When “Your” God Becomes “My” God — Two Lessons from Genesis 27 & 28

edited November 11 in General Discussion
Focus Now on Genesis 28 for November 18


Carefully compare these verses for November 11 and November 18.

From the November 11 Lesson — (Genesis 27:20) “Isaac asked his son, ‘How did you find it so quickly, my son?’ ‘The LORD your God gave me success,’ he replied.”

From the November 18 Lesson — (Genesis 28:20-21) “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's household, then the LORD will be my God.”

As we focus now on Genesis 28, notice how specifically Jacob prayed.

1. He prayed for God to be with him and watch over him on his journey.

God did exactly what he requested. He got to Haran to the home of his mother’s brother safely and without any troubles worth mentioning.

2. He prayed to God for food to eat and clothes to wear.

God did exactly what he requested. He got a shepherding job from Laban that provided him with food and clothing. Notice: he had to work for his food and clothing, but God arranged for him to find work that he was skilled in doing and willing to do.

3, He prayed to God to help him return home safely.

God did exactly what he requested. God gave him such great wealth in Haran from working as a shepherd that when Esau came to meet him with an army of 400 men he was able to share his wealth with Esau by giving him gifts, which showed Esau that Jacob was not returning to claim the inheritance he had stolen from Esau by deception. While in Haran, God changed Jacob’s heart and gave Jacob the wisdom and wealth to make peace with his brother.

Jacob then had three answers to prayer and three good reasons to make the LORD his God. Furthermore, when we read about God’s specific answers we too, and anyone who will read the story of Jacob with a mind open to sound reason, have three good and sufficient reasons to make the God of the Bible our God. And, the Bible is full of good and sufficient reasons for anyone to come to faith in the true God.

When we pray to God, let us make our prayers specific so we will know when God has answered them. Then, let us give thanks for God’s answers to our prayers.

Look at how much more the LORD answered Jacob’s prayers than what Jacob specifically requested before he reached Haran.

The LORD gave Jacob more than he could have ever thought about or imagined when he prayed. Jacob’s greatest gifts from God, though not without problems, were two wives and 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel as the LORD had promised him, and at least one daughter. His family were God's greatest gifts to him, and Jacob learned many valuable lessons from his family. God often does more for us than we can ask or think.

You might ask your class to share some answers to their prayers or the prayers of others that show how God hears and answers the prayers of His children.

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Focus Now on Genesis 27 for November 11


Pretending to be Esau, when Jacob lied to his father about his success in hunting wild game for Isaac’s dinner, notice that Jacob told Isaac, “the LORD your God gave me success.”

After Jacob had a dream, he made a vow to the LORD, and told the LORD that if He met his needs then the LORD will be my God.

Consider the Genesis 27 Lesson, if Jacob had been trusting in, praying, and acting in behalf of the LORD, instead of deceiving his father, he could have said, “the LORD my God gave me success.”

Consider the Genesis 28 Lesson, Jacob vowed that if the LORD met his needs, then “the LORD will be my God.” Presumably, if the LORD did not meet his needs, then he would not make the LORD his God.

I will expand this Forum posting over the next two weeks into two parts for Genesis 27 (for November 11) & 28 (for November 18).

The first part for Genesis 27 and the second part for Genesis 28 will give you some time to share your ideas and ask questions on the Forum for better discussion and focus. If you are a teacher, you can give your students something to think about between lessons regarding their relationship with God. You will also have time to post your student's questions here.

Question: If we are knowingly committing a sin, in some sense do we detach ourselves from God or push God away from us? For the time being, in our minds does God become the God of someone else and not us? Perhaps the God of our parents or the God of our church? How can God become “our God” again?

Question: If we are desperately in need of God’s help, does God suddenly become very special to us? Like Jacob, do people sometimes make a vow that if God does what they ask, then they will believe in God or make the God of the Bible their God? Is this the best way to decide what God or god will we believe in and serve?

Notice: in both situations Jacob found himself in, he was thinking primarily of himself. In the first situation, he trusted in his mother’s and his deception and his ability to lie. In the second situation, Jacob trusted in God because he had no ability to achieve a successful outcome by himself.

Why and when do most people turn to God and Jesus Christ? When does a Christian change from praying for God to meet their needs primarily to praying for God to help them meet the needs of others?

Return to this posting between the November 11th and the November 18th lesson for more ideas and questions to think about and share more specifically on Genesis 28:20-21.

Receive our periodic International Bible Lesson Forum Newsletter by becoming a Registered Member of this IBL Forum. Then, login and make comments to share with others. I add most new members manually by hand (nothing automatic here); hopefully, every time I am near a computer I add new members, but sometimes it does take 2 or 3 days (sorry for any delays!).

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

CLICK HERE To Go to the International Bible Lesson Commentary and International Bible Lesson for additional Uniform Sunday School Lesson Series Resources.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

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