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Book Of Genesis – Lesson #23

Lesson 23:  Genesis 35; Genesis 36; and Genesis 37

Read Genesis 35:1-15

Chapter 35 opens with God’s command to Jacob to fulfill the vow made about thirty years earlier (Gen. 28:20-22). The Lord used the tragic events of the previous chapter to prepare the patriarch to do it. Notice that God is referred to about twenty times in this chapter, in contrast to no references in Genesis 34.  Before obeying God’s command to return to Bethel, Jacob first ordered his family to put away the foreign household gods and to put on clean clothes. As soon as they did this, they became a terror to their heathen neighbors. It was appropriate that Jacob should build an altar at ͅEl Bethel and worship the God who had protected him from his brother, Esau.

Once again God stated that Jacob’s name was now Israel and renewed the covenant He had made with Abraham and Isaac. The patriarch marked the sacred spot with a pillar and once again named the place Bethel. Continue Reading Here

Book Of Genesis – Lesson #21

Lesson 21:  Genesis 31 and Genesis 32

Read Gen. 31:1-18

After Jacob discovered that Laban and his sons were growing jealous and resentful, the Lord told him that the time had come to return to Canaan. First he called Rachel and Leah and discussed the matter, rehearsing how Laban had cheated him and changed his wages ten times, how God had overruled so that the flocks always bred in his favor, how God had reminded him of the vow he had made twenty years earlier (Gen. 28:20–22), and how the Lord had told him to return to Canaan. His wives agreed that their father had not dealt honestly and that they should leave.

There are several several interesting principles for discerning God’s guidance here. First, Jacob had a desire (Gen. 30:25). Secondly, circumstances necessitated a change of some sort. Thirdly, God’s word came strongly to him. And finally, there was confirming support from his wives, despite their natural ties to Laban.   Note that the Angel of God (Gen. 31:11) is the God of Bethel (Gen. 31:13). Continue Reading Here

Book Of Genesis – Lesson #19

Lesson 19:  Genesis 27 & Genesis 28

Read  Genesis 27:1-22

Approximately thirty-seven years have passed since the events of the previous chapter. Isaac is now 137, his sight has failed, and he thinks he is about to die, perhaps because his brother Ishmael had died at that age (Gen. 25:17). But he will live forty-three more years.

When Isaac craved some venison from Esau, promising a blessing in return, Rebekah plotted to deceive her husband and to get the blessing for Jacob, whom she loved. Her trickery was unnecessary because God had already promised the blessing to Jacob (Gen. 25:23b). She cooked goat’s meat so that it tasted like savory venison, and put the goat’s skins on Jacob’s arms to impersonate the hairy Esau. Isaac made the mistake of trusting his feelings; the hairy arm “felt” like Esau’s. We should not trust our emotional feelings in spiritual matters. As Martin Luther observed: Continue Reading Here

Book Of Genesis – Lesson #18

Chapters 25 & 26

Read Genesis 25:1-18   

In 1 Chronicles 1:32 Keturah is called Abraham’s concubine. Verse 6 seems to confirm this. Thus she was a lesser wife, one who did not enjoy the full privileges of a wife in the home. Once again God records marital irregularities that He never approved.

Abraham breathed his last at one hundred and seventy-five years of age and became the second person to be buried in the cave at Hebron. The twelve sons of Ishmael listed in Gen. 25:12-16 fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham: “He shall beget twelve princes” (Gen. 17:20). With the death of Ishmael, Isaac moves to center stage in the narrative. Continue Reading Here

Bible Study: The Book of Joel

The Book of Joel

“Joel, … was probably the first of the so called writing prophets; so this book provides a valuable insight into the history of prophecy, particularly as it furnishes a framework for the end times which is faithfully followed by all subsequent Scripture. God started a new work with the writing of Joel, that of preparing the human race for the end of this temporal era, and thus gave an outline of His total plan. Later prophets, including even our Lord, would only flesh out this outline, but in keeping with the divine nature of true Scripture, never found it necessary to deviate from this, the initial revelation.” Montague S. Mills

The prophecy of Joel is short but certainly not lacking in beauty or interest. The prophet uses many literary devices to produce his vivid style: alliteration, metaphors, similes, and both synonymous and contrasting parallelism. Continue Reading Here