Sunday, Nov 15, 2009: “The Old Testament: Genesis: Chapters 31-35”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
A General Overview of the Old Testament
A Discussion led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, November 15, 2009


The Old Testament

Jacob now realizes it may be a very good time to leave his uncle’s place and head back home.  He secretly calls his two wives together and they headed back to his homeland.  Rachel stole her father’s household gods as well.  Uncle Leben chased after Jason and finally caught up with him.  He asked why did they leave so secretly.  (The answer was obvious!)  Leben accused Jason of stealing his household gods, but of course, he knew nothing about them.  When he finally looked in Rachel’s tent she was sitting on them and feigned the woman’s “time of the month” issues and he did not venture to look where she was sitting and thus got away with the gods.  Jason pointed out to him that he worked for Leben for fourteen years for his two daughters and six additional years for his flocks.  His wages were also changed ten times during that time period.


Finally the two of them made a covenant and set up a heap of stones.  This was a dividing line between them.  They made an oath to each other and Uncle Leben kissed his daughters and grandchildren and returned home.  Now when Jacob finally made it back to his father’s place, Isaac was still on his deathbed!


Jacob was wrestling with God and his brother in a dream.  Now it was time once again to meet his brother, who Jacob knew was still very mad at him for the tricks he had played.  When he found out that Esau was coming with four hundred additional men, he became very scared for his life and plotted an escape route.  Jacob then reminds God to be faithful to past promises made to keep him safe from harm.


Jacob sends his servants ahead with lavish gifts for Esau and constantly refers to him as “my lord” indicating his subservience.  Jacob sees the face of his brother in the face of God.  He wrestles with a man at the threshold of the stream.  Jacob wrestles to a draw in the end when he realizes the man is God.  The man then puts his hip joint out of socket and tells him that he shall now be call Israel.  Jacob now leaves a changed man indeed!


When they finally met, Esau was happy to see his brother again.  He wanted to return the gifts that Jacob (Israel) gave him but told Esau to “Keep them my brother.  Seeing you is like seeing the face of God!”  However, even after this warm greeting, Jacob elects to keep a safe distance behind Esau on the remaining journey home.  He then bought land in Shekam and pitched his tent there.  Finally, in the end, Isaac dies and his sons bury him.