NBC Sunday School Manual For September 11, 2022 :Topic – An Unexpected Choice
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
Sunday, September 11, 2022
TOPIC: AN UNEXPECTED CHOICE
Background Scripture reading: Genesis 25:19-34
Lesson Scripture reading: Genesis 25: 19b-34
Golden Text: The LORD said to her, ‘Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from the within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. ‘Genesis 25:23
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
I. State how waiting period could be challenging especially when one is trusting God concerning certain issues.
II. Explain why husbands must intercede for their wives and family members like Isaac did for his wife.
III. Mention three ways some Christians inquire about their future these days.
It is not uncommon to have rivalry between which siblings, petty sometimes comes from jealousy for some obvious reasons. A story of a particular family was told who had a set of twins, having waited for a period of time. According to the story, the rivalry between the children started while they were in the womb. Their mother became so uncomfortable that she went to the hospital to inquire about the well-being of the unborn babies. After series of scan, it was discovered that the male child suppressed the female child in their positions. It was so serious that after their birth, the rivalry continued and became more pronounced when their father showed more preference for the male child and the mother for the female child. Gradually, this became an issue in their home such that the two children had dislike for each other and their parents.
Unfortunately, the problem continued through 141 their lineage. This is usually outcome when parents show favouritism among their children. Rivalry between siblings has always been a major problem. It has been observed that rivalry can sometimes be caused by parents. Some parents show preferential treatment to a particular child over the others like the case of Isaac and Rebekah who had their favourites among their two sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob took advantage of his brother’s predicament and got his birthright. Other prominent examples in the Bible are Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Joseph and his brothers. The story of the two brothers is our focus today. It is hoped that the lesson of today will help us see clearly the havoc that can be done to a family as a result of parental preferential treatment and the way out.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Isaac and Rebekah’s Waiting Period Genesis 25:19b-23
The story of Isaac is similar to that of his father Abraham in that he also waited a long time before he had children. He was the promised child born by Abraham and Sarah at their old age (Genesis 21:1ff). When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel (an Aramean from Mesopotamia) and sister of Laban. Rebekah was barren for about twenty years. Isaac who was more spiritually matured and sensitive to the fact that children only come from God (Psalm 127:3), constantly prayed to God on behalf of his wife. The prayer was answered and Rebekah became pregnant. She was going to have a set of twin. During pregnancy, the children struggled against each other in her womb. She became concerned about their well-being, and went to make inquiry from the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger that the other; and the older will serve the younger.” (v.23). Some Bible scholars claim that the enmity between the Israelites and Edomites can be traced to the birth of these twin brothers. Apostle Paul also attested to this when he stated that before they were born, God had already preferred Jacob to Esau (Romans 9:11-13). Apparently, two things are revealed in this passage: Isaac’s spiritual sensitivity. He identified the problem and the right source of solution; thus he prayed to God to intervene. The testimony is that his prayer was answered and Rebekah conceived. Rebekah’s devotion to God. Rebekah was wise to have inquired from God when she discovered a strange movement in her womb. She did not act like some other women who would have resolved to consult stargazers, fortunetellers, seers or traditionalists to solve their problem. Waiting periods could be frustrating. It has led many people to seek help from wrong places. But the example of Isaac and Rebekah, who knew their God and what He coulddoshould encourage us to seek the face of God concerning our needs notwithstanding how long we have waited. God has power over every situation and He will definitely answer our prayers and meet our needs needs at the appointed time.
1. Discuss the likely behaviour of some men whose wives are still waiting for the blessings of children and the lessons for such people from today’s lesson.
2. How can Christians know God’s plan for their future?
B. The Birth of Esau and Jacob Genesis 25:24-28
God had revealed to Rebekah that she would give birth to a set of twin boys who would eventually become two nations. According to God’s promise, when the time came, Rebekah gave birth to two boys with different features. The first that came out was red and his body was hairy; he was named Esau (aHebrew name which means “hairy”. His brother was born with his hand holding Esau’s heel thus; he was named Jacob (v. 26). They both grew up and chose different occupations. The Scripture says that Esau was a skillful hunter and loved outdoor life. In other words, he was a man of the open country who moved from one place to another for game hunting.But his brother Jacob was quiet and preferred to stay at home. Division and disunity started in their home when their
parents began to show preferences. While Isaac preferred Esau because he enjoyed eating his game, Rebekah preferred Jacob probably because of his availability to help her do some house chores. There had been rivalry between the two brothers since conception, which was later, aggravated by their parents as each of them had their favourites. Although God had different plans for each of them, their parents would have been more patient and allowed the will of God to be done. One of the key lessons from the passage is that parents should be careful how they show love to their children. We should endeavour to love our children equally with no preferential treatment as much as possible. This is important because the consequences of having rivalry among siblings are capable of causing unending dispute in the family and which sometimes extends to upcoming generations.
1. How can parents avoid the mistake of Isaac and Rebekah and display equal love among children?
2. Discuss the implications of parental favouritism among siblings and how it can be curbed in Christian homes?
C. Esau Despised His Birthright Genesis 25:29-34
Isaac and Rebekah had their favourites among their children, which later resulted to hostility and disunity in the home. Unfortunately, the result of their preference was manifested on a day Jacob was preparing some pot of stew when his brother Esau returned from hunting. Esau was tired and hungry and so he requested for food from his twin brother. He said to him, “Quick! Let me have some of that red stew! I am famished.” Ordinarily, one would expect Jacob to empathise and willingly give his brother some food but the reverse was the case. Instead, he requested Esau’s birthright (his inheritance as the first born son, as was the practice at the ancient time). He said to his brother, “First sell me your birthright” (v.31). Despite Esau’s repeated explanation that he was hungry, Jacob demanded that he should swear an oath to affirm the decision. Unfortunately, Esau Swore an oath and sold his birthright in exchange for a temporary satisfaction. It is possible that Jacob was preparing Esau’s favourite meal because the name later used for the descendants of Esau “Edomite” was from the meaning of “red”. It is also probable that Esau exaggerated his hunger so much that he said, “…I am about to die, after all, what good is the birthright to me.” In fact, it is obvious that Esau did not value his birthright. He despised it and allowed his hunger to overwhelm a thing of great and lasting value his birthright. He however, did not realise what he had given up until it was too late (Hebrews 12:16-17). According to biblical background, birthright was the most prized possession as the eldest son. Esau would have had an extra portion of his father’s property but he forfeited everything. Jacob took undue of his brother’s to rob him of his birthright and invariably his position as the first male child. The summary of this lesson is that Christians should not exchange their position in Christ for anything. We should also not be gluttons. Every desire for earthly things should be moderate. We should not let our flesh dictate what to do or not to do, but we should be controlled at all times by the Spirit of God
1. Esau failed to protect his birthright. Consequently, he lost it and later regretted his action. Explain how you can guard your heritage as a Christian so you will not lose it.
2. Discuss how sibling’s rivalry can affect the peace in the family.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
Let at least two class members recall an occasion when they acted on impulses and the consequences
State at least three main lessons you are taking home based on today’s lesson
1. Pray that God will help you to be impartial.
2. Commit your children to God that they will love themselves sincerely.
3. Pray that God will help you to value your inheritance in Christ Jesus.
Based on today’s lesson, make a personal commitment to promote love and unity in the family, church and the community you live.