THE L.I.F.E. PLAN JACOB BLOCK 2. THEME 2 - THE PATRIARCHS LESSON 3 (43 of 216)

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1 THE L.I.F.E. PLAN JACOB BLOCK 2 THEME 2 - THE PATRIARCHS LESSON 3 (43 of 216)

2 BLOCK 2 THEME 2: THE PATRIARCHS LESSON 3 (43 OF 216): JACOB LESSON AIM: Identify Jacob as one of the fathers of the nation of Israel. SCRIPTURE: (Genesis 25-49) The first three fathers of the nation of Israel are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob is one of twin sons to Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. These first three fathers are the patriarchs of Israel along with the twelve sons of Jacob. The first three are often mentioned together, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When we read the stories of the people and events in the Bible, we can sometimes forget how they are connected to the larger story God is telling. We can see them as a story which stands alone instead of one which is a part of a larger whole. While we may learn many things from the stories in themselves, we must remember that they are given to us to show us how God has been at work throughout history fulfilling the promise he made to send his deliverer to the earth. The stories of the individuals are included as they served a purpose in God s plan of getting the Messiah to us. This connection is the thing we need to look for when we read the stories we find throughout the Bible. When it comes to the stories of Jacob, we find several very interesting stories which have to do with him, his family, and his life. It is easy to group these stories into two categories; before and after. The before stories are those which have to do with his life before his commitment to whole-heartedly follow the Lord. The after stories naturally happened after this decision. Before and after is actually the process of our discipleship. So, in the case of Jacob, we see his life before following the Lord, and the difference that was made in his life when he began to walk with the Lord as his follower. Before following the Lord, his name was Jacob. When God captured his heart for his purpose, Jacob s name was changed to Israel. This change of names indicates the discipling process, or the condition of his life before following God, and the condition of his life after following God. There are several examples of this name changing throughout the Bible. In every case, it refers to the same process. Another way we can think of it is as the difference God makes in our life when we believe on him and surrender to his purpose for our life. Every follower of Christ has a before and after story. There is the way we lived our life before knowing God. We all come into the world spiritually dead, lost, and separated from God. We may live in this condition for many years before believing on Jesus. There is no limit to how far we can live away from God in this condition. We may do things which are sinful and bad and which are hard for us to imagine that we did after we come to know Christ. After believing on Jesus, a difference is made in our life. We are new inside and we want to do things which are pleasing to God. This is one of the many ways we can know that we are saved; a great difference has been

3 made in our life. Our life has been changed from the old to the new. In a sense, we have gone from being a Jacob to being an Israel. We may have another such experience of this change as we grow in Christ. Many Christians are content to try to live their life in Christ without being fully sold out to God s purpose. They are content with being a good person, trying not to sin, going to church, and minding their own business. God wants much more than this from his followers. He wants us to be fully devoted learners and followers of Christ. He wants us to work toward the same purpose for which he is working; to reach the lost in all nations and help them to join in the work also. This is a transformation we can experience when we begin to understand God s purpose in the world and join him in that purpose. Before this transformation took place in Jacob s life, he lived to please himself. He was a con-man. He tried to cheat people out of their precious possessions. He even did this to his own brother by having him sell his birthright to him for a measly bowl of pea soup. Then, he disguised himself to his father and again cheated his brother out of a blessing that should have been his by birth. Jacob, like the meaning of his name, was a trickster, a supplanter, a deceiver. God had to get these tendencies out of Jacob if he was to use him for his purpose. This is what God is doing in our life, too. This is what the discipling process is all about; helping us to stop living in the bad old habits we used to have and learning to live as God would have us to live. The Bible tells us that we reap what we sow. Jacob learned this the hard way. He tricked others and in return, others tricked him. He made a deal with his uncle to work for him for seven years in order to have his daughter Rachel to be his wife. Instead of giving Rachel to him, Laban gave him his oldest daughter, Leah. Jacob had to work another seven years for Rachel. He learned to see from the other side how people feel when someone deceives them. From these two women, along with two maidservants, Jacob had twelve sons who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. Through the lineage of Judah, the son of Jacob and Leah, God brought Jesus into the world as he had promised. Bethel was a place that meant a lot to Jacob on more than one occasion in his life. This was a special place where he and God talked with each other and came to agreement on what they would do together. God spoke to him there about his overall purpose in the world and about his role with him in that purpose. When Jacob finally agreed to live his life on God s terms, God began to call him by his new name, Israel. No longer would he be known as a self-serving deceiver, but as one who struggled with God until he knew what God wanted to do with his life. The New Testament tells us that it was God s plan all along, even before the twins were born, that Jacob would be the child through whom he would continue the Messianic line. God just had to get Jacob on the same page with him so Jacob could see the bigger picture. This is the struggle in which every believer in Christ is engaged today. Here is the number one clue you need to know in order to live your life according to God s purpose: you must surrender to God s plans for your life. If you will live for his purpose, you can escape the old habits of selfish living and live your life in a way which brings glory to God and makes his presence obvious in your life to others.

4 LESSON OUTLINE BLOCK 2 THEME 2: THE PATRIARCHS LESSON 3 (43 OF 216): JACOB LESSON AIM: Identify Jacob as one of the fathers of the nation of Israel. I KEEP GOD S LARGER STORY IN MIND A. God s larger story is that of bringing the Messiah to the world B. The people stories are told in the Bible as they relate to this larger story II JACOB S BEFORE AND AFTER STORY A. Jacob before knowing God 1. He deceived others 2. He was deceived by others B. Jacob after knowing God - became Israel 1. Bethel was a place where Jacob met with God 2. Jacob was changed after knowing God SCRIPTURES TO BROADEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING 1. Walking a new life as a believer 2 Corinthians 5:17 Ephesians 4: Corinthians Philippians 1:27 Matthew 5: The difference Christ made in Paul s life Acts 22; Sowing and reaping Galatians 6:7 LINES OF THEOLOGICAL CONNECTION 1. SOTERIOLOGY God is working to conform us to the image of Christ Sanctification Total depravity of man

5 2. CHRISTOLOGY The lineage of Christ 3. DISCIPLE-MAKING The transformed life LESSON GLOSSARY 1. Transformation A change from one way to another QUESTIONS ANSWER KEY 1. Why did God include the stories of people in the Old Testament? To show their connection with the fulfillment of his promise to send the deliverer 2. Jacob s story can be told in two movements. What are they? Before knowing God and after knowing God 3. If you profess to be a believer in Jesus, what differences can you list about your life before and after becoming a follower of Christ? 4. Judah s story teaches us that God can use people in spite of their past. Is there anything in your past or present preventing you from following the Lord s plan for your life? What will you do to get beyond it? 5. You can tell the story of your life in terms of before and after knowing Christ. Write a brief testimony of your relationship with God in these terms. Who will you share your story with? 6. How are you adjusting to God s purpose for your life?

6 BLOCK 2 THEME 2: THE PATRIARCHS LESSON 3 (43 OF 216): JACOB QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE THOUGHT 1. Why did God include the stories of people in the Old Testament? 2. Jacob s story can be told in two movements. What are they? 3. If you profess to be a believer in Jesus, what differences can you list about your life before and after becoming a follower of Christ? 4. Judah s story teaches us that God can use people in spite of their past. Is there anything in your past or present preventing you from following the Lord s plan for your life? What will you do to get beyond it? 5. You can tell the story of your life in terms of before and after knowing Christ. Write a brief testimony of your relationship with God in these terms. Who will you share your story with? 6. How are you adjusting to God s purpose for your life?

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