Spring 2020: Genesis 25:19 - 37:1


This spring we will work our way through the Jacob narrative. Conflict pervades the narrative, conflict between Jacob and Esau, Jacob and Laban, Leah and Rachel, Isaac and the Philistines (ch. 26), and Jacob’s sons and the Hivites (ch. 34). While the motif of conflict dominates here, the earlier motif of blessing does not disappear. God’s gracious promises to Abraham continue to exert their driving force. God had promised the land of Canaan, many descendants, and blessing. Jacob is now the beneficiary of these promises, even though he is the younger brother, even though he is a deceiver. The older shall serve the younger. The first shall be last. The ungodly receive the gift of righteousness. God’s power is perfected in weakness.


Jacob’s deception of his father is not, however, without its consequences. Jacob is forced to leave the land of promise. Outside the land, the deceiver is deceived by his new father-in-law, Laban. In judgment, however, God shows mercy to Jacob. Jacob’s time of exile is framed by two significant encounters. During his departure from Canaan, he receives a vision of a ladder to heaven. On his return trip he wrestles with God (more conflict!). Wrestling with God serves as a metaphor for Jacob’s life and foreshadows the life of the nation he will father, the nation known by Jacob’s new name, Israel. The wrestling bears fruit—a gradual process of spiritual maturation in Jacob as the story proceeds. We too have been given a new name in Christ. May we grow into that name as we wrestle with the God who perfects us through suffering.


Apr 26: Gen. 25:19–34  “The older shall serve the younger”  (Stefan Matzal)

May 3: Gen. 26  “I am with you and will bless you.”  (Nathaniel Jackson)

May 10: Gen. 27:1 – 28:9  “Are you really my son Esau?”  (Stefan Matzal)

May 17: Gen. 28:10–22  “This is the gate of heaven.”  (John Hartung)

May 24: Gen. 29:1–30  “Behold, it was Leah!” (Mark Weldon)

May 31: Gen. 29:31 – 30:24  “Then God remembered Rachel.”  (Nathaniel Jackson)

Jun. 7: Gen. 30:25 – 31:16  “Return to the land of your kindred.”  (Stefan Matzal)

Jun. 14: Gen. 31:17–55  “God is witness between you and me.”  (Nathaniel Jackson)

Jun. 21: Gen. 32  “I have seen God face to face.”  (Aaron Luke)

Jun. 28: Gen. 33  “God has dealt graciously with me.”  (Nathaniel Jackson)

Jul. 5: Gen. 34  “He had done an outrageous thing in Israel.”  (Stefan Matzal)

Jul. 12: Gen. 35  “Israel shall be your name.”  (Nathaniel Jackson)

Jul. 19: Gen. 36:1 – 37:1  “These are the generations of Esau.”  (Stefan Matzal)

Jul. 26: Topical:   (Stefan Matzal)

The Eldership: April 2020