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					                                                                                    Ron Zappia
                                                                                4/24 & 25 /2010
                                                                         “Choosing to D eal with
                                                                                  Dysfunction ”
                                                                                Genesis 25 - 27
                                                                                  Week #4 of 8

Core Truth

In order to deal with dysfunction, I need to realize my family’s history, recognize its effect on
me, and initiate the change that’s only available in Jesus.

Getting Started

1. Look over Genesis chapters 25, 26, & 27. Familiarize yourself with the narrative and
   prepare to unpack the passage through the questions.

2. In what ways have you experienced the strength of your parents or been influenced by
   their weaknesses?

Going Deeper

3. Ron gave a working definition of “dysfunction” at the start of his message. What is the
   definition? Share briefly how this can be manifest in the workplace, in school, in the
   church, and in our homes?

          Dysfunction escalates when parents play favorites with the kids (25:19-28)
4. Isaac and Rebekah had no children for twenty years. Genesis 25:21 tells us that Isaac
   prayed and Rebekah conceived. This was a wonderful start however Genesis 25:27-28
   reveals the problem of favoritism. How does this issue impact Jacob and Esau? Is it ever
   right to favor one child over another? What does favoritism do to a family? How can
   you show equal love and care to family members with very different personalities?

    Dysfunction escalates when kids fail to appreciate their spiritual heritage (25:29-34)
5. What does the incident in Genesis 25:29-34 reveal about the character of the two
   brothers, Jacob and Esau?

6. In Genesis 25:34 we are told that Esau despised his birthright. The birthright was a passing
   of the headship of the family to the eldest son as well as the eldest receiving a double
   share of the estate. Further, he would receive both the privilege and responsibility in
   continuing in the line of Abraham and fulfilling the promises God made to him – obviously
   an incredible spiritual trust. In what ways are YOU tempted to give up something
   spiritually valuable for the sake of something of little or no value?

   Dysfunction escalates when people neglect the sin patterns of their families (26:1-16)
7. The Scriptures tell us that both Abraham and Isaac had encounters with King Abimelech.
   Genesis 12:1-20 and 20:1-10 are almost a déjà vu of Genesis 26:6-11. In some ways the
   apple does not fall very far from the tree. What was the repeating sin issue in these
   passages? What important biblical principle is evident? How can we break the chain of
   sin that seems to be present from one generation to another?

             Dysfunction escalates when spouses are not unified in major decisions (27:1-17)
8. There was a very real issue in Genesis 27 below the surface of the actual deception that took place.
   Isaac and Rebekah as well as Jacob and Esau were NEVER on the same page. Unhealthy
   relationships lead to poor decision-making and the family dynamics are blown apart by the end of
   the chapter. What are the actual results and what can we learn from this situation to affect positive
   God-honoring change in our own lives?

         Dysfunction escalates when we refuse to take a stand and initiate change (27:18-46)
9. Look over Genesis 27 and identify the breakdown in relationships. What evidence can you find to
   conclude that the marriage relationship and the relationship of parents to children had broken down?
   To what would you attribute the breakdown? How can Isaac’s family be a warning to us?

Applying the Truth

10. What reflections about Isaac’s family do you find helpful in your own situation? What things do you
    see that might cause you to repent and to seek God’s help to do better?

11. Have you ever been tempted to give up a gift from God for something of immediate pleasure? What
    desires tempt you now, if any? How does Esau’s example encourage you to resist such temptations?

12. Are there areas of your life where you are scheming and plotting and manipulating and even working
    against God’s plans? Are you WILLING to stop scheming and instead to join God in His purposes for
    your life, your family, and our church?

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs us and causes
trouble, and by it many become defiled;
                                                                   Hebrews 12:15 ESV


                                    Did you know that your kids are studying the same topics as you?
If you have a student in 4th/5th grade, junior high, or high school, we’re providing you with additional questions to ask them this week.
  These questions are meant to let you in on what they’re learning and provide you with a way to come alongside your student and
                                        help them apply what they’re learning on the weekends.

                                 Here some questions to ask your kids following the weekend services:
4th-5th Graders
    • Do you appreciate your spiritual heritage?
    • What are some areas of dysfunction in your life and in your family?
    • How can you take a stand for what is right in these areas of dysfunction?

Jr. High and High School
Our students are taking a different approach to “Relationships” and focusing on one of the most difficult elements of
relationships at their age: purity. As your child learns from Scott Phelps on Sunday evenings, ask them about the
content and how they are applying it this week in their lives. Ask the following questions:
   •    How did Joseph handle his jail time and what lessons can we learn from his experience?
   •    There are times when doing what is right may cause you to lose friends. If your friends don’t want
        to hang around with you because you choose to make good choices, what would that indicate?
   •    When do you think it would be good to begin thinking about the preparation necessary to be a
        godly husband or wife, father or mother?
   •    What did you learn about marriage from the session?


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