Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

God of Covenant- Week Eight-by Jen Wilkin

A study of Genesis 42-47

As interpreted, the famine was severe. Joseph is in charge of all the land, and Egypt had plenty of grain.

Jacob has heard that there is grain in Egypt and makes his sons go there to buy grain. Now, it has been 20 years since the brother’s treacherous act of betrayal, so they did not recognize Joseph. Joseph immediately knew his brothers but did not reveal himself. 

Joseph accused the brothers of being spies. The brothers denying this 3 separate times shares they are all brothers of the same father. They also mention their younger brother who stayed back with their father; Joseph used this opportunity to question his father and brother. Joseph demands the brothers prove their trustworthiness by going back and getting their younger brother. 

The brothers could buy what they needed, and all were permitted to leave except Simeon, who was kept in captivity. 

Joseph put their money back in their bags, unknown to them. When they returned to their home, they saw the money and were fearful. Because the money was in their bags, it may be thought they took the grain without paying. 

The brothers shared with Jacob that Joseph wanted them to return with Benjamin. Jacob was distraught over this; Ben was the son of Rachel, whom Jacob loved deeply. He did not want to lose Ben as he had lost Joseph.

The famine was severe, and Jacob forced the brothers to go back to Egypt with Benjamin. When Joseph saw his youngest brother, he ordered a large meal prepared for them all. He was overwhelmed with emotions, so much so he escaped to his rooms and wept. 

Joseph gives instructions that his drinking cup is put in Benjamin’s bag as they are all leaving. He is accused of stealing, and Joseph states he is going to keep him as his slave. Fearing what losing Benjamin would do to their father, they pleaded to take his place as Joseph’s slave. 

So overcome with emotions, Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers. He wept with them and told them to go and bring their father to him. They did this, and when Joseph and Jacob were reunited, Jacob was so elated he said he could now die with happiness because he knew Joseph was alive.

Jacob lived in Egypt with Joseph for 17 years. Knowing his time was short, he promised Joseph not to bury him in Egypt but take him back to be laid with his fathers. It was a promise that Joseph kept.

Week Seven-God of Covenant-Jen Wilkin

Take a peek at Week Six

A study of Genesis 37-41

Chapter 37 is about one of the most popular stories in the Bible. Jacob had 11 sons but greatly favored the two born from Rachel, Joseph, and Benjamin. The other sons were so jealous of Joseph that they hated him and mistreated him. Of course, Joseph didn’t help matters when he was placed in charge of his older brother. He certainly did not make friends of them when he told them one day they would bow down to him, that he knew this because of a dream from God he interpreted.

The brothers first wanted to kill him but did not want to tell Jacob to sell him into slavery. This is how Joseph made his way to Egypt. 

Eventually, Joseph arrives in Egypt, and because God uses him in his captivity, he quickly rises to assist Pharaoh. You see, God blessed everything Joseph did. Crops and livestock multiplied under Joseph’s care. The more it grew into great wealth, the more responsibility Pharaoh gave to him. 

Pharaoh had a wife that was in lust with Joseph and wanted to sleep with him. Joseph was adamant about not sleeping with her because he knew Pharaoh would kill him. Unfortunately, that did not stop the wife. When Joseph continued to deny her, she became angry and lied, saying Joseph attacked her, he was thrown in jail. 

Joseph was in jail for a long time, over 2 years, when the Pharaoh had a dream that no one could explain. Joseph explained the dreams of two men he was in prison with, the cupbearer and the baker. When no one could interrupt Pharaoh’s dream, the cupbearer remembered Joseph in prison and told Pharaoh. 

Joseph was released from prison and taken to Pharaoh; Joseph explained the dream, telling Pharaoh that a famine was coming. They would first have 7 years of great fortune in the crops, followed by 7 years of great hardship because of the drought. He explained the famine would be so bad that it would destroy many countries. But, if they prepared well, they would survive and help other countries survive it as well. 

During this time of preparing for the great draught, Joseph married and had two sons. He named the oldest son Manasseh because God made him forget his hardship, and the younger one was Ephraim, which meant that God had made him fruitful.  God took the worst of times, sold into slavery, and blessed Joseph with prosperity and a family.

Eventually, as Joseph had interrupted, the famine came to Egypt, but they had bread for everyone because of his planning. In fact, people start traveling to Egypt from other countries, seeking to buy grain.

Week Six-God of Covenant- by Jen Wilkin

A Study of Genesis 34-36

Take a look back at Week Five

In Chapter 34, we see how Jacob hugely failed his daughter Dinah. We see how she is taken by Schechem, son of Hamor, Prince of the country. Although Schechem went to his father, the Prince asking him to get Dinah as his wife. Unfortunately, Schechem’s action had caused irrefutable damage.

Sadly, after hearing what had happened to Dinah, Jacob did nothing, choosing to wait until her brothers came back n from the fields. The brothers of Dinah were furious and wanted revenge. The Prince went to Jacob, trying to make things better by suggesting they intermarry, allowing Dinah to become Schechems’s wife. This was absolutely against all rules of the Israelites, but the brothers and Jacob agreed if all the men of Hamor were circumcised. Because Schechem was in love with Dinah, both men agreed.

Three days after all the men in the city were circumcised and not feeling at their best, two of Dinah’s brothers, Levi and Simeon, entered the city and killed all the men. They then took Dinah, ravaged the city, taking anything of value, including their women and livestock destroyed the city. When Jacob heard what they had done, he was grieved as all he could think of what the trouble their actions would bring to him.

Moving into Chapter 35, we see Jacob taking counsel from God. God instructed Jacob to go to Bethel. God blessed Jacob with all the land he had given to Jacob’s ancestors, Bethel, where God spoke to Jacob.

We learn that Rachel dies giving birth to their son, Benjamin. Jacob buried her in Ephrath, Bethlehem. Jacob traveled and settled in Edar.

Genesis 36 goes through Esau’s lineage, a people known as the Edomites. Esau’s descendants lived on Mount Seir. Their livestock and wealth were so great they could not live near Jacob and his descendants.

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week Five-God of Covenant by Jen Wilkin

A Study of Genesis 29-33

After week four, we start this week off with intense love and deception. Jacob travels to Padden-Aram, where Jacob’s uncle, Laban, lives. After arriving sees Laban’s daughter, Rachel, and falls instantly in love. He seeks out Laban and asks if he can marry her. Laban strikes a deal with Jacob, ‘work for me for seven years, and you can marry my daughter.’ Jacob readily agrees. 

After working the seven years, Jacob is eager to take Rachel for this wife. Now Laban, having a daughter older than Rachel, wanted to marry her off first, deceived Jacob into marrying Leah. 

When this is discovered, Jacob was furious but agreed to keep Leah as a wife; Lavan agreed to give Rachel to him if he worked another seven years. Now, that’s one way to get an employee!

We see a lot of conflict between Rachel and Leah. They both wanted Jacob’s love and to give him the most children. There was great strife between them all because Jacob loved only Rachel. Rachel was unable to conceive and envied Leah, who had already given birth to four sons. Rachel came up with a plan of her own; instead of going to God in prayer, she gave her maid, Bilhah, to have children with Jacob. Rachel knew if Bilhah conceived, she would take the child as her own. Buy this time, Leah had stopped bearing children, so she also gave Jacob her maid, Zilpah, to have more children.

Although she had given her maid to Jacob, Rachel had continued to pray to God, asking that she conceive and give Jacob a child. God heard her prayers and answered them. Rachel conceived and had a son, Joseph.

Because Jacob tended Laban’s animals and had the blessing of the Lord, God also blessed Laban’s belongings through Jacob. They both became very wealthy.

After Rachel gives birth to Joseph, Jacob felt a rift growing between his people and Laban’s people and decided it was time to split from Laban and go this own way. He went to Laban asking for his wages so he could take his family and go.

They divided the animals, but again Laban tries to deceive Jacob keeping the strong and healthy animals, giving Jacob the weaker, more sickly ones. God saw Laban’s deception and favored Jacob with healthy, strong animals.

As soon as Laban saw that Jacob had God’s blessing, he agreed to a covenant to stop any hostility between them. Both promising not to hurt the other, Laban blessed his daughters and sons and returned to his home. 

 Jacob knew, in his travels, he would have to travel through his brother’s land. Wanting to make amends, he sent Esau a message asking for his mercy. When his servants returned telling him his brother was riding out to meet him, bringing 400 of his soldiers, Jacob was very afraid.

Jacob divided his camp into groups, sending some to meet Esau first. Rachel and Joseph were in the last group, sent across the river. Alone that night, he prayed to God and wrestled with a man; they struggled all night long, Jacob not letting go, wanting God’s blessing. The man (God) asked what his name was and when Jacob told him, God said his name would no longer be Jacob but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed. Genesis 32:2-8

We finally see Jacob and Esau meet after many years. Esau did not want any gifts, but Jacob beefed him to accept, and Esau relented and took his brother’s gifts.

The next morning, they separated and went their own ways; Esau to Seir and Jacob toward Succoth. Jacob and his family arrived in the city of Shechem in Canaan, bought land, and settled there. 

Wow, that was a lot of information, and I encourage you to read the entire story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah Genesis 29-30. It is an amazing story, and the amount of children they have is staggering. I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this story, as it completely fascinated me. 

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week Three – Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

A Study of Genesis 21-25

This week we see God fulfill his promise to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah finally gives Abraham a son, Isaac. God also tests Abraham’s faith in a major way. Abraham loves Isaac very much and faces a test of obedience that many of us would not like to take.

The Covenant of God was honored when Isaac was circumcised when he was eight days old. There was a lot to tension between Rebekah and Hagar over the boys, Ishmael and Isaac. When Rebekah thought Ishmael was mocking Isaac she made Abraham make her leave their home. They wondered in the wilderness as they has no other home. Hagar cried tot to God in desperation. God heard and send his messenger to assure her Ishmael would grow up and be a successful archer. Abraham makes a covenant with Abimelech, a covenant where they would treat each other well so they could live in harmony.

Test of Loyalty

God and Abraham had a special relationship and it was tested when God asked for a big sacrifice from Abraham. He wanted Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Being loyal, Abraham set out to do that, believing God would somehow return Isaac to him. Right when Abraham was going to it, an angel of the Lord stopped him. 

We also mourn the loss of Sarah. Abraham loved her very much and purchased land to bury her in. Sarah was 127 years old. 

Abraham wants to get a wife for Isaac. He did not want a Canaanite to marry Isaac. Abraham got a trusted servant to pledge this to him. The servant promised to go to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife for Isaac. This is where we meet Rebekah. 

Abraham marries another wife. They have six children, Abraham’s family is multiplying. Just like God promised it would. Abraham passes at a very old age, satisfied with his life.

Isaac and Rebekah

After praying to the Lord on Rebekah’s behalf she became pregnant with twins and had Esau and Jacob. The babies struggled together within her, so she went to the Lord. He told her there were 2 nations in her womb, that they will be divided, as well as one being stronger and the older serving the younger. In case you missed any of the previous weeks, click here.

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week Four-Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

A study of Genesis 25:19-28:22

We continue from week three. Now that Abraham has passed, the story centers on Isaac and Rebekah. Rebekah is unable to conceive. Isaac prays to God on her behalf. The Lord answers his prayers, and Rebekah becomes pregnant and had twins, Esau and Jacob.

The Lord had appeared to Isaac and gave him directions as well as, once again, make several promises to him. We always hope to learn from our parents and the things they did and things they should not have done; we see that is not always the case. God directed Isaac not to go to Egypt. God told him to stay in the land that He told him to stay in, Gerar. 

Promises from God

Promises God made to Isaac

‘Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants, I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees, and my instructions.” ‘ Genesis 26:3-5

So Isaac stayed there in Gerar as the Lord directed. This is where we see Isaac follow in his father’s footsteps in not trusting in his God. Isaac deceives the men of the city and tells them that Rebekah is his sister. (See Genesis 12:10-20 to read Abrahams deception) 

Eventually, the truth was discovered. Isaac claimed it was fear for his safety because Rebekah was so beautiful. The king immediately told all his people that Isaac and Rebekah were under his protection. Therefore no one was allowed to harm them in any way. The Lord blessed Isaac there and grew his possessions until Isaac was a very wealthy man. 

Favoritism drives the brothers apart

As Esau and Jacob grow, there is blatant favoritism from their parents. Rebekah favored Jacob and Isaac favored Esau. Rebekah coached Jacob into stealing his brother’s birthright. She helped him deceive Isaac so that Jacob received the blessing of the firstborn. In addition, Jacob also stole Esau’s inheritance which would have made Esau head of the family. Jacob listened to his mother instead of listening to God. Esau was so angry he threatened to kill Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob away as she was afraid Esau would kill him.

A wedge drove this family apart because of the favoritism. With this blessing, his father told Jacob that he was not to marry a Canaanite woman and was to go to Paddan-Aram to find a wife. Jacob obeyed his father and mother and went. Esau knew marrying a Canaanite woman displeased his father. To get revenge, Esau married a Canaanite woman. Abraham was very displeased by this act.

Jacob encounters God

As Jacob traveled, he had a dream from the Lord. Jacob saw a ladder that went from the earth to heaven, and angels went up and down, from the earth to heaven and again. In the dream, the Lord was standing above it and said,

”I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and The God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to your one dot your descendants. Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you ad will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have somewhat I have promised to you.”  Genesis 28:13-15

As much as the Lord promised to be with him and his family until all God’s promises are delivered, Jacob still, at this point, did not give his whole heart and trust to God. 

In verses 20-21, Jacob says, “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God.”

Jacob leaves a stone as a pillar and promises to give a tenth back to God of whatever he receives from God.  I believe this is when Jacob’s heart starts to really trust in the Lord. We will pick up next week with Isaac meeting Rachel.

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week Two-Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

A Study of Genesis 17-20

We pick up in chapter 17 this week, God appears to Abraham and tells him that God is going to multiply his house and bless his descendants. We also see circumcision introduced.  Circumcision is a way for Gods people to uphold Gods covenant. God also gives Abram and Sarai new names, Abram is now Abraham and Sarai. Sarah gets some astonishing news, she is told she will give Abraham a son, even though she is well advanced in age. He will be named Isaac.

Abraham has three guest and excitedly puts everyone to work preparing food for them to enjoy. He learns they are discussing the towns where his nephew, Lot and his family, live, Sodom and Gomorrah. These are two very corrupt towns, God judged and sentenced them to be destroyed.

This is what I love, Abraham goes to God and pleads to save any righteous people found there. He started by asking if God would spare the town if just 50 righteous people found there. God promised he would. That is how much our God loves us! He will always give us the opportunity to repent. Abraham eventually was able to get the town spared if only 10 people were found righteous.  As we know from the story, Lot left with only his wife and two daughters. 

The Lesson

As they were fleeing, they were told not to look back, unfortunately, Lots wife did just that and was turned into a pillar of salt. I used to believe that it was a matter of her being disobedient. What I have learned through my studies is that it was because she did not want to let go of what she was leaving behind. A lifestyle in Sodom that was steeped in wickedness.

We finish this week with Abraham and Sarah settled in Gerar. Once again he takes matters into his own hands. He lets people think that Sarah is is sister. She was a beautiful woman and was taken by the king. God promised Abraham He would be with him, protect and bless him, but still Abraham took matters into his own hands. He still struggles with trusting God completely. 

Though we may be tempted to take over for God because of course, we think we know what’s best for us! 🙂 We must realize that no one knows us better than God and his plan for us is beyond perfect. We have to give up control and trust in HIM! The more we look over our shoulder at the past we will never be able to receive what God has in store for our future. 

Prayer and Encouragement

I pray this week brings you peace and comfort in that God does have control. That you do not have to fix what seems to be broken. I pray you step back and accept what He wants you to have. HIM! If you missed last week’s lesson, click here.

Until next week my friends. 

God of Covenant bible study by Jen Wilkin

Week One – Covenant of God by Jen Wilkin

A study of Genesis 12-16

It wasn’t until I started this particular study that I understood what a covenant is. A covenant is a PROMISE. In a biblical context, it is a promise from God to His people. Because we know our God is everything He says He is and does everything he says He will do; we can let ourselves absorb the meaning of that word. The covenant of God is His perfect promise to us. This study picks up in Chapter 12 of the book of Genesis. Our first week’s homework was based on chapters 12-16.

In these chapters we see a lack of trust in God, lying, favoritism, manipulation, and selfishness. Unfortunately, this is in reference to God’s chosen people; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and subsequently, their wives, Sarai, Rebekah, and Rachel.

These men, time and time again, didn’t trust our God enough to let Him do what He promised. Instead, they took matters into their own hands. And when it wasn’t them, it was their wives, giving maids to their husbands so children could be born or rearranging things for favorite sons to take what rightfully belonged to others.

The Lesson

When I was reading about these people I was amazed at how God responded; with love, and forgiveness. He offered compassion, and redemption, still giving promises of what He was going to do for them. In Genesis 12:1-3 God promised to make Abram a great nation, that He would bless him, He would make his name great, that Abram would be a blessing, and those that bless him will be blessed.

God didn’t stop there, He promised to bless all the families on earth. God made these promises in and through this week’s study as we shall learn. I learned that when God makes a covenant He will keep His word. He never changes, He never breaks His word. This week, I wondered A LOT why God used such dysfunctional people. Now I firmly believe it has to be to show us that God can use broken people in mighty ways. 

Prayer and Encouragement

My prayer this week is for you to know, deep inside, that God is always true to what the scripture says about him. That you can trust Him to always be the same, and never to break his word, just waiting for the opportunity to show you how dependable he is.

If you are in the midst of trial and just don’t know what to do, I pray that you take the step that could be life-changing. As we see in chapters 12-16, we as people can’t handle some of the things sent our way but God can! I pray that God keeps his hand on you this coming week, that you feel his presence and you find rest in it. Until next week my friends.