Bible Discussion: Genesis 27-29

April 18, 2007, 11:30 am; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Job, Josh J, Steve, Tom  | 14 Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next three chapters of the Bible, Genesis 27-29.

Previous discussions from Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26

This week’s visiting pastor was unable to participate due to inclement weather, but he’ll be with us next week.

 
INTRODUCTION:
Job:
Some of our Scripture’s greatest heroes are capable of such villainy. From David’s nauseating sin concerning Uriah to Asa’s shocking refusal to remove the high places, we see a pattern of humanity in people we would like to be more than human. In this vein, this passage brings us the story of Jacob actively and premeditatedly deceiving Isaac, letting him steal Esau’s blessing. While Jacob would go on to father the Lord’s people, we see in him the humanity that made him incapable of saving them.

Steve:
Anyone who wasn’t paying close attention in Sunday School will probably be surprised this week, as we watch yet another hero of the flannelgraph lie and cheat his way to success. The constant spotlight on the personal flaws and errors of the patriarchs is a reassuring aspect of the Genesis account. Imagine if the George Washington/cherry tree story ended with him lying to blame it on his brother and gleefully laughing while he was whipped with a switch. Less inspiring? Certainly. But more accurate? Almost definitely.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Josh:
When Laban agreed to give Rachel to Jacob for seven years’ work, he probably did so assuming that in seven years’ time, he would have found a husband for Leah. And even though he demanded seven more years’ work to get the originally agreed-upon woman, he didn’t make Jacob wait the seven years, but gave her upfront.

Of course, it was still a dirty, dirty trick.

Chloe:
Isaac asks for “tasty food” in the NIV. That’s a great phrase.

Steve:
For not loving Leah (whose name, my Bible helpfully informs me, may have meant ‘Wild Cow’), Jacob sure didn’t have any problem getting her pregnant. Repeatedly.

Job:
In back to back chapters both brothers “lifted up” their “voice and wept.” Esau, out of severe sadness when realizing his blessing had been stolen, and Jacob when he met and, uh, stole a kiss from Rachel.

Tom:
I’d noticed it, but never really thought about it, but Esau was as hairy as a goat! A goat!

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh: Sounds Like Jacob
Chloe: Quiver and Bow
Steve: Two Choice Kids, Wild Cow
Tom: Behold It Was Leah
Job: Assembly of Peoples

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Josh:
The story of Isaac blessing Jacob reminds me of how children will ask permission from whichever parent they deem more likely to say yes, even if they know the other would say no, or already has. They do this in the hope that once a ‘yes’ is given, the parent will be bound to honor it, much like Isaac was powerless to revoke even a blessing given under false pretenses.

Tom:
A friend of mine was interested in a young lady, but not so her older sister. Someone having made a comment about him marrying the older girl, he raised his fist to the sky and shouted, “No! I’ll work another seven years!”

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Steve:
People always want what we don’t have. Jacob wanted Esau’s blessing. Esau wanted Jacob’s favor. Rebekah and Isaac wanted their favored child chosen. Leah wanted Rachel’s acceptance. Rachel wanted Leah’s sons.

I’m beginning to believe that the secret to happiness as an adult is living in want as a child. Since we always desire precisely what we don’t yet have, starting from a low baseline makes you that much happier about achievements.

Chloe:
Jacob had to work for fourteen years to get Rachel as his wife. Through all his struggling and frustration, he never really got what he wanted; first his uncle gave him Leah, then Rachel turned out to be barren. It’s only through God’s providence that Jacob achieves his goals.

As much as I struggle and fight to get what I want, I always end up like Jacob — there’s another obstacle to overcome that will only seem to move me further from my goals. It’s only when I finally submit to God that doors start opening.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
I bet the engineers from Babel would have loved to get their hands on the schematics from Jacob’s dream.

Chloe:
Both Rebekah and her brother Laban sound like very shrewd and tricky people. They don’t sound like the kind of people I would want to be friends with — I could never trust them. And yet both Jacob, and later Joseph, are similarly guileful.

Job:
“Leah’s eyes were delicate”?! Being an eye man myself, I wonder if this meant, “She wasn’t busted but she wasn’t hot either.”

Tom:
When Jacob first saw Rachel, he moved the earth for her, kissed her, and cried. Then, on his wedding night, he failed to realize that the woman with him was somebody else until the next morning? Laban throws quite a feast.

Steve:
It must have been that Isaac had good reason to mistrust his sons, since his first three questions after Jacob entered were (in order) — who are you, why are you here so quickly, and can I feel your hands to make sure you’re telling me the truth? And Jacob expected it — “perhaps my father will feel me.” This wasn’t his first time lyin’ to dear old Dad.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
Job:
When Jacob, so endowed with promise and purpose, realized his intense love for Rachel, he endured what, at the time, must have seemed an insurmountable sentence to have her as his bride. Similarly, Christ had to live out His promise and purpose and endure the unthinkable cost of the cross to gain His bride, the Church.

Steve:
Standing above Jacob’s ladder, declaring the continuation of the covenant he had made with Abraham and Isaac.

Josh, Tom:
28:14 — “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” Incidentally, this promise has been repeated numerous times, and it seems we make note of it every week. But this was the most important aspect of the covenant, even if the patriarchs had no way of knowing of the salvation that would ultimately come from their line.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Tom:
28:14 — “Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Steve:
29:20 — “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”

Josh:
28:15 — “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

Job:
29:11 –“Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Job:
In 28:15, does the Lord speak about leaving Jacob solely, or the entire nation of Israel? Is “I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you” meant to underscore the coming of Christ — the moment when even I, a Scot/Irish/Native American, can count myself a descendant of Abraham?

Steve:
Why did everyone in chapter 27 just assume that God’s blessing could be fairly acquired by treachery? And why was it?

Chloe:
I’ve always had trouble with the fact that Jacob was the deceiver and yet God blessed him more than Esau. Jacob was never very good with his family, he couldn’t control his kids, he was deceitful even to his dying father… Seriously! Why Jacob?

Josh:
How could Jacob not realize he was lying with Leah? I’m guessing it was dark, and I’m assuming some strong drink may have been involved, but still… He worked for seven years to get Rachel, a woman so beautiful she made him weep, then he gets in bed with her sister and can’t even tell the difference?

Tom:
Why was Rebekah and Jacob’s treachery so richly rewarded?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Steve:
Leah, poor unwanted “weak-eyed” Leah, had the same idea as many women who currently haunt daytime television — have your man’s baby, then he’ll have to love you. And three times straight, it worked just about as well as it does on Maury — no luck post-Reuben, no change after Simeon, and still no trace of love following Levi. It may be that by son #4, Leah had given up on ever winning the heart of deceitful Jacob, but whether it was out of exhaustion or worship, she sent her affection upward after Judah was born. “Now I will praise the Lord.” And with good reason, as Jesus Christ would come from that son’s line, whether or not that punk Jake ever loved her.

Tom:
Don’t settle for the seven-year girl; push through to the fourteen.

Chloe:
One of my favorite parts of this section is how the Lord provided for Leah in her misery, giving her son after son while Rachel was barren. Though her husband may not have loved her, and her younger sister may have come before her, God always had His hand over Leah.

Josh:
There is no honor among thieves, or a family full of liars for that matter. Betray the trust of others enough times and the only company you’ll be able to keep is the untrustworthy.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Josh:
One often overlooked consequence of Jacob’s scheming is that he is cut off from his brother. He gains an immeasurable blessing, but at the cost of betraying his own brother and losing his fellowship. Jacob was deceitful, selfish, and opportunistic, but speaking as a brother myself, I can’t believe this wouldn’t eat at him.

Job:
These people and their customs — from the way they emote to the way they relate — are so far removed from any American vibe that I feel very distant from them. What does anchor me to these characters, however, is the personality of God; the same here as from Exodus to Lamentations, and at times just as perturbed or weirded out by their culture. My kinship to Jacob is based almost entirely on his love for the same Lord, because I certainly can’t enjoy his love for dwelling in tents or his penchant for deceit.

 
CONCLUSION:
Steve:
Someone who read these last few chapters in isolation would never guess what’s about to happen in the next twenty — perhaps the most deceitful of God’s people will lend the nation his new name, a name they have kept to this day. Perhaps it’s to remind us that, above all, His mission on this earth is redemption, to change all our names to reflect His gift of life.


Comments

14 Comments to “Bible Discussion: Genesis 27-29”

  1. Mom on April 18th, 2007 3:05 pm

    I was surprised no one picked up on the fact that Esau at least started doing his own cooking between chapters 25 when he lost his birthright, and 27 when the saga finally played itself out. I was proud of that boy!

  2. Steve C on April 18th, 2007 10:06 pm

    Where’s the guest Pastor this week???

  3. Steve C on April 18th, 2007 10:16 pm

    Guy’s this is my favorite section I am on vacation at a hotel but i went out to my car to get my lap top and signed on just so i could read this weeks bble study.

  4. Steve on April 18th, 2007 10:18 pm

    He was in Vermont without power because of the nor’easter. He’ll be up this coming week instead. I’m glad you’re so committed!

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