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Genesis 31:36-55

Talks for Growing Christians

Jacob and Laban make a Covenant

Genesis 31:36-55

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Lesson Number 72

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Life of Jacob is a microcosm of the history of Israel.
  2. The life of Jacob is a microcosm of the Christian life.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s learn to respond without reacting to false accusations.

Questions

  1. Describe the character of Jacob.
  2. Why is the Mizpah covenant wrongly called a benediction?
  3. By whom did Laban swear?
  4. How does Jacob’s life reflect the history of Israel?
  5. How is Jacob’s life a microcosm of the Christian life?

Answers

  1. Descriptions vary. Some see him as deceitful, crafty, cunning and selfish. Others see him as a man of God, making a few mistakes because of the people around him. He was fair, a hard worker, a non- complainer.
  2. Although it was a covenant between Laban and Jacob, it was made because of a lack of trust between the two of them.
  3. By the God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of their father.
  4. Jacob was forced to leave home and go to a foreign land; the nation Israel was dispersed and scattered among the nations. God’s covenant and promise to Jacob at Bethel was neither changed nor terminated; God’s covenant with Israel is valid today. God prospered Jacob in a foreign land in spite of opposition and unfair treatment; The Jewish people prosper in their dispersion in spite of opposition and unfair treatment. God brought Jacob back home; so God will bring the Jewish people back to their land. God protected Jacob from Laban the Syrian; God is protecting Israel from the Syrians today. Jacob’s revival is viewed in Genesis 35; Israel’s revival is seen in Romans 11.
  5. Jacob had a desire for spiritual things, but he had a lot of rough edges; believers have a desire for spiritual things, but there are rough edges. Jacob made mistakes the Lord had to correct; believers made mistakes that the Lord has to correct. Like Jacob, we are self-centered and proud. Like Jacob, we must go to the School of God and take courses. Like Jacob, we don’t always pass them with flying colors. Like Jacob, who came to graduation when he was old, so God continues to work in and with us as long as we live.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Review the character of Jacob and his growth. Review your character and your growth.
  2. Laban swore by many gods. Do you invoke only the name of God, or do you put your faith in other gods as well? (prosperity, power, position, people)

Challenge

  1. What do you do when you are falsely accused? Do you react, over-react, retaliate? Read Romans 12:19. Review how Nehemiah handled this kind of a situation (Nehemiah 6).

Key Verses

  • “God has seen my affliction and has rebuked you.” Genesis 31:42
  • “This heap of witness is called Mizpah, ‘May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another.” Genesis 31:48-49

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