Introduction: Have you heard the phrase, “What goes around,
comes around?” I have observed in life that wrongs people
inflict on others end up being the same kind of wrongs those
people suffer at the hands of others. This week we see this
played out in our study of Jacob and Esau. Let’s dive into
our study of the Bible and learn more!

I. Isaac’s Descendants

A. Read Genesis 25:19-21. Put yourself in Isaac’s
place. The Bible reports that Rebekah, his wife,
is barren. When you think about your life, do you
consider the lives of your parents? Do you think
about how they handled similar situations?

1. If I’m right about Isaac’s thoughts, how do
you think he responded to his prayer being
answered right away? (He should be grateful.)

2. Is there any record up to this time of Isaac
being unfaithful to God or having a failure of
faith? (Not in what we have read so far. Last
week we learned that Isaac allowed himself to
be bound in preparation to be killed based on
the command of God. His father, Abraham, was a
giant of faith by then, but so, it seems, is

B. Read Genesis 25:22-24. What do we learn about the
character of Rebekah? (All of the references to
her so far are very positive. She goes to God
with her question and He answers!)

1. Focus on verse 23. What does this teach us
about free will? (It teaches us what we
intrinsically know, that some are born with
certain advantages. However, that does not
limit our free will.)

C. Read Genesis 25:25-26. Let’s revisit something we
discussed earlier. Genesis 25:21 sounds like
Rebekah became pregnant immediately after Isaac
prayed. What do we learn here? (Genesis 25:20
tells us Isaac was 40 years-old when they married,
and Genesis 25:26 tells us he was 60 years-old
when the twins were born.)

1. Isaac waited a third of his life for his
children. What does that teach us?

D. Let’s take a little detour to consider whether
Isaac is a giant of faith. Read Genesis 26:6-7. Is
Isaac trusting in God? (No, like his father Abram,
he is trusting in a lie. Perhaps that twenty-year
delay was intended to help him with his faith.)

E. Read Genesis 25:27 28. What problem do you see
here? Do we now find character flaws in Isaac and

1. The text literally says that Isaac loved Esau
because of food. Put yourself in Isaac’s
place. Would you admire the rugged hunter as
opposed to a “quiet” man who hung around the
tents? (Esau sounds like a “man’s man.” The
Adam Clarke Commentary helps us to see this
differently. He reports that Jacob was
breeding and tending cattle, “which was
considered in those early times the most
perfect employment.” This tells us that Jacob
is the intellectual, living by his study of
breeding. Esau lives by conquest.)

II. The Fraud

A. Read Genesis 25:29-31. What does this say about
the character of Jacob? (What a greedy, unloving
brother! The proper response is “Sure, brother!
I’ve eaten plenty of animals that you have hunted.
How was your day?”)

B. Read Genesis 25:32-34. What does this say about
the character of Esau? (He is unserious. He does
not appreciate the value of the birthright.)

1. Which of these brothers is worse? (I vote for
Jacob. Esau seems immature. Jacob is a greedy

C. Let’s skip forward two chapters. Read Genesis
27:6-7. What is Isaac’s intention toward Esau? (He
is going to bless him.)

1. Is this blessing the same as the birthright?
(Read Deuteronomy 21:15-17. The birthright is
a “double portion” of the father’s

2. Is it peculiar that Isaac only tells Esau
about his plan? He does not tell his wife and
he does not create a family ceremony around
this blessing?

D. Read Genesis 25:23. What has God promised when it
comes to the two boys? (God says that Esau will
serve Jacob. This does not sound like the

E. Read Genesis 27:8-12. Why not trust the blessings
of God instead of trusting in lies?

1. What kind of a blessing do you receive from

2. What alternative plan for Jacob and Rebekah
would you suggest? (Rebekah should have told
Isaac what God had told her about the two sons
and who would serve the other. On the other
hand, the fact that Isaac only confides in
Esau about the blessing suggests Isaac knows
what God wants.)

F. Read Genesis 27:13. Is Rebekah cursed as a result
of this? (Yes, in the sense that Jacob leaves and
she dies before he returns. She never sees him
again – the boy she loves.)

G. Read Genesis 27:15-20. Would you do this? Would
you claim God’s blessing to support your fraud?

H. Read Genesis 27:21-24. Consider that Isaac has
considerable concerns about which son he is
blessing. Why doesn’t he call in others to confirm
the identity of the person he is about to give the
blessing? (This is another indication that he is
trying to do this secretly.)

I. Read the blessing in Genesis 27:28-29. Is this the
birthright? (Not specifically. Instead, if given
to Esau it would directly contradict God’s promise
(Genesis 25:23)that Esau would serve Jacob.)

J. After Isaac blesses Jacob, Esau arrives with his
food for his blessing. Read Genesis 27:32-33 and
Hebrews 11:20. How can it be said that Isaac “by
faith” blessed Jacob?

1. Why does Isaac say about Jacob, “and he shall
be blessed?

2. And, why did Isaac tremble so terribly when he
realized the fraud? (I see no reason why Isaac
could not have “fixed” the fraud right then,
except that he knew that he was acting
contrary to the will of God. That caused him
to tremble and confess that the blessing would
remain on Jacob.)

K. Read Genesis 27:41-43. How is this blessing
turning out so far?

III. The Promise

A. Read Genesis 28:10-15. The promise made to Abraham
and Isaac is now made to Jacob. Is that
appropriate? (We saw that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac,
and Rebekah all had trouble believing the promises
of God. They all depended on lies. Jacob’s lies
seem rather extreme, but the outcome is consistent
with God’s promise to Rebekah. God works with
flawed people.)

IV. It Comes Around

A. As his mother suggests, Jacob flees to his Uncle
Laban. Read Genesis 29:15-19. Jacob enters into a
seven-year work agreement with Laban. Should Jacob
have been a better negotiator? Obtain his payment

B. Read Genesis 29:20-25. Is everyone in that family

C. Read Genesis 29:26. If Laban is telling the truth
about country customs, why didn’t he reveal that
when they entered into the contract? Why, as Jacob
asks, did he deceive him?

D. Read Genesis 29:27-30. How would you compare
Laban’s deception to that of Jacob?

1. Assume that Jacob refused to deceive his
father, and God worked out the result just as
promised. Do you think that Isaac would have
commissioned a visit to Laban for a wife for
Jacob? Would Isaac have done the same thing
Abraham did for Him?

E. Friend, the deceiver is deceived! The last
deception flows from the earlier deceptions. I
believe that if Jacob and Rebekah had trusted God,
Jacob would have later received Rachel as his wife
and taken her home. Rebekah would have lived with
Jacob and Rachel. Will you determine, by the power
of the Holy Spirit, to trust God and not lies?

V. Next week: Jacob-Israel.

Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.