Saturday, August 15, 2020

2020.08.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 31:36–55

Read Genesis 31:36–55

Questions from the Scripture text: How did Jacob feel (Genesis 31:36)? What did he do to Laban? What does he ask? What does he challenge Laban to do in Genesis 31:37? How long has Jacob been with Laban (Genesis 31:38)? What did the female livestock not do? What did Jacob not do? Why did he have to bear the loss of one torn by beasts (Genesis 31:39)? What did Jacob go through for all this (Genesis 31:40)? How long did Jacob work for Laban for what (Genesis 31:41)? What has Laban done? How does Jacob explain that Laban is not sending them away empty-handed (Genesis 31:42)? What two things has God seen? What does Jacob say this explains? What does Laban now claim about the daughters (Genesis 31:43)? What does he now claim about the children? What does he claim about the flock? What does he now propose in Genesis 31:44? What does Jacob set up in Genesis 31:45? What does he tell everyone to gather in Genesis 31:46? What Aramean and Hebrew name do Laban and Jacob give the rocks (Genesis 31:47-48)? What else does Laban call it (Genesis 31:49)? Why? Whom does he call upon to watch between the two of them? What does he chare Jacob not to do (Genesis 31:50)? To what does Laban now call attention in Genesis 31:51? What other function does it receive in Genesis 31:52? Whom does Laban call upon to judge in Genesis 31:53? What does he call Him? By what name does Jacob swear? What two things do they then do in Genesis 31:54? What does Laban do in the morning (Genesis 31:55)?  

Laban was not after his household idols so much as he was after everything that Jacob had (Genesis 31:43). But God had protected Jacob, so now Laban is reduced to having to establish a covenant with Jacob; otherwise, he would end up harming his own daughters and grandchildren (Genesis 31:44). 

Laban has encountered a god who is far greater than his own, and he immediately makes use of this knowledge, calling Yahweh as witness as they swear a covenant with one another. Although Laban continues to be a polytheist (‘judge’ in Genesis 31:53 is plural—“the god of Nahor” is not Yahweh!), the solemnity of such an oath is not lost on Jacob, who swears only “by the Fear of his father Isaac.”

God has demonstrated almighty power in protecting His people. When we whom He has saved take an oath before Him and in His Name, it is the most profound of promises. We are enabled to do so, because we are trusting Him with what comes of us. Jacob is an example of that here. Laban has deeply wronged him (Genesis 31:41), but the God of Abraham has done him good (Genesis 31:42). 

The godly should be the quickest to make peace, and the most reliable with whom to covenant.

What promises have you made before God and man? How are you doing at keeping them? How can you?

Suggested songs: ARP15 “Within Your Tent, Who Will Reside?” or TPH22B “All You That Fear Jehovah’s Name”

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