Did God really pick a fight with Jacob in the middle of the night? Listen to the podcast, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 2.
Once you’ve listed to the short podcast, take the time to reflect on these questions:
What’s one thing you have chased after in life (i.e. approval, love, etc.)...and how have you chased after it?
Has God Himself already given or promised the very thing you’ve chased after in life?
How has God intervened in your life to help you receive his gifts?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
God blesses Jacob from birth (Genesis 25:19-34), but Jacob lives as if God’s blessing depends on his own scheming and skills. And he’s willing to sabotage anyone to get what he wants. In spite of this, God does not abandon Jacob. Instead, God commits himself even more to Jacob by visiting him in person to wrestle it all out. God wounds Jacob in the struggle, and it’s precisely this wound that helps Jacob finally receive God’s blessing as a gift. It’s a gift he could never acquire by himself, no matter how hard he tries.
Note: Feel free to reflect on all the questions or just a few. You can also return to this study throughout the week and focus on one question per day.
How did Tim’s message challenge or encourage you today?
As you review today’s passage, pay attention to the details. What do you observe?
Notice the faithful character of God. He’s committed to fulfilling the promise he’s made to his stubborn people, no matter what. And he continually pours out his mercy on them so that they can still receive his blessing. What other examples in Scripture show this aspect of God’s character?
Notice Jacob’s character flaws. He chases after his own security by stealing the blessings and security of the people around him. What else do you notice about Jacob in the Genesis story?
Jacob’s story provides an opportunity for self-reflection. What’s one thing you have chased after in life (approval, love, etc.)? How did you chase it, and what did that pursuit cost you and others?
Let’s learn from Jacob’s mistakes. How has God already given or promised the very things you’ve chased after? What does it practically look like for you to receive (instead of chase) God’s blessings and promises through Jesus and his Spirit? To go deeper, read Ephesians 1:1-23, 2:1-10.
How has God intervened in your life to help you receive his promises and blessing? What did you learn through that experience?
Turn your reflections into a prayer. Thank God for being faithful to fulfill his promises and for all the ways he’s intervened in your life to help you receive his gifts. Be honest about the ways you’ve schemed after things he’s already given or promised through Jesus and ask for his help to trust him today.