November 23, 2016 – Genesis 18

Read Genesis 18

Genesis is full of mysterious appearances of God and His work. This chapter includes some new things. Just to help jump-start our understanding, the three men are often considered to be the Lord and two angels.

There are two major sections – vv 1-15, and vv 16-33. While looking like distinct sections, they are related.

Take a look at the first section, vv 1-15.

  • Where does this narrative take place?
  • Did Abraham know who these three men were when he saw them?
  • Why did Abraham respond to their appearance the way that he did?
  • What did the men tell about Sarah, and how did Sarah respond?

Now move on to vv 16-33.

  • How did the Lord come to tell Abraham about his plans to destroy Sodom?
  • How did Abraham respond to the news? Why?

Looking back at this chapter, we can see a couple of important things. God was going to make sure that Abraham and Sarah knew that their son was from the Lord. They were both too old for normal child-bearing. Additionally, God is showing that he is holy, and that his patience with sin will only last for a time. Judgement will come to those who rebel against Him.

“I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.” -v19

Oct 19, 2016 – Genesis 17

Read Genesis 17

The story around Abram is building in this chapter. Pay close attention to these things…

  • God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, and changes Sarai’s name to Sarah.
  • God gives assurance that He will keep his promises of an heir via Sarah.
  • God assures Abraham that He will also make Ishmael a father of 12 princes and a great nation.
  • God tells Abraham to circumcise all male children as a sign of the covenant.
  • Abraham obeys, and he and Ishmael, along with other males in the household, are circumcised.

Some aspects of this account are unusual for us. Remember that there are cultural aspects to this account that occurred 3000-4000 years ago.

Here’s the key point to take away. Even when it seems otherwise, God is working to fulfill His promises and make His plan come to pass. Thank Him for the plan that He has for your life. Ask Him to give you patience while you wait for His plan to come to pass.

Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. -v17

Oct 12, 2016 – Genesis 16

Read Genesis 16

We’ve been building to this point for a few chapters. Remember that God had promised Abram a descendent, yet he and Sarai could not have children.

  • How does Sarai and Abram try to solve God’s problem (vv1-4)?
  • How did this ruin relationships in the household (vv 4-6)?
  • Describes how God intervenes (vv 7-10).
  • What was the promise that God gave Hagar (vv 10-12)?
  • How would you describe the son from Hagar as it relates to God’s promise to Abram (v 13-16)?

Think about what we can learn of God in this chapter. God is sovereign, and we (people) do not, actually can not, mess up His plans. Praise God that He will see His plan through to completion!

Oct 10, 2016 – Genesis 16

Read Genesis 16

We’ve been building to this point for a few chapters. Remember that God had promised Abram a descendent, yet he and Sarai could not have children.

  • How does Sarai and Abram try to solve God’s problem (vv1-4)?
  • How did this ruin relationships in the household (vv 4-6)?
  • Describes how God intervenes (vv 7-10).
  • What was the promise that God gave Hagar (vv 10-12)?
  • How would you describe the son from Hagar as it relates to God’s promise to Abram (v 13-16)?

Think about what we can learn of God in this chapter. God is sovereign, and we (people) do not, actually can not, mess up His plans. Praise God that He will see His plan through to completion!

Oct 5, 2016 – Genesis 15

Read Genesis 15

Do you ever doubt that God will do what He says? Abram did. Back in Genesis 12, God first told Abram that he would have a large number of descendants. But, Abram was getting old and had no children.

  • What was Abrams main concern in this chapter?
  • How did God answer Abram?
  • Why did Abram ask the question in v8?
  • What was God’s response to that question?
  • What was God’s covenant with Abram in vv 12-21?

The point of all this is that God will do what He says. At this point, Abram was waiting for an heir. God assured him that one would come.

What do you have trouble trusting God about? What can you learn from this chapter about trusting God? Ask him to give you the faith necessary to believe Him.

And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. -v6

Sep 28, 2016 – Genesis 14

Read Genesis 14

There are a couple of significant events in the chapter you just read. The first is that there is a battle of four kings against five kings, and the resulting rescue of Lot by his uncle Abram. The second event is the blessing of Abram by Melchizedek, king of Salem.

As you re-read the chapter, you might want to map out the war of the kings on paper so you can better follow what’s happening. Just remember that this is all a part of God’s promise to Abram to make him great.

The war between the kings is documented in vv 1-16.

  • Where did this war take place?
  • Where were all 9 of the kings from?
  • How did Lot end up getting taken captive? And how did Abram hear about it?

The account of Melchizedek blessing Abram is in vv 17-24.

  • What can you learn about Melchizedek in these verses? from other places in the Bible?
  • What did Abram do in response to the blessing?
  • How did Abram respond to the demand from the king of Sodom? Why is this important?

This chapter may seem foreign to our way of life, but it was common in that time. Throughout history, God moves the hand of rulers to accomplish His will. Pray that your eyes will be opened so that you can see God’s work in everything around you.

And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you. -v20

Sep 21, 2016 – Genesis 13

Read Genesis 13

Continuing the story from last time, we now see Abram and his family (including nephew Lot) leave Egypt and head back to Bethel.

There are a couple of interesting things happen in this chapter. There is a family problem, and God again makes a promise to Abram.

  • What was the root cause of the problem between Abram and Lot?
  • How did Abram and Lot address the problem?
  • Is there anything that can be learned about how to handle family problems that we might have?
  • After Lot had gone, what did the Lord say to Abram?
  • How does this relate to the promise given in chapter 12?
  • Is anything new revealed in this promise?

Consider your family relationships. Are there any problems that need to be worked thru? Remember that God desires that these relationships be made right. Pray that God would give you the courage to face what might be a difficult conversation. Pray that He would give you a godly attitude. Go forth and reconcile!

 

This was the same place where Abram had built the altar, and there he worshiped the Lord again. -v4

Sep 14, 2016 – Genesis 12

Read Genesis 12

The last time we read about the introduction of different languages, and the history of Abram’s family. Today’s chapter is a high-point in the unfolding of God’s program. God makes a significant promise to Abram.

The promise is given in vv 1-9.

  • What did God tell Abram to do?
  • What did God tell Abram that He would do?
  • How is this to affect Abram?
  • How is this to affect the rest of the world?
  • How did Abram respond to what God told him?

Then, in vv 10-20, Abram and Sarai head to Egypt and experience a very low point in their lives.

  • Why did they head to Egypt?
  • What was Abram’s concern related to Sarai?
  • How did Abram try to solve his concern?
  • What was the result of that?
  • What did God do to Pharaoh?

God’s promise and call to Abram seems outrageous! Yet Abram obeyed God. Sometimes God calls us to do outrageous things for Him. We need to learn to obey just as quickly as Abram did when God told him to GO.

And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. -v7

Sep 7, 2016 – Genesis 11

Read Genesis 11

There are a couple of major things happen in this chapter.

We have the introduction of various languages with the subsequent scattering of people, and then we see the lineage of Abram (Abraham) from Shem (son of Noah).

Take a look at vv 1-9 again.

  • What were the people doing, and why?
  • How did the Lord respond? Why?
  • What is the impact of this in the modern world?

Now, look at vv 10-32.

  • Calculate how many years were between the flood and the birth of Abram. Is that longer or shorter than you expected?
  • Pay attention to the family relationships surrounding Abram. They will keep appearing later in the story. What can we learn about each of them?
  • Where did Terah live? Where did they move to?

This chapter shows us a couple of things. Where needed, God will make direct intervention in the affairs of man. Also, we wee that God guides our steps to lead of to where He wants us to be.

Pray that the Lord would guide your steps to follow Him.

In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. -v8

Aug 31, 2016 – Genesis 10

Read Genesis 10

Get yourself a map of the ancient world. 

This chapter presents the descendants of Noah. 

Now, using that map you found, see if you can find the directions Shem, Ham and Japheth went.

Praise God for His work through the flood and preserving the human race.

All the nations of the earth descended from these clans after the great flood. -v32