Beginning the Journey (for new Christians)
1, 2, and 3 John
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
2 Peter, Jude
7 Last Words of Christ
Christ Powered Life (Rom 5-8)
David, Life of
Jesus and the Kingdom
Lamb of God
Names of God
Sermon on the Mount
Discipleship Lessons from the
Life of Jacob
Jacob is a troubling character in the Old Testament. He is conniving and he is spiritual too. He has moments of strong faith as well as of fear. His family is sometimes in disarray, and yet at the end he is the one who sets it straight.
Jacob, whose very name suggests "deceiver," is renamed by God as "Israel" -- "one who has struggled with God." And an entire nation is named after this patriarch -- the nation of Israel.
Jacob is a bit too much like us -- with very human strengths and weaknesses, but a man with a striving for spiritual things. From this imperfect man we learn important lessons of faith. Especially, we learn about God's grace.
The events described in Jacob's story comprise most of Genesis chapters 25-49. If you haven't read the Old Testament much, you'll be pleased to find that God can speak to you here -- loud and clear. The culture is vastly different, but you'll quickly learn that the people and their problems haven't changed much. The story of Jacob is a great opportunity to learn important lessons about ourselves and our God.
This is not the kind of Bible study for the faint of heart. We'll be looking at some issues that don't have nice, neat answers. But life is like that. My prayer is that you'll grow through this process. That you'll become closer to, more sensitive to, more obedient to God. And that you'll learn to study your Bible in a new way.
I invite you to join me in an e-mail Bible study of Jacob's life. Here's the outline:
- Jacob the Deceiver (Genesis 25:19-34; 27:1-41)
- Jacob Meets God (Genesis 27:41-28:22)
- Jacob and Laban, Rachel and Leah (Genesis 29-31)
- Jacob Wrestles with God and Man (Genesis 32-33)
- Jacob Returns to Bethel (Genesis 33:17-35:29)
- Jacob's Depression, Fear, and Hope (Genesis 37-47)
- Jacob Offers Blessings (Genesis 46:28-49:33)
- Participant Handouts (PDF) for classes and small groups
- References and Abbreviations
- Paintings and Artwork of Jacob and Esau
- Reprint Policies
Here's how we'll study together.
. Then you'll
read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
- On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use these lessons to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
- You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
- Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.
Sign up now!
To sign up, start by clicking on your e-mail frequency preference:
You'll receive your first lesson the Friday after you sign up. There is no cost to participate in the study, though donations are encouraged so we can create more studies and reach more people.
We respect your privacy and never sell, rent, or loan our lists. Please don't subscribe your friends; let them decide for themselves.
Please don't sign up for more than one of my Bible studies at one time. There's no penalty, but each of them is pretty intensive. If you try to do too many studies at the same time without adequate reflection, you'll miss out on God speaking to you.
Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastorjoyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.
In-depth Bible study books
You can purchase one of Dr. Wilson's complete Bible studies in PDF, Kindle, or paperback format.
- 1, 2, and 3 John
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter & Jude
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians
- 1 & 2 Timothy
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- Abraham, Faith of
- Christ Powered Life (Romans 5-8)
- Christmas Incarnation
- Colossians and Philemon
- Great Prayers of the Bible
- Jacob, Life of
- Jesus and the Kingdom of God
- JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey
- John's Gospel
- Lamb of God
- Lord's Supper
- Luke's Gospel
- Moses the Reluctant Leader
- Names and Titles of God
- Resurrection and Easter Faith
- Sermon on the Mount
- Seven Last Words of Christ