Genesis: First Faith
(contains complete course to this point.)
From Isaac to Jacob Genesis 25:19
Vs. 19-27 Who were the sons of Isaac and Rebekah?
Esau (Edom) and Jacob
Knowing the answer Rebekah received from God, why do you think she would favor Jacob over Esau?
Perhaps in her understanding when God told her, “the elder shall serve the younger” it was justification for what she would do later.
What do their names mean?
Esau means hairy one. Edom means red. Jacob means heel-holder who outwits (supplanter).
Vs. 29-34 How does the incident with Jacob, Esau and the red stew give insight into Esau and Jacobs character and confirm their birth names?
Esau thought nothing of his birthright as firstborn. He was only interested in the physical present, especially his hunger and desired that red stew. Jacob wanted the birthright and was willing to take advantage of an opportunity, to seize it and supplant Esau as the first born.
Isaac in Philistia Gen 26
Due to another famine Isaac goes to Gerar in the land of the Philistines, because God directs him there rather than Egypt and promises him His protection. Esau and Jacob would be teenagers when this journey began.
Vs. 3-5 The covenant is renewed with Isaac as it was with Abraham.
Vs. 5-11 Abimelech the king, takes Rebekah and Isaac lies as did his father about Sarah. This was certainly a lack of faith but also a window into the times and land that they lived in. Why did God continue to bless Isaac in spite of his lying about Rebekah?
Just as in the case of Abraham, his father, Isaac is blessed in the covenant he had formed with Abraham and now with Isaac.
Vs. 12- 25 Isaac prospers and uses the wells dug by his Father Abraham when he was in the land of Gerar. Why did the inhabitants of the land object to Isaac and block up the wells?
They may have feared that his growing wealth and influence would turn him from a traveler to a settler in their lands.
Isaac moves from the vicinity of the city but stays in Philistia digging wells and renaming them after the names his father had given them. After come contention over the water and another move he digs a well and calls it Rehoboth (room) and give glory to God for the blessing of peace.
Isaac moves once more to Beersheba (well of the sevenfold oath) where God appears to him and renews the covenant. Isaac builds and altar there and uses it as a place of worship, to call upon the name of the Lord.
Vs. 26-33 Abimelech and his captain meet with Isaac and make a peace. This is a filling in of the details of the last move Isaac make in Philistia.
Vs. 34-35 How does Esau’s taking of wives once again show his character in regards to his heritage and relationship to both God and his parents?
He does not try to find wives that his parents approve of and unlike his father, he choses wives from among the pagans of Philistia.
How would you summarize Rebekah’s actions with her son, her husband and her God?
Trying to do God’s will but in her own way. Doing the right thing but at the wrong time. The end does not justify the means.
What can we learn from the prospering of Isaac in Philistia?
Obedience to God and trusting God is rewarded in the blessings of God.
Is Esau’s behavior and choices a proof of God’s foreknowledge or predestination?
Nothing in God’s word says he caused Esau to make the choices he did. God seeing all things saw which of the two sons of Isaac would ultimately choose to be faithful to Him and to the covenant of Abraham. Though for awhile neither seemed to be the kind of person the Lord could use and depend upon.
The lessons of life and family that we see in Isaac, Rebekah and their sons are universal and timeless. Problems of favoritism, weak fatherly authority, overcompensation by mothers, jealousy, envy and carelessness about the future all are seen in our lives and families today.
There is hope for us just as there was for Isaac and his family, perhaps more because we can learn from their mistakes and God’s blessings despite those failures. We have the complete Word of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to lead and guides us, something they did not have.
We should and in this increasingly evil word, we must do better.