Study of Genesis 32-33
1. Lecture notes
So many good points and reminders in the lecture;
- Imagine a pie chart of your time – How much of it is spent trying to accomplish things in our own strength?
- Jacob life is the story of sanctification – the process of making us holy – setting us apart in our thinking and acting.
- Less of Jacob’s plans and strength and more of God’s
- Bethel was the place where Jacob first saw God face to face. That can be equated to salvation.
- In 31:13 God called Bethel the house (camp) of God.
- Jesus is our intercessor
- Jacob is more focused on Esau’s promise than God’s promise. A guilty conscience combined with 400 men approaching = faith overwhelmed by fear.
- Jacob forgot the angels with him. We do the same – go right back to self-reliance, self preservation. We do the same – live by sight rather than by faith.
- We need to get alone with God rather than wait until we reach the end of ourselves. (She said “or God will get us there.”)
- AW Pink quote concerning the purpose of Jacob wrestling with God: to reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness; to teach us through Jacob’s life to recognize our weaknesses; to teach us in Christ alone we live and move and have our being.
- God always wins.
- Thank God for His patience with us and for His grace and mercy. He has not given up on us because of His unspeakable love.
- Jacob encounters Esau – limp, limp, bow…limp, limp, bow…God gave Jacob the limp as a reminder that God is with him. (?)
- Why do we think God cannot see any further than we can? (that’s a good quote right there!)
- God brought reconciliation.
- Jacob camped outside the city. 2 steps forward and another step backward. (My red flag went up when I read that, too. Remember Lot?)
- God gives power to meet daily situations. We wrestle with self-will vs submission.
- We should be a living testimony of resting in God.
2. Seven points in Jacob’s prayer:
- Praise (I thought praise was the missing element. He acknowledged that God was the God of his father and grandfather. Jacob knew God personally, but I didn’t think that really came across in his acknowledgement.)
- Remember – Jacob did remember God’s instructions and promises.
- Confess – He did confess his sin and unworthiness.
- Thank – Jacob thanked God for all of His blessings, despite his own unworthiness.
- Pray specifically
- Pour out your heart to God.
- Believe God’s promise to you personally.
3. No, he should have returned to Bethel as he had promised the Lord. He settled near a city which reminds me of Lot’s mistake.
4. a. She should not have gone alone. One or more of her brothers should have accompanied her. Everyone may have been unaware before the fact. (*The AMP Bible clarifies that she went unattended.)
b. Dinah was seeking to befriend the women of Shechem. 2 Corinthians 6:17 says “come out from among them and be separate.”
c. Shechem and Hamor seem to think of Dinah as Jacob’s property – something of monetary value. In those days, arranged marriages were the norm. Offering a monetary gift, may have been a peace-offering, therefore a confession of guilt. Dowries were usually provided by the bride’s family, not the husband’s.
d. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob loved their chosen wives and gave gifts or worked to earn the right to marry them rather than just taking them. Jacob waited for seven years and a week to marry Rachel.
5. Genesis 34:9-10 intermarry with us, settle among us, buy land here; verses 15-16 if you circumcise every male, we will intermarry with you (this is actually a deception, though); verses 21-23 The men of Shechem relay the proposal and add, “Won’t their livestock, their property and all their animals be ours?”
6. a. Genesis 34:30 Jacob says to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
b. The brothers used circumcision as a weapon to disable their adversaries. They didn’t look upon it as a covenant with God, but presented it as a cultural difference. By requiring the men of Shechem to be circumcised and then attacking them, they took the place of God in exacting revenge, using deception to accomplish their goal.
c. Revenge – defending their sister’s honor. I have plenty of faults, but revenge isn’t one of them.
- Resist the urge to take matters into our own hands. Leave room for God to deal with it.
- Do not let your enemy go hungry or thirsty.
- Overcome evil with good.
7. a. I find the Amplified Bible Version more helpful on Genesis 49:5-7:
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers [equally headstrong, deceitful, vindictive, and cruel]; their swords are weapons of violence.
6 O my soul, come not into their secret council; unto their assembly let not my honor be united [for I knew nothing of their plot], because in their anger they slew men [an honored man, Shechem, and the Shechemites], and in their self-will they disabled oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
These words were spoken by Jacob when he gathered all his sons to prophesy over them.
b. They replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
8. Do not delay in following the Lord’s instructions to the letter. Disobedience can reap huge consequences on those you love.
9. a. Go to Bethel. Build an altar there to God.
b. “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
c. …the Lord will be my God and this stone I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house.
- Get rid of your foreign gods.
- Purify yourselves.
- Change your clothes.
- Purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit.
- Put off and discard your old unrenewed self.
- Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude.
- Freely admit and confess our sins
- Keep ourselves from any sort of substitute that would take first place in our lives.
- Consulting horoscopes relates directly to Acts 19:19 – some believers may assume it is harmless.
- There are many “gurus” on television and other media whose ideas may contain subtle or blatantly ungodly advice.
- Many admired and often idolized actors and musicians follow and promote pagan practices such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
- Some ministries have an incorrect focus on and definition of success and earthly wealth.
- There is a temptation to idolize Christian’s in leadership roles.
- There is tendency in institutional Christianity to promote and elevate the concept and titles related to ministry as something to which we should look up (pride) beyond what the Lord actually intended – the servant-role of every believer in every walk of life (humility).
11. Truths about spiritual cleansing:
a. All of the verses except one indicate the cleansing is something God does when we ask Him.
b. Humility and repentance brings forth spiritual fruit.
c. Turning from a life of idolatry is necessary for spiritual cleansing.
d. (Personal) I am covered by the blood of the Lamb which washed me whiter than snow. Thanks be to God for sending His son who has purified me from ALL unrighteousness.
a. God caused the town-folk to be afraid to pursue them. The Lord again appeared and spoke to Jacob , reaffirming His promises.
b. With His presence, His love, His forgiveness, His mercies which are new every morning, by giving me a new garment whenever I soil the old one, hundreds of small ways, supplying all of my needs, etc.
c. The Lord is my friend, I have seen His glory and majesty, He loves me and has made their home in me. I haven’t the words to describe how beautiful that sounds.
d. Esau had many descendants and great possessions and herds. Among his descendants were many kings and chiefs.
13. The Lord is patient and merciful.He is faithful to forgive us and restore us to fellowship with Him. I’m amazed that obedience is so simple yet often such a challenge to our flesh. I pray and I resolve to do His bidding in the time I have left on this earth. I have nothing to lose but regret.
I sort of flew through the last half of the week’s questions. I hope it kind of makes sense. :-)
Constructive comments are welcome and encouraged.