These studies do not tell you what the Bible says. The scriptures given direct you to specific topics. The questions are intended to help you focus on the study. No answers are given. You have to read and search the scriptures for the answers. We encourage you to use Bible helps such as concordances and commentaries. However, scholars and theologians often disagree on interpretation and application. The best study help comes from God. Pray. Allow yourself to be honest with your reactions, but don't jump to conclusions. It takes time to read and meditate on all the Bible says on various topics. Feel free to ask questions in your prayers. You will be amazed to discover that God does answer the sincere seeker. You will also be surprised that the Bible may not say what you might think it does on many subjects. Keep a notebook. A loose leaf one would make it possible to add thoughts and additional information as you learn more about different subjects. Welcome to an exciting search.

Print out version.  (This is approximately 3 pages long, without the introduction and with space for answering questions.)


Bible Study Guide: 

A Living Hope

By Scarlett Stough

To prepare for this Bible study, please read the women in Christ commentary, Rachel. 

Part I. The Example of Rachel

1.Genesis 29:28-30 What does this passage tell you about Jacob and Rachel?

2. Genesis 29:31; 30:1-8 What does Rachel’s complaint and solution reveal to you about her faith at this point in her life?

3. Genesis 30:22-24 What does this scripture tell you about God? What do you think Rachel had learned? Does Rachel’s petition suggest anything she may have yet to learn? Explain.

4. Genesis 30:25-26; 31-34 Jacob wants to return home. What bargain did Laban make with Jacob to persuade him to stay?

5. Genesis 30:42,43-31:1-2 How did the arrangement work out for each of them?

6. Genesis 31:3-16 What promise did the LORD make to Jacob? What do you learn about Jacob’s relationship with his wives from their family conference? What do you learn about Rachel and Leah’s relationship with their father Laban?

7. Genesis 31:17-21 Why do you think Rachel stole her father’s idols? What does her action suggest about the state of her faith?

8. Genesis 31:22-29 What action did Laban take? What warning did God give Laban?

9. Genesis 31:30-35 What judgment did Jacob promise for the thief? What does Rachel rely on to try to avoid being punished for her sin?

10. Genesis 32:1-21 Describe how Jacob hoped to avoid Esau’s anger and protect his family?

11. Genesis 33:1-7 How does Jacob’s planning reveal the value he places on Rachel and Joseph compared to the remainder of his family? What effect do you think this might have on the relationships between the family members?

12. Genesis 35:16-20; 48:7 Rachel gave birth to the second son she desired. What do you learn about Rachel from the name she chose to give this son? Why do you think Jacob chose a different name?

13. Ruth 4:11 Through Rachel and Leah, the nation of Israel began. Through this family, another step in God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah was fulfilled. (Genesis 17:1-8, 19) What did you learn about God from his relationship with Rachel and her family? How can you apply this lesson to your life and relationship with God and others?

Part II. Hope for your Future

1. Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18 Why do you think Rachel’s sorrow and trouble became a prophetic symbol of the grief suffered by her descendants? In what way do you think this might be relevant to you, or anyone, whatever the ancestry?

2. Jeremiah 31:16-17 What is the comfort the LORD offers? What does a person have to have in order to be comforted by these words?

3. Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 10:10-18; I Corinthians 15:22-26 Who and what makes this hope more than mere wishful thinking or religious creed?

4. John 16:33, 19-22 What does Jesus say is a part of this physical life? How does Jesus encourage his disciples? Do his words comfort and encourage you? Why, or why not?

5. I Peter 1:3-6 How would you define “living hope?” What is the source and motivation for hope?

6. Hebrews 6:13-20; 11:1; Colossians 1:24-29; I Corinthians 13:13 Why is hope as important as faith? How do love, hope, and faith work together as God’s greatest gifts to us?

7. I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:12-19 How does the gift of hope from God soothe our grief and sorrows? How do you think this relates to Jeremiah’s prophetic words in Jeremiah 31? Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of resurrection of those who believe in him an essential part of hope?