Questions to Consider
1. Briefly review lesson 20 (link above). What events led to the events of today’s passage?
2. Review question #2 from lesson 18 (link above), and compare Abraham’s instructions to his servant about finding Isaac a wife in 24:1-9 to Isaac’s and Rebekah’s concerns and instructions about Jacob’s and Esau’s wives in 26:34-35 and 27:46-28:9. What were some similarities between the two situations? The differences? Look especially at a) the people groups the parent(s) did and did not want the wives to come from and b) whether or not the parent(s) wanted the son to travel to the desired people group. What were the reasons neither Abraham nor Isaac and Rebekah wanted their sons to marry a Canaanite? Why did they want their sons to marry within their own family? Why did Abraham prohibit Isaac from traveling back to Haran, but Isaac and Rebekah pushed Jacob to go to Haran? What did the Abrahamic Covenant and physically inhabiting the Promised Land have to do with all of this?
3. Examine Rebekah’s words and actions in 27:41-28:5. What does it seem were Rebekah’s primary and secondary reasons for sending Jacob to Haran to find a wife?
4. In 28:2, Isaac refers to Bethuel as Rebekah’s father. Besides the fact that Bethuel was Isaac’s father-in-law, what was Isaac’s biological kinship with Bethuel? How did Isaac know whether or not Laban had any daughters for Jacob to marry?
5. What were the names of Esau’s wives, and what were their national or familial backgrounds? (26:34, 28:9) Considering the Abrahamic Covenant, why would a wife from Abraham’s brother’s line have been seen as preferable for Isaac and Jacob, but a wife from Abraham’s son’s line (28:9) was seen as less desirable for Esau? How was Esau’s split from the Covenant lineage and alignment with the non-Covenant lineage through his marriages a fulfillment of God’s word to Rebekah in 25:23: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided;”?
7. Even though Judith, Basemath, and Mahalath were not in the Covenant lineage and likely weren’t worshipers of God, how might marrying into, and living in close proximity to, a family who worshiped the one true God have impacted their spiritual lives? Consider the idea behind 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 as you answer.
8. What was Rebekah’s attitude toward her daughters-in-law? (26:34-35, 27:46) Was her attitude focused on herself and how these women were affecting her, or was it focused on them and how she could help them, love them, and be a godly influence on them? How might Rebekah’s attitude have prevented her from introducing them to the one true God and discipling them in the spirit of Titus 2:3-5?
9. How was Jacob’s experience at Bethel (28:10-22) a turning point or a fresh start in his relationship with God? What did God promise Jacob? (28:12-15) What did Jacob promise God? (28:20-22) How would God’s promises to Jacob and Jacob’s promises to God have set the foundation and tone for Jacob’s relationship with his soon to be family and his relationship with his family of origin (when he later returned to them)? How could Jacob’s vow to God be seen as the earliest “mission statement”, if you will, of the future nation of Israel?
Do you have a Judith, Basemath, or Mahalath in your life- a woman who’s a hard-to-love unbeliever? What is your attitude toward her? Is it focused on yourself and how she affects you, or is it focused on her and how you could help her, love her, and share the gospel with her? Write down three practical ways you could be a godly influence on her this week.
Suggested Memory Verse
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God,