she kept pestering him, hoping to wear him down. She grabbed his cloak one day when no one else was around and asked again, but Joseph fled. She was so angry to be rejected that she made up a lie about him.

b) I like how Joseph fled from temptation and avoided her probably at all costs and avoided being alone with her. Joseph was also honest with her and did not lie. It’s best to avoid situations altogether where you could face temptation.

5) I’m currently not facing any major situations, but daily situations to do the right thing can be a challenge as well, especially when you think no one is looking or noticing. That is what I plan to pray about and work on. This might cost money, reputation, or embarrassment.

6) God always provides a way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13) and does not give us more than we can bear. Praying, staying close to God, and knowing He is good helps immensely.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 2: Genesis 39:1-18

Kudos to Joseph here for standing by his boss and by God, especially when it seems he was being battered by Potiphar’s wife to sleep with him. A lot of men give in to this, especially one in Joseph’s position who was a mere slave and this could have been seen as an order.

sun god ra www.atozmomm.comEnd Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 24, Day 2: Genesis 39:1-18

Potiphar’s name means devoted to the sun. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun god, Ra who was believed to have created the entire world. He was one of their central gods.

Bible scholars debate is Potiphar was a eunuch since many officials in ancient times were castrated so that they would forever be loyal to the king. There is no confirmation of this idea, however, in Potiphar’s case. If you are the captain of the guard of Pharaoh, you are a very important person. After all, you’re in charge of the Pharaoh’s security.

Note how God was with Potiphar from the beginning. Joseph could have been bought by anyone, including someone who would mistreat him. He was not. Joseph showed everyone that God existed through his actions. Even in our darkest hours (pretty sure going from the favored son of a rich man to a slave qualifies), God blesses and uses it for His good.

Odds are, Joseph’s brothers who put him here were probably not doing all that well.

Interestingly, God can bless our work and those we work with in the same way. This can include your home where you work as well.

Success Takes Time

Although this passage reads as such, Joseph did not become a success overnight. Working backwards with the timeframe, Joseph was sold into slavery at age 17 (Genesis 37:2). We are told he was 30 when Pharaoh promoted him (Genesis 41:46), and we know Joseph was imprisoned for two years before this (Genesis 41:1). Thus, it took Joseph 11 years to work his way up to be Potiphar’s right-hand man. Oftentimes, we are not patient enough to let God work in our lives. This is still quite young, even in our day, to rise to such fame.

We can also assume that Joseph worked hard to earn this position, and he was obviously good at it.

Fun Fact: The writers of the Bible only record two other men as being handsome:

  1. David (1 Samuel 16:12) and
  2. Absalom (2 Samuel 14:25).
  3. Some Bible scholars say Moses, but Moses was called beautiful as a child (Exodus 2:2), which, as all of us parents know, all babies are beautiful!

If Potiphar was indeed a eunuch, Potiphar’s wife may have been seeking sexual intimacy then with other men. Remember, ancient cultures often saw marriage as more of an open relationship, and affairs were very common and sometimes even acceptable. Perhaps Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph’s looks or to the challenge of bagging him. No one knows her motivations. We are only told her actions here.

Joseph Resists Temptation

Since we all know that Joseph was in Potiphar’s house for 11 years, this could have been going on that entire time. If you think of it in that way, then you can understand that one day Joseph’s refusal would anger Potiphar’s wife enough that she would take her revenge. Yet, Joseph stand firm, knowing he would sin against God and his master if he slept with her.

Note that Potiphar’s wife blamed her husband for bringing Joseph into the house. Note how this sin began in the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed God for the first sin because God made Eve (even though he wanted a companion). (Genesis 3:12-13) This sin of blaming others has been around since the beginning of time.

Many people in the Bible could not resist temptation (Abrah, Moses, David, Joh, Peter, Solomon, and, of course, Adam and Eve). Joseph and Daniel did.

Bible scholars believe Potiphar’s wife planned to get Joseph alone, hoping to finally seduce him with no one looking. Instead, Joseph flees sin once again, as we are commanded to do 2 Timothy 2:22.

She lies, knowing Joseph would be put to death. Yet, for someone who wants to sleep with him, she doesn’t seem to care. We are not told if Joseph defended himself. However, it would not matter. Joseph was a slave. His life didn’t matter. Still, Joseph trusted all things would work together for his good.(Romans 8:28).

dinah is raped by shechem genesis 34 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

Summary of Genesis 34:1-12:

Dinah, daughter of Jacob, decided to go visit the women of the land (unsure why).  Shechem, the son of the ruler of the area, Hamor, took her and raped her. He fell in love with her. Jacob and his sons were angry over this. Hamor asked Jacob for Dinah’s hand in marriage for his son, Shechem, and invited them to intermarry with them, trade, and own property in the land.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

3) “They were filled with grief and fury.” Who wouldn’t be angry that their sister had been raped? Plus, Dinah would not be able to marry not being a virgin in that time.

4a) Shechem wanted to marry Dinah. Hamor offered Jacob and his family to settle among them, marry their daughters, live in the land, trade in it, and own property.

b) God’s people were called to not intermarry with the pagan cultures around them because then they will turn away from God to other gods.

5a) All cruelty bothers me.

b) Definitely pray about it. It can be overwhelming the sheer amount of evil in the world, but knowing God’s god it gives me peace. Help those I can.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

Unsure why Dinah went to town in the first place, and it sounds like she went by herself so she violated that rule/culture at the time. Now, they had little choice but to let Dinah get married.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

map of Shechem www.atozmomm.com Genesis 34This story is used to prove the verity of the Bible. After all, who would record such evil deeds except God?

God had called Jacob to Bethel (Genesis 31:13), not Shechem. Inevitably, when you disobey God, bad things can happen.

It falls on Jacob for allowing Dinah to go unsupervised to the city. Yet, nothing is mentioned of that fact. In those times, it seems unsupervised women were raped. Dinah, as a teen, did rebellious things that have consequences as most teenagers do.

Was it love since Shechem raped Dinah? This was probably more a desire to have something more so than love.

Jacob’s sons are more angry than Jacob himself it seems. Jacob should have done something. Instead, the sons felt obligated to, and their choice was infinitely worse without guidance from the head of the family. In ancient times, however, the revenge of the brothers was commonplace.

The marriage proposal threatened God’s plan for all of humanity. God did not want intermarriage of his people, wanting them distinct from other cultures. The fix proposed by Shechem was not a fix at all. It would set a dangerous precedent.

They thought money could erase what happened. Imagine how Dinah felt. Being raped is one of the most vile crimes on this planet, leaving a lifetime full of sorrow and pain. Dinah probably wanted nothing to do with Shechem.

jacob flees on camels home www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Summary of Genesis 31:

Laban’s sons were jealous of Jacob’s wealth. The Lord told Jacob it was time to return to his homeland. Jacob called Rachel and Leah to him and told them how he has worked for Laban despite the wages being constantly changed but God has been with him and has blessed him with their father’s livestock.

Jacob recounts a dream where God acknowledged Laban’s treachery and told Jacob to leave for home at once.  Rachel and Leah agree and say all Jacob has gained from their father should be theirs anyways as an inheritance.  Jacob and his family left Paddan Aram along with all of his livestock and goods for Canaan.  Rachel stole all of her father’s household gods and Jacob left without telling Laban.  They crossed the Euphrates.

Laban found out after three days that Jacob had fled.  He pursued him and caught up with him in Gilead.  God came to Laban in a dream, warning him not to speak to Jacob. Laban, in his infinite wisdom, speaks to Jacob anyways, and asks him why he had fled without saying good bye and why he has stolen the idols.

Jacob replies that he was afraid Laban would take his daughters from him (can’t blame him here) and that if someone has stolen the idols, may they die.

Laban searched and found nothing for Rachel was sitting on them and said she was having her period so she couldn’t stand to greet him.  Laban found nothing.

Jacob is mad at Laban for accusing him of stealing.  He points out how he has worked 20 years for him, 14 for his daughters and 6 for his flocks even though Laban has changed his wages on him 10 times, and God Himself even rebuked Laban for his behavior.

So Laban and Jacob made a covenant, asking Jacob not to mistreat his daughters or take any more wives and neither will cross the other’s “side” to harm each other.  They offered a sacrifice, spent the night, and the next day Laban bid his daughters farewell and left.

Summary of Hebrews 12:3-15:

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. Make every effort to live in peace and be holy; without holiness, no one sees the Lord. Do not be bitter.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

11) Jacob had noticed that Laban’s sons believed he had stolen Laban’s wealth, and Laban’s attitude towards Jacob had changed, too. But it was God who told Jacob to return.

12a) ) Verse 7 “God has not allowed him (Laban) to harm me.” verse 9 “God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.” Verse 11-13 “I am the God of Bethel” and God made the animals born spotted. verse 42 “If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you (Laban) would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” They made a covenant together that resolved the bitterness.

b) Pray and thank God.

13) Verse 3 “And I will be with you.” Verse 42: But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you. It encourages me that all my work is worth it, and God is with me.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

Unsure whey we read Hebrews here since we weren’t asked about it. Rachel is most definitely smart in hiding the idols. However, taking them? Not so smart. She has God. She needs nothing else.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 5: Genesis 31 and Hebrews 12:3-15

pretty landscape www.atozmomm.com

Just as Rachel is jealous of Leah, Laban’s sons are jealous of Jacob’s wealth. Love does not envy  (1 Corinthians 13:4). Envy is bad; it killed Jesus. (Matthew 27:18).

God is nudging Jacob back home (Genesis 30:25) and encouraging him, too.

God reminds Jacob of his Bethel (Genesis 28:10), where God has spurred him on to find Rachel. It’s good for all of us to remember times and places where God has shown up. This strengthens us and encourages us in times we feel God is far away.

It was important for Jacob to have the support of his wives. After all, they would be leaving their family for the first time ever, taking their kids with them, to an unknown land. Both women agreed for once and were ready to help in any way they could.

One cool detail you might have missed is that Jacob’s entire family road camels. This is like saying everyone drove their own car here in the US. It’s a sign of Jacob’s immense wealth.

Jacob snuck away when he did not need to. God had already told him to go. It’s evident he would be protected. Perhaps Jacob is so mad at Laban at this point he just wanted to leave.

Rachel Steals her Father’s Idols

We are not told why Rachel stole the idols. Obviously, you should not steal, especially from your mother and father (she broke two of God’s ten commandments here yet to be given to Moses). Scholars debate the reasons:

  • She herself secretly worshipped these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to worship these idols
  • She didn’t want her father to catch them through divination
  • Idols were traditionally used as deeds to property
  • She didn’t like her father, so she took something of his to anger him
  • She wanted protection on the long journey

The reason didn’t matter. She stole; this is wrong.

They left Paddan Aram and Haran for Gilead, which is about 300 miles away and close to the sea of Galilee. Since it took 3 days for Laban to notice, the families must have lived a considerable distance away from one another. Note that God cautions Laban to deal fairly with Jacob. Laban was probably angry and did intend to harm him. God’s warning meant “you touch him and you will pay.”

may of jacob's flight from laban www.atozmomm.com

Jacob and Home

Jacob is close to home when Laban catches up. It took Laban 7 days to catch up to Jacob who is now near the Jordan River and very close to home. Laban tried to shame him with a celebration and a chance to say good bye to his family. He threatens harm as well. Jacob fervently denies he stole the idols, not knowing Rachel had.

Jacob let Laban have it, citing all he had done for him in 20 years and showing him how ungrateful he was being. He was angry over it all, maybe even remembering the trickery of Leah. He helped Laban. Jacob replaced any lost animal of Laban’s with his own and tells him that God sent him away.

Note that Jacob does not claim God as his own, only Abraham and Isaac’s.

Mizpah meant God is watching and He will repay you if you sin. Laban still claims everything is his, but says he’ll let Jacob have it. The pillar was a sign of their separation. It appears they still left with much animosity between them. From here on out, Jacob’s family will be separated from everyone else.

Laban will never see his daughters or grandchildren again. He now disappears from Bible history, presumably returning home and living out his life as he always had. The separation between Laban and Jacob had to happen. Like this example shows us, it is not always pretty.

leah and rachel have more kids genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Summary of Genesis 30:14-24:

Reuben gathered mandrakes for Leah. Rachel asked for some and Leah refused. Rachel told Leah she could sleep with Jacob then that night in exchange for mandraks. Jacob slept with Leah and she had another son named Issachar, meaning “reward.” Zebulon, meaning “honor” was born to Leah next. She also had a daughter named Dinah. God listened to Rachel and gave her a son as well named Joseph, meaning “may he add.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

6) We are not told this. This is speculation. As the head of the household, Jacob could end all of this mess at any point. He is weak and does not. I have no empathy for him. The kids we do not know. They are obviously impacted by their respective mother’s strained relationships, but we are not told how. Probably sibling rivalry and jealousy, but that’s common in every household tody.

7a) God listened and opened her womb.

b) God is in control and sovereign.

8 ) I learned early on to depend on God because humans in my life have let me down so often. As my husband starts a new career, we all are depending on God to help make up the shortfall in income.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

We see the desperation of both women here. Leah is still desperate for Jacob to love her, and Rachel is desperate for children. God is the only one we should be desperate for. He is our everything. In Him lies the answers to everything we seek.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 3: Genesis 30:14-24

Leviticus 18:18  woudl forbide the marrying of sisters. The Israelites will finally learn here that this is not a good idea.

The mandrake (called love apple in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Bible here and in Song of Songs 7:13. It is common in Israel and often grows as a weed. It is a member of the nightshade family, which contains the tobacco plant, as well as common vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes. It resembles a human so it was regarded with superstition in ancient times. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to promote fertility, which is why Rachel was willing to trade time with her husband for it. While the mandrake is common in Israel, it is rare in Paddan-Aram where they lived. This shows that both women are relying on a superstitious plant to solve their problems, rather than turning to God.

mandrake plant in bible www.atozmomm.com

We can gather from the text that Jacob had not been sleeping with Leah all that much since she accuses Rachel of stealing her husband. Rachel uses or prostitutes Jacob to get what she wants here. Both are trading sex and love, which should never be done. God is soveign though here again. He gives both women children, the one who gave the mandrake and the one who bargained for them, too.

The Bible warns of believing superstitions in our life. (Ex. 22:18Rev. 22:15)  Do you have any superstitions?

Issachar adn Zebulun are sons nine and ten for Jacob. Leah was done having children at this point.

God is often credited (rightly so) as opening and closing wombs in Old Testament times (Genesis 25:21), (Genesis 29:31), (1 Samuel 1:5).

Finally, Joseph is born to Rachel, Jacob’s 11th son.

jacob worshipped god at bethel www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

Summary of Genesis 28:16-22:

Jacob awakes the next day, declaring that this place is the house of God. He poured oil on top of the stone he was sleeping on and called the place Bethel, which means House of God. Jacob vows the Lord will be his God if God is with him and watches over him and gives him food and clothes so that he can return safely home. He declares he will give God a tenth as well.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

12) It’s as if Jacob finally realized that God is with him here. I don’t like how it seems like God will be God to Jacob only if God is with him and watches over him and gives him food and clothes so that he can return safely home. It seems like Jacob’s promise is conditional; whereas, God’s promises are not.

13) Every day.

14) Just to trust that I am where I need to be at this time in my life and doing what He wants me to do even though I’d like to be doing something else.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

I like how Jacob has completely changed after this encounter with God. So it is for Christians, but we need to hold onto that when life does get us down.

map of jacob fleeing to haran www.atozmomm.com genesis 28

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 18, Day 5: Genesis 28:16-22

Fun Fact: Bethel is mentioned more times in the Old Testament than any other place except Jerusalem.

God grasps its significance to Jacob by calling himself the God of Bethel. (Genesis 31:13).

Other places we see Bethel in the Bible: (1 Kings 13:32Hosea 10:15Amos 4:4).

God is everywhere, not just one place.

You can translate this as “Since God is will be with me.” However, most Bible scholars believe if is accurate. Jacob is still not confident God will be with him, which is why he puts condition on God being His God. He had to see God do what he said he would before he would believe. Sadly, many are like this instead of just believing God. (Philippians 4:19) (Nahum 1:7).

Laban will help teach Jacob submission.

God did not back down from His promises despite Jacob’s response. He still is the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:6).

God’s promises were not good enough for Jacob. Are His promises good enough for you?