Sacrifice, Deceit, and an Epic Love Story

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This week we reach the end of Abraham and Sarah’s story and begin moving through the story of their descendants. This family drama has it all. Sacrifice, deceit, and an epic love story. When reading these stories, there cannot be any doubt that Abraham and Sarah’s family is blessed directly by God and that He has a plan for them. But at the same time, we see that even these major figures of our faith are deeply flawed individuals who would not move in the right direction without God’s help. As you read this week’s readings try to find and point out the repetitive themes.

Monday February 17th: Genesis 22:1-23:20

Today’s Takeaways:

  • God puts Abraham to the ultimate test and, because of his obedience, God promises to bless all nations through him.
  • Sarah dies at the ripe old age of 127 and Abraham has to find a burial place for his people.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • “God himself will provide the lamb”. Firstly, God provided a real ram, but also what do you think this is referring too? Help your children to find these connections as you read the Bible.

Tuesday February 18th: Genesis 24:1-25:18

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac from the land of his fathers. The servant prays to find the right woman, and Rebekah appears.
  • Abraham had many children with different wives, but left everything he owned to Isaac. Abraham lived to be 175 and was buried next to his wife Sarah.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • The servant painstakingly recounted the story that we just read. Why do you think it was written so?
  • Today’s reading tells us about some of Abraham’s descendants (through his son Ishmael). Why do you think the authors of Genesis thought it was so important to provide us with these lists of family members?

Wednesday February 19th: Genesis 25:19-26:33

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Most children will probably be familiar with the story of Jacob and Esau – twin brothers born to Rachel and Isaac, representing two nations. (Esau: the hairy first-born, who loved hunting and was Isaac’s favorite, and Jacob: the second-born homebody who was Rachel’s favorite.) Esau traded his firstborn birthright to Jacob for a pot of stew. Probably not a great move.
  • God speaks to Isaac and repeats the promise he gave to Abraham. Isaac repeats his father’s mistake and pretends his wife Rachel is his sister in order to protect himself.
  • Isaac settles in the new land and prospers.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Other people, like Abimelek, can see Isaac is a follower of God and they treat him accordingly. How would someone be able to tell that you are a follower of Christ.

Thursday February 20th: Genesis 26:34-28:9

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Jacob (with the help of his mother Rebekah) tricks Isaac into giving him a blessing that should rightfully be Esau’s. (Remember that Isaac already took Esau’s birthright in yesterday’s reading. Esau is understandably angry about all of this.)
  • Esau also marries several women from the rival Hittite tribe (one of the tribes of Canaan that God has commanded Abraham’s family to avoid). Isaac later instructs Jacob to go find a wife in Abraham’s country – not just take a wife from Canaan.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • How do you feel about the way that Jacob treated his brother Esau?
  • Sometimes God works through people who are not making good decisions. How does it make you feel that God would allow Jacob to be blessed even though he was so dishonest?

Friday February 21st: Genesis 28:10-29:30

Today’s Takeaways:

  • Jacob dreams that God speaks to him and blesses the land where he is and yet again confirms his promise to (this time Jacob) of blessing the nations through him and his sons.
  • Jacob travels back to his mother Rebekah’s family to find a wife, just as his father Isaac instructed him. Jacob falls deeply in love with Rachel and has to work 14 years in order to be able to marry her. In the meantime, he is also forced to marry Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Both sisters are given maids, who will be very important in readings to come.

Today’s Talking Topic:

  • Why was it so important that Jacob travelled back to his parents’ homeland to find a wife?

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