B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.



November 18, 2018


SCRIPTURE: Genesis 28:10-22


KEY VERSE: And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” (Genesis 28:15)


INTRODUCTION: God has a plan and a purpose for every individual. However, selfish desires may cause us to miss the blessing of God, or we may try in our own way to hasten the purpose of God. WE SHOULD ALWAYS WAIT ON THE LORD AND SEEK HIS WILL AND HIS WAY.


I. JACOB DREAMS. (Genesis 28:10-12)


INSIGHT: Rebekah said “everything will be alright! So to secure the safety of her favorite son, she convinced Isaac that Jacob should make the nearly 450-mile journey from Beersheba to her relatives in Haran in northwest Mesopotamia, where he could look for a non-Canaanite wife (Genesis 27:43-28:2).


A. Jacob Ran For His Life. (Genesis 28:10-11)


(Genesis 28:10-11) 10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.


After traveling about forty-five miles toward Haran, Jacob stopped for the night. He lies down and puts stones for pillows. Beth-el is a dreary place. It has been described as bleak moorland with large, bare rocks exposed. It is twelve hundred feet above sea level, in the hills (Genesis 28:10-11).


B. Jacob Saw God’s Angels. (Genesis 28:12)


(Genesis 28:12) And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.


While he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven, with angels going up and down on it (Genesis 28:12). This was no “ordinary” dream.


II. THE LORD SPEAKS. (Genesis 28:13-17)


A. Jacob Had An Earth Shaking Experience. (Genesis 28:13-15)


(Genesis 28:13-15) 13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.


Now God is giving to Jacob exactly what He had given first to Abraham; He had repeated it to Isaac, and now He confirms it, and He reaffirms to Jacob that He will do this. God gives Jacob the Abrahamic Covenant!


INSIGHT: Jacob was literally between a rock and a hard place. But that night, Jacob made several discoveries that helped to change his life. He discovered that God was with him and working for him and had a perfect plan for his life.


Jacob may have been separated from home, but he was not separated from heaven. (See John 1:51.) The very angels of God were caring for him (Heb. 1:13–14). “When the night is the darkest, you see the stars the brightest.” PRAISE THE LORD!!!


B. Jacob Woke-up And Was Afraid. (Genesis 28:16-17)


(Genesis 28:16-17) 16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.


When Jacob ran away from home, he had a limited view of God. He thought that when he ran away from home, he was running away from God, too. But he found that he had not left God back home. He exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not!”




1. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Senior, was a doctor. As such he was very interested in the use of ether. In order to know how his patients felt under its influence, he once had a dose administered to himself.


2. As he was going under, in a dreamy state, a profound thought came to him. He believed that he had suddenly grasped the key to all the mysteries of the universe. When he regained consciousness, however, he was unable to remember what the insight was.


3. Because of the great importance this thought would be to mankind, Holmes arranged to have himself given either again.


4. This time he had a stenographer present to take down the great thought. The either was administered, and sure enough, just before passing out the insight reappeared. He mumbled the words, the stenographer took them down, and he went to sleep confident in the knowledge that he had succeeded.


5. Upon awakening, he turned eagerly to the stenographer and asked her to read what he had uttered. This is what she read: “The entire universe is permeated with a strong odor of turpentine.” -- Bits & Pieces, November 12, 1992, pp. 20-22


INSIGHT: God does NOT speak to us through dreams any longer – God now speaks to us through the Bible. In Jacob’s day there was no Bible, and God used special ways [dreams and etc.] to speak to His people. Today, if we want God to speak to us, all we have to do is read the Bible! We have the Bible; we have God’s Word, let’s read it.




A. Jacob Built An Altar:


1. He worshipped the Lord (Jehovah). (Genesis 28:18)


(Genesis 28:18) And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.


Our first responsibility is to our God. When Jacob woke-up, he realized that the Lord had visited where he slept. Awed, Jacob committed himself to the Lord. The thought of it filled him with reverence and caused him to think of that spot as sacred.


2. He re-named the place “Bethel.” (Genesis 28:19)


(Genesis 28:19)  And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.


Jacob changed the name of the place from Luz to Beth-el, which means “house of God.” Genesis 13:3-4 tells us that Jacob’s ancestor, Abraham, also built an alter near Beth-el and called on the name of the Lord while there.


B. Jacob Made Some Promises To God:


1. Jehovah was to be Jacob’s God. (Genesis 28:20-21)


INSIGHT: Jehovah (“LORD” in the KJV and other translations) is the God of Israel, and Jehovah is the God of the Christian, too.


(Genesis 28:20-21) 20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:


a. There are two interpretations suggested of Jacob’s vow:


(1) That he is bargaining with God by saying “If . . . if . . .”; (2) that he is showing faith in God, for the Hebrew word can be translated “Since . . . since . . .” (This is actually the FIRST VOW recorded in the Bible.)


b. It’s likely that both interpretations are correct:


Jacob believed God’s Word, but there was still enough of the “old nature” in him to try to bargain with God the way he bargained with Esau and Isaac.


INSIGHT: Jacob was so accustomed to “scheming” that he tried to scheme his way into God’s blessing! This was finally exposed and dealt with at Jabbok (Genesis 32).


2. Beth-el was to be Jacob’s place of worship. (Genesis 28:22a)


(Genesis 28:22a) And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house:…


This may express the excitement of a sudden realization that came to the empty-handed Jacob: “If God is with me, and brings me back to the homeland safely, then I’ll be able to worship here again!”


You and I need just such a faith that accepts the promises of God and, because we realize that God is with us, see a bright new future ahead.


3. Jacob also made his decision to be a tither. (Genesis 28:22b)


(Genesis 28:22b) … and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.


a. Jacob’s Giving was Motivated By Grace.


Jacob was chosen by God, and he joyfully gave his offerings to the Lord. The Law commands, but grace consents and does so joyfully. Jacob gave willingly.


b. Jacob’s Giving Required Faith.


Jacob realized that he was not worthy, and that the Lord had blessed him. Everything he had was given to him by his God.


c. Jacob’s Giving Required Faithfulness.


And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee (Genesis 28:22).


This was not a “one time” gift. Jacob was dedicated and faithful concerning his offerings, making certain that everything was done honestly, honorably, and aboveboard.


INSIGHT: Remember, both Abraham (Gen. 13:20) and Jacob (Gen. 28:22) PRACTICED TITHING BEFORE THE LAW WAS GIVEN. Jacob realized that his dedication to God meant nothing unless his material goods were under God’s control. The same is true for us in 2018, but (if possible) don’t stop at just a 10% tithe!


Blessing In The Mess
By Monica Brands


1. “I got myself into this mess, so I’d better get myself out,” I sometimes find myself thinking. Although I believe in a God of grace, I’m still prone to act as if His help is available only when I deserve it.


2. God’s first encounter with Jacob is a beautiful illustration of how untrue this is.


3. Jacob had spent a lifetime trying to alter his destiny. He’d been born second at a time when firstborn sons typically received their father’s blessing -- believed to guarantee future prosperity.


4. So Jacob decided to do whatever it would take to get his father’s blessing anyway. Eventually, he succeeded -- through deceit -- obtaining the blessing intended for his brother (Genesis 27:19–29).


5. But the price was a divided family, as Jacob fled from his furious brother (Genesis 27:41–43). As night descended (28:11), Jacob must have felt as far from a life of blessing as ever.


6. But it was there, leaving behind a trail of deception, that Jacob met God. God showed him he didn’t need desperate schemes to be blessed; he already was. His destiny -- a purpose far greater than material prosperity (Genesis 28:14) -- was held securely by the One who would never leave him (Genesis 28:15).


7. It was a lesson Jacob would spend his whole life learning.


8. And so will we. No matter how many regrets we carry or how distant God seems, He is still there -- gently guiding us out of our mess into His blessing.


Lord, so often we feel trapped by our mistakes, thinking
 there’s no future left for us. Remind us that you are the God
of Jacob, the God who will never give up on Your purposes
for us.


 -- Adapted from Monica Brands, Our Daily Bread, June 18, 2018


CONCLUSION: While Jacob was in flight, fearing for his life, the Lord spoke to him in a dream.


·        The Lord promised Jacob that He would always be with him, even assuring him that He would look after his descendants.


1. At times most of us doubt the Lord’s presence when something bad or unwelcome occurs in our lives.


2. Yet the Lord does not get angry and leave us because our faith wavers.


3. Instead, the Lord indicates to us in many ways that He is always close to us.


4. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.


·        The Lord did that for Jacob, and He will do that for us too.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God never gives up on His love and purposes for our lives.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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