We are constantly making choices. Often, our choices involve choosing the things of the world or choosing the things of God. We can easily be tempted to choose what is easy, what allows us to get ahead quickly, or what we believe is best. The lives of Jacob and Joseph show us how God disciplines His children when they choose the things of the world and how He blesses them when they choose, instead, to follow Him.
The Book of Genesis is a combination of two narratives. Chapters 1–11 record God’s creation of the world and the beginnings of humankind, sin, grace, redemption, and promise. Chapters 12–50 chronicle the lives of the patriarchs of God’s chosen nation: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. God chose this family to be the one through whom He would send His Messiah into the world, the One who would save the world from sin and death.
Most biblical scholars agree that Genesis was written by Moses during the time the Israelites wandered in the Desert of Zin, around 1440 ʙ.ᴄ. The lives of the patriarchs were recorded by Moses for the generation of Israelites who would enter the land God had promised to give them. As they prepared to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, the words of Genesis reminded them who their God was and why a life committed to Him was worth pursuing.
This Bible study focuses on the lives of Jacob and Joseph, beginning in Genesis chapter 25. As we study these men’s lives, we will discover the faithfulness of God to His chosen people through promise, blessing, discipline, suffering, persecution, famine, testing, reconciliation, and restoration. Jacob and his family were constantly faced with decisions to follow God’s ways or the ways of the world. While they were not perfect, God continued to work in their lives to bring about His plans for them. God Himself was the hero, continually molding and shaping His people as He prepared them for the future.
We can learn to love God greatly by studying His promise-keeping character. In this study, we will see what it means to walk in obedience, and we will see the faithfulness of God to discipline His people and bring them back to Him when they sin. God is always faithful to His people, His promises, and His covenant. May we be open to learning all He has in store for us, expectant that He will reveal Himself to us in new ways as we seek to know Him through His Word.
In addition to this study, check out In the Beginning and Faith over Perfection for a full study of the Book of Genesis!
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