NBC Sunday School Manual For September 25, 2022 :Topic – Jacob Called Israel

By | September 25, 2022

NBC Sunday School Manual For September 18, 2022 :Topic – Jacob Called Israel

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Sunday, September 25, 2022


Devotional Reading: Numbers 24:2-9, 15-17

Background Scripture: Genesis 35:22b-26; 38:12-19, 24-26; 49:8-12

Lesson Scripture: Genesis 35:22b-26; 38:2426; 49:10-12

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until it comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nation is his. Genesis 49:10

Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:

I. List the twelve sons of Jacob.

II. State the reasons why the scepter was given to Judah instead of his elder brother Reuben.

III. Make commitments to refrain from ungodly acts that will deprive them of God’s blessings.

Customarily, some children look forward to the last moment of their aged parents on earth in order to receive their final blessings. It is assumed that such people know the worth and believe strongly in the last words of their dying parents. A man wrote a book some time ago and titled it My Father’s Final Blessings. When he was asked the sources of his motivation, he simply said, “I was privileged to receive my father’s blessing on his sick bed. Today, every bit of his prophesy has come to pass in my life. So, I decided to write this book, my success story in his honour.” It is habitual for aged parents to call together their children and give them their final blessings. In most cases, the blessings of all the children may not be the same depending on their level and relationship with their parents. The same thing applied to Jacob. He had twelve sons by four women, Leah, Rachel, and his concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah. They are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin; all of whom
became the heads of their own family groups later. In Genesis 49, Jacob, who was already advanced in age, called his sons together for his final blessings. The blessings were in accordance to the deeds of each of them. Reuben was the first born son who was supposed to receive a double portion of his father’s inheritance and excel in honour and power. But because he went into his father’s wife, he forfeited the honour and the right to succeed his father.

Someone described Reuben’s sin as “A sin that lies sleeping.” Although the passage gives an indication that what Reuben did was wrong, it is obvious that it was not forgotten. Decades later, when their father Jacob called up his twelve sons for his final blessing, he predicted that leadership would pass from Reuben, the firstborn son to Judah (Genesis 49:4). The honour to lead the whole siblings was not only given to him, it would also remain with him forever.


A. The Genealogy of Jacob Genesis 35:22b-26
Jacob finally settled at Canaan. He set up his camp in a field near the city (Genesis 33:18). In chapter 35, God told Jacob to move to Bethel and settle there. God blessed Jacob at Bethel and he built a memorial stone there (vv.9-15). While Jacob lived in the land of Bethlehem, Reuben, one of his sons had sexual intercourse with one of his father’s concubines, Bilhah. Jacob became furious but without any immediate punishment melted to his son. According to the commentary on the New International Version, Reuben’s action was a sign of arrogance and untimely claim to the rights of the firstborn to inherit his father’s concubine. However, the aftermath of his action was that he lost his authority, rights and privileges as the firstborn son of his father. So he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright (Genesis 49:3-4;1 Chronicles 5:1).

There is no sin without its equivalent consequences whether in the present or future. The life of Reuben can best be described as inconsistent and unstable as water. He lost the right as his father’s firstborn son due to his sexual sin with his father’s concubine, Bilhah. Reuben of course, as firstborn of his father would have inherited Bilhah, his father’s concubine, after his death according to the custom. According to the Law of Moses, the sin of lying with one’s father’s bed partner is regarded as incestuous (acts of having sexual relationship between close relatives in a family, as between brother and sister) which is punishable by death (Leviticus 18:8). This lesson is a reminder that Christians should be careful to wait for their time in order to inherit whatever belongs to them. Instead of maneuvering through a crooked means of having anything, we should exercise self-control. We should be careful of what we do today so that we would not bring unending negative consequences on our generations. We should not allow worldliness take our inheritance of a glorious eternity with Jesus from us.

1. How can sexual immorality like rape, pedophile etc be avoided among Christians and humanity?

2. How can victims of sexual perversion be ministered to?

B. Judah’s Sincere Confession. Genesis 38:24-26
Having children was so important in the Old Testament times so much that if a man died childless, his brother was required to sleep with his widow in order to produce a family for him. However, Onan’s sin was a deliberate refusal to treat his brother’s widow fairly by giving her children. Unfortunately, his action displeased the Lord and he was put to death (Genesis 38:8-10). Consequently, Judah was afraid to give his last son, (Shelah) to Tamar to raise offspring for the deceased for fear of death. As a result, there was delay in the fulfillment of the promise. Tamar however, disguised as a temple prostitute and had a secret affair with Judah who was already a widower. Of course, after three months, it became obvious that she was pregnant and was accused of prostitution. Judah, her father-in-law’s response to the accusation was an instant judgment. He
sent a message to her saying, Bring her out and have her burned to death (v.25). According to the Law of Moses, burning was the legal penalty for prostitution (Leviticus 21:9). But Tamar sent a message back to her father in-law Judah as the father of the unborn child with evidence (v.25b). Judah was sincere in his confession. He claimed ownership of the items as proof that he actually slept with her. Then he said: She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah. He acknowledged the fact that Tamar is more upright because of his failure to allow his last son, Shelah, to marry Tamar as custom demands. However, he did not sleep with her again. Judah’s candid confession for not allowing his last born son Shelah to marry Tamar after the death of her husband for the continuity of the family lineage is commendable. He did not shift blame neither did he suppress Tamar purposely to cover his shame even though he had vehemently passed judgment on her. We should be ready to do the right thing at the appropriate time so as to avoid punishment. We should also be ready to admit our faults whenever we make mistakes instead of shifting blame in order to escape the punishment that may follow like Judah did in the passage.

C. Jacob Blesses Judah. Genesis 49:8-12
This passage is often referred to as the ‘Blessing of Jacob’, or ‘The last words of Jacob.’ Jacob was already advanced in age. He called his twelve sons and pronounced both curses and blessings on them. Reuben, his firstborn son would no longer excel because of his adulterous life. According to him, the tribes of Simon and Levi will be scattered throughout the land of Israel cause of their violence, though the Levites will become the nation’s priesthood (vs. 1-7). In contrast to the curses on Simon and Levi, Jacob blessed Judah with these blessings:

▪︎His brothers will praise him.

▪︎He will defeat his enemies and his father’s sons will bow down to him.

▪︎The scepter will not depart from him or the ruler’s staff will remain in his domain forever.

▪︎His descendants will someday enjoy a settled and prosperous life.

Although these words are usually regarded as blessings, they are more like prophesies about what will happen to the various tribes of Israel. The predictions came to pass when the tribe of Simon was absorbed by the tribe of Judah (Joshua19: 1, 9). The Levites became a priestly caste, living in designated cities all over Israel instead of being a tribe with their own territory. Ironically, while Reuben and Simon forfeited their leadership rights, Judah was called and given a new leadership position that would remain in his lineage forever. Little wonder that the tribe of Judah produced David through whom we have the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. God is not partial. Whatsoever a persons owes, they will reap (Galatians 6:7), whether blessings or curses. Today, we have the blessings of God through Jesus Christ. Our acceptance of Him as our Saviour and Lord qualifies us for blessings and inheritance in Jesus. We should be careful not to forfeit such privilege.

1. How can the sin of immorality be limited in our contemporary time?

2. Can we say that Jacob was justified as he cursed and blessed his children at his old age?

Commitment: Make a personal commitment to refrain from any ungodly act.

Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity

▪︎ Identify some traditions and practices that are contrary the Word of God and suggest how they can be corrected using the Word of God as a standard.to

Prayer Points
1. Pray that God will help you to always give glory to His name.

2. Pray for God’s blessings in all your endeavours.

3. Sincerely confess your known sins to God.

Take Home
State at least three main lessons you are taking home based on today’s lesson.

REVIEW: We thank God for bringing us to the last quarter of the year. It has been a wonderful experience, teaching and learning God’s word. Therefore, we want to know some facts about your understanding of the lessons so far:

▪︎What new things did you learn about the reason why the scepter was given to Judah?

▪︎ What were some of your struggles about Jacob’s last blessing?

▪︎Did you gain any new insights that will help you grow more spiritually about Judah’s sincere confession?

▪︎ What lesson did you learn about sincere parental last blessings?

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