Author: Michael Bogart

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 33-35: Jacob Faces His Past

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 33-35: Jacob Faces His Past At some point we must each face our past.  Just as many of us have had to do, Jacob faces his past in Genesis 33-35. We may experience redemption and begin a new kind of life through faith in Christ, but even so, the seeds we have sown in the past will often bear fruit for good or ill. In this section, Jacob had to face his track record of grasping, deception, and self-will. Why did Jacob divide his family into groups in 33:1ff? In what way was Esau’s response...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapter 32: Jacob Learns to Trust

Genesis Challenge | Chapter 32: Jacob Learns to Trust 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...

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

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 30-31: 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...

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Genesis Challenge | Chapters 27-29: Jacob “Inherits” the Covenant

Genesis Challenge | Chapters 27-29: 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...

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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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