Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 21- Rebekah, Judith, Basemath, and Mahalath

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

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Read Genesis 26:34-35, 27:41-28:22

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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;”?

6. What nation/people did Jacob become? What nation/people did Esau become? From which of these nations and lineages did Christ eventually come, fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant?

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?


Homework

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,
Genesis 28:20-21

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 20- Rebekah

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

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Read Genesis 26-27

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Questions to Consider

1. In 26:3-4, what promise is God reiterating to Isaac? Why did God repeat the Abrahamic Covenant so many times?

2. Examine 26:2-5. Did Isaac have a legitimate reason to fear for his life? (26:7) Consider Who made these promises to Isaac and what the promises were. Was Isaac acting out of trust in God or fear of man when he lied?

3. In lesson 19 (link above) we looked at four commonalities between Sarah’s life and Rebekah’s life. What were those four commonalities? In today’s lesson, we’ve got another déjà vu moment. Compare 26:1-11 with Genesis 12:10-20, 20:1-18. List the similarities and differences between Sarah’s experiences and Rebekah’s. What were some ways Rebekah would have had to trust and obey God? How might Rebekah’s relationship with God have grown through this experience?

4. Who was Abimelech? In what way did Abimelech (26:9-11) demonstrate more belief in God’s Word than Isaac (26:7) did?

5. What was the significance of all the well digging (26:12-33), and the fact that Isaac gave the wells the same names Abraham had given them (26:18)? Consider this establishment of claim to the land by Isaac in light of God’s promise about the land in 26:3-4.

6. Summarize Rebekah’s role in the story of the stolen blessing in chapter 27. Did Rebekah do anything that was sinful? Did she do anything that was righteous? What were the consequences of her actions? How do her words and actions in this chapter set a good or bad example for Christian women today? How did God use her actions as part of His overall plan?

7. Briefly review lessons 18 and 19 (links above), examining Rebekah’s character and personality, and especially Genesis 25:23,27. Chapter 27 tells us what Rebekah did, but doesn’t really explain why she did it. Knowing what you know about Rebekah from previous passages about her, what are some possible motives – good or bad – that may have led her to act the way she did? Is it always possible to determine someone’s motives merely by observing her outward behavior?

8. Think about the effect Rebekah’s actions had on Isaac, Esau, and Jacob respectively. How might her behavior have impacted her relationship with her husband and each of her sons? Think about your own behavior. How does it impact your relationship with your husband, children, family members, co-workers, or fellow church members?


Homework

How often do you consider your motives for saying or doing various things? Do you act out of selfish ambition and conceit or humility? Do you look out for number one or act in the best interests of others? Are your actions motivated by trust in God or fear of man, as Isaac was? Over the course of the next week, take some time at the end of each day to think back over your words and actions. Evaluate your motives. Were they godly or ungodly? Repent where you need to repent and ask God to make your motives more godly.


Suggested Memory Verse

May God give you of the dew of heaven
    and of the fatness of the earth
    and plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
    and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
    and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
    and blessed be everyone who blesses you!
Genesis 27:28-29

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 19- Keturah, Hagar, Sarah, Rebekah

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

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Read Genesis 25

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Questions to Consider

1. Who are the three women named in verses 1-18? What was the relationship of each to Abraham? To the Abrahamic Covenant? Based on your answers to these questions, why don’t we hear anything else about the sons of Keturah and Hagar after Genesis 25? Why does the Bible follow the story of Abraham’s lineage through Sarah (Isaac) instead?

2. Why, in terms of inheritance and the Abrahamic Covenant, would Abraham have sent the sons of Keturah and Hagar away from Isaac? (6)

3. Briefly describe Sarah’s, Keturah’s, and Hagar’s “callings” in life. Did Hagar and Keturah have less intrinsic value as people in God’s eyes than Sarah did simply because their roles in Old Testament history were different from hers? Does the fact that God calls different people to different roles in life mean that He values or loves people with “important” roles more? Who places or allows people to be in the roles or life circumstances they’re in? Does God view our status in life the same way people do?

4. Do you see some similarities between Sarah and Rebekah in this chapter?

🍼 What is the first similarity we see in verse 21 (compare with 11:29-30)?

🍼🍼 Compare Isaac’s age when he married Rebekah (20) to his age when Jacob and Esau were born (26). How long did Isaac and Rebekah wait for God to open her womb? How long did Abraham and Sarah wait (compare 12:1-4 with 21:5)?

🍼🍼🍼 After opening their wombs, how many sons of the Covenant did Sarah have? How sons of the Covenant did Rebekah (24) have?

🍼🍼🍼🍼 How did Rebekah (23) and Sarah (17:19) find out about these Covenant sons?

5. Consider Rebekah’s possible concerns and emotional state at being barren for so long, and then bearing only two sons, when God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be “as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore”. How might God have used these circumstances in her life to teach her to trust Him? (22-23)

6. How do the motifs of barrenness, miraculous conception, and the one, promised, long-awaited son of the Covenant foreshadow the birth of Christ?

7. How does the story of Esau despising his birthright and Jacob redeeming it further confirm what God told Rebekah in verse 23 – that Jacob would be the son of the Abrahamic Covenant?


Homework

Think about the roles and statuses God has placed you in. Are you famous? Unknown? Do you wield a lot of power and influence, or very little? Are you wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?

Read the Parable of the Talents. “Talents” were units of money the master entrusted to his servants to invest. What kinds of blessings, influence, resources, and abilities has God entrusted to you? Your marriage? Your singleness? Your home? The position you serve in at church? Money? Your children? Your job? Your relationships with friends?

What matters to God – how many of these things He has blessed you with, or how you steward them for His glory (see verses 21 &23)? List three ways you can faithfully make the most of the roles and statuses God has called you to for His glory.


Suggested Memory Verse

And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:23

Wednesday's Word

Wednesday’s Word ~ Obadiah

obadiah 4

Obadiah

The vision of Obadiah.

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the Lord,
    and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”
Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
    you shall be utterly despised.
The pride of your heart has deceived you,
    you who live in the clefts of the rock,
    in your lofty dwelling,
who say in your heart,
    “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
    though your nest is set among the stars,
    from there I will bring you down,
declares the Lord.

If thieves came to you,
    if plunderers came by night—
    how you have been destroyed!—
    would they not steal only enough for themselves?
If grape gatherers came to you,
    would they not leave gleanings?
How Esau has been pillaged,
    his treasures sought out!
All your allies have driven you to your border;
    those at peace with you have deceived you;
they have prevailed against you;
    those who eat your bread have set a trap beneath you—
    you have no understanding.

Will I not on that day, declares the Lord,
    destroy the wise men out of Edom,
    and understanding out of Mount Esau?
And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman,
    so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.

10 Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob,
    shame shall cover you,
    and you shall be cut off forever.
11 On the day that you stood aloof,
    on the day that strangers carried off his wealth
and foreigners entered his gates
    and cast lots for Jerusalem,
    you were like one of them.
12 But do not gloat over the day of your brother
    in the day of his misfortune;
do not rejoice over the people of Judah
    in the day of their ruin;
do not boast
    in the day of distress.
13 Do not enter the gate of my people
    in the day of their calamity;
do not gloat over his disaster
    in the day of his calamity;
do not loot his wealth
    in the day of his calamity.
14 Do not stand at the crossroads
    to cut off his fugitives;
do not hand over his survivors
    in the day of distress.

15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
    your deeds shall return on your own head.
16 For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
    so all the nations shall drink continually;
they shall drink and swallow,
    and shall be as though they had never been.
17 But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape,
    and it shall be holy,
and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.
18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
    and the house of Joseph a flame,
    and the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
    and there shall be no survivor for the house of Esau,
for the Lord has spoken.

19 Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau,
    and those of the Shephelah shall possess the land of the Philistines;
they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria,
    and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20 The exiles of this host of the people of Israel
    shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
    shall possess the cities of the Negeb.
21 Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion
    to rule Mount Esau,
    and the kingdom shall be the Lord‘s.


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider:

1. What is the theme or purpose of the book of Obadiah? What is the historical backdrop of this book? Why is it important to understand Scripture in light of its historical and cultural setting?

2. Which nation is God speaking directly to in this book? (Who is “you” in verses 1-4?) But which nation would have been the one to receive this book of prophecy? (20) Where do the terms “Jacob” (10, 18) and “Edom/Esau” (1, 6, 18) come from originally, and why are these men’s names used to refer to two nations in this passage? “Jacob” refers to which nation? “Edom/Esau” refers to which nation?

3. Why is God bringing judgment upon Edom? (15, 10) What can we learn from this passage about God’s judgment upon the enemies of His people both in this immediate situation with Israel, and in the future final day of judgment? How does the message of Obadiah work hand in hand with the message of these passages?

4. The theme of most of the Old Testament prophetic books is a warning to God’s people, Israel, to repent of their sin before God judges them. In Obadiah, we see God’s promise of judgment for the sin of a pagan nation. What does this teach us about God’s view of sin and repentance? How do Obadiah, God’s judgment on Israel, and Romans 2:1-11 show that God is “no respecter of persons” when it comes to judging sin?

5. How does knowing that God is a righteous and just judge impact your prayer life, your worship, your sense of urgency in sharing the gospel, and your desire to take vengeance on others?