“...The Lord blessed him, and the man became rich.”
Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator
Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides. When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group
1 Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve my life from violent men,
2 who plan evil things in their heart, and stir up wars continually.
3 They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the poison of vipers.
4 Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet.
5 Arrogant men have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net, by the wayside they have set snares for me.
6 I say to the LORD, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
7 O LORD, my Lord, my strong deliverer, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further his evil plot!
9 Those who surround me lift up their head, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10 Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into pits, no more to rise!
11 Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
12 I know that the LORD maintains the cause of the afflicted and executes justice for the needy.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
The Journeys of Isaac
1. What promises of God does Isaac inherit from Abraham? How does God both affirm Abraham's significance while also setting Isaac up not to simply live in his father's shadow? Do you have any experience living in your father's shadow? How does a Patriarch simultaneously "cast a large shadow" without setting his children up to live in his shadow?
2. What marital misbehavior does Isaac duplicate from Abraham’s life? What fatherly temptations get reproduced and resisted in your life? What fatherly sins are your sons already reproducing?
3. How do the Philistines react to Isaac’s prosperity? Are there any other biblical/historical examples of such a reaction to successful Jews? How do I respond to others’ wealth, success and prosperity? As a Patriarch, is there a lesson about how I manage and display my own success and prosperity?
4. For nomads, what might be the significance of “wells” in this Chapter? Before technology, how did men manage competing geographical claims and boundaries? How do you exercise physical dominion of your land and your home?
5. Another word for “covenant” is “alliance.” What social elements constitute an alliance in this chapter? How does a Patriarch establish and maintain “alliances” today?
Choose a resolution for this week from the suggestions below or make your own. Tap on a resolution to email it to yourself:
1. I will spend time in adoration giving thanks to God for the blessings, gifts, lessons and strengths I have inherited from my father.
2. I will ask the lord to enlighten me about any blind spots, temptations, or sins I have inherited from my father, and for any wisdom on how to compensate for them.
3. I will praise my wife three times in public this week.
4. I will show more physical affection for my wife in front of my children this week.
5. I will bring to confession any “cowardice” in my life, by examining where I dwell on fear, or permit fear to prevent me from initiating, from representing truth, from advocating for myself, or from leading my family.
6. I will examine an area of my life where I am tempted to “quit,” and ask God for grace to know His desire and plan for this area of my life.
7. I will propose a bonding activity with another Patriarch that will foster fellowship and recreation together.
8. I will propose “making a feast” in our home for another family.
9. I will teach an older child about the value of my own “spiritual well” and share with them how I pray, and invite them to accompany me in prayer.
10. I will renew the blessing of my own “land” and “home” with a prayerful tour through the house and sprinkling with holy water.
11. I will tour my home and yard, writing down a list of ways to better exercise dominion over “my land”.
Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.