ripple effect: vacaville

d30 Jacob’s Blessings
May 7, 2007, 9:46 pm
Filed under: asher, benjamin, dan, gad, genesis, issachar, jacob, joseph, judah, levi, naphtali, reuben, simeon, zebulun

Read Genesis 49:1-33

[Back to skipping some stuff…

*Joseph brings his family to Egypt.

*Jacob and Joseph are reunited.

*Jacob’s family settles is Goshen.

*Joseph makes Egypt very wealthy during the famine.

*Jacob ends up giving Joseph a double-blessing by blessing each of his two songs, Ephraim and Manasseh.]

OK…so here we go with the blessings of Jacob’s sons:

1. Reuben gets a weak blessing because he decided to have sex with one of his dad’s women. Big no no.
2. Simeon and Levi get a weak blessing because they retaliated against the men of Schechem when their sister was raped.
3. Judah gets the awesome blessing. The “lion” comes up here. Jesus is later referred to as “the lion of Judah.” Lion’s are king of the jungle. Um…and it also says that rulers will come out of Judah’s descendents. Yeah…later on, that’ll be David…and even later on…that’ll be Jesus. Do you think Judah “deserved” this blessing?
4. Zebulun’s people are sea-people. Cool…the pirates of Zebulun!
5. Issachar’s people will be in forced labor? Um…I don’t consider that a blessing!
6. I don’t get Dan’s blessing. He will be a viper and bite the heels of horses? Then it says that he will wait for God’s salvation? What’s up with that?
7. Gad would have liked Oakland because it seems that he will be a “raider” nation.
8. Asher’s people will have good food. Yesssss!
9. Naphatali’s descendents will apparently be good looking?
10. Joseph gets a cool blessing. It’s like he was hit at with arrows, but he always stood firm. It says that he will have blessings that surpass his father’s. I like that Joseph gets a lot of good in the end.
11. Benjamin is a wolf? Hmm…

Yeah…so…what do you think about these blessings? Rank who you think got the best/worst deals.


d20 Reuniting with Esau
April 27, 2007, 5:44 pm
Filed under: asher, bilhah, dan, dinah, esau, gad, genesis, god, issachar, jacob, joseph, judah, laban, leah, levi, naphtali, rachel, reuben, simeon, zebulun, zilpah

Read Genesis 32:1 – 33:16.

[Stuff we’re skipping over…

*Leah was a baby-making machine. Rachel was barren. It says that God did this because of how badly Leah was treated by Jacob. Leah has boy #1, Reuben. Leah has boy #2, Simeon. Leah has boy #3, Levi. And, Leah has boy #4, Judah. Like I said, baby-making machine.

*Rachel blames Jacob for not being able to have kids. Jacob says that’s God’s deal, not his. She gives him her servant, Bilhah, to make babies. Bilhah had boy #5, Dan. Bilhah had boy #6, Naphtali.

*Leah got jealous, so she let Jacob get with her maidservant, Zilpah. Zilpah had boy #7, Gad. Zilpah had boy #8, Asher.

*There’s also an interesting story in which Rachel trades one night with Jacob for some stuff (mandrakes) that apparently makes it more possible to conceive. Great idea. Only problem, Leah gets pregnant on that “one night” and gives Jacob boy #9, Issachar. And she had boy #10, Zebulun. Oh…and she had a daughter, Dinah, for good measure.

*Finally, Rachel gets a kid of her own; boy #11 is Joseph.

*Jacob wants to leave, and he makes a deal to get some sheep for all his trouble. Jacob basically works it so that he breeds stronger sheep for himself and weaker sheep for Laban. The trickster got it done again.

*This ticked off Laban and his sons, so God told Jacob to leave ASAP. Jacob told his wives it was time to go, and he headed for the hills. But, for some reason, Rachel steals Laban’s household god statues (apparently they weren’t followers of the Lord). Anyway, Jacob snuck out (trickster!), but Laban came looking for him. When he caught up with Jacob, he asked what the deal was (he would have thrown a going away party? yeah right!), and he said that Jacob stole his statues. Jacob said he would kill whoever stole them. So…they searched each tent for the gods, and Rachel sat with the gods hidden under a saddle in a tent. When her dad told her to get up, she said that she was (lie of all lies) on her PERIOD?!? At this point, they chewed each other out, and made a deal not to interfere with each other ever again.]

Yowza…that was a lot…

1. What do you think of Jacob’s “gift basket” for Esau? How do you think he should have responded?
2. What would you be thinking if you knew that the brother who wanted to kill you was showing up with 400 men! Oh, yeah, well Jacob had…um…well…4 ladies, some servants, and 12 kids? Uh oh…
3. This situation brings Jacob to his knees. He prays. Why do you think that it takes people stressful situations to finally go to God?
4. So…Jacob sends a “bribe” to his brother (please don’t kill me…please don’t kill me). I like how he sent the gifts in waves.
5. At this point, he’s sent his family away; and he is alone. And what happens? A “man” wrestles with him all night, knocking his hip out of joint. The “man” tells Jacob to let him go, but Jacob says he won’t let go until he’s blessed. Any thoughts on this part?
6. The “man” changes Jacob’s name to Israel (yeah…like the country named after him). From now on his name will mean “struggles with God.” Ironic. Do you find your faith to be a struggle or a wrestling match somtimes?
7. Jacob deduces that this “man” must have been God. Wow.
8. He bowed seven times…total submission…and then…
9. Esau runs up to him and kisses him and embraces him. Wow. I didn’t see that coming. Maybe God had Jacob’s back?
10. What do you think Jacob meant when he said that seeing Esau was like seeing the face of God? Interesting statement since he literally just saw the face of God the night before. What do you think he meant?
11. They part ways happily.

Sorry about the lateness of this post. I hope everyone has a chance to look at it though, because I know there is a lot of good stuff in these chapters. Joseph, the 11th son, the son of Rachel is going to be the focus coming up.