Sermons

Introduction.

Genesis follows the work of God, moving from creation, to the entrance of sin, to judgment, to the selection of a family through which the nations will be blessed. The promises of God to Abraham were passed to Isaac, and now to his son Jacob. His story takes up half of the book of Genesis. Jacob is not an admirable character, but God is gracious. Chapters 35-36 highlight the divergent paths of Jacob and his brother Esau.

Audio Version

SERIES TITLE: Divergent

SESSION ONE: Bury the Past

TEXT: Genesis 35


INTRODUCTION.

Genesis follows the work of God, moving from creation, to the entrance of sin, to judgment, to the selection of a family through which the nations will be blessed. The promises of God to Abraham were passed to Isaac, and now to his son Jacob. His story takes up half of the book of Genesis. Jacob is not an admirable character, but God is gracious. Chapters 35-36 highlight the divergent paths of Jacob and his brother Esau.

DISCUSSION.

Have you ever hunted for buried treasure or buried something and forgotten where it was? 

EXAMINATION.

35:1 Why is Bethel so important, and why does God tell Jacob to return?

35:2 Where did those foreign gods come from?

  • Why would Jacob and his family have collected or kept these things?
  • Was it necessary for Jacob to dispose of that stuff in order to fulfill God’s call? Why or why not?
  • What is the significance of the clean clothes? (Compare Exodus 19:9-14)

35:3 How does Jacob’s statement here match up with what was promised/requested at Bethel the first time? (Genesis 28)

35:4-5 Why do you think Jacob buried these things rather than burning or selling them?

35:6-7 God told Jacob to return and build an altar. God didn’t mention getting rid of false gods. What would prompt Jacob to do that?

35:8-14 Why would God repeat Jacob’s renaming that first happened in 32:28?

APPLICATION.  

  • What are some of the common idols or false gods in American life?
  • What are some examples of things we hang on to that result from a painful past?
  • How and why can we experience God’s power by dealing with our false gods and painful past?
  • The blessings God gives to us when we bury the past include:
  1. Usefulness—2 Timothy 2:20-21 “In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”
  2. Restedness—Isaiah 57:2 “Those who walk uprightly enter into peace.” (see also Hebrews 4)
  • What are some indications that these are being blocked in our lives?
  • How does the gospel of Jesus answer our need to bury the past?
  • Fact: What is a key truth that you understood from this passage?
  • React: What did you feel?
  • Act: What are you going to do?

 

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