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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).

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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.”

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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.

jacob uses selective breeding for spots genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

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 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.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Summary of Genesis 30:1-13:

Rachel gets mad at Jacob, blaming him because she has had no children. Jacob rightly tells her that it is God, not he, that is preventing her from having children. So Rachel gave Jacob her servant, Bilhah, to have kids for her. Bilhah had Dan, which means “he has vindicated.” Bilhah had another son by Jacob named Naphtali, meaning “my struggle.” Leah, seeing what Rachel did, gave Jacob her maidservant, Zilpah, to bear kids for her. Zilpah bore Gad, meaning “good fortune, or a troop,” and Asher, meaning “happy.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

3a) Rachel says she’s jealous of Leah and angry. The names mean, “he has vindicated” and “my struggle” shows Rachel’s pain at not having children. Leah is just being petty and jealous too with Zilpah. She already had 4 kids; she does not need more. Pretty sure Leah and Rachel did not talk to each other and probably pretended the other didn’t exist, sad as sisters.

b) It’s human to be zealous of others. We all can relate, especially those who have struggled to have kids. Prayer truly is all that fixes it.

4a) He rightly corrected her, telling her God was in charge. Yet, he wrongly went along with her plan. No one learns in OT times, it seems.

b) Not slept with the maidservants and prayed to God instead.

5a) Pray about it. Pray about your feelings towards that person. Pray for that person. Love that person despite the pain or hurt. Pray to forgive them. Pray for God to solve the problem.

b) God is with you. God answers prayers, even when He doesn’t answer them, that is His answer. Have faith God knows what He is doing.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Noticed Jacob didn’t protest any of this nonsense, especially Leah’s request. She already had kids. She was being petty here. No one learned from Abraham here. You could argue Jacob was a typical man here. Who turns down an offer of free sex? Since there is no mention of Jacob’s protest, this seems likely.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Note that these are the first words recorded in the Bible that Rachel uttered, showing the depth of her despair: “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob seems unsympathetic to Rachel’s plight here, probably due to the culture at the time. Still, we saw in Genesis 25 how Isaac prayed for Rebekah to have a child. What would have happened if Jacob had done the same instead of answered with “that’s your problem”? Would God have answered and no maid servants would have been needed?

Scholars debate if the surrogate (Bilpah) was sitting on the lap of the adoptive mother during conception and birth. There is no proof that this custom was followed or practiced. Some believe the child was merely placed n the knees of the one who adopted the child.

In the competition between the two women, Jacob’s 5th son was born, Dan, and his 6th, Naphtali. Rachel felt somewhat vindicted now, as Dan’s name implies.

Leah ups the ante in this petty competition by providing her maidservant, Zilpah. Jacob’s 7th and 8th sons are born, Gad and Asher, respectively.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

Summary of Genesis 27:1-13:

Isaac tells Esau to go and bring him a stew of the tasty wild game meat that he likes so that he can give him his blessing before he dies. Rebekah overhears Jacob tell Esau this, so she tells Jacob to bring her two of the choicest young goats so she can prepare him a meal just as he likes it. Then take it to him so that Jacob can receive the blessing instead. Jacob says he is not hairy like Esau, but Rebekah says the curse will fall on her if Jacob realizes he has been tricked.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

3) Isaac wanted some good game meat to satisfy his hunger. Jacob, Esau, and Rebekah all wanted the spiritual blessing of Isaac.

4) Rebekah made sure that Jacob did receive the blessing as God intended. Isaac wanted his son, Esau, to receive the blessing instead and fully intended to bless Esau and not Jacob as God has revealed.

5) I think most of the time Christians mean to do good, but end up using trickery to do so with good intentions. However, sin and selfishness drive us so people can mean good for them and not others.

6) I think they could have talked this through. Rebekah could have talked to Jacob’s about God’s prophetic words to her, and they arrange to give the blessing to Jacob as planned without trickery involved. Jacob did this on the sly, meaning he was hoping no one found out about it. I would think this would be a big ceremony back in that time. Communication was definitely lacking here as each tried to achieve their own desires. I can improve in that as well.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

I had forgotten Rebekah’s involvement in the blessing. On one hand, you see the good intentions of a parent who only wants the best for her children. Yet, you see favoritism here as well. You see Rebekah though ensuring God’s words came true, too. You see Jacob driven by the physical need for food and his desire for Esau to have the blessing even though he knew God’s words. It’s interesting how we are constantly trying to help God out when He needs no help at all. We only end up making a muck of things.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 17, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-13

Martin Luther calculated Isaac’s age to be 137 during this time. Isaac lived to be 180 (Genesis 35:28), so he was not as near to death at he thought.

Since Isaac was giving Esau the blessing in secret, he knew what he was doing was wrong. Usually, there would have been a celebration and a feast of the passing of the torch. Yet, Isaac tried to scheme against God anyways. He also asked for food first instead of just giving Esau the blessing in the first place. It’s as if Esau had to work to be blessed by God. Instead of giving the gift of his own free will, there’s a condition attached. Luckily, all mankind has to do is believe in Jesus. One and done.

Rebekah knew her food would taste the same to Isaac. Rebekah was wrong to help God out here. She did not trust God to do His will; she thought he needed help. She was also wrong to lead her son into sin.

Jacob willingly went along with Rebekah’s plan, living up to his name, which means trickster. He was concerned about getting caught, not if he was right or wrong.

Esau knew the blessing was not his because he had sold it to Jacob, so he was eager when Isaac offered it. Everyone in this scene is acting for their own interest. Yet, only God can bestow a blessing. In reality, all of this was meaningless.

isaac builds wells genesis 26 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

Summary of Genesis 26:

A famine came into the land, and Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines in Gerar (different guy than Abraham’s Abimelech.  Remember, Abimelech is the name they give to rulers).  The Lord appeared to Isaac and told him to not go to Egypt but to stay here. He will bless him and give all this land to his descendants. He repeats the oath He gave to Abraham. He will bless all nations because Abraham was faithful and his descendants will be as numerous as the stars.

Isaac, however, lied who Rebekah was, saying she was his sister just like Abraham had done in Egypt out of fear of being killed.  But Isaac got caught in his lie and was chastised by Abimelech who orders no one to touch or molest Isaac or Rebekah.

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, both of whom were Hittites, and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

12) The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” God was protecting Isaac and his family, as well as strengthening their faith.

13) Almost exactly the same. There was a famine in the land, and instead of praying for God’s guidance, they go to local kings for help instead of the One, True King. He told the men his wife was his sister like Abraham did. Yet God blesses Isaac as well with wealth despite his lie. He got into a water dispute with the locals after Abimelech kicked him out of Philistine. He built an altar for God there. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham, afraid of God’s power.

14) Personal Questions. My answer: Tell them to seek God instead. That’s all you can do. Some people have to learn by experience.

15) He made a treaty with them, and he left when he was told to leave. He tried not to quarrel over wells and left them until he dug one that had no quarrel over it. Always try to compromise and avoid conflict with your neighbors.

16) To teach them lessons, to grow their faith in Him, to appreciate the good times, to grow them as humans.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

I had not seen the close parallels of this story before. So eerily similar. It just goes to show that no matter how good of a parent you are or try to be, your kids wil do what they want to do.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26

We see here Isaac facing almost the exact same challenges that Abraham faced, and we see that Isaac responds in almost the exact same way. We’ve saw Gerar in Genesis 20:1-18). where Abraham met a different Abimelech. Isaac begins to travel to Egypt to escape the famine, but this time God stops him before he gets there. God does not want Isaac to leave the Promised Land. He promised Isaac the same things he promised Abraham:

  • The Promised Land
  • A nation to come forth
  • Blessings

Isaac stops in Gerar but tells the same lie his father did, saying Rebekah was his sister. Isaac is caught in this lie, and chastized, just like his father was for his behavior (Genesis 12:18-19) (Genesis 20:10)

map of gerar and beersheba www.atozmomm.com

God protects Isaac and Rebekah anyways.

Isaac prospered, worrying his neighbors who then stopped up all the wells and told Isaac to leave.

Isaac digs new wells, confident God will bless him. Water is life in the desert, as Jesus is our living waters

Remember names in the Bible have meaning. Esek means dispute. Sitnah means opposition. Rehoboth means room. Now Isaac has room to not have disputes.

Isaac returns to Beersheba, right where God wants him.

Fun fact: This is the first time God appears to Isaac in the Bible.

We see another past play when Isaac’s neighbors approach him for peace out of the fear of God, who is with Isaac, just like we saw with Abraham. Isaac forgives Abimelech for being kicked out of his lands and makes a treaty.

Shibah means oath of seven and Beersheba means well of the oath or well of seven.

Here, Esau is briefly mentioned as he marries two women who are Canaanites which is against God’s wishes and commands. (Genesis 24:3-4).

esau and jacob www.atozmomm.com bsf genesis study

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 4: Genesis 25:27-34

Summary of Genesis 25:27-34:

Esau grew into a skilled hunter, while Jacob grew into a quiet man, prefering to stay around the tents. Isaac loved Esau; Rebekah loved Jacob. One day, Esau returned and wanted some stew that Jacob was serving. He called it red stew, which is why he was also called Edom, which means red. Jacob told him he would have to sell him his birthright for stew. Esau didn’t care and agreed. He ate and left, despising his birthright.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 4: Genesis 25:27-34

9) Esau grew into a skilled hunter, while Jacob grew into a quiet man, prefering to stay around the tents. They are both Isaac and Rebekah’s sons.

10a) Genesis 27:29 is Jacob receiving Isaac’s blessing, which in this case for birthright, is nations and people serving him and lord over your brothers. It also has those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed. Deuteronomy 21:15-17 explains that the right of the firstborn no matter the preference of feelings receives a double share of all he has, as the son is a sign of the father’s strength.  Great explanation of birthright HERE

We have inherited “birthright” status through Jesus Christ as the firstborn Son of God (Romans 8:29Colossians 1:15Revelation 1:5)

b) He sold the birthright because he was hungry and on impulse. He didn’t care; he only wanted food. He let temporary wants override eternal needs and desires. We can’t let things interfer that are temporary here on earth with eternity in heaven.

11) We see here God’s will be done as Jacob receives Isaac’s blessing despite being the second born. We see Esau make a dumb decision that affects the rest of his life. We must always be vigilant, prayerful, and seeking of God’s will before we make decisions.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 4: Genesis 25:27-34

Like Moses being banned from the Promised Land over one decision, so, too, we see Esau sell his birthright. It seems harsh to us, but we ourselves should know that every decision we make has consequences, most, thankfully are not as severe if we choose poorly. Pray always first, and trust God for the rest.

End Note BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 4: Genesis 25:27-34

We should note that Esau acted impulsively, Jacob, too, was being a scoundrel, taking advantage of his brother and asking for the birthright when it was not his. Interestingly, Martin Luther himself pointed out that the birthright was already Jacob’s because of what God told Rebekah. Jacob had to have know this, as too did Esau. Essentially, this deal was invalid then.

Here, there was much more at stake because the birthright also came with God’s covenant to make that person into a great nation with land and bring forth the Messiah.

We see Jacob’s character as he attempted to take what God had already given him. We see his heart here. This is funny to me because God already said who was chosen. It would have been better if both brothers had just accepted that.

Neither men here were acting Godly at all.

Christians have a birthright to heaven and God via Jesus. Yet, look at how many thumb their nose at this. Ephesians 1:3-14

  • We are blessed to be in God’s family
  • We are forgiven for our sins.
  • We receive God’s grace and mercy.
  • We receive eternity in heaven with God.
  • We receive the Holy Spirit
  • We have life

The writer of Hebrews tells us more of Esau Hebrews 12:16 which shows God’s wisdom in choosing Jacob.

christmas sleigh www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

Summary of Genesis 25:19-26:

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.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

6) Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife. The Lord answered. Rebekah inquired of the Lord as well about why her pregnancy was so difficult. The Lord answered her. Both went to God for answers and did not make assumptions. Both continually seek God.

7) Personal Question. My answer: I believe I’m right where God puts me every time. I am waiting on Him to move, and I follow. This has been the story of my life since I was little. He doesn’t necessarily speak, but I take one day at a time to what He brings me.

8 ) “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

It seems that Isaac and Rebekah have a very strong marriage (at least at this point) that points toward God. Great example of going to God with all of your questions. I love how Isaac prays for his wife. Great, indeed!

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 3: Genesis 25:19-26

Note that nothing comes easy, even to the chosen ones. Isaac and Rebekah had to wait as well for children. This should be encouragement for all couples waiting on a baby. Note too they did not use a suroagate as Abraham did

Esau and Jacob will be Isaac and Rebekah’s only children. Two nations will come from them. Edom from Esau and Israel from Jacob.

Note how God can do anything He wants, including go against tradition and choose the second-born, Jacob, as His chosen one. Paul notes God’s sovereignty as well. Romans 9:10-13,

Note that God’s choices are not haphazard or random; everything God does is with purpose and has a plan. We just can’t see it. It is our job to trust, God’s to orchestrate.

The detail of Jacob being born holding on to Esau’s heel should not be lost on us. It actually was not a compliment back in ancient times and actually had a connotation of trickster, which as most of us know, Jacob is when he receives the blessing over Esau as we’ll see coming up. We must remember that no word in the Bible is wasted.

silent night www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

Summary of Genesis 25:1-18:

Abraham took another wife named Keturah and had more kids. He left everything he owned to Isaac but gave gifts to his other sons and sent them away to the land of the east. Abraham lived 175 years and was buried with Sarah in the cave he bought from the Hittites by Isaac and Ishmael. God blessed Isaac who settled near Beer Lahai Roi.

Ishmael had 12 sons who became 12 tribal rulers. He lived to be 137 years old. His descendants settled near Egypt from Havilah to Shur as you go towards Asshur. They lived in hostility towards their brothers.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

3) Abraham sent all of his other sons away from Isaac, making it clear who would inherit his lands. He gave gifts to the rest of his sons.

4) God blessed his son Isaac. God told Abraham in Genesis 15:15 that he would go to his fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. Genesis 21:11-13 says God will make Isaac into a nation. Genesis 24:7 says that a wife will be got for Isaac so that he can have sons and his descendents will inherit the land.

5) Personal Question. My answer: I learn that God keeps His promises no matter how much we sin or mess up. That God is faithful and repeats His promises to us. That God is good. And that despite our failures, His plans never alter.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

I was surprised to see Abraham marry again. I don’t remember this the last time I read Genesis. It seems like his other kids are told to go away, which is why I’m wondering why even marry again, knowing Isaac is the promised one beside for companionship. It just seems terrible to be Abraham’s other sons, second always to God’s promised one.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 2: Genesis 25:1-18

In total, Abraham had 8 sons, and it’s very easy to forget this since the six by his second wife, Keturah, are hardly mentioned. However, these sons would from tribes of their own, perhaps the most famous in the Bible being the Midianites from Midian.

Some scholars use this passage to say it was Sarah that was the one with fertility problems. I disagree. God can open and close wombs as He chooses. His plan was to test Abraham and Sarah’s faith so He closed Sarah’s womb, not anything else.

We see God’s work be passed on from generation to generation as we read about Abraham’s death.

Fun Fact: Abraham is mentioned 70 times by the writers of the New Testament, the most out of any other OT person except Moses.

Fun Fact: We see here for the first time “breathed his last” to refer to death and “gathered to his people” to mean joining loved ones in heaven

We see that Ishmael continued to receive God’s blessing as well. The Old Testament usually lists the non-messianic line first and then the messianic line last, which we see here in Ishmael’s listing.

Beer Lahai Roi in the Bible: Click HERE

map of beer-lahai-roi www.atozmomm.com