How we label ourselves and our lives (our past) changes how we act in the present and the future.
Did you have a nickname as a child? What was it and why were you called that?
Genesis 35:16-20 recounts the story of the birth of Jacob’s 12th son and Rachel’s death during childbirth. Rachel asked that her son be named Ben-oni, but Jacob named him Benjamin. What’s in a name? Does it really matter what we call things or people?
Read Genesis 30:22-24
1. Rachel had just had a prayer answered and finally born a son. What does she immediately pray for?
2. As humans we always seem to want more. When have you asked God for more?
Read Genesis 35:16-20
3. Again, God answers Rachel’s prayer. There was a cost for Rachel having this second son. What was the cost?
4. Have you ever had a prayer answered, but realized later that there was a cost? Please share with the group.
5. Look again at verse 17. The midwife encourages Rachel during her difficult childbirth and death. Do you have an encourager? How can this group encourage you through life’s difficulties? How can you be an encourager to the people God has put in your life?
6. Before she died, Rachel asked that her son be named Ben-oni. This Hebrew name can mean either “son of my sorrow” or “son of my strength.” What is the relationship between sorrow and strength? Can you share a time when you gained great strength through sorrow?
7. Jacob did not honor Rachel’s request, and instead called his son Benjamin (son of my right hand). How might Jacob’s own name and story have influenced his decision?
8. Have you ever been given a name or label that continues to influence you to this day?
9. In Jacob and Rachel’s time, the father had the final say in the naming of a child. If you have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for you and become God’s child, only your Father God can label you! What old labels do you need to remove and what new labels do you think God has given you?