Bible Class

"Jesus Loves You": The Bible tells me so


Kids

The Bible said "To suffer little children to come onto me". This page was created for children but can also be used by adults. For we must humble our self as a little child, for we all are children in the eyes of God.

Note: Some of these stories are not in the order that it happened in the Bible.

Bible Stories

Matthew 7:24-27 "The Builders"
 
Matthew 13:3 "The Sower"
 
Matthew 18:23-35 "The Unmerciful Servant"
 
Matthew 20:1-16 "The laborers in the vineyard"
 
Matthew 25:1-13 "The Virgins"
 
Matthew 25:14-30 "The Talents"
 
Luke 10:25-37 "The Samaritan"
 
Luke 12:13-21 "The Rich Fool"
 
Luke 15:3-7 "The lost Sheep"
 
Luke 15:8-10 "The Lost Coin"
 
Luke 15:11-32 "The Lost Son"
 
Luke 16:19-31 "The Rich Man And Lazarus"
 
Luke 18:1-8 "The Importunate Widow and Unjust Judge"
 

......Many years ago, the world did not exist. There was no sun to shine or to give warmth. There were no stars to brightly twinkle in the night sky. There were no fish to swim in the sea, nor were there animals to roam and to play upon the earth. There were no green plants to grow, nor any brightly colored flowers to add beauty for the eye to look upon. Also, men and women had not yet been created. However, there was God, for God has always existed and has been the same unchanging God.

God is love and God chose to create the universe, the world, and all of us people as an _expression of His love for us. God planned an orderly Creation so that the world, and all things in it, would be created just the way He wanted them to be.

In the beginning of time, water covered everything and darkness was everywhere. However, God planned to make a beautiful world, so He said, "Let there be light." At once, there was light. God was pleased. Then, God separated the light from the darkness. He called the light "day" and the darkness "night." Together, these made up the first day of time.

On the second day, God created the beautiful blue sky. This is the space that separates the waters above from the waters below. Then, the second day ended.

On the third day, God said, "Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear. And, so it was. God named the dry ground "land" and he named the water "seas." God saw that what He had done was good. Then, God spoke again. This time, He caused a carpet of grass, a variety of beautiful flowers, an assortment of tall trees, and all manner of green plants to burst forth from the land and grow. The land, which had been barren, was now filled with many different types of plants and trees. Each of these plants and trees produced its own seeds to replenish or refill the earth. When God saw all that He had done, He was pleased. And, the third day ended.

God had great plans for our world. On the fourth day, God said, "Let bright lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs to mark the seasons, the days, and the years. Let their light shine down upon the earth." And, so it was. God created two great lights, the sun and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. The greater light, called the sun, was to rule during the day. The lesser light, called the moon, was to rule during the night. Then, God created the stars that twinkle in the heavens and provide additional light to the earth during the nighttime. And once again, God was pleased with what He had done. Then, the fourth day ended.

On the fifth day, God began to create the living creatures. He made all kinds of fish to swim in the waters. He created many different types of birds to fly in the air. God created the great sea creatures as well as the tiny sparrows. God saw that this was good. Then, God blessed them saying, "Let the fish multiply and fill the oceans. Let the birds increase and fill the earth." Then, the fifth day ended.

On the sixth day, God said, "Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature - livestock, small animals, and wildlife. And, so it was. God created all sorts of living creatures, each able to reproduce more of its own kind. And, God saw that this was good.

Now that the earth was completed and made beautiful, God was ready to make man. God planned that people would live on the earth, enjoy the beauty of His Creation, and care for it. Man was to be created in Godís image. Man would know that God was his Creator and would love and worship Him.

And, so it was, God created the first man. Out of the dust of the earth, God created the first body. Then, He breathed into the body the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Man would become master over all life - the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals on the earth. God named the first man Adam.

God had planted a beautiful garden in the east and named it Eden. In this garden, many beautiful trees grew and produced delicious fruit. At this time, there was no rain, but water came up out of the ground and watered all of the plants. At the center of the garden, God placed two special trees. These were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After creating Adam, God placed him in the Garden of Eden to care for it. God told Adam, "You may eat the fruit that grows on any of the trees in the garden except for one. Then, He warned him, "Do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat this fruit, you will surely die." Then, God brought all the animals that He had created to the garden for Adam to name.

God was pleased with His creation. However, there was one thing missing. He said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion to help him." So, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. Then, He took one of Adam's ribs. From this rib, God created a woman and brought her to Adam, and they became married. How happy was Adam! He loved his wife and called her Eve. They stood naked in the beautiful garden, but they were not ashamed.

God looked over all that He had created. He saw that it was excellent in every way. All of this happened on the sixth day. Then, the sixth day ended.

Now, the creation of the heavens and the earth, and everything in them was complete. So, on the seventh day, God rested. For this reason, He blessed the seventh day and called it holy, because this was the day when He rested from the work of the Creation.

Read more about "In The Beginning" Genesis 1:1 - 2:25.

"So God created people in His own image; God patterned them after Himself; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

The Forbidden Fruit

Satan was an angel who rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven. Through attractive temptations, Satan lures us into following his kind of life and doing sinful things. Satan tempted Eve, and succeeded in getting her to sin. No one on earth is exempt from Satanís temptations. He even tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:11), but Jesus did not sin. Being tempted is not a sin. We do not sin until we act on the temptation. God gives us blessings and rewards us when we resist temptation.

The shrewdest of the wild creatures that God had created was the serpent. One day, the serpent came to Eve and asked, "Did not God say you could eat of all the fruit in the garden?"

Eve answered, "We may eat the fruit of every tree except one. God told us that we may not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If we do, we will die."

"You will not die," hissed the serpent. "God knows that if you eat fruit from this tree, you will become as wise as He, knowing everything, both good and evil. This is why He has forbidden you to eat it."

Eve looked at the delicious fruit again. It looked so good. How she wanted so much to be wise like God! She reached out her hand and took the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She ate it. It was very delicious. So, she gave some of it to her husband, Adam, to eat. He ate it, too.

After eating the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked. They also knew that they had disobeyed God. How afraid they were! Because they felt shame at their nakedness, they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Toward the evening, Adam and Eve heard the Lord God walking in the garden. Since they were ashamed, they hid themselves among the trees. Soon, God called to Adam, "Where are you?"

Adam replied, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid."

"Who told you that you were naked?" God asked. "Have you eaten the fruit from the tree I commanded you not to eat?"

"Yes," Adam answered, and quickly he added, "But it was Eve who gave me the fruit to eat."

God turned to Eve and asked, "What is this that you have done?"

She replied, "The serpent tempted me, and I ate it."

To the serpent, God said, "Because you have done this, you will be singled out from all the wild animals of the earth. You will crawl on your belly in the dust for as long as you live. This will be your punishment. In addition, from now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

God was sorry that Adam and Eve had chosen not to obey Him. Because they had sinned, they could no longer be with Him. God knew they had to be punished for their disobedience.

To Eve, God said, "Because you have disobeyed Me, you shall have pain and suffering as you have children." Then to Adam, God said, "Since you listened to your wife and have disobeyed Me, I have placed a curse on the ground. All during your life, you will struggle to make a living from it. The land will grow thorns and thistles, but you will be able to eat its grains. However, now you will have to sweat to produce food until your dying day. Then, you will return to the ground from which you came. You were created from dust, and to the dust you will return."

God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and for Eve, his wife. Then, He sent them out of the beautiful garden. They now had to make a home for themselves. At the gate of the garden, God placed a mighty angel with a flaming sword. This angel prevented Adam and Eve from returning to the Garden of Eden and eating the fruit of the tree of life.

Read more about "The Forbidden Fruit" Genesis 3:1-24.

"'Yes,' Adam admitted, 'but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit and I ate it.'" Genesis 3:12

 

Cain and Abel

Relationships between siblings allow both competition and cooperation. The harmony of working together in love, and working out our differences with patience creates a strong bond between brothers and sisters. The story of two brothers, Cain and Abel, is the account of the first murder of man. God seeks out Cain to explain what he must do to be accepted of God. If we listen to God, we can avoid the jealous pride that could lead to the terrible consequences of our sinful actions.

Adam and Eve knew they had done wrong when they disobeyed the Lord. God had sent them away from the beautiful Garden of Eden. No longer were they able to walk and talk with God face to face. However, they did have the privilege to speak to the Lord through prayer. Life in their new surroundings was also harder than it was in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve now had to work in the fields to grow the food for them to eat.

God still loved Adam and Eve. He blessed them with a baby boy whom they named Cain. Later, God gave them another little boy whom they named Abel.

Cain and his brother Abel grew up like other little boys. Their parents taught them about God and taught them to love and respect Him. As the boys grew up together, they began to have an interest in different things. Abel liked to care for the animals and became a shepherd. Cain liked to plant and grow crops.

Cain and Abel were commanded to make offerings to the Lord. These offerings, or sacrifices would be offered on an altar built of stone or earth. On top of the altar, they would place wood. Then, they would lay their offering on top of the wood and kill it as a sacrifice. Then, they set fire to the wood, and the offering was burned.

One day, as God had commanded, Abel brought the first lamb born to one of his sheep as an offering. He killed and burned it on the altar as a gift or sacrifice to the Lord. God saw that Abel was sincere and obedient. He was pleased with his offering. Cain brought some of the crops he had harvested and gave these as an offering to the Lord. God was not pleased with Cain's offering. This made Cain very angry and his face was downcast.

God did not reject Cain even though his offering was unacceptable. He asked Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?" God warned Cain about the dangerous path he was following. He said, "Do not let sin take over your life. You must overcome it."

The words God spoke made Cain even angrier. Again, the Lord warned Cain that his anger would lead to great sin. However, Cain would not listen to God's counsel. Because God was pleased with Abel and his offerings, Cain's jealousy for Abel, and all of his flocks, grew,

Later, when the brothers were alone in the field, Cain attacked Abel and killed him. God was watching and knew what Cain had done. He asked Cain, "Where is your brother, Abel?"

"I do not know," Cain replied. "Am I my brothers keeper?"

God answered, "What have you done? Your brother's blood is calling to Me from the ground. You have sinned and must be punished." As part of Cain's punishment God told him, "If you try to grow crops, the soil will not produce. You will wander the land with no place to call home."

Cain said, "This is more punishment than I can bear. Whoever finds me will kill me as I wander from place to place."

Even though God had to punish Cain for his sin, He would still love and care for him. God replied, "I will place a mark on you. This will protect you, and people will know that they are not to do you harm."

Then, the Lord placed a mark on Cain so that anyone who found him would know not to kill him. Cain left the place where he had spoken to the Lord and settled into a land called Nod. This land was east of Eden. Here, Cain began to have a family separate from Adam.

Even after this tragedy with Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve had another son. They named him Seth. Adam said, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him." As Seth grew older, he began to worship the Lord. He married and had children. Soon, many people lived on the earth.

Read more about 'Cain and Abel' Genesis 4:1-26.

"You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it." Genesis 4:7

Isaac Is Born

Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born. He raised his son to adulthood. This sounds impossible, but God specializes in doing the impossible. When we place our faith and trust in God everything is possible!

After the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities on the plain, Abraham packed his belongings and left Hebron. He journeyed throughout the land traveling south and west into the land of the Philistines. The servants drove the flocks and herds. At Gerar, near the Great Sea, he made his home.

The Lord remembered His promise to Abraham to give him and Sarah a son. Even though Sarah was beyond the age to have a baby, she became pregnant. How Sarah and Abraham rejoiced at the birth of their son! Abraham named their child Isaac because both he and Sarah had laughed when God told them they would have a son in their old age.

Abraham and Sarah loved their little Isaac. They had waited many, many years for their son. Baby Isaac grew and soon it came time for his mother to stop nursing him. On that day, Abraham celebrated by giving Isaac a great feast.

During the feast, Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Sarah's maidservant, Hagar, and Isaac were playing together. Ishmael made fun of Isaac. Because of the previous time when Hagar had been disrespectful to Sarah and had caused trouble, Sarah could see that problems could easily arise again, especially between Ishmael and Isaac. Therefore, Sarah said to Abraham, "You must send Hagar and Ishmael away. I do not want Ishmael to share the family inheritance with my son Isaac."

Abraham loved Ishmael. He wasn't sure what he should do. However, God said, "Do not worry about the boy and Hagar. Listen to what Sarah says. Ishmael will have many children and become the father to a great nation because he is your son."

Early the next morning Abraham told Hagar that she and Ishmael must leave. He gave them food and a leather bag full of water. Placing these items on her shoulders, Abraham said goodbye and watched sadly as they departed into the wilderness.

As Hagar walked with Ishmael through the dry desert, she remembered the time the angel had spoken to her when she had run away from Sarah. Hagar soon became lost as she wandered in the desert wilderness. The sun was hot and beat down upon them. When the water was gone, she left Ishmael in the shade of a small bush. Then, she went off and sat nearby. Ishmael was crying because he was hot and thirsty. Hagar sobbed, "I cannot bear to see my son die."

God heard Ishmael crying. An angel called down to Hagar from heaven and said, "What's wrong Hagar? Why are you crying? Do not be afraid. The Lord has heard Ishmael's cry. Go, pick him up and comfort him. I will make a great nation out of his descendants.

Just then, God opened Hagar's eyes and she saw a spring bubbling with cool water. Quickly, she filled their waterbag and rushed to give Ishmael a drink.

God watched over Ishmael as he grew to manhood. Hagar and Ishmael lived in the wilderness of Paran. Ishmael learned how to use a bow and arrow and became a skilled hunter. As was the custom in Ishmael's time, his mother found an Egyptian wife for her son. They married and raised a family in the desert wilderness.

Read more about "Isaac Is Born" Genesis 21:1-21.

"Then God heard the boy's cries, and the angel of God called to Hagar from the sky, 'Hagar, what's wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy's cries from the place you laid him. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.'" Genesis 21:17, 18

God Tests Abraham

God gives us many tests, commonly called trials, to strengthen our faith and character. These tests also give us the opportunity to obey God and develop a closer relationship to Him and to show our love for Him. Difficult circumstances act as a refining fire in our lives. As Abraham was to learn, sometimes obeying God is a struggle because it might mean giving up something we truly want. We should not expect to receive Godís greatest blessings, unless we are willing to endure Godís greatest tests.

God knew how much Abraham loved his son Isaac. He was the child God had promised. As Isaac grew, Abraham loved his son even more. Abraham knew that some day, when Isaac became a man, he would marry and have children of his own. These children would grow up and have children of their own. Therefore, through Isaac, Abraham would become the father to many nations just as God had promised.

Abraham taught Isaac to love God and to serve Him with all his heart. This pleased the Lord. From the days of Adam, all of God's prophets offered animal sacrifices as they were commanded by God. Perhaps, Abraham took Isaac when he offered his sacrifices to God to teach him how it should be done. Also, Abraham probably explained to Isaac that God would accept the sacrifice as a gift, and He would hear their prayers if their offerings were made from the heart.

There were many wicked practices in Abraham's time. One of these wicked acts was the offering of human sacrifices. Some people would even sacrifice their own children to false gods. The Lord did not want this, and He was not pleased with such sacrifices.

Before God was to make Abraham a great nation, He wanted to test Abraham's love for Him. One day God called out to Abraham, calling him by name, "Abraham!"

Abraham answered quickly, "Here I am Lord."

God then gave to Abraham a commandment that was very difficult to fulfill. God commanded Abraham saying, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love so much. Go into the land of Moriah. Give him back to Me as a burnt offering. I will show you the place to build an altar."

How surprised was Abraham! He did not understand why God had asked him to do this. God had promised to make his descendants into a great nation through Isaac. Abraham wondered how God could keep His promise if Isaac were to be sacrificed. He did not want to sacrifice his only son. However, because Abraham loved God, he would obey.

Early the next morning, Abraham cut some wood, and prepared everything necessary for the sacrifice. He then loaded up a donkey, and took with him Isaac and two servants. Together, they set off on a three-day journey to the place God had shown to Abraham. When the night came, they slept under some trees.

They traveled for two days. Finally, on the third day, Abraham looked in the distance and saw a great mountain. He recognized this as the place where God wanted the altar built. When they arrived at the base of the mountain, Abraham told his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while Isaac and I go to worship. We will come right back." Isaac carried the wood that had been brought for the offering. Abraham carried the vessel of fire and the knife. Together, they began to climb the tall mountain.

As they were climbing, Isaac wondered why his father had not brought a lamb for an offering. Isaac asked, "Father, we have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the offering?"

Abraham answered, "God will provide the lamb for the offering, my son."

Once they had reached the place that God had chosen for the sacrifice, Abraham and Isaac built an altar. Carefully, they placed the wood on it. When all was ready for the sacrifice, Abraham explained to Isaac that he was to be the sacrifice. Feeling sad, yet full of faith in God, Abraham tied Isaac's hands and feet, and placed him upon the altar. Abraham held the knife in his hand. He raised the knife in the air, and just as he was ready to lower the knife to offer his son as a sacrifice to God, the voice of an angel called out from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"

"Here I am," he replied.

"Do not lay a hand on the boy," the angel said. "Now I know you love God more than your own son. Untie his hands and feet and let him go." How relieved and how happy was Abraham!

At that moment, Abraham heard a sound. He looked toward the sound and saw a ram, caught by his horns, in the bushes. The Lord had provided a sacrifice just as Abraham had told Isaac He would. Abraham took the ram and offered it on the altar in place of his son Isaac.

Again, the angel called from heaven to Abraham. The angel, speaking for the Lord said, "Because you were willing to give Me your dearly beloved son, I will surely bless you, and I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as many as the sands on the seashore. Through you, I will bless all the nations of the earth because you have obeyed My voice."

How happy were both father and son as they went down the mountain! Abraham knew he had pleased God. Isaac knew that his life was precious to the Lord. Abraham called this place, "the Lord provides." Together, they returned to the servants who were waiting with the donkey. Then, they all returned to their home at Beersheba.

Read more about "God Tests Abraham" Genesis 22:1-19.

"Then the angel of the Lord called again to Abraham from heaven, 'This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed Me and have not withheld even your beloved son, I swear by My own self that I will bless you richly. I will multiply your descendants into countless millions, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies, and through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed - all because you have obeyed Me.'" Genesis 22:15-18

Choosing a Wife for Isaac

Abraham gave his trusted servant Eliezer the task of finding a wife for Isaac. Eliezer had learned much about God and faith from his master Abraham. Following his masterís example, he asked God for guidance and success to fulfill this important task. As others observe our actions, we must become an example of faith and live our lives according to biblical principles. In this way, we too, may become an example to others just as Abraham was to Eliezer.

When Sarah was 127 years old, she died. Both Abraham and Isaac mourned her death for they had loved her very much. Abraham had no burial place, so he purchased a field from some neighboring people. On this field was a cave where he buried his beloved Sarah. This burial place was called Machpelah. Later, both he and Isaac would be buried here.

Both Abraham and Isaac missed Sarah. They had loved her very much. Isaac was now a man and it was time for him to become married. However, there were not any women living nearby who believed in the true and living God. Abraham thought that it was very important for Isaac to marry a woman who believed as they did. Additionally, it was the custom of the day for the parent to take the responsibility of choosing the husbands and wives for their children. Abraham wanted Isaac to stay in Canaan but marry a woman who served God. He wanted to choose a good wife for Isaac. Because it was common for a son to marry within the family, Abraham thought about his brother Nahor who lived in Haran. He was the father of twelve sons. Each of them had married and had children of their own. Certainly, in Haran there would be a wife for Isaac.

Abraham was too old to make the trip to Haran himself. Since he had many servants, he decided to send the one whom he trusted over all the others. This servant's name was Eliezer. One day, he called Eliezer to him and said, "Place your hand under my thigh, and promise me that you will go to the land where my relatives live and find a wife for Isaac." In Abraham's culture, placing a hand under the thigh was how an agreement was made.

Eliezer knew the journey would be long and hard. He was afraid that he might fail. He asked, "What if the woman I find is not willing to come to a strange land to become the wife of a man she has never seen? May I take Isaac there to live among your relatives?"

Abraham replied, "No. Do not take my son to the land of my relatives. The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my relatives. He promised He would give this land to my descendants. He will send His angel ahead of you to find a wife for my son. If she refuses to come back with you, I will not blame you, but never take Isaac there."

Eliezer realized how much Abraham trusted him when he asked him to do this important task. Faithful Eliezer placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham. He said, "I will do as you have asked."

Eliezer took with him ten of Abraham's camels, many beautiful presents, and several servants to help on the long journey. For many days, they traveled across wide valleys, steep hills, and running rivers. They also went through the hot and dusty desert. At last, they came to the city of Haran. Eliezer had the camels kneel down at the water well just outside the city gate.

It was almost evening. This was the time when the women of the city would go to the well and fill their pitchers with water. Abraham had taught Eliezer to trust in God. As he rested at the well, he prayed that God would show him a good woman for Isaac to marry. He prayed, "O Lord, please be kind to my master Abraham. I am beside this well. Let the young woman whom I shall ask to give me a drink, also offer to water the camels. In this way, I will know that she is the one you have chosen to become Isaac's wife."

Even before Eliezer had finished praying, a beautiful young woman, carrying a pitcher on her shoulder came to the well to get water. When she had filled the pitcher, Eliezer asked her for a drink. Quickly, she lowered the pitcher to her hands and gave him a drink. When Eliezer had finished drinking she said, "I'll get water for your camels too." She hurried to empty her pitcher into the stone trough, and then ran back to the well to get more water. The young woman continued to do this until all the camels had finished drinking.

When she was finished, Eliezer took two gold bracelets and an earring and gave them to her as presents. Then he asked, "Whose daughter are you? Would there be room at your father's house for us to spend the night?"

She answered, "I am Rebekah, the granddaughter of Nahor." Then she added, "We have plenty of straw for your camels as well as room for you to spend the night." Quickly, she hurried off to tell her family about the man at the well, and to show them the beautiful presents he had given her.

At once, Eliezer knew God had answered his prayer. He bowed his head and worshipped the Lord.

When Laban, Rebekah's brother, heard her story and saw the beautiful jewelry Eliezer had given her, he ran to meet the strangers standing by the camels near the well. He said, "Come with me. I have prepared a place for you and the camels to stay."

At once they went to the house and unloaded the camels. Laban brought straw for the camels and water for the men to wash their feet. Food was set before them, but Eliezer said, "I will not eat until I have told you why I am here."

Eliezer explained, "I am Abraham's servant. God has greatly blessed my master. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, and many servants. God has also given him and his wife Sarah a son in their old age. Abraham has given everything he owns to his son, Isaac. Because Isaac is not married, Abraham has sent me here to find a wife for him." Then, Eliezer told of how God had answered his prayer by sending Rebekah to offer water to him and to the thirsty camels.

Rebekah's father and brother Laban were willing to let her go with Eliezer because they believed God had sent him. They said, "This is from the Lord. Take Rebekah and let her become Isaac's wife."

When Eliezer heard their words, he bowed his head once more to worship the great God who had helped him. Then, he brought out the beautiful gold and silver jewelry along with the rich clothing to give to Rebekah. In addition, Eliezer had other presents, which he gave to Laban and Rebekah's mother. After handing out all of the presents, everyone enjoyed the feast that had been prepared. The next morning, Eliezer said, "Now, let me return to my master."

Laban and his mother did not want Rebekah to leave them so soon. They said, "Let her stay for a few more days." However, Eliezer insisted that he must return to Abraham at once.

Together, they called Rebekah. When Rebekah was asked what she wanted to do, she said, "I will go." Rebekah's family said goodbye, and sent her away with her nurse and other maids.

They began the long journey back home. Rebekah and her maids rode the camels, while Eliezer led the way.

After several days, they came near the place where Abraham and Isaac lived. It was evening and Isaac was in the fields thinking about God. From a distance, he saw the caravan of camels coming towards him. Rebekah looked and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked Eliezer, "Who is the man coming to meet us?"

"That is my master Isaac," Eliezer replied. At once Rebekah covered her face with a veil.

When Isaac met them, Eliezer told him how God had answered his prayer. He then brought Rebekah to him. Isaac took her to the tent that his mother had lived in and she became his wife. Isaac loved Rebekah and was comforted by her after the loss of his mother.

Many years passed, and Abraham died. He was 175 years old. Ishmael learned about his death and helped Isaac bury their father in the cave where Sarah was buried. All through his life, Abraham had faithfully served the Lord and diligently worshipped Him. God remembered Abraham and kept His promise that Abraham would become the father to great nations and his descendants would become as many as the stars in the sky.

Read more about "Choosing a Wife for Isaac" Genesis 23:1 - 25:11.

"Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent and she became his wife. He loved her very much, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother." Genesis 24:67

Jacob and Esau

Just as Isaac asked God for children, the Bible encourages us to ask God for our most important and personal requests. God wants to grant our requests, but He may decide to withhold His answer to allow us spiritual growth so that we can use His gifts wisely when it is time for us to receive them.

Some years passed and Isaac and Rebekah prayed to the Lord so that they could have children. The Lord remembered the promise He had made to Abraham many years before. Through his descendants, Abraham would become the father of a great nation. It took nearly 20 years, but God answered their prayers, and Rebekah became pregnant. How happy they were to be having children!

During the pregnancy, Rebekah learned that she would have twins. Often, she could feel the babies struggle inside her. She was concerned and prayed to the Lord for an answer. She asked the Lord, "Why is this happening?"

God answered, "Two nations are in your body. One nation will be stronger than the other. The older son will serve the younger one." This answer helped her to understand how special the younger son would be.

Soon after the Lord spoke to and comforted Rebekah, the twin sons were born. The first son born was named Esau. He had red hair and a very hairy body. As Esau was being born, the hand of the second son was holding onto Esau's heel. This second son was named Jacob.

Isaac and Rebekah loved their twin sons very much. As the boys grew older, Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who preferred the outdoors. He would use his bow and arrow to shoot wild game. However, Jacob was a quiet child preferring to farm, and to tend the animals.

Esau was his father's favorite. After a successful hunt, he would prepare for his father, a meal of delicious meat from the animals he killed hunting. Jacob was Rebekah's favorite. She remembered the promise made to her by God that the younger would rule the older. Jacob worked hard to take care of the herds and crops and became skilled in many different things.

It was customary in these lands that when the father died, the eldest son received twice as much property as did any of the other children. This was called the birthright. Even though the brothers were twins, Esau had been born before Jacob, so he was in line to receive the birthright from his father.

One day, Jacob had prepared a delicious stew. Esau came in from hunting in the fields, but he had not been successful in his hunt. He had worked hard and was very hungry. The tasty stew smelled so good! Feeling weak from hunger, he said to his brother, "Quick, let me have some of the red stew for I am very hungry!"

Jacob replied, "I will give you all this stew, but first you must sell me your birthright."

Esau did not care about his birthright. He was so hungry. He did not care about anything other than the stew that smelled so good.

"I'm about to die from hunger," Esau said. "What good will the birthright do for me, if I am dead?"

Therefore, Esau swore an oath to his younger brother Jacob that he would sell his birthright for something to eat. After eating, Esau felt much better, but later he would be sorry for what he had done.

Read more about "Jacob and Esau" Genesis 25:19-34.

"Isaac loved Esau in particular because of the wild game he brought home, but Rebekah favored Jacob." Genesis 25:28

Isaac and the Water Wells

God remembered His promise to bless Isaac. Whatever Isaac did seemed to go right. People from the neighboring Philistine tribe grew jealous of Isaacís success. Jealousy is a powerful dividing force that has the ability to tear apart the closest of relationships. When finding yourself becoming jealous of others, try thanking God for your good fortunes. Before you become angry, consider what you could lose.

The Lord continued to bless Isaac. He became even richer and more powerful than his father Abraham. His flocks and herds increased in number. Isaac had many servants. His fields yielded bountiful crops.

Isaac had so much wealth that his Philistine neighbors became jealous. They did not want anyone to be wealthier and more powerful than they.

The Philistines knew that Isaac must have water. His many animals needed water to drink and his crops needed water to grow. If Isaac had no water, his animals would die, his crops would not grow, and he would not be able to keep so many servants. So, in an attempt to deprive Isaac of water, the Philistines filled all the water wells with dirt. These wells had been dug by the servants of Abraham.

After tormenting Isaac by filling the wells with dirt, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, came to see Isaac. He said, "Move away from us. You have become mightier than we Philistines are. We do not want you this close to us."

Isaac had every right to this land. The Lord had given this land to Abraham, to Isaac, and to their descendants. Isaac had pitched his tents and brought his flocks to this area at the edge of the desert because there were wells to provide water for him, his family, and his animals. Isaac could have fought against the Philistines for his rights to the land. He could show them his power and might. However, Isaac believed peace was more important than the wells of water. He chose to move in order to avoid a battle with his neighbors. Gathering his cattle, his goods, and his servants, Isaac moved his family into the valley of Gerar.

Isaac called his servants to him and said, "In this valley are wells my father Abraham dug. However, the Philistines have filled them with dirt, as well. Let us find these wells and dig them out so we will have water for ourselves and the animals."

Isaac's servants looked and found an old well. Working hard, they dug out the dirt that had stopped up the well. Soon there was cool, bubbling water gushing from the spring. "Now things would go well!" they thought.

However, all did not go well. The herdsmen of Gerar came and argued with Isaac's herdsmen. "This is our water," they shouted.

When Isaac heard about this trouble, he called his servants to him and said, "There must be another well close by that my father dug. He had many wells in this valley." Once again, rather than fight, Isaac chose peace and told the servants to look for another well that his father had dug.

The servants obeyed. They went right to work, and soon found a second well. Isaac called this well Sitnah. Now, everyone thought there would finally be peace. But once again, the local herdsmen fought over ownership of the water from this well.

It seemed that things would never go right for Isaac. For a third time, rather than fight over a well of water, Isaac moved his family to another location and dug another well. Finally, after digging this new well, there was no trouble over water. Isaac named this well Rehoboth. He said, "The Lord has made room for us and we will prosper in the land."

That night the Lord appeared to Isaac and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid. I am with you. I remember My promise to your father. I will bless you and increase the number of your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham."

With great joy, Isaac built an altar at the place the Lord had appeared. It was at this place where Isaac gave thanks to the one true God.

Soon after this, King Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, and his chief captain came to see Isaac. When Isaac saw these two visitors he asked, "Why have you come here? You were angry with me and sent me away."

Abimelech answered, "We see the Lord is with you. Let us make a treaty of peace."

Isaac agreed. He praised the Lord for this visit. Isaac knew hatred and fighting would never settle differences. Isaac prepared a feast, and together they all ate and drank. The next morning, after making an agreement of peace, the king and his captain departed. Isaac became known throughout the land as one who lived peaceable and followed God's ways.

Read more about "Isaac and the Water Wells" Genesis 26:1-35.

"The Lord appeared to him there and said, 'Do not go to Egypt. Do as I say, and stay here in this land. If you do this, I will be with you and bless you. I will give all this land to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.'" Genesis 26:2-4

Jacob Receives the Birthright

When Rebekah learned Isaac was preparing to bless Esau, she devised a plan to trick him into blessing Jacob instead. For Rebekah, the end justified the means. No matter how badly we may want something, we should not resort to doing something wrong to achieve our goals. We must have faith that Godís promises will be fulfilled.

Isaac had grown old and could no longer see. He thought that he would die soon. He wanted to give the birthright and the blessing to his older son Esau before he died. So, he called Esau to his side and said, "I am now old and may soon die. Take your bow and arrow, go into the fields, and hunt one more deer. Prepare for me the delicious venison that I love. After I have eaten, I will give you my blessing."

At once, Esau left his father to go hunt a deer.

Rebekah had been listening as Isaac spoke to Esau. She knew that God wanted her younger son Jacob, to receive the birthright. She also knew that Esau had sold the birthright to Jacob. When she heard Isaac tell Esau his plan to give him the blessing, she said to Jacob, "I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 'Hunt me a deer and prepare it's meat the way I like. Then, I will give you the blessing before I die.'" Rebekah then told Jacob what to do. She said, "Go to the flock and bring two young goats. I will prepare them for your father just the way he likes meat. You will wear Esau's clothes and take the food to your father. He will think you are Esau and give you the blessing."

At first, Jacob was afraid that his father would discover the truth and give him a curse instead of a blessing. Rebekah urged him to obey her words. "If there is a curse, let it go against me," she explained.

Isaac was surprised when the meat was brought to him so quickly. He wondered how Esau had hunted and prepared the deer in such a short time. "My son," Isaac asked, "How did you find it so soon?"

"The Lord brought it to me," Jacob answered.

Isaac wondered if it really was Esau for the voice sounded like Jacob's. Blind Isaac said, "Come near me so I can touch you to know that you really are Esau."

Rebekah had thought Isaac might do this. She had taken and covered Jacob's neck and hands with goatskins so it would feel rough and hairy like Esau's body.

Jacob went close to his father. Isaac reached out, touched him, and then said, "Your voice is Jacob's, but your hands are Esau's. Are you really my son Esau?"

"I am," Jacob said.

Finally, Isaac ate the tasty meat. Jacob went to his father and kissed him. Isaac could smell the scent of Esau's clothes. Then, Isaac gave Jacob the birthright blessing. He said, "May God give unto you the dew of the heavens, the richness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine.

"May nations serve you and people bow down to you.

"May you become the lord of your brethren. May the sons of your mother, bow down to you.

"May those who curse you be cursed, and those who bless you be blessed."

Jacob had barely left his father's side after receiving the blessing when his brother Esau returned from hunting in the fields. He said, "My father, I have brought you tasty venison prepared just the way you like it. Eat, and then give me your blessing."

"Who are you?" exclaimed Isaac.

Esau answered, "I am your son, Esau."

The old man began to tremble. "Who was it that came in your place?" he asked. "To him I have given the blessing."

At once Esau knew that Jacob had received the blessing from their father. He wept bitterly. "My father, have you not a blessing for me too?" he pleaded.

Isaac was deeply troubled. He said, "I have made him ruler over you. I have given him the best of everything."

Esau wept, and continued to plead, "Do you have only one blessing father? Bless me, also."

After hearing this, Isaac gave Esau a blessing, but one with a lesser promise of greatness.

Now, Esau hated his brother, because Jacob had received the birthright blessing. "Our father will die soon," he thought. "Then, I shall kill Jacob and take all that has been given to him."

Read more about "Jacob Receives the Birthright" Genesis 27:1-42.

"But Isaac said, 'Your brother was here and he tricked me. He has carried away your blessing.'" Genesis 27:35

Jacobís Dream at Bethel

Godís promise to Abraham and Isaac was given to Jacob as well. However, in order to receive the promise offered to his fathers, Jacob had to obey God. He also had to establish his own personal relationship with God, just as his father and grandfather had done before him. Just as Jacob did, we must build our own personal relationship with God to receive His promise of many blessings.

After hearing of Esau's plan to kill Jacob when Isaac died, Rebekah sent for Jacob. "It is not safe here," she explained. "Esau is thinking of killing you. Leave now, and go to the house of my brother, Laban, in Haran. When your brother is no longer angry, you may return. Why should I lose both of you in one day?"

Rebekah did not tell Isaac that she was afraid Esau would kill Jacob. Instead, she told her husband, "I am unhappy because Esau has married Canaanite wives. If Jacob were to marry one of those unbelieving Canaanite women, I would not want to go on living."

Isaac understood. This was also important to him. His father, Abraham, had sent a servant to Haran to choose him a wife. Therefore, Isaac called for Jacob. He told him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go to Padan-Aram and find a wife from among your mother's people. May the blessing of God be upon you. He will give you the blessing of your grandfather Abraham."

Jacob said goodbye to his mother and father. Then, he began on his long journey to Padan-Aram. When Esau learned that Isaac had blessed his brother and sent him away to find a wife, he knew he had displeased his father when he had married the heathen Canaanite women.

Now, Jacob was by himself as he traveled on the dusty road to Padan-Aram. How lonely Jacob must have been! He probably wondered if he would ever return to his home and feel safe again. Perhaps he also wondered what good his birthright would be to him. Perhaps he was even sorry he had tricked his father. Whatever the thoughts of Jacob, God was with him as he went on his way to the house of Laban, his uncle.

One evening, after a daylong journey, Jacob was very tired. As it was becoming dark, Jacob stopped to find a place to rest. Taking a stone for a pillow, he wrapped his cloak around him, and lay down to sleep on the ground. Quickly, Jacob was fast asleep.

While sleeping, Jacob had a dream. He saw a wonderful ladder that reached to heaven. On this ladder, he saw beautiful angels going up and down. God was standing at the top.

God spoke to Jacob in the dream. He said, "I am the Lord, the God of your fathers. The land on which you are lying, I will give to you and your descendants. They will be as many as the dust on the earth. All the people on the earth will be blessed because of you. I will be with you and protect you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have fulfilled this promise."

Jacob awoke from his dream. He knew that God had given to him the great blessing He had given to his grandfather Abraham, and to his father, Isaac. He thought, "This place must be the gate to heaven." Early the next morning, Jacob took the stone that he had used as a pillow and set it up as a pillar. Then, he poured oil upon it. He called this place Bethel, which means, "The house of God." Then, he promised God that he would give to Him a tenth of everything he obtained; for he knew, God would go with him, and bless him.

Continuing on his journey, Jacob spent much time thinking about the greatness of God. As each day passed, he drew closer to God, and closer to the end of his long tiresome journey through the hot desert.

At last, Jacob came to the land where the people from the eastern tribes lived. In the field near a well, he saw some men. Near the well, he saw three flocks of sheep, lying down, waiting to be watered. A large stone covered the well. Jacob came near to the shepherds and asked the men, "Where are you from?"

They answered, "We are from Haran."

Eagerly he asked, "Do you know a man named Laban?"

"Yes, we know him," they replied. "Here comes his daughter Rachel with his sheep."

Jacob looked and saw a beautiful young woman coming to the well. He hurried over to meet her. He rolled the large stone away from the opening of the well so that the flocks of sheep could be watered. Then, he explained to the beautiful Rachel, "I am one of your relatives, the son of your father's sister." After such a long, hard journey, Jacob was so happy to see Rachel. He kissed her, and began to weep for joy. Rachel ran to tell her father the news. Jacob stayed with the sheep at the well until Laban came to meet him.

Read more about "Jacob's Dream" Genesis 27:43 - 29:12.

"'What's more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised.'" Genesis 28:15

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