1. Read verses 1-2. What do these verses tell us about the origin of the heaven and the earth and all things? What can we learn here about God? What difference does it make that God created us? According to verse 2, what was the world like before God spoke?
2. Read verses 3-13. What did God do on each of the first three days? What is repeated each day? What can we learn here about God’s power? About the authority of God’s word? About God’s goodness? His uniqueness?
3. Read verses 14-19. What did God create on the fourth day? How is this related to the first day? For what purpose did he create the sun, moon and stars?
4. Read verses 20–25. What did God create on the fifth day? On the sixth day (first part)? How had God prepared a life-sustaining environment for fish, birds and animals on the second and third days? What can we learn from God the environment-maker?
5. What should be our response to the Creator God? (Ro 1:20-22,25) What was the response of the Psalmists? (Read Psalm 19:1; 33:6-9; 102:25-27; 104:24-25; 90:1-4)
IT WAS VERY GOOD
Key Verse: 1:31a
1. Read verses 26-27. What did the Triune God decide to do? What mission did God have in mind for mankind? Can you agree with the statement, “Man was made for mission?” Why or why not?
2. What does mankind have in common with the rest of the created world, especially the land animals? What does it mean that God created mankind in his own image? How is this related to man’s mission?
3. Read verse 28. How did God bless mankind? Why is mission a blessing? How does God establish creation order with this blessing? Why is creation order, i.e., God--Man--Materials, so important?
4. Read verses 29-30. How did God supply the needs of mankind whom he had commissioned to be stewards and shepherds of the world? (Compare Mt 6:33) How did his provision for the animals make a peaceful world?
5. Read verse 31. Why was God very pleased? What does this reveal about God and about his creation? What does it mean to you that God created you and said, “It is very good”?
6. Read 2:1-3. Why did God bless the seventh day? Why did he rest? (Ex 20:8-11) Why do we need to rest? What does it mean to keep the Sabbath day holy?
GOD PLANTED A GARDEN
Key verse: 2:7,8
1. Read verses 4-7. With which day of creation does chapter 2 seem to be primarily concerned? What is the focal point of creation? How did God create man? Why was he necessary in the scheme of things? What is man’s source of life and value? What does it mean to be a living being?
2. Read verses 8-9. Why does the author refer to God as “the LORD God?” (Ex 6:2,3,7) Describe the garden. What do the trees suggest about man’s needs? Read verses 10-14. What do these verses tell us about God?
3. Read verse 15. What work did God give man to do? How does this relate to man's mission (1:28)? Read verses 16-17 (Adam’s Bible). What did God command the man? How do God’s commands establish spiritual order? How do they give man real freedom? Why must man be thankful? Obedient? (Ro 1:19-21)
4. Read verses 18-20. What was one thing in the garden that was not good in God's eyes? What does this show about God's love for and understanding of man? How did man co-work with God to be a shepherd and steward of the world?
5. Read verses 21-23. Why could no suitable helper be found among the animals? Describe the creation of woman. Why was she a suitable helper (18; 1:27)? How did Adam receive her?
6. Read verses 24-25. How did God confirm and establish the family? What commitment must man make to his wife? What does it mean that they become one flesh? (See Mk 10:6-9) What does verse 25 suggest about their relationship?
7. What does this chapter teach us about God? About the family and its purpose? About spiritual order? About what mankind needs to be happy? About man and community?
WHEN GOD'S LOVE IS DOUBTED
Key Verse: 3:15
1. Read verse 1. Who does the serpent represent? (Rev 12:7-9) What is characteristic of his nature? (Jude 6; Eze 28:12-17; Jn 8:44) What did he say to the woman? Why?
2. Read verse 2-3. What does her answer reveal about her attitude toward God and his word? Read verse 4-5. How did the serpent lie? How did he stir her pride and rebellious ambition? How did he raise doubt about God's love? Why did he do these things?
3. Read verse 6. Why did she eat the forbidden fruit? Why did she give some to her husband? What can we learn here about how to overcome temptation? (See Mt 4:1-11)
4. Read verse 7-10. What can we see here about their changed relationships with God and each other? About man’s lostness? Read verses 11-13. What excuses did they make when God questioned them. Why?
5. Read verse 14-15. How did God’s curse on the serpent destroy his pride? How did it plant hope in mankind? In what way is verse 15 the pre-gospel?
6. Read verses 16-19. How did God punish the woman? The man? How is this related to the blessing? (1:28) What does it mean that God cursed the ground? (see Ro 8:20,21) [How does the gospel remove the curse and restore freedom and mission? (Gal 3:13; Jn 3:16-18; Mk 16:15)]
7. Read verses 20-23. In what other way did God show his love for fallen man? How did Adam heal his relationship with his wife? Why did God drive them from the Garden? What is the significance of the tree of life? (Rev 22:2,14,19)
CAIN REJECTS GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY
Key Verse: 4:7
1. Read 4:1-5a. Who were Cain and Abel and what sacrifices did each offer to God? How did God regard each man and his offering? Why? What does this show about them? About God? (Heb 11:4)
2. Read 4:5b-7. How did Cain react to God's rejection of his offering? What does this show about his view of himself and his attitude toward God? What additional light does verse 7 throw on Cain's problem? How did God seek to help Cain?
3. Read verse 8. How did Cain receive God's word? What was his motive for murder? Read verses 9-10. Why did God ask the question? What does Cain's response show about him? What does verse 10 mean?
4. Read 4:11-16. How did God punish Cain? How did he protect him? What does it mean to be a restless wanderer? How did Cain react to his punishment? Why?
5. Read 4:17-24. Why did Cain build a city and name it after his son? What does Lamach's family show about human culture without God? How did Lamech use God's word of grace and mercy to justify his sinful actions?
6. Read 4:25; 5:1-3, 18-32. Compare the descendants of Adam by Seth with the descendants of Cain. What are the signs of hope in Seth's line? What evidence is there of a spiritual remnant of God's people?
GOD'S JUDGMENT AND SALVATION
Key verse: 6:9
1. Read 6:1-4. From the context of this chapter, who are the sons of God, and who are the daughters of men? What was the basis of marriage? How did God express his displeasure (3)? What seemed good about the fruit of these marriages? What was wrong?
2. Read 6:5-6. What did God see that grieved him and filled his heart with pain? What was so evil about the inclinations of men's hearts? (see Lk 17:27)
3. Read 6:7-13. How did the evil inclinations of men's hearts erupt into evil actions and evil lives? (11,12) Describe the times of Noah. What did God decide to do? (7,13) What can we learn here about the way sin spreads? What can we learn about God?
4. Read 6:8-10 again. What does it mean that Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord? What does it mean that Noah was a righteous man (6:9 and 7:1?)? In what respect was he different from the people of his times?
5. Read verses 11-21. What did God tell Noah about his plans for the world? What did God tell Noah to do? What is the evidence of Noah's faith? (6:22; 7:5,9,16) [Heb 11:7] Why might obedience have been difficult? What is the importance of one man’s obedient faith?
6. Read 6:18-22. What was God’s covenant with Noah? Read 7:1-16. Describe the entrance of Noah, his family and the animals into the ark. Read 7:17-24. How thorough was the destruction of all living things? What can we learn here about sin? About God?
A NEW BEGINNING
Key Verse: 8:1a
1. Read 8:1-12. What does it mean that "God remembered Noah"? How did God prepare an environment for Noah? What does this suggest about God's care for one man? How did the dove bring Noah hope the second time it returned?
2. Read 8:13-19. When did Noah, his family and the animals come out of the ark? How long had they been there? Read 8:20-22. What did Noah do? Why? Why was God pleased? What did he promise? Had the devastating flood solved man's sin problem? Why not?
3. Read 9:1-7. How did God bless Noah and his sons? How did he reestablish order (2,3)? How and why was this necessarily different from the original creation order? Why is human life more precious than animal life? How did God emphasize the value of man’s life?
4. How did God’s prohibition regarding blood prepare the way for atonement–the solving of man’s sin problem? (See Lev 17:11)
5. Read 9:8-17. Describe the covenant of life which God made with all living creatures. Why did mankind need to be reminded that life is precious? What does the rainbow teach us about God?
6. Read 9:18-28. How did Ham violate spiritual order? What does God's punishment of Canaan teach us about the importance of spiritual order in the family and in society?
7. Peruse the contents of chapter 10. How is this chapter related to the Babel incident? Read 11:1-9. What does the building of the tower of Babel reveal about mankind–past and present? Why is God displeased? How did God deal with this problem? Why?
GOD'S CALL TO ABRAM
Genesis 12:1-13:4 (11:10-32)
Key verse: 12:2
1. Read 11:27-32. Describe Abram's family. What was his problem? Where was his original home? To where did he first move? (Acts 7:2-4; Jos 24:2,3)
2. Read 12:1-5. What did God command him to do? What did God promise him? Why must he leave human security behind in order to receive God’s blessing? How did his present condition make becoming a great nation hard to believe?
3. What does it mean that God promised to make his name great? That he would be a blessing to others? That "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you"? How did Abram show his faith in God and in God’s promises? (4) Where did he go? Who went with him?
4. Read verses 6-9. As he traveled through the land, why might it have been disturbing to find powerful Canaanites in their walled cities? What promise did God make? What was Abram's response? What was the spiritual meaning of the altars Abram built? (7,8; 13:3,4)
5. Read verses 10-20. Compare Abram’s motives in going to Egypt with his motives in going to Canaan. What plan did he make before entering Egypt? Why? How did the plan work out? Contrast life in Egypt with life in Canaan. Why didn't he build altars in Egypt?
6. How did God protect Abram's family? What can we learn here about the weaknesses in men of faith? Read 13:1-4. How did Abram show his repentence? What can we learn about the faithfulness of God?
ABRAM AND LOT SEPARATE
Key Verse 13:15
1. Read verses 1-5. How had God blessed Abram in Egypt? What does this show about God’s grace? Where was Lot and how had he shared God’s blessings? What did Abram do when he returned to Canaan? What does this show about him?
2. Read verses 5-7. What was Abram’s relationship to Lot? What problem arose between them? Read 13:8-9. What was the unselfish solution Abram proposed? How had his attitude toward material things and people changed?
3. Read verses 10-13. How is the plain of the Jordan described? What is said about Sodom? What ominous hint is given about its future? Where did Lot choose to live? What kind of life was he looking for? How was Lot’s faith different from that of Abram?
4. Read verses 14-17. After Lot left, why might Abram have been sorry and discouraged? What promise did God again give Abram? What did he tell him to do? How might this promise comfort Abram? What does this teach about God?
5. Read 13:18. How did Abram respond to God's promise? What does this show about him?
MELCHIZEDEK BLESSES ABRAM
Key verse 14:19,20
4. Read 14:1-7. Who was Kedorlaomer and what was his position in the political structure of that region? Where was his kingdom? Who were his allies? Why did he go to war? How extensive was his campaign as described in verses 5-7? (Look at a map if possible.)
5. Read verses 8-12. Who were the kings allied with Bera king of Sodom? Where did the big battle between the 4 kings and the 5 kings take place? Who won?
6. Read 13-16. What did Abram do? Why? Look at a map and find the extent of this war. What was the outcome? How might Abram's involvement have changed his relationships with the Canaanites? What temptations might this victory present to him?
7. Read verses 17-18. Who were the two kings that came to meet Abram after he returned from defeating Kedorlaomer? (Heb 7:1-3) How were they different? In what respect do they represent two alternative life directions before Abraham?
8. Read verses 19-24. How did Melchizedek bless Abram? What did he teach Abram about God? About his recent great victory? How did Abram respond to Melchizedek's blessing? (20b,22) In what sense did the tithe represent a pledge of fealty, a commitment?
9. What did the king of Sodom suggest about the disposition of the spoils of war? What was Abraham’s response? What does this show about his faith in God and in God’s blessings?
GOD'S COVENANT WITH ABRAM
Key verse: 15:6
1. Read verses 1-3. What was God's word to Abram in a vision? Why did God mention fear and reward? How did Abram respond? What was the real problem in Abram's heart?
2. Read 15:4-6. What was God promise? Why did he show Abram the stars? How did Abram respond? What do the words, "(God) credited it to him as righteousness" mean? What change occurred in Abram's life as a result of his faith?
3. Read 15:7-8. What did God again promise concerning the land? What question did Abram ask? Why was Abram’s attitude toward the land changed?
4. Read 15:9-15. What did God tell Abram to do? What did he do? What happened as the sun was setting? What did God tell him? How would Abram’s descendants grow into a great nation? Why was this a necessary first step to possess the land?
5. Read 15:16-21. After sunset, when darkness had fallen, how did God seal the covenant? What further promise did God give Abram concerning the land? What might this mean to him? (How would Abram’s descendants be God’s instrument of judgment? (16)
GOD CALLS ABRAM ABRAHAM
Key verse 17:1,5
1. Read 16:1-4a. Why did Sarai and Abram think it was reasonable, and even God's will (15:4), for Abram to take Hagar as a concubine? How does impatience equal lack of faith?
2. Read 16:4a-6. What problem arose in Abram's family after Hagar became pregnant? How did Abram and Sarai deal with this problem? Read 16:7-14. How did God help Hagar? What did she learn about God? How did she show her faith in God?
3. Read 16:15-17:1. How old was Ishmael when God appeared to Abram again? What did God say? What do you think Abram's life had been like during those silent years?
4. Read 17:2-8. What was the covenant? How could it be an “everlasting” covenant? Why “everlasting” possession? Why did God change Abram’s name? What does each name mean?
5. Read 17:9-14. What did God tell Abraham to do as a sign and seal of the covenant? Read verses 15-16. How would God bless Sarai?
6. Read 17:17-22 What was Abraham's response? Why? What specific promises did God give Abraham concerning Ishmael and Isaac? Read verses 23-27. How did Abraham demonstrate his belief in God and in God's promises? What can we learn from these chapters about God?
THE LORD VISITS ABRAHAM
Key verse: 18:19
1. Read 18:1-8. Who visited Abraham? How did he and his household show hospitality to the guests? What does this event show about Abraham? About the Lord?
2. Read 18:9-15. Why had the Lord come to visit? Why did he ask about Sarah? What was the good news? (17:15-16,21) Why did Sarah need this visit from Lord? How and why did the Lord rebuke her? What did he want her to learn?
3. Read 18:16-21. Why did the Lord decide to tell Abraham about his plan for Sodom? What lesson about God should Abraham's descendants learn from God's dealing with Sodom? (19)
4. Read 18:22-33. What was Abraham's prayer topic? Why was he so concerned about Sodom? How many times is “righteous” or “right” repeated? What did Abraham say about himself? What was the basis of his request? What can we learn here about intercession?
5. Read 19:1-3 Compare and contrast Lot's hospitality to the angels with that of Abraham. Read verses 4-11. How did the people of Sodom treat Lot and his guests? Were there as many as ten righteous men in the city? How had Lot lived in Sodom? (See 2Pe 2:7,8)
6. Read 19:12-22. How did the angels show God’s grace to Lot? Why was it so hard for him to leave? Read verses 23-29. What happened to Sodom? To Lot's wife? Why was Lot spared?
7. Why was the marriage problem of Lot’s daughters so severe? (31) What’s wrong with following custom? What was the tragic fruit of this family? (19:30-38) What can you learn from contrasting the faith and lives of Abraham and Lot?
GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISE
Key Verse: 21:1
1. After the holocaust at Sodom, where did Abraham go? Why might he have been fearful? Who was Abimelech? How did Abraham lie to him? Why? (2,8-13) When had Abraham previously done something like this?
2. How did God rebuke Abimelech? What was his response? How had Abraham misjudged him? How did they resolve the matter? What made Abraham revert to this old bad habit?
3. Read 21:1-7. How does the writer emphasize God’s faithfulness to keep his promises? How did the birth of Isaac affect Abraham and Sarah? Why did Abraham circumcise his son?
4. Read 21:8-13. How might Ishmael have felt about the baby Isaac? What did Sarah tell Abraham? How did Abraham react? Why? What was God’s direction and promise? Abraham’s decision? Why was this necessary?
5. Read 21:14-20. How did God show his love for Abraham? What did Hagar learn about God?
6. Read 21:22-34. Why did Abimelech come to Abraham? How is this second encounter with Abimelech different from the first? How can we account for the change in Abraham?
GOD TESTS ABRAHAM
Key Verse: 22:18
1. Read verses 1-2. How did God call Abraham? Why? What does Abraham’s response show about his attitude toward God? What did God ask Abraham to do? Why?
2. Read verses 3-5. How and when did Abraham respond to God's command? Why did he not tell the servants or Isaac what he intended to do? What do Abraham’s actions show about his faith in God?
3. Read verses 6-8. What did Abraham and Isaac carry up the mountain? What did Isaac ask? What does this show about him? In what way was Abraham’s answer prophetic? How did he plant faith in Isaac?
4. Read verses 9-12. How did Abraham’s actions show his obedience? What did the angel of the Lord call out from heaven? What does it mean to "fear God"?
5. Read verses 13-14. How did the Lord provide? What did he call that place and why? What lesson of faith did Abraham and Isaac learn through this event?
6. Read verses 15-19. What does it mean that the Lord swore by himself? (Heb 6:13-17; Isa 45:23) In what respects was God’s blessing similar to and how was it different from the earlier covenant promises? (12:2,3,7; 13:15-16; 15:3,4,7; 18:18)
GOD ESTABLISHES ISAAC'S HOME
Genesis (23) 24:1-67
Key verse 24:58
1. Read chapter 23. What can you learn here about Abraham's life in the promised land? (Acts 7:5) How were the realities different from the promises he believed? What can you learn from his faith?
2. Read 24:1-4. What mission did Abraham give his chief servant? Why his chief servant? Where did he send him? Why? Why didn’t Abraham didn't want Isaac to marry a Canaanite?
3. Read 24:5-9. What problem did the servant immediately foresee? Why did Abraham refuse to let Isaac go back to Haran? How would God help him accomplish the mission? How did the servant indicate his acceptance of the mission?
4. Read 24:10-11. Why did the servant make such extensive preparation? Where did he go? Why did he wait by the well? Read verses 12-14. How did he address God? What does this show about him? What was his prayer topic? What kind of woman was he seeking?
5. Read 24:15-21. Who did God send in answer to his prayer? When he asked her for a drink of water, what did she do? Why did he watch without saying a word? Read verses 22-27. How did the servant confirm Rebekah as the right woman? What did he do then?
6. Read 24:28-54. How did the servant show his commitment to his mission? How did he describe Isaac and how did he emphasize God’s leading? What was his conclusion? How did Rebekah’s father and brother respond? What was the servant’s next step (52-53)?
7. Read 24:55-67. Why did the servant insist on leaving immediately? What was Rebekah’s decision? On what basis could she make such a decision? How was her faith like Abraham's?. Describe the meeting of Isaac and Rebekah.
ISAAC'S AND REBEKAH'S FAMILY
Key Verse: 25:23
1. Read 25:1-18. Describe Abraham’s final years, including his death. How did he protect Isaac’s inheritance. What is the account of Ishmael (12-18 )? How did God keep his promise regarding Ishmael?
2. What is the account of Isaac (19)? Read verses 19-21. What was the problem in Isaac's family? How was Isaac’s way of dealing with this problem different from the way Abraham had dealt with a similar problem? How long did they wait for children (26b)?
3. Read verses 22-23. What was the discomfort Rebekah experienced during her pregnancy? What did she do? What was God's revelation to her? What did this revelation mean practically to Jacob and Esau?
4. What can you learn from the faith and prayer lives of Isaac and Rebekah?
5. Read verses 24-26. How were Jacob and Esau different from one another at birth? Read verses 27-28. How were they different as they grew up? Why did Isaac and Rebekah differ in their view of the boys?
6. Read verses 29-34. What was the birthright? Why did Jacob want it? How did he get it? What does it mean that Esau despised his birthright? (See Heb 12:16. Compare Ge 27:36; 28:6-9) In what respect is Jacob more fitted to be the covenant son than Esau?
GOD BLESSES ISAAC'S FAMILY
Key Verse: 26:3a
1. Read 26:1-6. When another famine arose in the land, where did Isaac go? Where did he evidently plan to go? Why? What command and promise did God give Isaac? Of what larger promise did he remind him? What did Isaac do? What does this show about his faith?
2. Read verses 7-11. Why might he have been afraid of the Philistines? What reveals his fear? (7-8) How was his lie exposed? How was the unseen hand of God protecting Isaac from his own foolishness? What does the resolution of this problem show about Abimelech?
3. Read verses 12-16. How did God bless Isaac? How did God's abundant blessing affect Isaac's relations with his Philistine neighbors? How did they harass him in Gerar?
4. Read verses 17-21. Why did Isaac move out of the city into the valley Gerar? (16) How did he survive in the valley? How did the Philistine herdsmen continue to harass him? How did he deal with them? How does his well-digging life reveal his faith and God’s blessing?
5. Read verses 22-25. Why did he name his well "Rehoboth"? What happened at Beersheba? Why did he need this meeting with the Lord? How did Isaac respond to God's words of promise? What does this show about him?
6. Read verses 26-35, Why had Abimelech’s attitude toward Isaac changed? When Abimelech came to see Isaac again, what change can we see in Abimelech? What did Isaac ask him and how did he respond? How can we account for this change?
GOD MEETS JACOB AT BETHEL
Key Verse: 28:20
1. Read 27:1-4. Why did Isaac think he would die soon? (See 35:28,29.) What did he want to do before he died? What were his instructions to Esau? Read verses 5-10. What did Rebekah tell Jacob to do? Why?
2. Read 27:11-17. Why was Jacob afraid? How did Rebekah help him? What did she risk (13)? Why did she think this was so important? What was her greatness? How did God use her?
3. Read 27:18-29. Why did Jacob think that the blessing belonged to him? (25:32-34) How did Jacob deceive his father? What was the blessing Isaac gave Jacob?
4. Read 27:30-46. What was Esau’s reaction when he learned that his father had blessed Jacob? What blessing did he receive? Why was he angry? What did he resolve to do? Why and how did Rebekah persuade Isaac to send Jacob to Paddan Aram? How did she suffer?
5. Read 28:1-9. What instructions did Isaac give Jacob? What blessing did he give him? What do Esau’s actions show about him?
6. Read 28:10-17. Think about Jacob’s situation. How did God reveal himself to Jacob? What did God promise? What was Jacob’s response? Read 28:18-22. What did Jacob do the next morning? Why? What did he promise (vow to) God? Why was this important in his life?
THE GOD OF PADDAN ARAM
(Jacob Builds His Family)
Key Verse 29:35a
1. Read 29:1-13. Describe Jacob's meeting with Rachel. Why was he so moved when he met her? Read 29:14-20. What wages did he and Laban agree on? How did Jacob carry out his part of the bargain? What do these events tell us about Jacob’s character?
2. Read 29:21-30. How did Laban trick Jacob on his wedding night? What excuse did he make? What did they do? What does this show about Jacob? How did Jacob’s life suddenly become very complicated?
3. Read 29:31-35. How did God show his love to Leah? What was the meaning of the names of each of her first three sons? What did she want? How did Judah’s name show her change of heart?
4. Read 30:1-8. Why was Rachel not satisfied with her husband’s love? What did she want? Why and how did Jacob rebuke her? What did do to solve her problem? What do the names of the sons born by her maidservant show about her inner life?
5. Read 30:9-13. What did Leah name the sons borne by her maidservant? What do these names show about her inner life? Read 30:14-21. How did she come to have 2 more sons? What were their names? In what way had her desires changed? How was she honored?
6. Read 30:22-24. When Rachel finally had a son, what did she name him? What does this show about her? When did she have another son? What were the consequence? (35:16-18) How did God use the struggles of Jacob and his wives to accomplish his own purpose?
THE GOD OF PADDAN ARAM (II)
(Jacob Builds His Wealth)
Key Verse: 31:13
1. Read 30:25-30. What did Jacob tell Laban? Why was it time for a new contract? (30b) Why did Laban want Jacob to remain? Read 30:31-36. What were the terms of the new contract? How did Laban try to take advantage of Jacob?
2. Read 30:37-43. Describe Jacob’s efforts to improve the quality of his stock and increase the number of flocks and herds. Read 31:4-12. What do Jacob's words tell us about Laban's treachery and about how Jacob became wealthy in spite of this?
3. Read 31:38-42. What do Jacob's words to Laban tell us about his life as a servant in Laban's house? What does this life tell us about the man Jacob?
4. Read 31:1-3 & 13-16. Why did Jacob decide to leave Paddan Aram? What was the importance of his vow at Bethel in his life? Why was it necessary that he return?
5. Read 31:14-21. How did Jacob attempt to deceive Laban? Why? What did Rachel do and why? Read 31:22-37. How did God protect Jacob?
6. Read 31:43-55. Describe the parting of Jacob and Laban. Why would it be difficult for Jacob ever to return to Paddan Aram? What do the events of Paddan Aram reveal about Jacob? About God?
JACOB WRESTLES WITH GOD
Key Verse: 32:28
1. Read 32:1-8. How did God reveal his protection? Why might Jacob need protection? How did Jacob make initial contact with Esau? What was the messengers’ report? How did Jacob interpret the report? How did he calculate and prepare for Esau?
2. Read 32:9-12. In his prayer how did Jacob address God? What did he remember about God’s promises and God’s grace? What was his one main prayer request? What does this prayer show about his faith?
3. Read 32:13-21. After praying, what did Jacob do? What instructions did he give his servants? Why? What does this reveal about Jacob?
4. Read 32:22-26. What did Jacob get up in the middle of the night to do? Why? Describe the wrestling match. What was the outcome? How was Jacob injured? What blessing did he want? Who was struggling with Jacob?
5. Read 32:27-32. What blessing did God give Jacob? What is the meaning of the changed name? What did Jacob name this place? Why?
6. Read 33:1-11. Describe the meeting of Esau and Jacob. In what respect was this meeting anti-climactic ? How had God answered Jacob's prayer? Why did Jacob say that seeing Esau's face was like "seeing the face of God"?
JACOB RETURNS TO BETHEL
Genesis 33:12-35 (46,47,48,49)
Key verse 35:3
1. Read 33:12-20.What did Esau propose? Why did Jacob refuse? Where did he go ? How did he establish himself there? (17-20) Why might he want to settle down there near Shechem? Why could this not be what God wanted? (31:13; 28:20-22)
2. Describe the event that forced Jacob to leave Shechem. (34:1-31) Read 34:30-31and 49:5-7. How did Simeon and Levi displease Jacob? What does Jacob's attitude at this time show about his change of character?
3. Read 35:1-5. What did God tell Jacob to do? Why? (28:13-15,20-22; 31:13) How did Jacob prepare himself and his family to meet God at Bethel? Why did not one pursue hm?
4. Read 35:6-15. What did Jacob do when he arrived at Bethel? Why? Why did he name the place El Bethel? What did God say to Jacob? When had God said these things before? (32:28; 28:13,14)
5. What did Jacob do to show his love for God and his faith in God’s promises? (35:13-15) Read 35:8,16-29. What were the human joys and sorrows which Jacob experienced during these times? Learn the names of Jacob’s sons.
6. After Joseph was lost and found 20 years later, Jacob went to Egypt. Read 46:1-7,26,27. What was God’s purpose in sending Jacob’s family to Egypt? Read 47:7-10. What does Jacob's meeting with Pharaoh tell us about his faith and life?
7. Read 48:11-16. What does this blessing on Joseph’s sons show about Jacob’ life and faith? Read 47:27-31; 49:28-33. What can we learn about Jacob and the God of Jacob from Jacob’s final days. (Heb 11:9,10,21)
GOD WAS WITH JOSEPH
Key Verse 39:2
1. Read 37:1-11.Why did Joseph's brothers hate him? What was his home atmosphere probably like? How did God reveal to Joseph a larger purpose for his life? How was Joseph’s inner life different from that of his brothers?
2. Read 37:12-17. What errand did Jacob give Joseph? How did Joseph carry out the mission his father gave him? What does this show about him?
3. Read 37:18-36. How did Joseph's brothers come to sell him to Midianite traders going to Egypt? What were the roles of Judah and Reuben in this crime? How did they explain to their father, and how did this affect his life? What happened to Joseph? (Ps 105:17,18)
4. Read 38:1-30. Why did Judah leave home? Describe his family life among the Canaanites. Who was Tamar? Why did Judah say, "She is more righteous than I..." (26) How does God use her to bring Judah back into the covenant history? (See also Mt: 1:2,3
5. Read 39:1-10. How did Joseph rise to power in Potiphar's house? What did he have to overcome? Why and how did Potiphar's wife try to seduce Joseph? What did he tell her?
6. Read 39:11-20a. What happened one day? What happened to Joseph because of her lies? Read 39:20b-23. What happened to Joseph in prison? What difference did it make that "God was with Joseph"?
GOD REVEALS HIS SOVEREIGN WILL
Key verse: 41:51,52
1. Read 40:1-8. What was Joseph's situation when he met the king's cupbearer and baker? What was their situation? How did Joseph show a shepherd's concern for them? How could he help them? What did he teach them about God?
2. Read 40:9-22. What was the cupbearer's dream? How did Joseph interpret it? How was the baker’s dream similar to the cupbearer’s? How did Joseph show himself to be an honest and fearless teacher of God’s revelation? How were the two dreams fulfilled?
3. Read 41:1-13. What request had Joseph made of the cupbearer? Why? What was the strange dream that Pharaoh had? When did the cupbearer remember Joseph? (40:14,23; 40:9) What did he tell Pharaoh about Joseph?
4. Read 41:14-42. How did Joseph prepare to go to Pharaoh? What were Joseph’s first words to Pharaoh? What does this show about him? What did Joseph teach Pharaoh about God's sovereign control of nature and history? What did the dreams mean? (17-32)
5. Read 41:33-40. How did Joseph counsel Pharaoh? Why was he not afraid of offending Pharaoh? How does this show his shepherd mind for Pharaoh and Egypt? Why did Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of his palace and in charge of Egypt?
6. Read 41:41-49. What did Joseph do after being make prime minister of Egypt? How old was he? How did Pharaoh honor him and provide for him? How did Joseph use his privileges? What does this show about his faith?
7. Read 41:50-57. What did Joseph name his sons? What does this reveal about his faith? How did God reveal his sovereignty over Egypt and the world? How did he use Joseph to save many lives?
JOSEPH'S BROTHERS REPENT
Key verse: 44:33
1. Read 42:1-5. Why did Jacob send 10 of his sons to Egypt? (1-5) How urgent was their problem in Canaan? Why did he not send Benjamin?
2. Read 42:6-17. Describe the initial meeting of Joseph with his brothers. Why did Joseph remember his dreams? What did he find out about his family by accusing them of being spies? How did he first propose to test them?
3. Read 42:18-24. Which brother did Joseph keep as a hostage? What did he tell the others to do to prove their sincerity? When the brothers talked among themselves, what did they reveal about their burden of guilt? How did their confession affect Joseph?
4. Read 42:25-38. What additional anxiety did Joseph give his brothers? When they discovered money in one grain sack, what was their reaction? Why? What did they report to their father? What did they discover? What reveals the sorrow and fatalism in Jacob's heart?
5. Read 43:1-14. Why did Jacob finally send Benjamin? Read 43:15-34. How were they received? Why were they so frightened? Describe their meeting with Joseph? What puzzled them about the banquet?
6. Read 44:1-13. How did Joseph test them? What does the brothers’ reaction show about their changed hearts? Read 44:14-33. What offer did Joseph make? What was Judah’s plea? How has he been changed? How did God use Joseph to bring his brothers to repentance?
JOSEPH'S FAITH AND STEWARDSHIP
(45:1-26; 46:26-47:27; 50:15-26)
Key Verse: 50:20
1. Read 45:1-8. When and how did Joseph reveal himself to his brothers? How did they react? How did Joseph view his life? Why had God sent him to Egypt? How did his mission make him great? (8) What can we learn about God?
2. Read 45:9-26. How did Joseph save his father and brothers physically? Spiritually?
3. Read 46:26-34. How many of Jacob’s family came to Egypt? Describe Joseph’s meeting with his father? How did he provide a place for his family to live and grow in Egypt? (47:1-12)
4. Read 47:13-26. How did Joseph deal with the people of Egypt who were starving because of the famine? How did the people respond to this treatment? Why? (25) How did Joseph show his loyalty to Pharaoh? What does this reveal about Joseph?
5. Read 50:15-26. Why did Joseph's brothers become fearful after Jacob's death? How did they reveal their repentance?
6. What did Joseph teach them? What can we learn about Joseph's faith? (50:19-21) What hope did Joseph plant in his family? (22-26) Joseph is not in Jesus' genealogy. In what way does he point to Jesus?