What Good is the Birthright to Me?
By Scarlett Stough
To prepare for this Bible study, please read the women in Christ commentary, Rebekah, Isaac's Wife .
[Editor's Note: Genesis 24:1-67 is the chapter that tells the story of Rebekah being chosen to marry Isaac. For the Commentary and Bible Study Guide on this chapter, see Volume 5 Issue 7: A Wife For My Son.
1. Genesis 25:19-22 What can you learn about Isaac and Rebekah’s relationship with God from these verses?
2. Genesis 25:23 What did the Lord reveal to Rebekah about the future of the twin boys in her womb?
3. Genesis 25:24-26 What was the birth order? Why is this important? How old was Isaac at their birth?
4. Genesis 25:27-34 Describe the temperaments and character of each brother as revealed in this passage. Why do you think Esau sold his birthright so cheaply? [Editor's Note: Genesis 26:1-33 is back story which emphasizes the covenant inheritance that Jacob wanted.]
5. Genesis 26:34-35 Why do you think Isaac and Rebekah were distressed over Esau’s marriages?
6. Genesis 17:19-21; 26:3; 27:1-4 Why was this blessing from Isaac to his firstborn so important?
7. Genesis 27:5-10 Why do you think Rebekah chose to deceive Isaac rather than using a direct and honest approach?
8. Genesis 27:11-12 What objection did Jacob make? What do you think his response should have been?
9. Genesis 27:13-17 What preparations did they make? Why do you think they were willing to go to all this effort?
10. Genesis 27:18-24 Why do you think Isaac, who felt something was amiss, was so easily deceived?
11. Genesis 27:25-29 What blessings did Isaac request that God give to his son?
12. Genesis 27:30-35 Why do you think this blessing, received under false pretenses, would be allowed to stand?
13. Genesis 27:35-41 What was the result of the deception carried out by Rebekah and Jacob? What happened to the family's relationship to one another?
14. Genesis 27:42-46 What was Rebekah’s counsel to Jacob and Isaac? What reasons did she give to her husband and her son? What did she expect to happen?
15. Genesis 28:1-5 What do you learn about Isaac's character from how he treated the son who deceived him?
16. Genesis 28:6-9 What is it that Esau did not understand about how to please his parents and God?
17. Genesis 28:10-22 What promise did God
make to Jacob? What bargain did Jacob offer God? What did this bargain
show that Jacob did not understand about God and his covenant?
Part II Because Abraham Obeyed Me
1. Genesis 26:2-6; 15:4-6 What two characteristics did Abraham have that secured God's covenant for him and his descendants? Which characteristic came first and was more important?
2. Romans 9:6-16 What lesson does the Apostle Paul tell us we can learn from the story of Jacob and Esau?
3. Romans 4:1-8, 13-15, 23-24 How do we achieve righteousness with God?
4. James 2:14-24; Romans 6:15-18, 22-23 Since righteousness and life come through faith in Jesus, does that mean we are free to disregard God's law?
5. Matthew 5:17-20; 19:16-21; 23:23; 15:1-20 What did Jesus teach about our responsibility to the law of God?
6. Matthew 22:34-40; I John 5:1-5 How do we express our love for God?
7. I John 3:4-10; 5:17; Romans 14:23; James 4:17 How does the Bible define sin?
8. Romans 7:7; Deuteronomy 6:1-6, 24-25 Why did God give his laws?
9. Romans 6:11-14, 23 What is the penalty for sin? Do you think a person can be physically alive and still be dead spiritually? Explain.
10. Romans 8:1-4; 3:21-31 Since all have sinned, what hope do we have of escaping the death penalty?
11. Deuteronomy 5:6-21; Romans 7:7; Matthew 19:17-19; John 14:15, 21; Romans 13:8-10 Which laws teach us what actions are loving and which are not?
12. Romans 5:12-14; Genesis 4:6-16; 6:9-13; 18:20-25 What do these verses tell you about the existence of the law of God before it was listed as Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai? What happens to society when people live lawless lives? (See also: Romans 6:23; I John 3:4-10)
13. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Philippians 2:12-13
What does God do with his law for those who are under the New Covenant?
What in practical terms does that mean?
Part III I Am The LORD Thy God
1. Exodus 20:1-3; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Matthew 10:37; 22:36-38; Revelation 2:4-5 Name the first and greatest commandment. Does Jesus expect his followers to obey it?
2. Exodus 20:4-6; Matthew 6:24; I Corinthians 10:18-22; Psalm 135:15-18; Ephesians 4:22-24 How can we apply this commandment today? What does breaking it reveal about our commitment to God? How does obeying it shape our character?
3. Exodus 20:7; Matthew 18:5-6; Hebrews 10:29-31; Luke 12:8-10 Why is blaspheming the name of God such a serious offense? Compare to the consequences of someone slandering your reputation.
4. Exodus 20:8-11; Isaiah 56:1-8; Matthew 11:28-30; Matthew 12:1-8; 12:9-14; Hebrews 4:7-11; Genesis 2:1-3; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Exodus 16:4-30 What significance does the Sabbath commandment have? What is its purpose? Is it any less important than the other nine? Why or why not? How could observing the Seventh day with rest, fellowship, and worship enhance your relationship with God and people?
5. Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:1-9 Does God give any exception to his command to honor both father and mother? Give examples of how to honor your parents?
6. Exodus 20:13: Matthew 5:21-26; 5:43-48; 6:12-15 What is the root of murder? How does God expect us to treat people who have wronged us?
7. Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 7:1-27; Matthew 5:27-32; 19:3-12; I Corinthians 6:9-20; Genesis 2:18-25; Revelation 22:14-15 What was God's plan for marriage from the beginning? Why is mental and physical marital unfaithfulness and sexual immorality harmful to the individual, the family, and society as a whole? Why would continuing to live a sexually immoral life prevent you from accepting God's gracious gift of life in his kingdom?
8. Exodus 20:15; Ephesians 4:28 What positive action does God want from his children in addition to refraining from stealing?
9. Exodus 20:16; Colossians 3:8-10; Titus 3:2; James 4:11; Ephesians 4:25; I John 2:4 Why is honesty important to Christian character? Why is truth important in a court of law or in business? What happens to society when no one can trust anyone's word at any time? What happens to relationships when trust is broken by lies and deception?
10. Exodus 20:17; Colossians 3:5 (KJV); Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 3:14; Philippians 4:11-13; I Timothy 6:6-11; Hebrews 13:5-6 What is the cure for covetousness? How does this sin relate to idolatry?
11. Romans 8:5-17; Galatians 5:13-26; 2:20 How does obedience to the Ten Commandments create an environment in which the fruit of the Spirit can flourish? Can the fruit of the Spirit flourish in a person who is flagrantly violating God's law? Explain.
12. Galatians 6:7-10; Jude 3-4, 17-24; Matthew 7:15-29 What role do you believe the Ten Commandments have in what you believe, practice, and teach? What does Jesus say about those who teach his laws are abolished and no longer relevant to the Christian life?
13. Mark 1:14-15; Acts 2:37-41 What should you do about it?