December 13, 2020 – Genesis 27 – 28
Lesson Date: December 13, 2020
Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 27:1-41; 28:12-22
AIM: To lead students to discover the ways Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau tried to “help” God rather than faithfully wait upon Him to do His will, and to examine their actions and motives to see if they are guilty of trying to “help” God do His will.
Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 27 – 28 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the lesson title, “Helping God,” across the top of the marker board or chalkboard. Write the following lesson outline below the title. Leave space to the right of each point so you can write more by each item.
Isaac’s Plan –
Rebekah’s Method –
Jacob’s Fear –
Jacob’s Method –
Esau’s Desire –
Jacob’s Encounter –
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the lesson title, “Helping God,” written on the board. Tell the students that helping others is a good thing, but if you constantly jump in and do things for others it implies that you don’t think they can do the task themselves. Parents are sometimes guilty of this: doing things for their kids that the kids should learn to do for themselves. Such parents teach by their actions that they don’t think their kids can do things for themselves or do them in a way that meets the parents’ expectation.
Ask: “When God has clearly revealed His will or plan to us, does He need ‘help’ to get the job done?” (no).
Tell the students that some people try to help God do His will by using fleshly methods. Ask: “Can you think of anyone we’ve already studied in the book of Genesis who did that?” (God promised to give Abraham and Sarah a son, but they grew impatient waiting on God and resorted to fleshly methods to get a son through Hagar – Gen. 16). Ask: “How did that work out for them?” (it caused much hurt and strife in their family, hurt that still exists today).
Tell the class in today’s lesson we will discover that Isaac and his family members tried to use fleshly methods to “help” God do His will. Some even tried to violate God’s will.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the class that we are studying the Old Testament book of Genesis.
- Be sure everyone present has a new Sunday School Member Quarterly.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Esau sold his birthright).
- Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (1 John 3:1).
- Isaac’s Plan – Violate God’s Will.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 27:1-4.
- Tell the class Isaac was 137 years old and could not see. He thought he might die at any time (he actually lived 43 more years).
- Ask: “What did he promise to do for Esau after eating his wild game?” (bless him).
- Explain that Isaac intended to bestow the patriarchal blessing upon his favorite son, Esau.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 25:23 and 25:33.
- Remind the students that God clearly told Rebekah that her older son, Esau, would serve (be subservient to) her younger son, Jacob.
- Also, Esau had sold his birthright to Jacob, making Jacob legally the firstborn son who should receive the patriarchal blessing.
- Tell the class Isaac’s plan was to violate God’s will. Write this on the board.
- Ask: “Are we ever guilty of trying to do our will instead of God’s will?” (yes).
- Summarize: Isaac tried to manipulate circumstances to violate God’s will.
- Rebekah’s Method – Do God’s Will Through Lies & Trickery.
- Tell the students that Rebekah overheard Isaac’s instructions to Esau.
- Read Genesis 27:5-10.
- Ask: “Who did she tell?” (Jacob).
- Ask: “What did she tell Jacob to do?” (go get some young goats from the flock so she could prepare them like wild game, so Jacob could deceptively steal the blessing).
- Remind the class that it was God’s plan for Jacob to be the chosen son through whom the covenant blessings would be passed down to future generations. It was God’s plan for Jacob to become the new patriarch of the family when Isaac died.
- Tell the class Rebekah was trying to use lies and trickery to do God’s will. Write this on the board.
- Ask: “Why do you think Rebekah didn’t let God take care of things?” (she was impatient; she didn’t have enough faith to believe God could take care of it; her love for Jacob and fear that he might not get all she wanted him to have blinded her to the truth).
- Ask: “Are we ever guilty of trying to do God’s will in our way and in our time?” (yes).
- Summarize: Rebekah tried to assure that God’s will was done, but she used human methods – deception and trickery – to do it.
- Jacob’s Fear – Being Cursed Instead of Blessed.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 27:11-13.
- Tell the class Jacob was fearful.
- Ask: “Was he afraid of sinning against God?” (no).
- Ask: “Was he afraid of hurting his father’s feelings?” (no).
- Ask: “Was he afraid of causing a rift between himself and his brother?” (no).
- Ask: “What was Jacob afraid of?” (getting caught and therefore being cursed instead of blessed). Write this on the board.
- Ask: “Are we ever fearful of getting caught instead of being fearful of sinning against God?” (yes).
- Summarize: Jacob was not afraid of sinning against God or his father; he was only worried about getting caught and being cursed.
- Jacob’s Method – Lie to Get What God Wanted Him to Have.
- Read Genesis 27:14-17.
- Ask: “What did Jacob and Rebekah do to deceive Isaac?” (Rebekah fixed the meat the way Esau would prepare wild game, Jacob put on Esau’s clothing, and Rebekah put animal skins on Jacob’s hands and neck to simulate Esau’s hairy skin).
- Ask the class to look for lies Jacob told his father, as you read Genesis 27:18-27.
- Ask them to identify the lies Jacob told his father. They should name the following:
- Verse 19 – “I am Esau”
- Verse 19 – “I have done”
- Verse 19 – “my venison” (it was actually goat)
- Verse 20 – “the Lord thy God brought it to me”
- Verses 21-23 – he let Isaac assume the animal skins were Esau’s hairy skin
- Verse 24 – “I am”
- Verses 25-28 – he pretended to be Esau and serve his father venison
- Ask: “Do you get the idea Isaac was unsure this was really Esau?” (yes).
- Ask: “What could he have done to be absolutely sure?” (he could have asked Rebekah).
- Explain that Isaac didn’t want to ask Rebekah because she knew Jacob should receive the blessing. There is no mistaking the fact that Isaac knew he was doing something underhanded!
- Read Genesis 27:28-29.
- Tell the class Isaac blessed Jacob, making him the recipient of God’s covenant blessings passed down from Abraham through Isaac.
- Tell the class Jacob deceived and lied to get what God intended him to have all along. Write this on the board.
- Ask: “Are we ever guilty of doing the same thing?” (yes).
- Summarize: Jacob lied and deceived his father to get the blessing God wanted him to have all along.
- Esau’s Desire – Another Blessing.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 27:30-33.
- Tell the students Esau came in with his meat just after Jacob left. Isaac and Esau realized a deception had taken place.
- Read Genesis 27:34-40.
- Ask: “What did Esau want?” (another blessing).
- Ask: “Do you think Esau knew about the prophecy God had given to his mother before he was born (Gen. 25:23)?” (yes).
- Ask: “Do you think Esau remembered that he had sold his birthright to Jacob, making Jacob the legal firstborn and heir?” (yes).
- Tell the class in spite of these things and the fact that Esau did not receive the patriarchal blessing, Esau wept and begged for another blessing. He didn’t get his way, but he pleaded for another blessing, anyway. Write this on the board.
- Ask: “Are we ever guilty of trying to get an extra blessing we don’t deserve?” (yes).
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 27:41.
- Ask: “What did Esau plan to do?” (kill Jacob after their father died).
- Summarize: After learning that Isaac had blessed Jacob, Esau wept and begged his father for another blessing.
- Jacob’s Encounter.
- Read Genesis 28:10-11.
- Tell the students when Rebekah learned that Esau was planning to kill her beloved son Jacob, she devised a plan to send him away to her family in Haran (locate on the Map of the Ancient World).
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 28:12.
- Ask the class what Jacob saw in his dream (a ladder reaching from earth to heaven with angels going up and down).
- Tell the class Jacob also saw the Lord standing above the ladder.
- Ask them to listen for what God said to Jacob, as you read Genesis 28:13-15 (He identified Himself; He promised to give Jacob the land; He promised that Jacob’s descendants would be very numerous and spread all over the earth; He promised to bless all the families of the earth through Jacob’s descendants; He promised to go with Jacob on his journey and bring him safely back to this land; He promised not to leave Jacob).
- Ask the students to listen for what Jacob did as a volunteer reads Genesis 28:18-22.
- They should name the following:
- Jacob built a stone pillar and poured oil upon it. By doing this Jacob worshiped God.
- Jacob renamed the place Bethel (literally “house of God” – locate on the Map of Canaan).
- Jacob made a vow (commitment) to God.
- Jacob accepted Jehovah as his own God (not just the God of his father and grandfather).
- Jacob set up a memorial to his personal encounter with God.
- Jacob promised to give tithes to God.
- Tell the class that Jacob had an encounter with Almighty God. Write this on the board.
- Summarize: While running away from Esau, Jacob ran right into Almighty God. Jacob accepted Him as his God and made a vow to God.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Review the lesson by reading the completed lesson outline on the board. Tell the class the people in this lesson were either (a) unwilling to accept God’s will for their lives, or (b) they didn’t trust God to keep His promises, or (c) they were unwilling to wait on God’s timing to accomplish his will. Because of this, they all tried to “help” God along, rather than waiting for Him to do His will.
Ask: “Are we ever guilty of doing the same things as the people in this lesson?” (yes). Sadly, we sometimes try to “help” God accomplish His will. By our actions, we sometimes treat God as if He were disabled or just not smart enough to know how to handle things. We act like we know more than God.
Tell the class Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob all resorted to lies, deceit, deception, and trickery. We do not ever need to resort to lies or other sins to do God’s will.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Ask them to silently and privately examine their actions and motives. Ask: “Are you trying to ‘help’ God? Are you impatient with His timing? Are you struggling to trust His methods?” Encourage everyone to confess their sins of impatience and lack of trust, and to recommit themselves to trusting God.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Genesis 28:15. Tell them we face a choice every day: will we trust God or our own wits and skill? Trusting God brings blessings, but our schemes usually cause hurt and heartache. Tell the class to trust God to do His will in His time.
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