A long story requires a reading plan

Our Rotation this month is part one from the Old Testament story of Jacob and Esau. (Next month we’ll be covering part two.) A Bible story big enough to be covered over two months warrants a family reading plan! As an added bonus there are questions for discussion at the family dinner table. (Or wherever your family is gathered together.)

Is this required reading?

Yes! Let’s call it that! Actually, I’d hope that you are always reading together as a family, the Bible story being taught at FUMC. But this is especially necessary for a big story; a long story is hard to cover in the short amount of class time on a Saturday night or a Sunday morning. Jacob & Esau fighting in the womb

Besides, this story is intriguing! It’s got interesting characters, twin brothers in conflict, a hasty swap, scheming, disguises, and trickery. Oh, and it ends (for this month) on a cliffhanger. (What will happen to Jacob??) Consider this an excuse to start a faith dialogue in your family!

(If you’d like to print out this reading plan & discussion guide, click here.)

Read Discussion questions
Genesis 25:19-23 Can your child draw out a family tree with the characters in our story?
What sort of questions would you like to ask God?
Genesis 25:24-26 Do you know what your name means? Read the foot notes in the Bible for the twins names. In Bible times names had great meaning. What do you think of Jacob’s name meaning “deceiver?”
Genesis 25:27-28 Do you suppose that Isaac and Rebekah were wrong to have favorites?
What sort of trouble did this lead to?
Genesis 25:29-33 Have you ever been so hungry that you would trade something valuable just to be able to eat?
Have you ever taken advantage of a family member who was vulnerable in some way?
Is forgiveness necessary?
Genesis 25:34 What were the rights of the firstborn son?
(Ans: He would inherit a larger amount of property and would be leader of the family.)
Why do you suppose Esau didn’t seem to care about his birthright?
Genesis 27:1-4 We typically equate “blessing” with approval (example: I approve of your choice of a university to attend). In Bible times a blessing was very important and held great promise. How do you suppose it would have felt to have been “blessed” in such a manner?
Genesis 27:5-13 What is Rebekah suggesting?
What do you think of Jacob’s response? (Doesn’t protest too hardily!)
Why do you suppose this story (about deceit!) is in the Bible?
Genesis 27:14-17 Review what God told Rebekah about her sons – Genesis 25:23. Why do you suppose she felt as though she had to act in order for God’s plan to happen? When have you felt it necessary to be in charge?
Genesis 27:18-24 Do you get the feeling that Isaac knows he’s being tricked? Why do you suppose he plays along?
Genesis 27:25-29 Do you suppose that God approves of these actions? What does this story teach us about the power of words? Whom can you bless with your words?
Genesis 27:30-38 How would you feel if you were Esau?
What have you learned from this story?
Genesis 27:41-43 and 28:1-5 Why did Jacob run away?
What does this imply about what he has done?
Have you ever felt like running away?
Genesis 28:10-15 How do you suppose it felt to use a stone as a pillow?
What does the dream mean to you?
Genesis 17:1-8 and 28:12-15 Abram was the grandfather of Jacob. What does it mean that God repeats his promise to Jacob? Review the promises God has made with you! (Ephesians 2:8 & Romans 5:2 are a couple.)
Genesis 28:10-17 As you re-read this passage, consider how amazing it is that, in spite of what Jacob has done, God still offers grace! What does this mean for you?
Genesis 28:18-22 Have you ever been surprised by God’s presence? How have you confirmed a meeting with God?

Photo credits:
Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Jacob and Esau in the womb, is an image from the Awesome Bible Stories CD, used by permission. (This software is a neat way of expanding Bible learning at home. Discover more titles here.)

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