Friday, June 11, 2010

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 32

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.


Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 32. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

32:1-30 – Guidelines for dealing with any crisis: First, get alone with God! Don’t pull away from Him; second, be transparent with God. He already knows how you feel, and it will help you deal with it to get it out in the open; third, take the time and make the effort to understand what God is telling you. Be obedient to His direction.

32:1-3 – Jacob is in crisis as he prepares to meet Esau.

32:1 – this is a host of angels, not just one or two. They make up and entire camp! Today, God and His angels are camped beside us.

32:6-12 – Esau coming with 400 men? He must still mean to kill me (and now my family). Does this mean my father is dead? Jacob jumps into action then prays. Still, he wasn’t wrong to take practical steps to protect his family. His prayer is humble – perhaps he has grown up in Paddan Aram.

32:9, 12 – Jacob doesn’t claim God as his own. Why not? Fear? Why does Jacob remind God of His promise? Is it more to remind Jacob? To allay his fear and despair?

32:13 – A gift for Esau? A bribe? Yes! See v. 20. Did Jacob not trust God to deliver him?

32:21 – Jacob sent the gifts ahead and stayed in camp overnight to be sure the gifts would meet Esau before he did!

32:22 – that night – was Jacob thinking about being deceitful again and running away?

32:23-24 – He sent his family and possessions across the river. Leaving him alone on the other side. Did he simply need some alone time with God? He probably felt it was easier to get everyone across the river rather than crossing himself, then coming back for everyone. Keeping busy can take your mind off of a crisis. But, this is a very “Martha” thing to do. Better to be like Mary and sit at Jesus’ feet! See Luke 10:38-42. By the way, did you notice Jacob put his family on the side of the river on which Esau was approaching?

32:24 – the angel could not overpower Jacob.

32:26 – Jacob was persistent and he was rewarded for that.

32:27 – God knew Jacob’s name. He needed Jacob to confess that he is a deceiver by naming himself.

32:28 – Jacob has grown up! He is no longer known as Jacob (deceiver), but Israel (he struggles with God). The Explore the Bible study guide says Israel means “God fights” or “God rules.”

What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

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