Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 7

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Read Genesis 6-9

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Questions to Consider

1. Genesis 4:26b says, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.” Compare this statement to the spiritual condition of mankind in Genesis 6. Why did God decide to destroy the earth? (6:5-7,11-13)

2. Compare the depravity of mankind with the uprightness of Noah. Who validated Noah’s righteousness? (6:8-9) How do chapters 6-9 describe Noah’s righteousness? How did Noah demonstrate righteousness before, during, and after the flood? In God’s eyes, is righteousness outward (behavior) only, inward (heart condition) only, or both?

3. Review question 7 from lesson 6 (link above). At this point in Old Testament history (Genesis 6), had God given the Law? If not, how could He hold mankind responsible for breaking His Law – being “wicked,” “evil,” and “corrupt” – to the point of killing everyone and destroying the earth and still be a just God? What does this tell us about how seriously God views sin?

4. Compare God’s wrath for sin poured out on the earth in Genesis 6-9 to His wrath for sin poured out on Christ at the cross. How does Noah’s salvation from God’s wrath toward sin by being in the ark point ahead to our salvation from God’s wrath toward sin if we are “in” the cross? What is the type and shadow significance of God (rather than Noah) closing and sealing the door of the ark when His work of saving Noah was finished? (7:16) Do you see any other types and shadows in Genesis 6-9?

5. Examine 6:5-7, 8:21, and 9:11. An unbeliever might look at these passages and think that God realized He made a mistake by creating man, attempted to correct that mistake with the flood, and then regretfully realized that the flood was overkill. The unbeliever might even question God’s sovereignty and omniscience: “Didn’t God already know that man would become so sinful? Why create humans in the first place?” How would you answer these challenges to God’s nature and character?

6. Genesis 9:8-17 is the text of the Noahic (no-WAY-ick) Covenant. What does God promise in this covenant? What is the sign of this covenant? Is the Noahic Covenant bilateral (if people do X, then God will do Y) or unilateral (God says, “I will do X.”)

7. Compare God’s instructions to Noah for His “re-Creation” (9:1-7) with God’s instructions to Adam and Eve for His Creation. What are some similarities? Differences?

8. The Holy Spirit has spent nearly four chapters emphasizing Noah’s righteousness contrasted with the depravity of the rest of mankind. Yet 9:20-27 demonstrate that Noah and his sons were still quite capable of sin. How does this confirm that we inherited our sin nature from Adam and that even the most righteous man on earth is sinful and imperfect?


Homework

If you’d like to do more research on Noah’s story, Answers in Genesis has some great resources on their Noah page.

For even more on Noah and the flood, visit the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.


Suggested Memory Verse

When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.
Genesis 9:16

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 6

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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Read Genesis 4-5

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Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review Lesson 5 (link above).

2. What do we know about Adam and Eve’s life after their expulsion from the Garden? (4:1-2,25) What do Eve’s statements about Cain’s birth (1) and Seth’s birth (25) tell us about her ongoing relationship with and attitude toward God? What does Adam say about God in chapter 4?

3. Examine 4:2-7. When, in Old Testament history, were the laws about offerings (what to offer, what was acceptable or unacceptable) given by God? How were Cain and Abel to know what kind of offering would be acceptable to God? Considering the character of God and His remarks in verses 6-7, did He arbitrarily and capriciously reject Cain’s offering and accept Abel’s? What, then, might we safely surmise about Cain and Abel’s knowledge of making offerings to God?

4. Who was Cain angry with? (5-8) Did Cain have reason to be angry at God? At Abel? At himself? What did God tell Cain about his anger? (6-7) Do human beings ever have a righteous reason to be angry with God? Think about the latter part of verse 7 (“And if you do not do well…”) What does this mean? How does it apply to your heart and life?

5. Read 4:8-16. What was the root sin (pride, jealousy, hatred, etc.) of Cain’s heart that eventually led him to kill Abel? Can you list all of the sins (in thought, word, and deed) that Cain committed in verses 3-10? Describe how a sinful attitude of heart can “snowball” as it did in Cain’s case. What does this teach us about killing sinful thoughts and attitudes before they lead to more sin?

6. We nearly always focus on Cain and his sin when we read the story of Cain and Abel, but who else did Cain’s sin impact? (4:1-2,14-15,25) How do you think it affected Eve to lose one son at the hand of the other? Do you know someone who has lost a child or sibling to a violent crime like this one? What are some ways you could minister to that person?

7. When, in Old Testament history, did God first give the law prohibiting murder? Was murder a sin prior to God giving that law? How does this help us to understand that God’s moral law (laws about right and wrong) is transcendent and still binding on Christians today, though the Old Testament ceremonial laws governing temple worship, and the civil law which governed the Old Testament nation of Israel, were fulfilled in Christ and no longer required of Christians?

8. Examine Cain’s words in 4:13-14. Does he sound repentant over his sin? Is Cain exhibiting a godly grief or a worldly grief? What is the difference and how does this apply to your own repentance from sin? How did God show grace to Cain? (15-16)

9. In your own words, summarize the remainder of Cain’s life and descendants in 4:16-24.

10. What does verse 26 mean when it says, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.”?

11. Compare God’s command to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28 to the information in Genesis 5. Why would it have been important to the fulfillment of Genesis 1:28 for people to a) live so long, and b) be able to have children at such old ages?

12. What is the final statement God makes about every father in chapter 5 (ex: verses 5, 8, 11, etc.) except Enoch? (21-24) What happened to Enoch, and why? How does the repeated phrase “and he died” drive home and demonstrated the fulfillment of God’s promise in Genesis 2:16-17?

13. In what ways do Genesis 4 and 5 point us ahead to Christ?


Homework

Where did Cain get his wife? It’s one of those biblical questions that can be challenging. If you’d like to study up on this topic, here are some helpful resources:

Who was Cain’s wife? Was Cain’s wife his sister? at Got Questions

Who Was Cain’s Wife? at Answers in Genesis

Where Did Cain Get His Wife? at CARM


Suggested Memory Verse

This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 
Genesis 5:1-2

Idolatry, Old Testament, Sin, Sunday School

The Benefit of Israel’s Experience ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 8-31-14

Benefit of Israel's Experience

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.

Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 35 ~ Aug. 24-30
Jeremiah 51-52, Lamentations, Ezekiel 1-15
The Benefit of Israel’s Experience

For weeks now, we have watched Israel and Judah sink farther and farther into idolatry and other sin, and now they are facing God’s wrath for it. It’s easy to look back thousands of years later and think this is an ancient story that has no bearing on us today. But Israel was God’s people, like we are. They were prone to sin, like we are. Among the many things we can draw out of Israel’s story is that we as God’s people don’t want to go down the same road to sin that they did. What can we learn from what they did wrong, and how do we keep from becoming like them?

Ezekiel 14

It’s a slow fade (Exodus 14-17,32)
That’s the title of a Casting Crowns song. Another line of the song says, “People never crumble in a day,” and that is certainly true. In the same way that someone doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide to have an affair, Israel didn’t just wake up one morning with Asherah poles in their back yards and prostitutes in the temple. We’re in about 593 BC here in Ezekiel. The exodus occurred around 1445 BC, with the golden calf incident occurring not too long after that. Give or take, we’re talking about 800ish years that Israel has been involved with idolatry. This depth of depravity didn’t happen overnight.

But even back in Exodus, there were “smaller” sins leading up to idol worship: they didn’t trust God, and they weren’t satisfied with God. They coveted fleshly security. At the Red Sea, they doubted God and wailed and moaned that they were going to die. They didn’t trust God for water or bread. And, finally, they grew impatient and distrustful that God would ever bring Moses down from Mt. Sinai. All of that culminated in the making and worshiping of the golden calf.

What can we learn? (2 Timothy 2:22, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Matthew 5:27-30)
There is no such thing as a little sin, because little sins always lead to bigger sins. Ever watch the Animal Planet show, Fatal Attractions? It was all about these various crazy people who adopted baby tigers, chimps, bears, etc. into their homes and then were shocked when these animals grew up and ripped their faces off (sometimes literally).

That’s what a “little” sin will do to you. It starts off looking cute and cuddly and harmless and then you embrace it and nurture it and think you’ve got a handle on it, and it grows up to rip your face off or kill you.

“Small” sins have to be dealt with swiftly and decisively. We must immediately turn from them and ask God’s forgiveness. We can’t play around with them even a little bit. That’s why the Bible tells us to “flee” (2 Tim) from sin and to take even our thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Cor.). Hey, poke out your eye or cut off your hand if you have to, is what Jesus said (Matt.).

Lip service is a lie
The elders in 14:1 were not genuinely seeking to worship or obey God. It had been a long time, if ever, since they had done that. They were making a pretense to make it look to the people of Judah like they were actually following God and that God was pleased with them. And God answered that fake inquiry with real judgment.

What can we learn? (Isaiah 29:13-14)
Merely going through the motions doesn’t cut it. Putting your body in church once a week, reciting memorized prayers, giving offerings out of habit, mindlessly singing the hymns does nothing to make you godly. In fact it can help lull you into thinking you’re good with God and have nothing to worry about with regard to falling into sin.

Isaiah said about the Israelites:

“…this people draw[s] near with their mouth and honor[s] me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me…” (Is.)

and look what happened to them.

The same can be true of us. We must ask the Lord to hold us close and help us cling to Him. We must daily run to God’s word and prayer, humble ourselves and remember our dependence on Him. We must celebrate the gospel every day, remembering the price Christ paid for our sin, His love for us, and our love for Him.

Repentance is always the answer
Even at the brink of destruction, God’s message to Israel (14:6) is repent. He had brought all these calamities upon them to bring about their repentance. But the people and their leaders would have none of it.

What can we learn?
We’re going to sin. There’s just no way around it. But when we do, the answer is always to turn to Christ in repentance. One of the verses we have talked about so many times in this class is 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

While the idolatry the Israelites committed was a grave sin, what was even worse was that they refused to repent.

Sometimes, the cheese stands alone (Genesis 6:8, Daniel 6:4, Job 1:8)
Noah, Daniel, and Job- what do we remember about these guys? Each of them stood for righteousness surrounded by a sinful culture, and they all stood alone or nearly so. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord (Gen.). Daniel was “faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.” (Dan.) God Himself said Job was “a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job)

And yet, God said that even if these three men had been present at Ezekiel’s time, their righteousness would have saved only themselves, no matter how hard they prayed or preached, because Israel refused to repent.

What can we learn?
Daniel, Job, and Noah were not righteous in and of themselves. They didn’t find favor with God because they were good deed doers, but because they believed God, walked in repentance, and were faithful to Him– some of the things we’ve already discussed today.
It seems simplistic to say that the lesson here is “Be like Daniel, Job, and Noah, not like the Israelites,” but sometimes it really is that simple. We must be faithful to God like they were even when no one else around us is.

I’ll take you back
If you could boil it down to one sentence, what would you say was God’s end goal in hitting Israel so hard? Check out verses 10-11:

And they shall bear their punishment—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike— that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord God.”

No matter how far they had strayed or what they had done, God still loved His people and wanted them back. His desire was never to destroy them but to reconcile them to Himself.

What can we learn? (Luke 15:11-32)
As the parable of the prodigal son so beautifully demonstrates, we may fall into all kinds of horrible sin, but when we come to God broken and sorrowful over that sin, He wraps His arms around us in love and welcomes us back. That’s what He wanted to do for Israel, and that’s what He wants to do for us. That’s the reason Jesus came. The reason for the cross. The reason for the empty tomb.

For some purpose, known only to Himself, God loves us and wants us back.

Forgiveness, Gospel, Salvation, Sunday School, Types and Shadows

Joe & Moe: Delivery Boys ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 2-2-14

sunday schoolThese are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week.Click here for last week’s lesson.

 Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 5 ~ Jan. 26- Feb. 1
Genesis 41 – Exodus 9
Joe (Joseph) & Moe (Moses): Delivery Boys (Part 1)

 

→         ┼     ←→    II
Old Testament                     Gospels         Acts-Revelation    (Christ’s Return)

All of the Old Testament points to Christ. Throughout the OT, we see Israel, a people in need of deliverance, and throughout the OT, we see God use men as types and shadows of Christ, each pointing out a facet of the way He would deliver His people from their bondage to sin.

Let’s look back at some of the people we’ve studied so far and how they are types of (symbolize) Christ. Look at these people through the lenses of Jesus’ life.

Adam– One Man (Romans 5:17)
As sin entered the world through the first/only begotten son, so salvation entered the world through God’s only begotten Son.

Abel– Death of the innocent (Hebrews 12:22-24)
We see the good, obedient, innocent shepherd, betrayed by his brother and killed for no crime of his own.

Noah– The only righteous man (Genesis 6:9, 1 Peter 3:18)
We see salvation take place through the only righteous man on earth, scorned by sinners. We see the death of sin, the burial (at sea), and the resurrection to new life.

Job– The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:3,10)
In Job, we see Christ, the innocent, misunderstood and accused by those who should have been His friends, suffering, not for His own sin, but for God’s greater plan: that God might be glorified.

Abraham– The Obedient Son (Philippians 2:5-8)
Abraham left the comfort and position of his homeland in exchange for a life of sojourning in a land not his home. He was obedient to God whatever the cost to himself. So, Christ emptied Himself of His position and comfort in Heaven to sojourn on earth and live in obedience to God, whatever the cost.

Isaac– The Promised Son (Genesis 3:15) and The Lamb of God (Genesis 22:8,14, John 1:29)
God told Abraham He would send him a son, and after many years, the promise came true. The son of the Abrahamic Covenant was born in a miraculous way. In Genesis, God promised to send His Son, and after many years, and many reminders of God’s promise to Israel, the Son of the new covenant was born in a miraculous way.

Lamb of God- He was the only acceptable sacrifice. He took the wood for the sacrifice upon his back and walked up the hill to his place of death. “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” That mountain, Mt. Moriah, turned out many years later to be Calvary. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Jacob– Cornerstone (Matthew 19:28)
Jacob through his twelve sons/tribes, was the foundation of God’s people, Israel. Jesus, delegating through His twelve disciples, is the foundation of God’s people, the church.

Joseph– Deliverance Through Forgiveness (Genesis 50:20, Acts 5:31) (Genesis 45:5,7-8; 50:15-21, Luke 23:33-34, 1 John 1:5-9)
Joseph was a deliverer, as was Christ. His life shows us one aspect of Christ’s delivering us from our sin: forgiveness. I did a study on this a while back and wrote a blog article about it. It’s like one of those optical illusion pictures where if you look at it one way, it’s an old, ugly woman, but if you look at it another way, it’s a young, pretty woman. This is a “story optical illusion.” See if you can see Joseph and Jesus at the same time.

QueretaroCrossShadow1In the Shadow of the Son

And after all this: hating him, taking him away from his family and all he knew, selling him as a slave, working his way up only to lose everything again when he was falsely accused of rape and imprisoned for years for a crime he didn’t commit, forgotten by the cupbearer for two years, unsure how his brothers were treating Benjamin or his father, not even knowing if his father was still alive, Joseph forgave his brothers and gave them a new start, a new life.

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, foram I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Genesis 50:15-21

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.  And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Luke 23:33-34

As Jacob forgave his brothers and Christ forgave his executioners, this is exactly what Christ does for us. We repent, and He forgives us for our sin. He gives us a new life.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:5-9

The story of Joseph is a beautiful story of a man rejected, betrayed, and done away with, only to live again victoriously, and forgive and save his betrayers. Just like Jesus.

Sanctification, Sin, Sunday School

Obedience: Adam, Eve, Cain, and Babel vs. Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Job ~ Sunday School Lesson ~ 1-5-14

sunday school

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. Click here for last week’s lesson.

This week, we started a new study. We will be reading through the entire Bible in 2014 using “Back to the Bible’s” chronological reading plan (reading Biblical events in the order in which they actually happened). Each Sunday’s lesson will cover a story(s)/event(s) contained in the previous week’s (Sun. – Sat.) reading.

Through the Bible in 2014 ~ Week 1 ~ Jan. 1-4
Genesis 1-11, Job 1-5
Obedience: Adam, Eve, Cain, and Babel vs. Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Job


What is obedience? (Deuteronomy 15:5) Obedience is simply doing what God commands. Bringing our lives/behavior/hearts in line with what God tells us to do.

Why are we to obey God? (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, 1 John 5:3) We do NOT obey God’s commands in order to get to Heaven or to balance out our sin. Our obedience shows that we are already saved because it springs from the love and gratitude in our hearts to Christ for saving us from our sin.

What can we learn about disobedience from…

Adam & Eve:
Flee from, don’t flirt with, temptation. (Genesis 3:1-5) Eve didn’t flee temptation, she stood around, had a conversation with it, and let it convince her.

Your disobedience doesn’t just affect you. (Genesis 3:6-24) Eve’s sin caused Adam to sin, which caused the whole world to sin for every successive generation. Your sin can have far reaching effects.

Cain:
Sin snowballs. (Genesis 4:1-16) First Cain disobeyed God’s parameters (not stated in Genesis) for offerings. The root sin of this was rejection of God’s authority. God didn’t have the right to tell Cain what to do, he’d do it his own way.

This led to anger (not grief, shame, or repentance at his disobedience—anger) at God for rejecting his offering. His anger was rooted in the sin of mischaracterizing God as unfair or wrong. Anger led to murder, then murder led to lying to God to cover it up.

God graciously warns us about disobedience. (Genesis 4:7) He’s such a good God, that just as He warned Cain of the consequences of disobedience, and that he needed to avoid temptation, God gives us a Bible full of examples of the dire consequences of disobedience, culminating in the death of Christ to pay the penalty for sin.

Babel:
We must obey God even if it’s hard, we don’t want to, or it doesn’t make sense to us. (Genesis 9:1,7; 11:1-9) After the flood, God told Noah’s family to spread out and fill the earth. 11:4- They wanted the exact opposite. They were supposed to bring glory to God’s name, but they wanted glory for themselves.

God is sovereign and will have His way despite our disobedience. (Genesis 11:8-9) Nothing, including our disobedience takes God by surprise or thwarts His plans.

What can we learn about obedience from…

Abel:
Obedience isn’t always a grand gesture. Obedience in the “small” things is just as important to God. (Genesis 4:1-16) If it weren’t for Cain’s disobedience, we probably wouldn’t know about Abel’s obedience. How many times that weren’t recorded had he obediently offered a sacrifice? Abel’s obedience is the true hero of this story, yet he’s little more than a bit player. He simply and quietly obeys God, and God “has regard” for his offering.

Faith in Christ and love for Him are what motivate obedience that is pleasing to God. (Hebrews 11:4) Not fear of punishment, not grudging legalism.

Enoch:
Obedience is to be a day by day, continual practice. (Genesis 5:22-24) “I’ll obey when I feel like it, when it’s convenient, etc.,” is totally foreign to God’s definition of obedience. In some stories we see special “big” acts of obedience, but in Enoch’s life we see a steady, daily walk with God. That is the type of story most Christians will live out.

God rewards obedience. (Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5) Possibly materially, definitely spiritually.

Noah:
God requires our obedience even if everyone around us disobeys. (Genesis 6:5-8) Noah (and his family) was the only one on EARTH obeying God. Had he chosen a life of rebellion like the others, he would have died like the others.

The world will often respond negatively to our obedience. (Genesis 6:5, John 15:18) “…every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” That’s not a heart that loves and embraces the things of God. John 15:18: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me [Jesus] before it hated you.” Just as the world hates God, so, when we display His truths in our lives, they will also hate us.

Job:
Obedience and faithfulness does not guarantee health, wealth, or smooth sailing. (Job 1:8-19) Job was the most blameless and upright guy on earth, according to God, and for God’s own purposes, not to punish Job for disobedience, He took away all the good things in his life.

We obey God even in the most difficult circumstances (Job 1:20-22) Even in times of extreme difficulty, we worship, we obey, we don’t charge God with wrong. Because God doesn’t owe us material goodies or positive circumstances as payment we earn with our obedience, neither can we “quit our job” of being obedient when tough times come. God may be trying to bless us with something even more valuable: knowing Him more closely, feeling His comfort, maturing, leading someone to Christ, taking us home to Heaven, etc.

We are only servants, called to obey a kind and loving Master (Luke 17:7-10; Matthew 25:23)