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 to Jacob better than anticipated? In what ways to we often misjudge people? Why do we expect the worst from people?
  • Do you think the events of chapter 34 reflect on Jacob’s parenting?
  • In 35:9, God formally changes Jacob’s name to Israel can renews the covenant to Jacob with an expanded promise. What extra details are given to Jacob in this promise?

For your journal

As you work your way through this chapter, use these four questions as guides for discovery and personal growth:

  • Find at least one new fact.
  • Discover at least one cultural difference between times in Genesis and our own culture.
  • Pinpoint any faith principles you see.
  • Select one attitude, behavior, or action that you want to apply in your own life.

You will find it helpful to keep a journal or log to record your thoughts, questions, and findings. As you read, I hope you will join me in sharing some of what you are learning on the Aspect Ministries Facebook page: