Genesis: A Bible Study Guide for Women
The purpose of this study is to give women, who desire to learn more about God's Word and are willing to dive into the Scriptures themselves, the tools to do so. This is not an in-depth study but rather a look at God's Word as it applies to our lives as women who are striving to follow Him. One purpose is to provide an outline of applicable Bible truths for women to use in their ladies' Bible classes. Another purpose of this material is to provide critical-thinking questions that will hopefully be a springboard for further discussion.
This study over Genesis contains 20 lessons. Please use and copy as you see fit. I have also provided some brotherhood websites below that should further aid your study. These are created by brethren and have a plethora of material covering any topic you would like to study further. With online resources today we as Christians have no excuse for being taken off guard by others who criticize or question our belief in the Word. Please use these along with your own Bible study.
May the information that follows be used as a steppingstone to a deeper study of the Word of God, and may you grow more in love with the Word and with our Almighty Creator.
God bless you as you obey His Word,
Emily H. Fisher
Lesson 1 - Introduction to Genesis
Make a quick list of the things that begin in Genesis. (That is: time, humans, etc.)
a. Moses wrote Genesis probably during the wilderness wanderings.
b. See Exodus 17:14; 24:4-8; 34:27; 2 Chronicles 34:14; John 5:46; Mark 12:26
a. Immediate - To instruct the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land.
i. It was necessary for the nation of Israel to have an accurate record of their origin in Abraham and of God's covenant with Abraham's descendants.
ii. It was of even greater importance that they remember their origin from creation and their spiritual relationship with God.
b. Permanent - Genesis has a most important purpose for all men for all time.
i. It reveals the nature and work of God as the Almighty Creator and Preserver of life. He is the Supreme Law-Giver, Righteous Judge, and Merciful Sovereign over all creation.
b. Man's relation to God (the main truth in Genesis)
c. Man's failure and sin (which led to the initial steps taken by God for man's redemption; "Christ is coming" is a thematic thread throughout the Old Testament)
a. We have a relationship with the Beginner of all things. He desires that we be restored to the original image - "in the likeness of God."
b. The foundation of all truth is knowing the origin of heaven and earth and that all things therein came by God.
V. Key Chapters
a. Genesis 1-2...........Creation, marriage/sex, accountability
b. Genesis 3-4...........Sin, sacrifice, consequences
c. Genesis 6-8..........Global flood, faithfulness, deliverance
d. Genesis 11.............Languages
e. Genesis 12............ Abraham, covenant, seed, lying
f. Genesis 15............ Obedience/faith
g. Genesis 19.......... Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed due to sin
h. Genesis 22........... Faithfulness
i. Genesis 37........... Joseph/ favoritism/ perseverance
j. Genesis 39-41...... Joseph's faith
k. Genesis 50........... Purpose and closing leading into need for exodus
VI. Notes to consider
- The first book of the Bible is of great importance. It forms the foundation on which all of divine revelation rests. Genesis is more than a history. This book gives us the only reliable account of the origin of heaven and earth, and of the origin and nature of man. But the main purpose of the book is religious in nature. We are spiritual beings, made in the image of God. We can never find true happiness and deliverance until we accept God's revealed plan of redemption in Christ through our obedience to the gospel. (see Romans 1:16)
- What would be problematic with denying Moses the authorship of Genesis?
- Why should we understand the purpose of the book for Israel?
- Why is it important that we remember the permanent purpose of Genesis?
- What does the word "genesis" mean? How did the book of Genesis eventually take on its name/title? (HINT: look at the first phrase in Genesis 1:1)
- Read Proverbs 1:7. What is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom? How does this relate to the theme and message of Genesis?
- Why is it important for us to understand that Genesis is an accurate, reliable account of origins?
Lesson 2 - Creation: Genesis 1:1-2:25
I. Read the text
a. Remember originally there were no chapter/verse breaks.
II. Chapter 1
a. There is no attempt to prove the Being of God
i. The verse is a positive statement, but rules out all that is false in the thoughts of men about God: atheism, polytheism, agnosticism.
b. ‘Elohim' occurs 35 times in chapter 1; this Hebrew word is singular in person but plural in meaning: The one Godhead consists of 3: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
c. ‘Created' is a Hebrew word meaning making or forming something out of nothing.
d. The interest of the Bible is not in the universe as a whole but in this earth, which was meant to be the home of mankind and the scene of redemption.
i. See Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20
e. In the Hebrew there is no gap between verse 1 and 2, ruling out the theory that there could be millions of years between these statements.
f. Some say the "day" in chapter 1 is figurative and could mean years, centuries, etc.
i. Problem with this view: Moses wrote "the evening and the morning" are the first day, second day, etc. The Holy Spirit through Moses knew the difference between ‘day' and ‘year' (Genesis 1:14).
g. The garden in Eden was an actual area, not a mythical spot, as verses 10 - 14 emphasize.
i. This paradise shows the first temple in the Scriptures as God walked and had fellowship with man there.
h. Man is the crown and culmination of creation. (Genesis 1:27)
i. Created in the image of God - a rational, moral, and spiritual being
i. Man and woman were given a commission: (Genesis 1:28-30)
i. Domination over the rest of creation
ii. Multiplication of their kind
iii. Cultivation of the earth
- The concept of stewardship is established.III.
III. Chapter 2
a. This is a more detailed account of creation facts that were stated in chapter one.
b. Thus is the beginning and foundation of family and social life; God did not intend for man to live alone.
c. Marriage is a monogamous union intended to be indissoluble. (Matthew 19:3-9)
a. Biblical marriage is not defined as...
i. Living together - boyfriend/girlfriend can "play house" but it is soul-condemning.
ii. A trial period - we don't pick mates like we do cars/clothes/food!
iii. That which only lasts as long as "love" lasts - love is a choice, an action that you take everyday for another 1 Corinthians 13 (it is learned, Titus 2:4).
iv. Between two men/two women - Romans 1:26,27
b. Biblical marriage is defined as being...
i. Between a man and woman - Genesis 2:24
ii. A life-long commitment - Matthew 19:3-9; Psalms 127:1
iii. A Leaving, Cleaving and Weaving - Ephesians 5:31
iv. ‘Agape' love in action - 1 Corinthians 13; Titus 2
a. Is a privilege inside a scriptural marriage.
i. You are not married if you have sex - Hebrews 13:4
ii. You do not have to have sex to be married - 1 Corinthians 7:2-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7
b. Is a blessing inside a scriptural marriage; but is a curse outside of marriage
i. Sex is undefiled in marriage, but uncertain, casual, and sinful outside of marriage.
ii. Is the means by which to have children
- Children are a blessing from the Lord - Psalms 127:1
c. Affects you psychologically, emotionally, physically.
d. Can uplift, fortify, and bond the marriage union.
e. Will depress, weaken, and crumble the foundation of a single life - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
- Discuss the significance of ‘Elohim' being a singular word but plural in meaning. Which members of the Godhead were present in the beginning? See John 1
- Think of other reasons the word "day" does not figuratively mean years.
- What does it mean that mankind is created in the ‘image of God'? How should this cause us to think and act?
- How are we stewards of this earth? What does this entail?
- Some allege that chapter 2 is in contradiction to chapter 1. Why is this not the case?
- Discuss further what marriage is and is not. Why is it important to understand the true nature of marriage? How will upholding these ideals help us in our lives and help us teach others?
- How can sex "make or break" our marriages?
- How can we help those who are not married that are struggling with sexual promiscuity?
- Why are more and more young people experimenting with sex?
- What should we do to help change this?
Lesson 3 - The Fall: Genesis 3:1 - 4:26
I. Read the text
II. Chapter 3
a. Man was created with a rational and moral nature, and thus God gave him the ability to make choices.
b. Man was made perfectly innocent; however, after man was tested and failed, he became guilty.
c. The tree served as a sign of God's divine law; thus it was for the man and woman a tree of "knowledge of good and evil".
i. The knowledge of the tree was moral, not intellectual.
d. Man was forbidden the minimum and allowed the maximum.
e. The nature of the test is not what matters but man's attitude toward the expressed will of God.
f. Four characters:
- Serpent - Not the source but the agent of evil (Revelation 12:9) - He attacked the woman not the man; He introduced doubt into her mind by attacking God's goodness; He ignored God's covenant relationship with man; He denied the connection between sin and punishment; He appealed to the qualities of pride and ambition (This was the cause of his fall and he would lead woman along that wicked path).
- Woman - She had an unguarded conversation with the serpent (did she know with whom she was conversing?) Eve put an emphasis on God's commandment not to eat the fruit, when she added: "...neither shall you touch it", perhaps adding her perceived strictness of God's command.
- Man - Created first, received the prohibition from God, and told his wife. He, not she, is the head of the human race. He sinned deliberately and broke the commandment. He also "throws back the gift to the Giver".
- God - Showed Himself in two ways: in judgment and in grace; He judges/sentences all three but speaks of redemption in the future - Genesis 3:15; God is the first prophet and the devil was the first to hear the Gospel, and in it his fate is foretold!
g. God addresses the man first, asking the thought-provoking question, "Where are you?" and then to the woman, "What have you done?" Lastly, no question is posed to the serpent, only the sentence. Notice their degrees of responsibility (Genesis 3:9-15).
i. Genesis 3:15 is the center point showing the first glimpse of the gospel.
ii. The apostle, Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:12-14 points back to this occasion as well as man's creation to show God's design for the roles of men and women in the church.
- Man was created first and given the responsibility of leadership
h. Man and woman became self-aware.
i. Conscience of their nakedness, they made their own clothing (shame entered to garden). Left to their own sinful thoughts and feelings, Adam and Eve fail short of clothing themselves modestly and acceptably to God; God provided them their clothing and established His modesty standard for all ages.
ii. The Hebrew word for "garment" or "coat" (Genesis 3:21) refers to an article of clothing that covers from the shoulders down to at least the knees (Fred Wight in Manners andCustoms of the Bible Lands states, "The simplest form of [the tunic] is without sleeves and reached to the knees and sometimes to the ankles", page 91).
iii. Note the first sacrifice: animals had to die because of man's sins.
a. Sin (literally, "missing the mark/target") is transgression, iniquity, lawlessness and it separates an accountable person from God.
b. It is deceitful and can harden a person. Hebrews 3:13
c. Sin is caused by our own desires. James 1:14
d. There are two ways that we sin:
i. By doing that which we are not supposed to do. (COMMISSION).
ii. By not doing that which we are supposed to do. (OMISSION). James 4:17; Matthew 25:41-46
e. All accountable persons have sinned. Romans 3:23
f. God hates sin.
i. Read and discuss Mark 9:47; Romans 6:23; 1 John 3:4; 5:17
g. Adam brought sin into the world but we are not lost because of Adam's sin. We now live in a world of sin because of Adam's sin, but we each bear our own responsibility for our actions and choices. See Ezekiel 18:20.
IV. Chapter 4
a. Chapter 3 recorded the origin of sin; chapter 4 records the progress of sin.
b. We are not told how many children Adam and Eve had (it must have been other boys and girls as well - Genesis 5:4-5); instead, the Bible focuses on the two sons, Cain and Abel.
i. The offerings were not determined by the occupation of the offerers, but by their attitude towards themselves and God and by the type of "gifts"/offering God authorized. Hebrews 11:4
ii. God's response:
- The Lord rebuked Cain's attitude; sin is always present; we must choose to rule over it! (Cain does not repent, but only complains of his sentence.)
- God extends mercy along with His judgment on Cain.
a. God as our Creator deserves worship from us, His creation.
b. Worship is done with a willing mind (not ritualistic) and by the authority of Christ; "in spirit and in truth" (John. 4:24; Colossians. 3:17).
c. During every age of man (Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian) God has given instructions (pattern) for worshipping Him.
d. From the beginning God has desired that mankind worship Him in obedient faith.
i. Faith comes from hearing/knowing God's Word (Romans 10:17).
ii. When we deviate from His doctrine we sin as Cain did (2 John 1:9).
e. Cain's evil influence can be traced for six generations, being progressive in industry and the arts but devoid of truth.
i. Cain's offspring continued the sinful act of murder, and began the practice of polygamy. (Genesis 4:19, 23)
f. Seth's godly influence continues for many more generations
i. Seth's descendants "called on the name of the Lord" - Genesis 4:26; this expression is a figure of speech known as a synecdoche (a part representing the whole) and is used throughout the Bible to mean "obey the Lord", compare Acts 22:16.
ii. There is a strong distinction between the line of Cain (unfaithful, wicked) and the line of Seth (faithful, godly). See Genesis 6:1-5
g. Genealogies are recorded for immediate family purposes and to show the line of the future Messiah.
- Some have alleged that it was wrong of God to put a prohibition before Adam and Eve. Did God tempt Adam and Eve? What does this have to do with our Creator giving us free moral will?
- Can a prohibition be all the more tempting and desiring? How did our Lord respond to temptation? See Matthew 4:1-11
- The serpent stated, "you will be as gods" (Genesis 3:5). Is this possible? Can we be our own god? If so, how?
- How did Eve sin? How did Adam sin? Whose was the worse sin?
- Why did God ask Adam and Eve questions in 3:9-13? Is not God all-knowing?
- Part of Eve's punishment was that her desire will be for her husband and he will rule over her (v.16). What does this have to do with what Paul states in 1 Timothy 2:8-15?
- What can we conclude about modest dress (for men and women) in God's sight from understanding the meaning of "coats" or "tunics" in Genesis 3:21?
- Although Cain was not a shepherd, could he have acquired the appropriate offering? What does this account teach us about our worship to God?
- When God rebuked Cain for his offering what should have been Cain's response?
- What does it mean to "call on the name of the Lord"? (Genesis 4:26) See also Genesis 13:4 and Acts 22:16.
Lesson 4 - The Flood: Genesis 6 - 9:17
I. Read the text
II. Chapter 6
a. Genesis records individuals sinning, then a family, and now, the whole of society (with the exception of a very small number)
i. Sin spreads rapidly and if we are not watchful, sin will take over our life.
b. Seth's descendants inter-marry with Cain's descendants (Genesis 6:1, 2)
i. We see (as is often the case) evil influence overpowers godly influence.
ii. Seth's descendants (the sons of God) overemphasized the outward appearance of Cain's descendants (the daughters of men) to the neglect of the inward character of the persons. Intermarriage becomes the gateway into the corruption of the world (compare 2 Corinthians 6:14)
iii. God (as we should) "saw" the inward and determined with righteous judgment that humanity was evil: wickedness, evil imagination, corruption, and violence widespread (John 7:24).
c. God warned that "His Spirit would not strive with man indefinitely"
i. Judgment was suspended for a time due to God's mercy.
d. God was "sorry" He had made man; this is the use of human emotion ascribed to God so that we may better understand Him.
i. In dealing with man, God's nature never changes but His procedure does.
ii. Because God is righteous He must judge.
iii. Throughout human history, God has always had someone through whom He can work His will (always a faithful line, though sometimes few).
e. Seven characteristics of Noah are given throughout the Word showing us why he found grace in God's sight:
- righteous, upright, virtuous, straight (Genesis 6:9)
- perfect, moral integrity
- pious, walked with God
- courageous, preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5)
- God fearer
- faith (Hebrews 11:7)
- heir of righteousness
f. God gives Noah a detailed description of what to build in order to save a small remnant of people and creation.
i. God tells Noah that with him He will establish a covenant.
ii. Noah obeys in all things. (Genesis 6:22)
III. Chapter 7
a. Eight souls obey and enter the safety of God.
i. Only Noah's family lives to tell of this catastrophic event.
ii. Seven each of every clean animal (male and female) and two each of every unclean animal enter the ark.
b. Noah was 600 years old when the flood occurred (Genesis 7:6); he was 500 when first introduced (Genesis 5:32). He preached and built the ark during this time!
c. Genesis 7:11: The date is given when the flood began and the fountains of the great deep and the windows of heaven opened.
i. Waters from above and waters from below met to submerge the earth.
ii. Some believe this is the tectonic plates breaking apart and lava eruptions occurring making the earth very different geographically.
d. It rained for 40 days, and the water was on earth for 110 days.
i. This is an astounding event! This is no nursery story!
ii. After about 1600 years of history the human race was so corrupt morally that it was not fit to live!
IV. Chapters 8 - 9:17
a. Genesis 8:4: The date is given to when the flood ended and the ark rested on Mt. Ararat.
b. Noah sent out a raven and a dove; the second time he sent out the dove, it brought back a fresh olive leaf.
i. The olive tree can leaf under water.
c. God instructs man and creatures to be fruitful and multiply on the earth.
d. The first act of the delivered family was one of worship: Noah sacrifices to God.
e. God was pleased with the sacrifice and declared to Noah that He would never destroy the earth and mankind with floodwaters again.
i. The orderly course of nature would henceforth be conserved.
ii. The rainbow is the sign of the covenant; it is beautiful and universal.
- The rainbow is likened to the glory of God (Ezekiel 1:28), a rainbow is around the throne of God and upon an angel's head (See Revelation 4:3; 10:1).
f. Three differences compared to the beginning with Adam:
i. Man's rule over the animals is based on their fear of him. (compare Genesis 1:28; 9:2)
ii. Man is permitted to eat animals. (compare Genesis 1:29; 9:3)
iii. Man is placed under human as well as under Divine law in respect to blood-shedding (capital punishment is instituted - Genesis 9:5-6).
- What lessons can we learn from the account of Seth's godly descendants marrying Cain's wicked descendants? How does this apply to us today when it comes to a Christian marrying a non-Christian?
- Some have alleged that Genesis 6:1-4 speak of angels - "sons of God" - marrying "daughters of men", and apparently from these unions came giants. What are some problems with this view? See Matthew 22:30
- Why can God be called a Righteous Judge? What does it mean to judge righteously? See Psalms 9:8, 50:6, John 7:24
- "Noah found grace" in God's eyes. (Genesis 7:8) Noah was perfect in his generation. (Genesis 7:9) What does grace mean? What does "perfect" mean in this context?
- Would it have been all right for Noah to use cedar wood instead of gopher wood? Some would use the argument, "God didn't tell him not to." What is wrong with this argument? Are we striving to be faithful in all things with that mentality?
- In teaching this story to our children, do we teach them why God judged the world? Why should we not "water down" this event in history?
- What do you think it would have been like to hear the screams of individuals outside the ark and know you were the only surviving humans?
- What verse shows us that this was a global event as opposed to some local flood?
- What are some lessons about obedience that we learn from this account?
- Is the covenant God made with Noah still promised today? What are some things the rainbow represents in God's Word as opposed to our society?
Lesson 5 - Tower of Babel: Genesis 9:18 - 11:9
I. Read the text
II. Chapters 9:18 - chapter 10
a. The earth was populated from Noah's three sons and their wives.
i. From the list of lands in chapter 10 is seems likely that Japtheth's descendants moved mostly northward, Ham's moved southward, Shem's moved eastward (Genesis 10:5, 10-12, 19, 30).
ii. Since people naturally move and mingle it is possible that this is a generalization of the facts.
b. Christ came through Shem's line (Genesis 11:10-26, Matthew 1:1-16).
c. A brief event is recorded of Noah's family before the narrative moves on.
i. In Genesis 9:21, the first mention of fermented wine and drunkenness is mentioned (without moral comment). Is it possible that inexperience and ignorance played a role in faithful Noah getting drunk? (On intoxicating drink see Proverbs 23:29-35)
ii. The point of this account is the ruin of Ham's inheritance due to his profane act, that is, seeing "the nakedness of his father"/doing something profane to him (Genesis 9:22, 24; read Leviticus 18).
iii. Some have attempted to classify mankind into superior or subordinate roles by an appeal to Genesis 9:25-27. Doing this goes against what God has stated on the unity of mankind. See Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28.
d. Chapter 10 is the spread of the nations.
i. Genesis 10:25 records what happened and Genesis 11:1-9 tells us why it happened.
ii. The scope of God's redemptive purpose is made universal in genealogy.
III. Chapter 11: 1-9
a. This account is told with amazing brevity.
b. The whole earth had one language with few words (we do not know what language was) and the people decided to stay in one area (namely, the land of Shinar, a plain in Babylonia).
c. This is not what God intended them to do (Genesis 9:1) and thus, this reveals a spirit of rebellion.
i. They wanted to make a name for themselves; they exhibited proud ambition, open rebellion against God, and false security.
d. The Lord made a babble of the whole language.
i. The record of the Tower of Babel is the third major time man failed God in the book of Genesis (1st was the Fall of Adam and Eve; 2nd was the Flood of the world in Noah's day). Each time God judged man, He preserved a line, which led to Calvary and universal redemption.
- Discuss some reasons genealogies are important.
- What do we learn about ourselves as humans when reading such passages as Genesis 9:18-29? Why is such an event disheartening, knowing what these individuals had experienced through God's mercy only to turn around and act indecently?
- If God had let man do what they had wanted to do, what do you think would have been the course of human history?
- What always happens to those who rebel against Divine Will?
- Discuss reasons God gave the commandment in Genesis 9:1.
- Discuss the people's attitude in Genesis 11:4. Do we exhibit such an attitude sometimes? Why?
Lesson 6 - Abraham: Genesis 12-15
I. Read the text,focusing on 12 and 15
a. It is beneficial to understand the differences in some terms:
i. Hebrew - earliest name given to the offspring of Shem; possibly from Eber (Genesis 10:21).
ii. Israelite - of Israel, the name given to Jacob; mainly used to refer to his offspring.
iii. Jewish - 1st reference to "Jews" in the Old Testament is 2 Kings 16:6; a Jew is a descendant of Judah; used to refer to the nation's later history.
b. In the book of Genesis only ten men constitute the line of revelation and redemption: Adam- Seth- Enoch- Noah- Shem- Abram- Isaac- Jacob- Judah.
i. Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind, descended through these men.
II. Chapters 12-14
a. First introduced to Abram, son of Terah.
i. The inhabitants of Ur were idolaters who worshipped the moon
ii. Despite the fact that Abram lived in Ur much of his life, there is no evidence that Abram ever worshipped idols
b. God called him out of the land and away from his family.
i. Abram's response to the voice of God was instant.
ii. Although Abram's faithfulness to the Lord was immediate and constant, he still committed sins along the way (as we will see).
c. Lot had sight but Abram had faith. (Genesis 13:10-13)
i. The choices Lot made resulted in at least two incidences in which he had to be rescued: here (Genesis 14:1-17) and ultimately (Genesis 19).
ii. Lot was Abram's only heir at this time, and it must have been hard for Abram to say goodbye under these circumstances.
d. There is contrast between the two kings (Genesis 14:17-24) Abraham meets.
i. The king of Sodom makes him a businesslike offer of which Abraham refuses.
ii. The king of Salem (Jerusalem), Melchizedek, offers him a blessing from God of which Abraham pays tribute.
- Melchizedek, king and priest, is a shadow of the greatest King and Priest, Jesus Christ. (See Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 7)
a. While not contrary to reason, faith is more than reason, and has its roots deeper in the soil of ultimate reality. Hebrews 11:1
b. Faith comes by hearing/studying the Word of God. Romans 10:17
i. Many vainly seek deeper faith in God but do not hunger for His Word.
c. Faith is not a blind leap in the dark.
i. Christians base their faith on evidence.
d. If we have faith in God we will do the things He has commanded.
i. Faith without works of God is dead. (James 2:14-26)
ii. Many claim they "believe" in God, but do not obey His Word. (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46)
e. Many are commended for their faith in the Bible.
i. Hebrews11 shows us the close connection between faith and the actions individuals take in their lives.
ii. If we have true, biblical faith, we will obey God. (Hebrews 11:5)
IV. Chapter 15
a. God makes a covenant with Abram: He describes the land and gives the promise that Abraham's descendants will be as numerous as the stars of the sky. (Genesis 15:1-7; 18-21)
i. Genesis 15:6 is key
ii. See John 8:56 - Abraham "saw the day of the Lord" in promise and in hope.
b. God told Abraham that his descendants would possess this land. (Genesis 15:18-21)
i. This was fulfilled in Solomon's kingdom. See 1 Kings 4:21 and 2 Chronicles 9:26.
ii. There is no land promise awaiting the Jewish people today, as some mistakenly believe.
- Discuss the importance Abraham is to the Jewish people? See Luke 1:73; John 8:39
- What ungodly influences did Abram have to overcome growing up in Ur? Did this have anything to do with why God chose him?
- Imagine yourself under such circumstances. What battles might you have to conquer to have an enduring faith like Abram (James 1:2-3)?
- Discuss the significance of what God said to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 - "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed".
- Abraham was 75 years old (Sarah would have been around 65) with no children when God told him He would bless his descendants. How would such a promise make you feel at that age?
- What is significant about Christ being our King and Priest?
- What does it mean to have genuine biblical faith? How will others see our faith (or lack thereof)?
- What does it mean that God counted Abraham's belief for righteousness?
Lesson 7 - Abraham and Sarah: Genesis 16-17
I. Read the text
II. Chapter 16
a. This is a dark part of Abraham and Sarah's life.
b. Sarah comes up with a plan and unfortunately Abraham goes along with it.
i. Notice in the Bible that when individuals try to plan their own way, God has to "clean up the mess".
c. Ishmael is the result of the union between Abraham and Hagar; Ishmael's posterity are the Arabs who have been in conflict with the Israelites ever since.
d. Abraham's faith needed to be disciplined.
i. Abram was 86 when Ishmael was born and he was 99 when God spoke to him again. (Genesis 16:16, 17:1)
e. Hagar and Sarah are symbolic for greater spiritual applications: the first for the Old Covenant (bondage) and the latter for the New Covenant (liberty in Christ). See Galatians 4:21-31
III. Chapter 17
a. His name was changed to Abraham (father of a multitude) and Sarai was changed to Sarah (princess, fruitful).
b. The covenant between God and Abraham's line is shown by circumcision.
i. Abraham was 99 years old and Ishmael was 13 when they were circumcised.
ii. All the men of the house were circumcised in obedience to God's command.
IV. Husbands and Wives
a. Responsibilities of the husband:
i. Leader of the household. (Ephesians 5:23)
ii. Lead teacher of his children (in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Ephesians 6:4)
iii. Lead provider for his family. (Ephesians 5:23;1 Timothy 5:8)
iv. Honors his wife, understanding and remembering she is his fellow-heir. 1 Peter 3:7)
b. Responsibilities of the wife:
i. Respect, love, and submit to husband. (Titus 2:4; Ephesians 5:22)
ii. Take care of the home. (Titus 2:5)
iii. Love and teach children by exhortation and by example. (Titus 2:5; 1 Timothy 2:9)
- Did Sarah's plan work as she desired? Did it make her truly happy?
- Discuss why Abraham listened to Sarah's plea. What influence do we as wives have over our husbands? When can this influence be used deceptively or in a wrong way?
- Did God provide for Hagar and her child?
- What does Abraham's response in Genesis 17:3 tell us about his character?
- What is significant about a name change in the Scriptures? Are there other examples of individuals receiving a name change?
- How was God's covenant with Abraham to be sealed? Did Abraham obey God in doing this?
- How does Paul connect circumcision to Christians in Romans 2:25-29? See also 1 Corinthians 7:19.
- Discuss the responsibilities of husbands and wives.
- How does the world differ from the Word concerning these principles?
- What can we do to uphold the family as God would have us to?
Lesson 8 - Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 18 - 19
I. Read the text
II. Chapter 18
a. God speaks to Abraham and reminds him of His promise to give him a son.
i. Nothing is added to that promise; only the setting changes.
b. The Lord meets Abraham.
i. There is much comment that these three persons were the Godhead. However, there is a distinction between the Lord and His two companions (who were most likely angels). See Genesis 18:22; 19:1
c. Notice Abraham's hospitality.
i. He runs to meet them, he bows, and pleads for them to stay and take sustenance.
ii. No doubt Hebrews 13:2 comes to mind.
d. Sarah was listening to their conversation and laughs at the idea of bearing a child.
i. Apparently, Sarah was not yet convinced of God's promise.
ii. The Lord rebukes her more harshly than He did Abraham in Genesis 17:17, 19.
iii. He asks her a question in order to answer her: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"
e. The question in Genesis 18:17 implies that Abraham was the "friend of God".
i. This is proven by our Lord's own criterion. See John 15:15
ii. Genesis 18:19 re-emphasizes this as well.
f. The cities where Lot chose to dwell and raise his family were corrupt.
i. Our associations and communities will influence our families.
g. God hears Abraham's intercession for Sodom.
III. Chapter 19
a. Scripture seems to suggest that there is a point at which a person's "cup" is so full of sin that it cannot hold anymore, and if repentance does not occur, they are destroyed by God.
i. Sodom and Gomorrah's "cup" was over-run and God heard the great cry coming from their wickedness.
b. Lot's standing at the gate implies that he was a prominent man in the city.
i. He was apparently ineffective with his city but maybe desired to help any visitors coming into the area. See 2 Peter 2:7-8
c. Lot may have tried his best, but ends up jeopardizing his daughters, angering his townsmen, and eventually needing rescue by those he was trying to protect.
i. Note to remember: The Bible states the facts (whether good or bad). The Bible does not teach that all things done by men are always right.
d. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters escaped the city.
i. Lot's wife disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and suffered the consequences. (Luke 17:28-33)
e. Lot's fear made him blind to what God had promised him in Genesis 19:21. He left Zoar and fled to the hills.
i. This sadly resulted in his daughters taking matters into their own hands.
ii. From Lot came Moab and Ammon, whose descendants caused Israel to commit harlotry against God (Numbers 25) and perverted religion with the god of Molech, whom Israel was to abhor (Leviticus 18:21)
a. In our age of tolerance this sin along with many others has been accepted with open arms, even among some Christians.
b. What the World Says:
i. This is an equal rights issue.
ii. It's the way God made me (I can't help it).
iii. It's an alternative lifestyle.
iv. You're a homophobe if you speak out against it.
c. What the Word Says:
i. The Bible does not state that any genetic condition is sinful (such as having red or black hair or having darker or lighter skin pigmentation). It does state that homosexuality is a sin. (Romans 1:27-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
ii. God does not make people homosexual just as He does not make people murderers, liars, or adulterers. (James 1:12-16)
iii. A lifestyle of sin is in contradiction to God's will. Going after strange flesh is condemned in the Bible. (Jude 1:7)
iv. As Christians we are to teach the truth in love (Ephesians 4:14-16) and try to help souls come out of sin - whether it is homosexuality or any other sin.
d. We need to detest the sin that brought fire from heaven. We must also make sure that we equally detest other sexually unlawful sins such as fornication and adultery (Galatians 5:19-21).
e. We need to remember that God forgives when we repent of any sin (turn from our sins and practice them no more). 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
f. The world's message is "Stay a homosexual - you cannot help it any way"; whereas the loving Savior's message is "Repent and be baptized...and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; 22:16)
- What is important about the characteristic of hospitality? How can we cultivate and develop it in our lives?
- Did Sarah truly believe in God's promise of a son?
- Why does God tell Abraham He is about to destroy the cities?
- What question does Abraham ask God in response to destroying the cities? Is he changing the mind of God or is God "training" Abraham and developing his faith?
- Discuss the influence our communities have on our families. Did Lot save all of his family?
- What are the men saying in Genesis 19:9? Do people still make this statement today? Why?
- Why do we "look back" at sin even when we know the consequences?
- Is homosexuality worse than other sins? How does God view all sin?
Lesson 9 - Promise Fulfilled: Genesis 20-22
I. Read the text
II. Chapter 20
a. Once again, Abraham, in a moment of faithlessness, jeopardizes the promise for his own safety.
i. Abraham is a man of faith but he made mistakes.
b. God works through Abimelech to set matters straight.
c. A series of questions and answers in Genesis 20:8-13 reveals Abraham's reasoning.
d. If the Promise of God is ever to be achieved, it will owe little to man.
i. Certainly, it is achieved through the grace of God.
III. Chapter 21
a. Twenty-five years after God calls Abraham, He fulfills His promise and gives him a son.
b. Genesis 21:6 is literally, "God has made laughter for me."
i. Sarah's joy is fulfilled in Isaac (which means "laughter").
ii. Sarah may not have been a visionary like Abraham but she did have faith (Hebrews 11:11).
iii. Abraham obeys God and circumcises Isaac.
c. Strife arises again between Sarah and Hagar, which is later described in the New Testament as the incompatibility of the flesh and the spirit (Galatians 4:21-31).
i. Sarah may have spoken truth more than she knew (Genesis 21:10; Galatians 4:30).
ii. The outcome shows the difference between her attitude and that of God's (something to be remembered when thinking about the Sovereignty of God).
d. Again, Abraham has dealings with Abimelech.
i. Notice this time Abraham finds that God is the shield He had promised to be.
ii. The phrase "God is with you" is stated about Isaac (Genesis 26:28), Jacob (Genesis 30:27), and Joseph (Genesis 39:3).
IV. Chapter 22
a. Brief but profoundly significant account of Abraham willing to do anything for God - even sacrifice his only son through Sarah. (Genesis 22:1-19)
b. We are shown how Abraham responded to the severest test to which man can be subjected.
i. Isaac was around 25 years old.
ii. Notice God points to Isaac as Abraham's only son.
- There was only one son of promise as opposed to the Muslim belief that Ishmael was the son of promise.
c. They were on Mount Moriah. This is present day Jerusalem - in the vicinity of Calvary.
i. In Genesis 22:14, Abraham calls the place Jehovah-jireh, meaning "God provides".
d. Again faith is at the root of Abraham's beliefs.
i. He knew if he obeyed God, the Lord would provide and raise Isaac from the dead.
ii. See Hebrews 11:8-12, 17-19.
iii. When the Devil tempts, his desire it to tempt us to fall; but when God tests, His desires is that we stand/build our character. (James 1:2-3)
e. What Abraham was spared from doing - God actually did. (Romans 8:32)
f. News of Abraham's relatives come (Genesis 22:20-24).
i. Significant names are Bethuel and Rebekah.
- Discuss reasons why Abraham repeated his mistakes? Do we repeat our sins?
- Discuss the significance of Abimelech's questions to Abraham in verses 9-10.
- Discuss reasons why God "closed up the womb" of certain women throughout the Bible. What did this waiting period do for Abraham and Sarah?
- Why does Sarah react so harshly towards Hagar and Ishmael? Is her attitude justified?
- How does Abraham feel with this contention occurring?
- What is evidence in this chapter that our God is a Merciful and Compassionate God?
- Describe Sarah's faith. How was it different from Abraham's?
- What is meant that God "proved" or "tested" Abraham? Why is this done?
- What does it tell us about Abraham's attitude from his response to God in Genesis 22:1, 11?
- Did Abraham ask God why? Did he point out the promise would be broken with the death of Isaac?
- How does Genesis 22:5 tell us that worship is intentional and premeditated?
- God tells Abraham in Genesis 22:12, "...now I know that you fear God, since yo
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