Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Genesis 28

So, Jacob takes off to Haran to look for a wife, and when he stops along the way, God comes to him in a dream and passes down the same promise He’s made to Isaac and Abraham: you will be the father of so many descendants that you won’t be able to count them. So, Jacob wakes up and says, “Wow. I must have napped at the gateway to heaven!” He strikes a deal with God to devote his life to him as long as 1) God protects him on his journey, 2) God provides him with food and clothing and 3) God returns him safely home. He didn’t even pray for a wife, but the other things are cinch things for God, anyway. But wait, why does God allow Jacob to make this conditional promise? Have you ever made God a promise like this? Like, “Lord, if you could not make it rain on my head this morning when I walk to work, I promise to go to church on Sunday.” These kinds of conditional promises. Silly ones. Ones that don’t matter to anyone else but yourself. It’s pretty vain of us to put God to the test like this, isn’t it? It shows doubt on our part and also allows us to seem like we’re in control of the situation. Well, we’re not! I think God allows us these conditional promises once in a while, though, to show us He’s listening, but by golly, if you promise to go to church, go to church! Show God that you are just as trustworthy as He is. We don’t know it yet, but God will prove to Jacob that he heard his three conditions and was willing to meet them – and more – to keep Jacob close to him. Jacob, in turn, will keep his promise as well.

Writing prompt: word of honor

Have you ever broken a promise to God – or to anyone else? Our word is an outpouring of our hearts. It’s how we make our inner heart audible to those around us. When spoken out loud, our word implies our intentions, whether it’s truth or deception. Both will be revealed eventually. Write about the aftermath of either a broken promise or a promise you kept.


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