- When God is with you, others can see it. (This was true in Isaac’s life. I’m not sure others are always able to see it. Sometimes, only the discerning know. In Isaac’s case, perhaps the Lord opened the eyes of Abimelech or made it obvious – the hundredfold harvest during a famine – so they would leave him alone. During the recent famine in our country – aka recession – the Lord has sustained us miraculously. While it is ‘probably’ not obvious to others, we are well aware that we were forewarned this time was coming. We had no idea it would last this long, but it has been remarkable how we have seen the Lord provide.)
- Even when God has given you a promise, we should still pray. (She said “ask” but I think you can also thank God and confess that His word does not return void, that He is faithful, that He desires to give us a future and a hope, that His goodness and love never fail….”
- Once again, the promise came through miraculous conception.
- Don’t internalize outward pressures, they will lead to ungodly actions i.e. run to Egypt, drugs, denial, work, food, shopping, etc.
- Remember we can’t run away from trials. God will see to it that we learn the lesson of faith. Lean on Him until the test is over.
- Our faith must be our own. Our parents cannot bequeath their faith to us.
- Even though the marriage started out so well, Isaac and Rebekah grew apart, chose sides, and schemed against each other. They no longer trusted each other.
- Don’t resort to sin or trickery to get God’s promise. Wait on the Lord.
- Isaac eventually came around and put his plotting in the past.
- Isaac is ultimately counted faithful. (Hebrew 11:20)
2. a. Even though Isaac had a lapse (saying Rebekah was his sister), the direction of his life was toward God. When God said not to go to Egypt, Isaac obeyed. Conventional wisdom said they would starve if they stayed where they were. Isaac even planted crops and God blessed him with a hundredfold harvest. Staying and planting a crop was a bold step of faith. Isaac was rewarded “beyond his expectations.”
b. It encourages me because we are currently taking a bold step of faith.
c. The delay in having children was a time of testing, of learning to trust God. God was waiting for Isaac to call out to Him so all would see it was God who fulfilled His promise.
d. From what is recorded in the scriptural account, I learn to ask God right away rather than wait 20 years. I also learn that even though God made a promise, there is some responsibility on my part.
- Two nations – Israel and Edom
- Two peoples will be separated – Israelites and Edomites – Esau and his descendants lived in Mount Seir. Jacob went to Padam-Aram to get a wife and stayed there 20 years. He returned to Shechem in Canaan.
- One will be stronger than the other – Isaac said to Esau, “I have made [Jacob] your lord and master” Genesis 27:37
- The older will serve the younger – Esau sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob. When Jacob later returned with his large family and herds, Esau did bow down to him.
5. a. Esau became a skillful hunter and a man of the open country. Isaac had a taste for wild game.
b. I think God found the basis of Isaac’s preference for Esau superficial and carnal. God did not approve of Jacob’s obvious preference for Rachel so it is safe to assume that God did not approve of Isaac’s favoritism with his sons. It showed immaturity on his part.
c. Isaac and Rebekah could have confessed their weakness to God and to each other, realized their God-given responsibility to teach each of their son’s about their heritage, and worked to bring their family together. We don’t know if they were at times convicted about this nor do we know if they brought it to each others’ attention. It seems likely they would have. We often don’t do what we know we should.
d. Personal – My sons have an emotionally immature father who not only shows favoritism out of preference, but as a means of control. I attempted to talk to him about it, but he refused to see it or change his behavior. I pray and cry out to God about it. I mostly try to help my sons see it is their dad’s problem and not to take it to heart. The son who was most persecuted over the years, takes it the hardest.
- Double portion of all that the father has.
- He is the patriarch with dominion over the rest of the family.
- The receiver of the law, receiver of promises, and the lineage of Christ.
- Those who curse him will be cursed, and those who bless him will be blessed.
7. a. No, Jacob pushed Esau, but Esau gave it up willingly. Jacob was an opportunist if nothing else. Perhaps, this was premeditated.
b. Probably not, but it must have smelled really good,
c. so Esau’s appetite got the better of him. Compare with Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness following His 40 day fast.
d. We should never let our fleshly appetites push us into making a wrong decision.
8. a. Jacob likely knew about the explanation the Lord gave his mother about why the twins were jostling each other so much. He said that the older would serve the younger.
b. Because he was God’s choice. God saw their hearts. Jacob was trying to follow the promise even though he took matters into his own hands rather than relying on God. Esau seemed spiritually clueless concerning his heritage.
c. Jacob believed the promise, but took matters into his own hands when it seemed his own father would not follow what the Lord said to Rebekah.
9. a. We, as believers, often ignore that we are joint heirs with Jesus, and do little to cultivate our friendship with Him. He loves us with an everlasting love, yet we live as though we are little orphan children, complaining like the Israelites in the wilderness. He has brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light, yet we grope and trip through life.
b. Personal—Too many moments and days and weeks and years like question 9.a.
10. Spiritual advantages that belong to Jacob and his descendants:
- adoption as sons
- the divine glory
- the covenants
- the receiving of the law
- the temple worship
- the promises
- the patriarchs
- the human ancestry of Christ
a. Genesis 28:6-7 Jacob was obedient to his father and mother by going to Paddan-Aram to find a wife.
b. Genesis 28:21-22 Jacob declared that the Lord would be his God; he set up a stone as a pillar and declared it to be God’s house; he swore all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
c. Genesis 29:20 Patient, loving, industrious, humble
d. Genesis 31:5,7,9,38-42 Jacob gave God the glory for protecting him, blessing him, and prospering him rather than patting himself on the back.
e. Genesis 32:9-12 Jacob humbly sought the Lord, acknowledging his heritage and the promises already fulfilled. He then asked the Lord for protection from Esau as he set out to return to Canaan in obedience to the Lord’s command.
12. a. Faith
b. God called Jacob His own, His chosen, redeemed, called him by name, His treasured possession, and promised he would not be overcome by water or fire. Isaiah 45:4 For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have called you by your name. I have surnamed you, though you have not known Me. (AMP)
13. Esau showed indifference to God’s command by despising his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew and by marrying two Hittite women. When he realized his parents asked Jacob to get a wife from their relatives in Paddan Aram, he went to Ishmael’s family to get another wife. Clueless.
14. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. Matthew 6:33 AMP
I am a BSF student – a work in progress – not a theologian.
Comments are welcome and encouraged.