He went out

1024x1024homegroupsThe seventh reading from the book of Genesis is named “and he went out”, or Vayetze (ויצא) in Hebrew. The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “And Jacob went out from Beersheba” (Genesis 28:10 KJV). This study tells the story of Jacob’s flight from his brother Esau, his vision at Bethel, his employment with his uncle Laban and his marriage to the two sisters, Rachel and Leah. Jacob’s double marriage results in a baby-bearing contest that gives him eleven sons. At the end of the portion, Jacob leaves Laban and returns to the land of Canaan, but not before Laban tries to stop him.

There are few ideal families in the Bible. Jacob’s certainly wasn’t. As if it was not bad enough to have two wives, they were sisters. Being married to the same man made them bitter rivals. This made for such a dysfunctional combination that the Torah later legislates against marrying sisters (Leviticus 18:18). The sisters added to the dysfunction by offering Jacob their maidservants, Bilhah and Zilpah, as additional baby-makers in their contest to bear sons. And you thought keeping the peace with one spouse was difficult! Try having four.

Jacob’s family was far from the ideal. Yet his children were the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise. His children were, quite literally, the “children of Israel.” This teaches us that God is able to work (and chooses to work) His purposes in less than ideal conditions. Have you ever felt like your family is an embarrassment? “If only we looked like the smiling, perfect family on the cover of the homeschool magazine,” a frustrated mother sighs. Today, broken families and second marriages are common. Obviously this is not the ideal, but God can work with even the worst of circumstances. He is the God who brings order out of chaos and shines light into darkness.

Jacob could have become bitter and complained to God, “I wanted one wife, and now I am stuck with four! How could You do this to me?” But this less-than-ideal family situation he’d landed in was God’s way of multiplying Jacob’s seed and keeping the promises made to Abraham.

Bible Outline

        • Genesis 28:10 | Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
        • Genesis 29:1 | Jacob Meets Rachel
        • Genesis 29:15 | Jacob Marries Laban’s Daughters
        • Genesis 30:25 | Jacob Prospers at Laban’s Expense
        • Genesis 31:1 | Jacob Flees with Family and Flocks
        • Genesis 31:22 | Laban Overtakes Jacob
        • Genesis 31:43 | Laban and Jacob Make a Covenant
      • PROPHETS
        • Hos 12:2 | The Long History of Ephraim’s Rebellion
        • Hos 13:1 | Relentless Judgment on the house of Israel
        • Hos 14:1 | A Plea for Repentance and prophecy of Ephraim’s salvation
        • Hos 14:4 | Assurance of Forgiveness
      • GOSPELS
        •  Mathew 3 & 4 | The baptism begins the mission (salvation of the world through Ephraim/ Israel)
        •  John 11 | Final miracle and Jesus goes to a city called Ephraim
      • LETTERS

Old Testament Activities for Kids

It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s activities:

Days of creation coloring

Chabad for Kids

For Deeper Learning

Hebrew “Word of the Week” by Hebrew4Christians.com

Greek “Word of the Week

Psalms in a Week

Sunday- 1-29

Monday- 30-50

Tuesday- 51-72

Wednesday- 73-89

Thursday- 90-106

Friday- 107-119

Saturday- 120-150