GENESIS 27 – 28
Bible Study Notes Rev. Betsy Perkins
Grasping The Blessing, Too!
Jacob continues to live up to his name as one who grasps and one who deceives. He grasped the birthright (bekorah) from his elder brother; he now grasps for the blessing (barakah), too. Yet acquiring the blessing is not without painful consequences as well. Words are powerful and once spoken cannot be withdrawn or undone.
Scene 1: Isaac and Esau (27:1-5)
o What disabilities does Isaac have in his old age? What senses does he retain and rely on?
Scene 2: Rebekah and Jacob (27:6-17)
o How is the foolishness of Isaac and Rebekah’s favoritism toward their sons evident in this situation?
o Why do Rebekah and Jacob make a plan to deceive Isaac?
o What is Jacob’s main concern about the plan?
o Are there situations when the ends justify the means?
Scene 3: Isaac and Jacob (27:18-29)
o How do Jacob’s actions reveal his character?
o Isaac senses are confused and he is suspicious. What are the clues he uses to try to “recognize” who is with him? Why does Isaac not trust his misgivings?
Scene 4: Isaac and Esau (27:30-40)
o Why is Isaac unable to undo the mistake in the blessing?
o How had Jacob’s deception changed Esau’s life?
o Think of a time when you have been treated unfairly. What suffering did it cause in your life?
o How did Esau feel and respond to the loss of the blessing? How was this different than his response to the loss of his birthright?
Scene 5: Rebekah and Jacob (27:41-45)
o Why does Esau contemplate killing his brother? When have you wanted to take revenge on someone who wronged you?
o Rebekah comes up with an excuse to get Jacob out of Esau’s way.
Scene 6: Rebekah and Isaac (27:46)
o Who does Rebekah blame for the family crisis?
o How quick are you to deflect blame for a problem onto someone else rather than admitting your own part?
Scene 7: Isaac and Jacob (28:1-5)
o Did Jacob deserve to inherit Abraham’s blessing and the promises God made to Abraham?
o Name some ways God has shown grace to you despite your struggles and shortfalls.
o Read 1 Peter 3:8-9. What should we strive to do to inherit a blessing?
Epilogue: Esau and Jacob (28:6-9)
o What does Esau do after Isaac is sent away? Why?
o How did Jesus deal with those who hurt or deceived him? How did it model what he taught in Matthew 5:38-45?
o How does God want us to react when someone hurts or deceives us?
Jacob’s Dream (28:10-22)
o How might Jacob be feeling as he leaves for Haran? How is his journey both shameful and special?
o Dreams serve to process events/feelings in our lives and, in the Bible, are also a way that God speaks to people. What does God open Jacob’s eye to in this dream? How does God speak into Jacob’s feelings, fears, and future through this dream? What does God promise Jacob?
o What is Jacob’s response?
o How does Jacob’s vow to God differ from God’s vow to Jacob?
o Is there a situation in which you have put conditions on your relationship with God?
In light of this passage and our discussion, what one truth about God and about yourself stand out as something to “take to heart” this week?
Are there steps you will take, by God’s grace, to more fully apply it to your life?
Resources: Robert Alter, Genesis, 1996
John Goldingay, Genesis for Everyone, 2010
Max Lucado, Life Lessons with Max Lucado: Book of Genesis, 1997