When Abraham answered the call to leave the polytheistic society in which he lived and follow the One True God, a radical shift occurred in human history. God gradually revealed Himself through the events of Abraham’s life and the covenants that He made with him and his descendants. The Promised Seed was at the heart of the strategy, ultimately secured with the birth of Isaac.
Session 1 : Where are we on the journey?
This is a good place to pause, take a bird’s eye view of the journey so far and get some perspective on where it is all going. Remember that there is only one story with many chapters…
Session 2 : Isaac – A Devoted Son with A Divided Family
Isaac lived very much in the shadow of his father Abraham. Apart from one disastrous episode he did not take any initiatives – he simply walked in the footsteps of father Abraham…
Session 3 : Isaac trusts his own wisdom and then repents
Isaac was content to follow Abraham’s example but he had a, near fatal, character flaw. He was sensual, controlled by his appetite and he allowed his emotions and personal preferences to over-ride his fidelity to the word that God had spoken…
Session 4 : Two Brothers – Two Destinies
This part of the story highlights the mystery of God’s sovereignty and His choice of people for particular destinies, something that may offend us…
Session 5 : Jacob meets his match and finally prevails
Jacob arrives in Haran penniless and in a vulnerable state. He is soon even more vulnerable as a young man in love and about to be exploited by his unscrupulous “man of the world” uncle Laban…
Session 6 : Jacob on the run again
Jacob has out-foxed Laban and prospered. Now he senses that his life is in danger and prepares to flee back to Canaan – into more danger in the shape of Esau…
Session 7 : Jacob discovers his true identity
Jacob the fugitive is about to meet his destiny in a way he does not expect. His concern is Esau but first he will encounter someone infinitely more awesome – the LORD Himself, and in the encounter he will find his own identity.
Session 8 : The encounter with Esau, and more family troubles
The account of Jacob’s meeting with Esau is closely connected with the previous encounter with God. Esau shows him favour and Jacob says “I see your face as one sees the face of God”…
Session 9 : Shechem revisited and Return to Bethel
The series of events at Shechem resulted in a massacre at the hands of Simeon and Levi, for which they would suffer in terms of their inheritance. It story also raises issues about Jacob’s character…
Session 10 : Joseph and Judah come centre-stage
The story of Joseph is part of the larger narrative, of Jacob. Joseph is the agent through whom the story of the Patriarchs reaches its destination. Through Joseph the solemn Covenant made with Abraham (Genesis 15) becomes a practical reality.
Session 11 : Joseph tested in the house of Potiphar
Chapter 39 is bracketed by two similar statements “The LORD was with Joseph”, v2 and 23.God’s providence is the key to understanding the life of Joseph.
Session 12 : Joseph’s dream becomes a reality
These incidents contain a number of strange “coincidences” as the LORD orchestrates His purposes, unbeknown to the various participants. Joseph does not have access to the script but he continues to act with integrity and to avoid bitterness.
Session 13 : Testing times for Joseph and his brothers
The next section begins with what some other people saw – Joseph’s brothers and their father Jacob. The brothers were staring at one another.Each saw his guilt reflected in the faces of the others and knew what everyone was thinking.
Session 14 : Joseph reveals himself to his brothers
The crisis is precipitated by the concealment and discovery of the precious cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain. They had been so confident of their innocence of the charge but now the evidence is all against them.
Session 15 : Jacob reaches his destiny
Jacob is revitalised as he sees the significance of the amazing news. He set off for Beersheba, where God had appeared to Abraham and Isaac. He offered a sacrifice there in a place associated with Covenant and blessing and worship, probably seeking God’s protection and assurance.
Session 16 : Jacob’s Prophetic Sign and final Prophetic Words
His words are enclosed between repeated instructions to bury his body in Canaan (like brackets). The prophecies concerned “the latter days and the tribes of Israel. Hebrews 11:21 focused on these events in which Jacob’s faith reached its full expression.
Session 17 : The Journey of the Patriarchs is complete
Jacob completes the prophetic words over his sons and their tribes. Judah does not receive the birthright (given to Joseph), but he does receive the gift of leadership among the tribes and, hidden within that, the privilege of standing in the line of promise – the seed.