Theme: God established a nation
Know: Jacob returned to Bethel where God had first met with him in a dream. This brought reassurance concerning God's plans to build a nation from his descendants.
Think: Live each day conscious of the fact that God will bring to pass every promise He has made in Scripture.
Do: Return to your spiritual roots for reassurance and recommitment.
Scripture: Genesis 35:1-29
Notes and questions:
B1 Four things happen in this chapter: Jacob and family go to Bethel, Rachel dies, the 12 sons of Jacob are listed, and the death of Isaac.
B2 Since Bethel, Jacob has gotten two wives, 12 (11 sons and 1 daughter) children, many servants, and livestock.
B3 Deborah (Rebekah's nurse) died.
B4 Benjamin was born near Bethlehem.
B5 Rachel dies in childbirth.
B6 Genesis 35:1, the right time to move.
B7 Genesis 35:2, do you think Jacob had any second thoughts about leaving and returning to Bethel?
B8 Genesis 35:2, what 3 things did Jacob tell his family to do? Why did they have to give up their ear rings? (Many people in those days used them for good luck. They were something dedicated to the "gods." Often they were stamped or engraven with "magic" words). What is the application for us?
B9 Genesis 35:3, what testimony does Jacob give FOR God? How does God answer us today when we are in distress?
B10 Genesis 35:5, how did God protect them on their journey?
B11 Genesis 35:7, what is the purpose of people building altars in those days? (for sacrifice and worship. The sacrifice was to atone/appease for their sins. The worship was to pray, etc.).
B12 Genesis 35:10, why did God change Jacob's name to Israel? (Jacob means supplanter, which means to trip someone up, to overthrown, to usurp, cause a downfall, even destroy. Israel means from a range of possibilities God fights, God persists, God preserves, and God prevails. (Brown-Driver-Biggs and NAS dictionary. "And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed."
(Genesis 32:28 NKJV).
B13 Genesis 35:11, why does God say His name? How does that relate to the blessing?
B14 Genesis 35:18, why the name change? (Benoni means "son of sorrow," and Benjamin means "son of the right hand." From loss to hope).
B15 Genesis 35:22, the great disappointment of Israel. Have we ever a child who disappointed us? What is the solution? Have we ever been the child who disappointed? Reuben lost the birthright, which was given to the sons of Joseph. ("Unstable as water, you shall not excel [any longer], for you went up upon the bed of your father, then defiled [it]. You went up upon my couch!" (Genesis 49:4,LEB) Sin has consequences.
B16 Does God have any blessings for you? How has he blessed you?
B17 How does God work in OUR lives to change us? Why does He want to change us? How have you been changed by circumstances?