We’re so glad you decided to join us for Sunday School today!
When we meet together, we share our joys and concerns. Consider this past week. If you have any prayer requests you would like to share, please add them to the comments on this post. When you are ready, get started with the prayer below (source).
we’re so grateful to be able to meet here together and be in your presence today.
We know it’s a gift. Help us never lose sight of that.
While we’re here together studying Your Word (the Bible) we ask that You’d open our ears and our hearts to whatever it is You are wanting to teach us.
Help us to see things through Your eyes and not the lens of our own understanding.
We want to know You more, God.
Thank you for showing us who You are and helping us understand and walk in Your love.
What we learn today we want to act on. Don’t let it become mere head knowledge. Shape our minds, hearts, and actions according to Your word.
Show us how to honor you and love others well with what we learn.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This week’s lesson is on Genesis 25:19b-34.
God provided Abraham and Sarah with a son Isaac. However, Abraham would have other sons by other women. Hagar, a servant of wife Sarah gave birth to Ishmael. After Sarah died, Abraham took another wife, Keturah, who bore him other sons. However, Abraham held Isaac in the highest regard. Isaac eventually married Rebekah. Abraham sent a servant to his ancestral homeland to find a wife for Isaac when Isaac was forty years old because Abraham did not want his son to marry a Canaanite woman. Together they settled in the southern part of Canaan, near the Sinai Peninsula.
Although Isaac found a suitable wife that’s was no guarantee regarding the continuation of the family line. Infertility had also affected Isaac mother Sarah. Both generations had to depend on God’s power in order to conceive.
Isaac’s prayers were answered and Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other with in her, and she ask the Lord, “What is happening to me?” The Lord’s response, “Two nations are in your womb, and two people from within you will be separated ; one people will be stronger that the other and the older will serve the younger.” The right or inheritance of the firstborn was a crucial element of the ancient Near East’s social and legal systems. The Lord overturn this and told Rebekah that her youngest son would have greatest status and acclaim than the second child.
The first born son came out hairy and red and was named Esau. The second son came out holding Esau’s heel and was named Jacob. The boys grew up and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac who loved wild game love Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob. This favoritism will be repeated years later with Jacob with his son Joseph. Issac love for Esau and his hunting would be a factor in how Jacob and Rebekah plotted against Esau and Isaac regarding the father’s blessing.
Esau came in from the open country and was famished and asked for some of the stew that Jacob was making. Jacob said he would give him the stew if Esau would sell him his birthright. The firstborn’s birthright would include a double portion of the father’s estate. Isaac was a wealthy man therefore the birthright would have been sizable. Esau said, “Look, I am about to die what good is the birthright to me?” Esau’s desire for immediate gratification led him to disregard the most important earthly thing that was his to lose: his birthright. This would have been a lifetime blessing.
Jacob had Esau swear an oath. Esau risked divine judgement should he later try to deny or break the agreement. After his oath Esau was given bread and some lentil stew.
Readers should be unimpressed with the attitudes and actions of the individuals described in this lesson. Isaac and Rebekah each favored one of their sons over the other. Esau desired immediate relief over long term benefits. Jacob schemed and manipulated his brother for personal gain. A story that began with God’s love and power transitions into a story of people pursuing selfish interests.
However, we need not idealized any one human character, because the Lord is the protagonist of this story. He alone can make good out of less than ideal circumstances and less than ideal people.
God worked through this deeply flawed family, and he will work in the lives of all people whom he has called. People of God should not strive to force his hand. Instead, we should trust that his plans and purposes will be fulfilled regardless of any attempts to circumvent or force those plans.
Father, we celebrate that you have chosen to work through us your people. Thank you for your faithfulness to us, even when we fail to live holy lives. Prepare us so that we can live out your purposes in the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Our benediction this week is from the New International Version.
Next week's lesson will be on Genesis 32:22-32.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.