Author: Michael Bogart

The Genesis Challenge: Chapter 32, Jacob Learns to Trust

Jacob learns to trust God It is hard to tell at what point in his life Jacob learns to trust God deeply.  Some would point to Genesis 32 as that point of faith. As many people are aware, a surface faith in God is very different from a deep, personal, deliberate act of faith. It would seem that this deeper, more deliberate type of faith is what occurs in Jacob’s life at this point. What was Jacob trying to accomplish by sending messengers ahead to meet Esau in 32:2ff? Who was “the man” that Jacob wrestled with in 32:24?...

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The Genesis Challenge: Chapters 30-31, Jacob’s Family Troubles

Jacob’s Family Troubles Jacob’s family troubles often remind people of some kinds of complicated family life in the twenty-first century.   This section actually begins with 29:31, where Jacob ends up married to two women (sisters) and involved with two others. There is tension between the women, and between in-laws. Laban, the father-in-law, attempts to financially take advantage of Jacob, the son-in-law, but is out-maneuvered.   As you read, keep these thoughts in mind: Why was Rachel so frantic to have children? How is her attitude toward child bearing different from many women today? What significance did the names of each...

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The Genesis Challenge: Chapters 27-29, Jacob “inherits” the Covenant

Jacob inherits the Covenant Chapters 27-29 shift our attention from Abraham and Isaac to Jacob.  They tell us the story of how Jacob inherits the covenant. To many of us, Jacob might seem to be an unlikely person to be the bearer of God’s covenant of redemption. He was a liar and a schemer, and in his early life doesn’t seem to have much of a walk with God. Yet, God worked with him and used him to raise up the nation of Israel, who would carry the covenant forward.  In these chapters, look especially at these issues: Why...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapters 23-26: The Heritage of Isaac

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 23-26: The Heritage of Isaac In these chapters describing the heritage of Isaac, the theme of oaths, covenants, and treaties runs throughout. What does this passage have to teach us about how we deal with one another in important matters like marriages, land transactions and personal promises? Here are some other issues to consider in these chapters: Why did Abraham wait until Isaac was 40 to arrange a suitable marriage for him? Describe the faith shown by Abraham’s servant in regard to finding Isaac a wife? What kind of girl was Rebekah and why was...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapter 20: Abraham’s Faith Fails Again

Genesis Challenge | Chapter 20: Abraham’s Faith Fails Again January 15th Reading (Genesis Challenge) | Yesterday’s Reading Can you believe that Abraham’s faith fails again in the very same way that he failed years before in chapter 12? Up and down, with steady progress is the norm in spiritual growth. Do people today commit the same sins and mistakes repeatedly? Why is this? As you read chapter 20, think about these points as you read through this section: According to, the patriarchs lived very long lives. How can we reconcile the fact that Genesis states that Abraham and Sarah were...

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