Opening Prayer Led by Group Facilitator

Psalm 85

Pray the Psalm together aloud, alternating verses between two sides.  When finished, share reflections on the Psalm as a group

1  Lord, you were favorable to your land; you brought back the captives of Jacob.

2  You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin.

3  You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.

4  Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!

5  Will you be angry with us for ever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?

6  Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

7  Show us your merciful love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

8  Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

9  Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

10  Mercy and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

11  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from heaven.

12  Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.

13  Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way. 

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.

Esau Surprises Jacob

Genesis 33

1.       What do you notice about Jacob’s initial reaction to Esau and his 400 men?

2.       How does Esau surprise Jacob?  How does this story compare and contrast with Jesus’ story of the Prodigal Son?  How does this story starkly contrast with stories of prior brothers in scripture? 

3.       How does Jacob address his brother?  How does Jacob’s humility guarantee his security?  Do you perceive his humility as sincere, calculated or both?  In what situations might a modern Patriarch need to employ both sincere and calculated humility?

4.       Why is Jacob right to refuse Esau's invitation to go to Se'ir? (See Genesis 31:3 and Genesis 32:3)  Why is Jacob wrong in how he refuses the invitation? When have you witnessed a friend or family member risk offending someone by their refusal of an invitation to participate in an activity that would compromise God's commands?  

5.       How do Jacob’s actions at Succoth and Shechem illustrate Patriarchy?

6.       Jacob's son, Joseph, is mentioned as a witness to his uncle's heroic act of forgiveness.  How will this heroic forgiveness later be repeated by Joseph towards his siblings?  How can you better model forgiveness to your children, nieces and nephews now in order to foster unity and forgiveness among them as siblings when they are adults?  

Prayer Partners

Discuss with your prayer partner the success/failure of your previous resolution & offer a vocal prayer for one another.