Tag Archives: Genesis

Genesis Series Outlines – Back to the Beginning

Genesis 1-2 CREATION

Genesis 1 does NOT specify the age of the cosmos – It is NOT written to address evolution or geologic age – it is a story about WHO GOD IS. 

It is not literal – exactly/exact

It is not figurative – figure of speech, metaphor (something is something else)

It is analogical – analogies compare things so you can see relationship

REGARDLESS OF THEORIES, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PREXISTENCE OF GOD IS CENTRAL

View 1 – God created everything and then models the earth

View 2 – Gap Theory – between 1:1 & 1:2 is the fall of Satan

View 3 – Genesis 1:3 starts the story, 1:1 is summary title and 1:2 is the condition at the beginning (something is WRONG – chaos)

Some Other Views:

Dualism – God and everything else existed side by side – two opposite powers in the universe

Pantheism – God is in everything and everyone (ex: a tree is God, a rock is God, the sun is God, you are God)

Panentheism – Everything is a part of God, God is finite and changing, everything including the universe is contained within God

Materialism – Material physical world is all there is

What is a Scientist doing??? Thinking God’s thoughts after Him and discovering the laws that God built into His world at creation. 

Recurring formula

Introduction – and God said

Command – let there be

Report – and it was so

Evaluation – it was good

Time Sequence – there was evening / morning

Before Genesis:

Redemption is planned

God existed (Psalm 90:2)

The Trinity is in loving communion.

After Genesis: 

Redemption is accomplished

Formed Fullness

Light 4. Luminaries

Sea & Expanse 5. Birds/Fish

Earth & Vegetation 6. Land Animals & Humans

Understanding the Role of Humankind

Be fruitful & multiply – humans continue the creative activity of God (1:28)

Humanity was to have dominion over all creation as a result of bearing God’s image (1;26)

Being created as divine image-bearers also implies that humans were created specifically for relationship with God

Genesis 1:26-27 – we were created to be like God which is why Jesus told us we would do things He did and even greater (John 14:12)

Genesis 2:15 – describes the “rule” of the first Adam, later Jesus Who would come later to “rule” our hearts (Romans 5:12-19)

Understanding the place of Woman

Woman was not made out of the head – rule upon

Woman was not made out of the feet – trample upon

Woman was made out of the side – equal with

Woman was made under the arm – protected

Woman was made from near the heart – beloved

Understanding the place of Rest

Sabbath – Shabbat – related to the word for “7” which is the number of completion – it means to cease working, to rest.

God didn’t need to rest. God rested because salvation was complete. He made order out of the chaos. The earth that was “formless and empty” was now formed and full.

By leaving us this example of rest, God shows us the rhythm and balances in the world. We, too, can live with the rhythm and balances God has placed in the world, and find that rest is a great gift of God.

READ PSALM 104

People have different ideas about what Genesis 1 tells us about Creation. Over the years, discussions and arguments have continued. When you read Genesis 1:1-2, we can clearly note some things. Read the verses again. What can you glean?

 

Read Genesis 2:15. What is the man placed in the garden to do?

In Genesis 1:28, we read that God blessed humans and then said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” What does this mean for us? How can we live this out?

Read Genesis 2:16-17, 25. God tells Adam what he can and cannot do in verses 16-17. In verse 25, we read that Adam and Eve were naked. Many scholars believe “naked,” means “naïve.” Why would Adam and Eve be naïve? Are we as naïve or more so?

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Genesis 3: The Fall

Situation

Naked & Crafty – both word roots are related (ARAM)

Naked – Arom (aw-rome’) – naked – in original sense

Crafty – Arum (aw-room’)- crafty, shrewd, sensible – passive participle

Adam & Eve

2:25 – both naked and felt no shame

Vulnerable & don’t know it

Serpent

Shrewdness – can be a good thing

God made serpent crafty, man must learn wisdom. Serpent placed there to help.

Not to eat from tree of knowledge of good & evil is A TEST

Sin

Adam & Eve

Changing word of God

The word “freely” is omitted – Eat or Touch Tree rather than just Eat (2:16, 3:3)

Should touch tree, cultivate it – Never said not to touch

Adam & Eve put a hedge around it

Not good being withheld (v. 22) – know good & EVIL, don’t want to live with evil forever – Not just a restriction, reason for the restriction

Eve said: Tree was beautiful, fruit looked delicious, and she wanted wisdom

Temptation – opportunity to accomplish good thing in a bad way

Serpent

Questioned God’s word (v. 1b)

Serpent calls into question the good intentions of God

Denied God’s word (v. 4)

Substituted his own lie (v. 5)

Partial truth – Adam & Eve did discover good & evil

Serpent told what Eve would gain but never mentioned what would lose.

Lie – contradicts what God said 

If don’t believe the truth, then eventually you believe lies (2 Thessalonians 2:10)

Shame

Adam & Eve

Self-justification, Excuses but no confession 

Not cursed, just punished. 

Adam – pain in ground till 

Eve – pain in birth, desire to control husband

Not comfortable with each other

Not comfortable in God’s presence

Disruption of their God-given roles in the created order.

Serpent

God doesn’t question the serpent – Adam & Eve were above the serpent and they could question.

Serpent & ground are cursed

Obedience brings blessing– Disobedience brings judgment

Salvation

God calling Adam – act of grace, could have spoken judgment & destroyed

Genesis 3:15 – protoevangelium, 1st glimpse of the gospel

God created this world and everything in it. As He created, He said the things were “good.” In a world that was created “good,” why did evil have to be a potential?

 

In verse 6, we read that Eve gave some of the fruit to her husband Adam. So often when involved in sin, we follow “the more, the merrier.” Consider both Adam and Eve. Why were they at fault?

 

Satan has a great method that he uses against us. He boldly and confidently challenges the truthfulness of God’s Word. Read what Jesus says about the devil in John 8:44. 

How did Satan challenge God’s Word in Genesis 3?

 

How should we respond when God’s Word is challenged?

 

Read Proverbs 1:1-7. Adam & Eve were naïve. Solomon wrote about wisdom and instruction. What can you glean from this passage, that relates to Genesis 3?

 

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Genesis 4-5 BROTHERS

Genesis shows the importance of commitment to family loyalty – “brother” 9 x’s like we have forgotten from one verse to the next that Cain and Abel are brothers.

Big question: How can there be blessing to the human race if killing each other off?

Cain

Name like Hebrew word “Acquired” because he was the 1st son of Adam & Eve

He had no respect or regard, exceedingly angry, looked sad & depressed

Cain’s name reminds us life comes from God

Abel 

Name means “Breath” – same word Vanity (in Ecclesiastes 38 x’s)

Abel’s name reminds us that life is brief

Situation

Cain gave “some”, Abel gave “the best portions.”

God told Cain in v. 7 “You will be accepted if you do what is right” – this means he didn’t do what was right. All has to do with the HEART.

Eve was talked into her sin; Cain could not be talked out of his sin (even by God Himself)

Cain lied: v. 8, let’s go into the field, lied to self by thinking that he could get away, v. 9 lied to God saying he didn’t know the location of his brother

Consequences

Cain’s sin is carefully premeditated murder of his own brother out of envy and hatred. He did this after being at the altar of God to worship God. It was done in spite of warning and promise. Later, he took it lightly and tried to lie his way out.

Cain is cursed and banished (v. 11), homeless wanderer, v. 14 says removed from presence of God – can’t reside with Holy God when wrapped in sin.

God shows mercy & grace to Cain with the Mark of Cain  

Cain NEVER repents, only feels remorse and regret – he chose to cling to sinful life

Seth – name means “Granted” or “Appointed.” After the sin, the parents were blessed with Seth. He would be taking the place of the FIRSTBORN.

First is not first – Cain/Seth, Ishmael/Isaac, Esau/Jacob, Reuben/Joseph’s sons

4:26 – 1st began to worship the Lord by name (Rev. 4:8b – “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty–the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”)

Chapter 5 – gives us a glimpse of hope

A look at the genealogy and we see again and again… Died, died, died, died…

But there’s HOPE…

Enoch – walked in habitual fellowship with God; 5:24 – God took him home with Him – here is a man who is faithfully walking with the LORD

5:29 – Noah “may he bring us relief” – shall bring relief and comfort from our work and the grievous toil of our hands due to the ground being cursed by the Lord—here’s another man who will faithfully walk with the LORD.

When God gives Cain an opportunity to do what is right, he tells Cain that “sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (v. 7).

What does is mean that sin is crouching at the door?

 

How does sin control you?

 

How do you subdue sin?

 

Cain only presents “some of his crops” (v. 3). Cain then lies to get his brother alone (v. 8). Cain kills his brother (v. 8). Cain lies to God about not knowing the location of his brother (v. 9). Each of these items is a sin. This shows how one sin can easily lead to another. What sin do you think is the worst?

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Genesis 6-8 FLOOD

Whole world fallen so severely into sin

Even the faithful line of Seth disappeared except one righteous man NOAH.

Flood shows extent God will go to bring about holiness

Proves that He will sacrifice everything else for holiness

Reveals that God is a judge with distinctions

It sets a pattern of provision and warning for recipients of grace

Starts new life of worship into new covenant

Exhibits God’s deadly anger over sin

6:4 – Fallen men view – Sons of God (Seth) & Daughters of men (Cain); godly men took ungodly women

Sethite view – Sons of God (Seth) & fallen children 

Fallen angels view – Fallen angels bread with human woman to produce Nephilim

Fallen angels overtook men – Fallen angels possessed men & caused them to breed w/ women

6:5 – broke His heart

6:8 – Noah found grace / favor

Not because Noah was perfect but because God is gracious. 

God warned Noah; Noah obeyed precisely

6:9 – righteous, blameless, solely devoted to serving and pleasing 

1st time “righteous” used in Bible           

Righteous – Standing by God

Blameless – Standing by man (doesn’t mean sinless)

8:1 – God remembers His own, God remembered Noah

“Remember” – pay attention to fulfill a promise, act on behalf

8:15 – Noah didn’t leave until commanded to do so

Waited for God

About 26 days after all dried up (8:13, 8:16)

Noah was in Ark over a year 

8:20 – God receives worship

8:21 – No more additional curses than one already in place 

God promises to never again destroy the world because of sin 

Instead He sacrifices His son.

The earth was dead and buried because of water but ark rose up (resurrection) – 1 Peter 3:18-22

God renews His world / God rewards faith

Read Genesis 6:2. This verse references the Sons of God and the Daughters of Man. There are many viewpoints regarding these two groups that scholars debate. In this verse, we read what the Sons of God did. 

What did they do? 

 

What can we take from this?

 

Read Genesis 6:5. This verse speaks about the human wickedness on the earth. 

What does this verse say about the people during this time period?

 

How do we differ today? What can we take from this?

 

Read Genesis 6:9 and Genesis 7:1. Noah alone is considered righteous. Noah is considered blameless. Noah is said to walk in close fellowship with God.

What does it mean that Noah is righteous? Blameless?

 

Did Noah sin?

 

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Genesis 9-10 COVENANT & NATIONS

Sustaining life (9:1-4)

9:1 – be fruitful / multiply / fill earth – see Genesis 1:28 – omits subdue – fallen men cannot subdue the earth

Protecting life (9:5-6)

Multiplying life (9:7)

Enjoying life (9:8-11)

God Confirms Covenant (9:12-15)

Covenant – giving external form to already existing relationship

Rainbow – sign of covenant, “remember My covenant,”

3 rainbows – Noah, Ezekiel (1:28) glory of the Lord, John (Revelation 4:3) throne

Problems after the flood (9:18-29)

Though sinful people washed away, the potential for sin remained in the heart of Noah and his children (free will).

9:21 – wine mentioned for 1st time

Noah is guilty of Intoxication and Self-exposure but the focus of the story on Ham’s reaction

Ham had clear disrespect for his father – gossiping / publicizing sin

Ham’s fault was breaking the bonds of the family loyalty

9:23 – Shem & Japheth show example of proper reaction

9:26 – don’t expose sin / seek to restore it (Galatians 6:1-2)

9:24-27 – Curse of Ham’s son Canaan, blessing of Japheth & Shem

Canaanites – notorious in OT for illicit sexual practices (Genesis 15:16, Leviticus 18:3)

Canaanites cursed because they will turn hearts of Israelites away from God – Deuteronomy 7

Table of Nations (10:1-32)

Interrelatedness of human family

All members of one human race by virtue of our descent from one family. All imprinted with the imago Dei and share in the dignity of human existence. 

Horizontal Genealogy shows lines of familial relationship and establishes near relatives.

Inverted family tree shows nearest related owe family loyalty to

The Line of Hope – Shem

10:21 – God would bless the world through Shem “Semites” – see Luke 3:35-36

Read Genesis 9:1-11. God confirms His covenant with the people. When you read this passage, what is the takeaway?

 

It’s sad when we read of Noah’s fall in Genesis 9, after he previously walked so faithfully with God. Noah may be guilty of intoxication and self-exposure, but his son Ham also was guilty of sin. Read Galatians 6:1-2. 

What does this verse say we should and shouldn’t do?

 

How might Ham have restored his father?

 

Does this mean that we keep quiet about sin completely?

 

What were the consequences of Ham’s actions?

 

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Genesis 11 – THE TOWER

Genesis 6:5 – “The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” [NLT]

God’s intervention against human pride and rebellion to scatter people across the earth, disrupting their rebellious unity by making them use different language.

Babel means “gate of God,” “confusion,” and “folly.”

Tradition holds Nimrod (great-grandson to Noah) may have led in building – Nimrod’s name means “we shall rebel”, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed it.

The sin was not the desire to build a city, but the motivation to build. They wanted to make a themselves a city to reach heaven and make a name for themselves (11:4).

God wants unity & harmony, but united with Him – not apart from Him.

The people were united in rebellion.

The Tower is a monument to salvation by works

Man tries to trespass in God’s realm

Some say the tower was a way to get to heaven without God

The wording may not be talking about heaven as we consider heaven. It means a city with a tower that is very high (see Deuteronomy 1:28 with the same phrasing of walled up to heaven).

The Tower is a monument to human pride

They wanted to display their own glory. They were united for the wrong purpose.

The Tower is a monument to the disobedience of man

Wanted to be one people and were not interested in spreading across the earth 

Genesis 9:1 commands them to replenish the earth

Genesis 11:1-2 – one language, one speech, dwelt in one area

There were already different languages. Genesis 10:4-5 says every one according to its language

Genesis 11:1 says “whole earth,” but this doesn’t mean globally. Verse 2 speaks of people that moved eastward. This isn’t all people on the earth; just a group of people in this Babylon area.

Their refusal of God’s plan for blessing results in disunity of the race

The Tower is a monument to the disbelief of God & His Word

God said He would never flood the world again; some scholars believe the people built the Tower to be above the flood zone

There is hope

In 11:30 we read that Sarah was barren. 

The people wanted to make their name great. God would make Abraham’s name great.

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to salvation by works.

When do you get caught up in this same activity?

How can you better rest in your salvation through grace alone?

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to human pride. Pride is one of the biggest causes of sin. 

What keeps your pride in check?

How can you be more focused on God getting the glory?

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to the disobedience of man. The people did not want to obey God’s command to replenish the earth.

What causes disobedience?

How can we be more obedient to God and His Word?

The Tower was seen by some as a monument to the disbelief of God and His Word. God promised never to flood the earth again.

Why is it hard to trust God and His Word?

How has God been faithful in the past?

How can we remind ourselves of the faithfulness of God?

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Genesis 12 – ABRAM

Abram means “EXALTED FATHER.”

Abram was NOT the 1st born – Genesis 11:26 notes Abram, Nahor, and Haran (1st born)

Abram – sojourner, foreigner – settles in land not own – not born in – no family

Joshua 24:2 – when God called Abram & Sarai, they belonged to a family that had worshiped idols.

In Ur of the Chaldees & Haran – people worshiped the moon god.

Genesis 12:1 – “Now the Lord said to Abram”

God initiates – Abram gave up known for the unknown

“I will show you” not “already showed”

Genesis 12:7 – Altar at Moreh

Go away from:

His country/land

His people/clan/family

His father’s household

He took family member (Lot) with him – wasn’t what God directed, but he didn’t take Lot for protection; Abram was protecting Lot so he was trusting God.

Promised:

Land

Descendants/Great Nation

Blessing

12:3 – blessing to others (blessed to be a blessing)

He personally would NOT have all the promises of God

Some of the promises of God would come later

But Abram had better – He had the God of all the promises

It always comes down to RELATIONSHIP – RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Abram in Egypt – Lying about Sarai 

Meant to deceive

Using ½ truth to conceal the other ½ truth – no less a lie

As her brother, he believes he will be respected and honored

As her husband, he feared he would be killed

Lost faith in God’s protection

Even so, in 12:17, we read that the Lord protects Abram and Sarai. He sent a horrible plague upon Pharaoh

Abram was asked by God to leave the known (his family, land, people) for the unknown. What would be the hardest for you to leave behind?

 

Have you ever left behind everything known to pursue the unknown with God?

Read Genesis 12:2-3. This verse says that all the families on earth will be blessed through Abram. 

What are the 7 blessings mentioned?

Why are all the families on earth blessed through Abram?

 

Abram, who faithfully left all he knew to follow God, was not perfect. While in Egypt, Abram lies about his wife Sarai.

What does this tell you about Abram? 

 

What is God’s response?

 

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Genesis 13-14 – ABRAM & LOT

Land Situation

Previously a famine in land;

now land unable to support Abram & Lot

Abram justified in selecting the best land for himself and sending Lot to fend for himself as Abram was the elder. 

Even so, Abram relinquished his hold on material things – trusted God

Lot chose best share of land without regard of his uncle, his choice also put him close to sinful Sodom. Lot was unconcerned with associating with the wrong crowd and eventually this gets him into trouble.

God reassured Abram of His promise

Abram shows us that a life of faith is possible if you keep your eyes on God and His promises no matter how bad the circumstances and situations look

The Rescue of Lot

4 Kings: King of Elam, King of Goyim, King of Shinar, King of Ellasar 

went against 5 Kings: King of Sodom, King of Gomorrah, King of Admah, King of Zeboyim, and King of Bela (Zoar)

4 Kings seized all the goods of Sodom & Gomorrah, captured Lot and his possessions

Abram found out & took 318 trained men to recover his nephew Lot and Lot’s possessions.

Abram was victorious. Afterward, the King of Salem came to meet him.

Melchizedek blesses Abram

Melchizedek was King of Salem & Priest (14:18-19)

He brought bread & wine, blessed Abram

Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything (14:20)

Abram refuses to receive from King of Sodom

King of Sodom told Abram to give the people but keep goods for yourself (14:21)

Abram refused (14:23) – “I will accept nothing belonging to you… so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’”

Although Abram had the right to choose the land he desired, and kick Lot out, he left Lot choose first. 

How does this show Abram’s faith?

 

What happens after Lot makes his choice?

 

Later, Lot gets in trouble. Abram finds out and rushes to the rescue of his nephew. Following the great victory, Melchizedek blessed Abram. 

What does Abram give Melchizedek?

 

Why do you think Abram gave this to Melchizedek?

 

There are some scholars who believe that Melchizedek is a Christophany. A Christophany is the pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Read Psalm 110, Hebrews 6:20, & Hebrews 7:3. Why would scholars consider this possibility?

 

Abram refuses to take anything from the King of Sodom (see 14:22-24). Why did he refuse?

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Genesis 15 – ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Faith & Covenant

Defining Abraham’s special relationship with God

Justifying Faith (15:6)

Reaffirm promise of descendants & land given in Genesis 12:1-3

[V.2] Abram questions God – seeks further confidence that God will fulfill promise

Trying to better grasp the Word of God to:

understand better 

follow God faithfully

[V.6] “And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith.” [NLT]

1st pt. Abram believed the Lord

2nd pt. God credited him (Abram) as righteous

Righteousness – not absolute standard

It’s a right personal relationship with God who alone is righteous

Process of Covenant

Pre-Ceremony Actions – discussing of terms, conditions, promises of blessing & warning of curses related to agreement (Genesis 12:1-8) Actual covenant ceremony only happened in Genesis 15

Selection of Covenant Representatives and Cutting of Covenant Sacrifice – Lord was smoking fire pot and flaming torch, passed through pieces of covenant sacrifice (Genesis 15:17), Abraham was covenant representative for mankind

Walk unto Death – Basically saying “Do so to me as has been done to this animal if I break this covenant.” The people would walk around the pieces of sacrifice and face each other. God did this with Abraham – “When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.” (Genesis 15:17); Jesus walk from Gethsemane to the Cross.

Seal of the Covenant Mark – special sign/token – circumcision (Genesis 17:10-13)

Exchange of Names (Genesis 17:5, 15) Abram renamed Abraham

Covenant Meal – Abraham & Sarah sharing meal with visitors (Genesis 18:5-10)

Read Genesis 15:2-3. Abram questions God. He was trying to better grasp God’s Word to understand and follow faithfully. 

When is it okay to question the Word of God?

 

When is it not okay to question the Word of God?

 

Read Genesis 15:6. This verse says that Abram believed God, and because he believed God, he was righteous. This means he was in right standing with God. 

Read Genesis 15:8. What is Abram doing?

 

How can someone believe and still question?

 

What can you do when you believe but still question?

 

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Genesis 16 – HAGAR & ISHMAEL

 [v. 2] Sarai said that the Lord prevented her from having children. This was said after the promise was made by God – God promised to make Abram a “great nation” in chapter 12, and renewed the promise in chapter 13. In Genesis 15, God promise his heir would be his “very one son.”

[v. 2] Sarai initiates Abram sleeping with the slave Hagar. Abram agrees.

It was acceptable in the culture to give maid when barren to produce children BUT in this case, this was God’s people making other arrangements without God’s direction (as God promised a child). This is Abram & Sarah trying to “help God” along.

God insists the plan involves Sarai (Genesis 17-18)

Not listening to God & waiting on Him results in relationship consequences for the group.

Hagar despises Sarai (v. 5-6)

Abram puts Hagar in Sarai’s hands (v. 6)

Sarai mistreats Hagar (v. 6)

Hagar flees (v. 6)

Angel appears to Hagar with promise of Ishmael (v. 9-12)

Hagar gave the Lord the name “the God who sees” (v. 13)

Hagar gave birth to Ishmael (v. 15)

Sarai came up with the idea for Abram to take Hagar to conceive a child. Abram was quick to act on her request. What does this say about Abram?

 

Taking the maidservant to conceive a child was common. As a slave, Hagar really had no freedom to choose. How do you think Hagar felt?

 

Read Genesis 16:5. What does the verse say about the relationship with Hagar and Sarai? Why do you think Hagar looked at Sarai that way? 

 

The angel of the Lord tells Hagar to submit to Sarai in Genesis 16:9. 

What would this mean for Hagar?

 

What was Hagar promised?

 

Hagar is the first person to give God another name. What did Hagar call God? What does this name mean to you?

 

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Genesis 17-18:15 – RENAMED

God reveals Himself

Genesis 15:1 – I AM your shield

Genesis 15:7 – I AM the LORD

Genesis 17:1-2 – I AM God Almighty

17:1 – God’s deepest desire for Abram “serve Me faithfully & live a blameless life.”

God reveals our destiny

God renames Abram & Sarai

Name- Personal Character, Personal Destiny

Name change represents change in Character/Destiny

Abram “Exalted Father” to Abraham “Father of Many”

Destiny to be a Father of Many Nations

Sarai to Sarah – both mean “Princess”

God enters into special covenant relationship with Abraham

Sign of Covenant – circumcision

Covenant meal – three visitors eat with the couple

God promises son –parents laugh (Abraham 17:17, Sarah 18:12)

Rather than rebuke Sarah for unbelief, God gently reminds her that the One Who knew her name and heard her innermost thought is able to bring it to pass.

Genesis 18:14 – Is anything too hard for the Lord?

In Genesis 17:1, God tells Abram what He desires: walk faithfully and be blameless.

How can you walk faithfully / serve faithfully?

How can you be blameless?

Names in the Bible point to personal character and personal destiny. Look at these name changes. Consider the reason for the change (change in character & destiny).

Abram to Abraham (“Exalted Father” to “Father of Many”) – Genesis 17:5

Sarai to Sarah (“Princess”) – Genesis 17:15

Jacob to Israel (“Supplanter” to “Prevails with God”) – Genesis 32:28, Genesis 35:10

Simon to Peter (“Listen” to “Rock”) – John 1:42

Saul to Paul (“Prayed For” to “Humble”) – Acts 9, Acts 13

What does your name mean? (If you don’t know, make a mental note to look it up).

Do you think your name suits you? Do you want to live out your name? 

Do you think you need renamed?

Look at Revelation 2:17. What does this say? What do you think this means?

Read Genesis 17:17 and 18:12. In these verses, God is laughed at in disbelief. 

Why is it hard for Abraham and Sarah to believe?

Why is it hard for YOU to believe?

What happens when Abraham and Sarah laugh?

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Genesis 18:16-33 to 20 – SODOM & GOMORRAH

Divine Intentions (Genesis 18:16-19): Reveals plan to teach him how to do what is right

Divine Hesitation (Genesis 18:22): Yahweh remained standing before Abraham

Yahweh waits for Abraham to speak. God patiently, longingly, waiting for his servant to plead.

18:22B – Changed from “The Lord stood before Abraham” to “Abraham stood before the Lord.” It seemed inappropriate that God would wait patiently for His servant. This change is known as a Tikkun Sofrim (Scribal change).

Servant’s Intercession (Genesis 18:23-33): Bases plea on God’s character, persistent in prayer

Abraham shows concern for someone other than himself.

Abraham was bargaining to save people – exploring God’s heart and mind.

Understood God intended to destroy city but not sure about mercy of God. 

Mercy of God shown by rescue of undeserving and reluctant Lot

Anger toward sin shown with destruction of sinful cities.

Genesis 19:19: When told to run – Lot hesitates 

God is so gracious, saved his life, showed kindness BUT…

Compromised righteousness – Lot hasn’t spoken seriously about spiritual things to his family, offers daughters up.

Offering of daughters: Why? 

Hoping fiancé would come to rescue

Homosexual attackers not interested

Lot was influenced by the evil practices around him

In Genesis 18:23-32, Abraham questions if God would not destroy Sodom for 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, or 10 righteous people. As Abraham questions God, it is made clear that if these people existed in Sodom, God would spare the entire city. 

We know that the city of Sodom was destroyed. This means what?

 

Read Genesis 19:29. Why was Lot rescued?

 

Was Lot righteous?

Read 2 Peter 2:6-8. What does this passage say about Lot?

 

How could this be true when he acted the way he did?

 

Lot and his daughters left Sodom, but Sodom did not leave Lot and the girls. 

Read Genesis 19:31. What was everyone else doing? (What was the custom?)

 

Lot’s daughters decided there were two impossible situations in this verse. What were they?

 

How does this sinful action on the part of Lot’s daughters have long lingering consequences? (See Genesis 19:36-38)

 

———————————————————

Genesis 21-24 – ISAAC

Isaac was the only patriarch that was not renamed. 

Abram became Abraham. Jacob became Israel.

Isaac lived to be 180 years old (much older than Abraham and Jacob lived to be).   

Yet less incidents were documented in the Bible about his life.

Genesis 21:2 – Isaac came at just the right time.

Genesis 21:6 – Sarah 1st laughed in unbelief, later laughed in joy

Genesis 21:10 – Expulsion of Hagar & Ishmael – son of bondwoman not inherit with freewoman son

Genesis 21:19 – God provided for them in the wilderness.

Genesis 21:22-34 – Abraham makes agreement with Abimelech 

Genesis 21:22 – “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do.”

Genesis 21:30 – Accept the 7 lambs to show agreement that I dug the well

Genesis 12 & Genesis 22 frame around the story

Genesis 12 – call of God forces Abraham to let go of everything familiar / security

Genesis 22 – call of God to sacrifice Isaac is challenge to release the promises of God

Everything Abraham hoped for was focused on Isaac

Genesis 12 – calls Abraham to leave his past.

Genesis 22 – calls Abraham to leave his future.

It’s all about radical abandonment to follow God’s will

Genesis 22 – contains NO promises 

Sacrifice of Isaac: Do you love God or do you love God’s gifts?

Take. Go. Offer a sacrifice.

Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac

Genesis 23 – Sarah dies

Abraham buys a small piece of the Promised Land

Genesis 24 – “God of my master”

Abraham’s faith fueled the servant’s faith. 

Genesis 24:6, 8 – Do not take my son back there.

Genesis 24:15 – Before the servant finished praying – God didn’t even wait, no holding back

Rebekah

Genesis 24:26 – The servant worships

Read Genesis 21:14-20. 

Hagar was sent away with Ishmael. In verse 14, it says that she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. This is the 2nd time she went away.

What is different about this venture away compared to the time she ran away?

 

What is the same about this venture? How does God fulfill His promise to Hagar?

 

Read Genesis 24:6-8. What is Abraham doing with the servant?

 

Read Genesis 24:12-27. 

What does verse 12 tell you about the servant’s faith?

 

When Rebekah arrives, the response is in abundance of the signs that the servant requested. What did he ask for and what did she provide? What does this mean to you?

 

What do we read that the man does a few times in this chapter that he likely was not apt to do before this venture? (see v. 26, v. 52) What does this mean to you?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 25-26 – ESAU & JACOB

Genesis 25:1 – Abraham marries Keturah

Genesis 25:5 – Abraham gives everything he owned to Isaac

Genesis 25:7 – Abraham dies

Genesis 25:19-26 – Birth of Esau & Jacob

Nearly 12 chapters devoted to Isaac’s sons (much more than Isaac)

Rebekah & Isaac waited 20 years until they had children (v. 20, v. 26)

Only one verse about the barrenness – compared to all Sarah’s verses

Why? That’s not eh focus – focus will be Jacob & his actions

Jacob – “make God protect” sounds like “overtake” or “deceive” or “cheat”

Esau – hairy / Edom – red

Genesis 25:27-34 – Selling of Birthright

Esau (hunter) & Jacob (homebody)

Isaac loves Esau, Rebekah loves Jacob

Parental Favoritism – plague family (see Genesis 37:3 – Jacob loves Joseph the most)

1st born gets double portion of estate (Deuteronomy 21:17)

Rank second in family, second to their father (Genesis 43:33)

Esau had indifference toward family responsibilities & privileges

Esau is manipulated, not cheated 

Only one bowl of stew and he is no longer dying (DRAMA QUEEN)

Faith is living without scheming – Jacob was divinely chosen to receive the birthright & blessing – no need to scheme for it.

Genesis 26:1-11 – Isaac Deceives Abimelech

Genesis 26:2-5, 24 – Covenant repeated

Genesis 26:7 – Isaac lies about wife, just like dad

Genesis 26:12-25 – Water Rights

Genesis 26:26-34 – Covenant

Read Genesis 25:28, Romans 2:11, and James 2:9. 

What does God think about favoritism?

 

Read Genesis 37:3. We have Isaac & Rebekah show favoritism. Later, we read about Jacob showing favoritism.

What happens when there is favoritism?

 

What happened because of favoritism shown by Isaac & Rebekah? What happened because of the favoritism shown by Jacob to Joseph?

 

How can you guard against showing favoritism to others?

 

In Genesis 26, we read that Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. God promises Isaac that if he lives there, he will be blessed.

Read Genesis 26:12-13. What happens to Isaac?

 

How do the Philistines respond to this blessing?

 

Has anyone ever responded this way when you are blessed? How can you respond?

 

Read Genesis 26:26-28. 

Why does King Abimelech seek out Isaac?

 

How does the king see this? How can people see this in us?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 27-28 – JACOB

Genesis 27

Death Bed Blessing  

Played an important role in determining the destiny of descendants. It was more of a prophesy than a prayer.

Isaac only summons his favorite son. All sons were to be present. (v. 1)

Deception of Rebekah & Jacob

Rebekah refused to wait on God’s timing & trust His promise.

Jacob’s only objection was because of fear of detection – he wasn’t concerned about moral disapproval. (v. 11-12)

Many Lies:

Claimed to be Esau (v. 19)

Claimed to have obeyed his father’s wishes (v. 19)

Called the meat his game (v. 19)

Gave credit to the Lord for finding so quickly (v. 20)

Reassured again that he was Esau when hands were felt (v. 21-24)

Kiss – hypocritical (v. 27)

Rebekah was forced to send her loved Jacob away. She would never see Jacob again. (v. 42-45)

Genesis 28

Sent to Marry

Isaac didn’t arrange Esau’s marriage like Abraham did for Isaac. (v. 1-9)

Jacob was tricked to marry Leah. He would also practice favoritism.

Jacob’s Dream

Genesis 28:10-22 – Time for Jacob to live out his own faith, not just his parent’s faith.

Rebekah and Jacob open a huge can of worms with the lies and deception so that Jacob gets the deathbed blessing. Consider the situation: the request from Isaac, the plan of Rebekah, the actions of Jacob.

What does this say about Isaac?

What does this say about Rebekah?

What does this say about Jacob?

Would Jacob have received the blessing if Rebekah and Jacob did not act?

Jacob had a dream of a stairway to heaven. In the dream, the LORD said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (v. 13). When he awoke, he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it” (v. 16). 

The LORD reveals Himself to Jacob as the God of Abraham and Isaac. What does this revelation do for Jacob?

Why would he not be aware of the LORD being in the place?

What does Jacob do when he wakes up the next morning?

———————————————————

Genesis 29-31 – JACOB & LABAN

[Resentment of Laban / Favoritism for Rachel]

No sparkle Leah / beautiful lovely Rachel (29:17)

Genesis 29:18 – Jacob couldn’t pay the bride price as he had nothing

Offered 7 years of work – a very considerable amount of time

Jacob meets his match in Laban – Laban tricked him – Jacob was trapped into marrying Leah

Baby Battle Royal Begins – Leah & her maidservant Zilpah had 8 of the 12 Tribes of Israel

Rachel borrowed mandrakes (fertility drug), but it failed to help her, yet it results in more children for Leah

Genesis 30:1 – Irony of verse, died during birth of 2nd child

Laban tried to limit Jacob’s success but God was blessing Jacob

Jacob stayed 20 years (never saw mom again). Jacob schemed, sneaked, and cheated, yet God counted him as righteous. God calls Jacob back to Canaan, and Jacob schemes his way out of town.

Laban was distracted with sheep shearing (31:19) – busiest time of the year. Later pursued Jacob (31:23). 

Rachel’s theft of idol probably for “good luck” for trip to Canaan

Jacob allowed Laban to search everything (31:32).

Laban proposes covenant peace (31:44)

May be a surprise to Jacob because of how he had left

Jacob has a weak faith, but it’s still faith! He’s even in Hall of Faith!

God is faithful despite Jacob & Laban’s foolishness

Jacob loved Rachel and desired to marry her. Laban first gave Jacob Leah’s hand in marriage in an act of deception.

How do you think Jacob felt?

 

How do you think Leah felt?

 

How do you think Rachel felt?

 

Consider the marriage agreement between Laban and Jacob. How well did Jacob carry out the agreement? How well did Laban fulfill the agreement?

 

Favoritism was a problem with Isaac and Rebekah. This trait continued to be a problem for the Patriarchs. 

How does Jacob’s love for Rachel create a chaotic atmosphere for the sisters and their maids?

 

The relationship of sisters Rachel and Leah was strained due to the marriage arrangements. Read Genesis 30:14-17. How did this love competition impact their actions?

 

We know God does not like favoritism. How does God bless both Leah and Rachel despite the favoritism Jacob has for Rachel?

 

———————————————————

Genesis 32-33 – JACOB & ESAU

[Jacob meets God, Jacob meets Esau]

JACOB PREPARES TO MEET ESAU

Genesis 32:1 – Jacob was met by the “angels of God.” This phrase only appears here and in Genesis 28:12. Jacob saw vision of angels before he left Promised Land and now he encounters angels again as he prepares to return to the Promised Land.

Remember: The last time Jacob saw Esau; he was planning to kill him (27:41)

Jacob could have avoided meeting Esau, but he needed to meet Esau

Anger of Esau was a roadblock to Jacob’s further growth

Spiritually Jacob had to be reconciled with Esau

Jacob is not satisfied with prayer alone (9-12) – Jacob prepares gift for Esau (13-21)

Jacob was trying to assume a lower position with Esau, going against God’s design

JACOB WRESTLES WITH GOD

Wrestles until daybreak (24) – hip out of joint (25) – asks for blessing (26)

Jacob stopped fighting and asks for a blessing.

Blessing this time was rightfully acquired

Israel – change of character “God fights” – You have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed (32:28)

Both a promise and a call for faith

Jacob would have victory & receive the promises because God would fight for him.

Name also would evoke memory of the fight with God and what it meant. He had to be crippled of his own self-sufficiency and dependent on God for his success

Certain ancient religions considered possession of a person’s name power and advantage so the visitor refused.

Peniel “face of God” (32:3)

JACOB MEETS ESAU

Jacob said seeing Esau was like seeing the face of God (33:10)

Jacob worshiped God at Shechem (33:20)

This is where God 1st appeared to Abraham when he entered Canaan

Abraham had built his own altar there (12:6-7)

Just like Abraham, Jacob bought a plot of ground in the land promised (33:19)

Ultimately to belong to his descendants

Read Genesis 25:23. Before the birth of Jacob and Esau, God established who would be the leader of the family. The older son will serve the younger son. In today’s passage, how did Jacob deny what God spoke to Rebekah? What happens when we deny what God has destined?

 

Meeting with Esau was a stressful situation for Jacob, because his brother wanted to kill him the last time they were together. Jacob could have avoided this meeting. Why was this meeting so important for both brothers?

 

When Jacob wrestles with God, his hip is pulled out of socket. Then he says, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (32:26).

God could have easily defeated Jacob. Why does God allow Jacob, and us, to hold onto Him?

 

What will the hip dislocation do for Jacob in the future?

 

Personal Reflection: How long do you need to wrestle with God before you yield every part of yourself to Him? What does He need to dislocate in your life?

———————————————————

Genesis 34-35 – REVENGE FOR DINAH

Jacob bought land in Shechem back in Genesis 33:19. Jacob’s prolonged stay at Shechem, when so close to his destination of Bethel is a problem. Possibly was tempted by the benefits of trade with the Shechemites (34:10). Jacob built altar at Shechem. But he was supposed to be worshiping at Bethel. That is where God wanted him.

In these chapters, we see the remains of some of old Jacob instead of Israel.

[CHAPTER 34]

VIOLATION OF DINAH

Dinah – daughter of Leah (less appreciated portion of Jacob’s family), name means “avenged.”

Dinah’s friends in Canaan got her into trouble (34:1)

RESPONSE TO VIOLATION

Simeon (“obedient” or “listening”) & Levi (“attached” or “pledged”)

No one in the narrative acts nobly. Dinah was naïve and careless. Simeon and Levi lied and acted with ruthless violence. Jacob was passive and only thought of himself.

Jacob responded to the violation with indifference. He didn’t take charge, but allowed Dinah’s brothers to negotiate. When a leader doesn’t care or lead, others will arise and take charge. The results might not be good results.

God’s great sign of covenant with Abraham became a ploy for revenge

Jacob despised Simeon & Levi, not because of their harsh judgment, deception, or abuse of the sacred circumcision, but because of warlike act having possible consequences for him. (34:30 me, me, me, I, my) – at least Simeon & Levi cared for Dinah. 

Simeon & Levi did the right thing the wrong way – it’s okay to seek justice, not vengeance. Vengeance is for the Lord (Romans 12:19)

In Genesis 49:5-7 Israel(Jacob) prophesies about these brothers. Simeon is scattered in the southwest corner of the territory of Judah and all over. Levi has no territory but some assigned cities. Simeon is the weakest of all the tribes at the end of the roaming in the Wilderness (Numbers 26:14). Simeon is omitted from the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33).

[Chapter 35]

Genesis 35 serves as transition from Patriarchal period to beginning of people of Israel.

“Arise, go up to Bethel” – like the wording of Rebekah to Jacob (27:43) & wording of Isaac to Jacob (28:2)

Purged family of foreign gods, cleansing (35:2-5) 

Anything that hinders our spiritual maturity is useless & needs to be thrown off (Hebrews 12:1)

El Bethel “God of Bethel” – (35:6-8)

God has been walking with him on his journey and all success is from God. (35:3)

God appears again to Jacob (35:9-15)

Theophany reaffirms the name Israel after disaster at Shechem. 

Stairway Promises Restated (28:13-14, 35:11-12)

Birth of Benjamin (35:17-18)

Benjamin – 1st king from the tribe (1 Samuel 9)

Death of Rachel (35:19)

Ephrath “fruitful” – Bethlehem “house of bread”

If not for the birth of Jesus, the town of Bethlehem would have been remembered for death of Rachel.

Reuben’s Incest w/Bilhah (35:22)

Bilhah was a maid to Jacob’s beloved Rachel

Lost the birthright (Genesis 49:3-4)

Death of Isaac (35:29)

Deaths of Isaac & Rachel point backward into patriarchal history, birth of Benjamin points forward to fuller narrative of Israel’s story

12 sons now listed (Tribes Complete) – point to the future of Israel

Jacob showed indifference to the violation of his daughter. As a leader of the family, he did nothing. Because of his inaction, his sons stepped forward to respond. 

What happened because Jacob did not act?

Is there an area in your life where you are indifferent right now? An area of your life you are neglecting because of a lack of concern? Why are you not concerned? Ask the Spirit to revive your interest and enthusiasm. 

Read Romans 12:19. 

How can you live this out? 

What is the hardest part to faithful obedience of this verse? What gets in the way of doing this? 

What can you do to be better positioned to faithfully obey?

Simeon and Levi were guilty of much wrongdoing as they sought vengeance for their sister and their family. They acted with harsh judgment. They deceived the people of Shechem. They also abused the sacred sign of the covenant with Abraham, the circumcision.  Their actions resulted in many consequences, some of which lingered. 

We often look judgingly at the sins of Simeon and Levi; however, we too trample on the sacred today. How do we dishonor what was meant to be sacred?

The consequences lingered on for these brothers. Whether we like to admit it, our sins may have consequences for not only ourselves and our immediate family, but for the generations to come. How have you seen lingering consequences of sin in your family? How can you protect the generations to come?

Jacob stayed longer than he should have stayed in Shechem. This led to trouble. Dinah spent too much time with the nearby people. This led to trouble. The people we surround ourselves with and the places we spend our time have a great impact on our lives. Knowing this, how can we make good choices with who we spend our time and where we spend it? Is it hard for you to walk away from some situations? Is it difficult to set boundaries when someone is pulling you away from God?

———————————————————

Genesis 36-38 – JOSEPH AND JUDAH

[Genesis 36]

Esau’s Descendants 

Leading figures of these chapters are Joseph & Judah: Eventually become leading Tribes of Israel

[Genesis 37]

Joseph’s Dreams

Joseph had 2 dreams in different forms with similar or same interpretation

His dreams bothered his brothers, telling the dreams also bothered them

Joseph is Sold

The tunic/coat set him apart from the others

37:12 – Returned to Shechem to pasture father’s flocks – why so far from home? Why were they there when he had bad rep among citizens there?

Perhaps brothers involved with people in Shechem in a way they didn’t want Jacob to know about

37:32 – The brothers sent Joseph’s robe with messenger instead of confronting father personally 

Sons never had to say a thing – Jacob drew a conclusion from bloody tunic

37:35 – stood by – they stood by their father in his time of grief

Nonetheless, horrible way to treat father – he mourned for 20 years (42:36)

IRONY!!! 2 young goats are used by Jacob to deceive his father, now in 37:31- 1 young goat is used by Jacob’s son to deceive his father Jacob!

[Genesis 38]

Judah and Tamar

The Judah and Tamar story in between the Joseph narrative gives great contrast between Judah & Joseph

The episode of Judah and Tamar provides the reasons for sending Israel to Egypt

Tamar more righteous than Judah 

Judah represents all the brothers becoming like Canaanites

Levirate System – no family line would be extinct – had to raise up descendant for dead brother

The child would not be the biological child legally – child would legally be dead brother’s child

Spilling out of semen – wording means it was a repeated practice, not a once and done thing. Onan had no intention on carrying through, but kept having sex with her. Not willing to do the responsible thing, but okay with satisfying his own desires.

In verse 11, he admits he doesn’t want Shelah to die like the other sons. He had no intention of giving Shelah to Tamar. He knew the nature of his sons, and he feared God would kill yet another son.

Judah was irresponsible and unfaithful to his duty to the family line. Tamar fought for her right with deception, in desperation, with courage. It was within her rights to do, but it was deceptive. Judah was wrong to seek out a prostitute as well.

Read Genesis 37:3-4. The beautiful robe (tunic) that Joseph received from Jacob set him apart from his brothers. God also set Joseph apart. What is the difference between man setting you apart and God setting you apart?

 

Read Genesis 37:8. This verse says that the brothers hated that Joseph had the dreams and that he spoke about them too. It wasn’t simply that he was talking about these dreams, but that he was having these dreams. This gets to the heart of the issue. Joseph was having the dreams. The brothers were not. Joseph was going to be used by God to lead the people through a famine; the brothers were not.

Why is it hard to celebrate what God is doing in another’s life?

 

Do you think that your inability to embrace & support your brothers & sisters through their walk, keeps you from progressing on your own walk?

 

There is great danger in wanting to live the life of another. What is the danger?

 

Consider Joseph and Judah at this part of the biblical narrative. The story of Judah and Tamar is a sharp contrast in comparing the brothers. How would you compare Judah and Joseph at this part of Genesis?

 

The Levirate System was in place to keep the family line from going extinct. If you look back in your own family history, you may see instances of this occurring. What do you think is good about this system? What problem would you have with this system?

———————————————————

Genesis 39-41 – JOSEPH

Joseph’s rise to Potiphar’s house (39:1-6a)

39:2 – Lord was with Joseph so he succeeded in everything he did

39:6 – Complete administrative responsibility

39:9 – No one has more authority that I do

39:6b-20a – Even greater fall

Joseph lost his coat but he kept his character

39:20b-23 – Yet another advancement (PRISON)

v. 21 – The Lord was with Joseph in prison

Sometimes it is not enough to be committed and to desire to do what is right. Sometimes we simply must avoid putting ourselves at risk.

Cup bearer & Chief Baker (40:1-4a)  Interpreting dreams is God’s business

Dreams

Foretell & prepare way for Joseph rise to influence

Means by which earlier dreams fulfilled (Genesis 40-41 interpretation fulfill Genesis 37)

Cup Bearer – dream of restoration

Chief baker – dream of death

7 fat (7 years of prosperity) – 7 skinny (7 years of famine)

Rise over Egypt – Pharaoh’s Dreams (41)

Pharaoh was accepted as divine being who could influence other deities

But God’s plan couldn’t be altered by Pharaoh

Slavery & Prison

Obstacles to the promise

Uncompromising integrity

Read Genesis 39:1-6.

Why was Joseph originally chosen to serve Potiphar?

 

After Joseph was put in charge, what then happened to Potiphar and his household?

 

Describe Joseph. What makes him a great servant of God?

 

Read Genesis 39:21-23. What does this say about God?

 

After the chief cupbearer and chief baker were tossed in prison, they each had a dream. When Joseph approached and they told him their dilemma of no one knowing the meaning of their dreams, what was Joseph’s response.

 

The tribe of Judah is the messianic line. How is Joseph used for a great purpose to help the Israelites, including this important line for the people of God? 

 

———————————————————

Genesis 39-41 – JOSEPH

Joseph’s rise to Potiphar’s house (39:1-6a)

39:2 – Lord was with Joseph so he succeeded in everything he did

39:6 – Complete administrative responsibility

39:9 – No one has more authority that I do

39:6b-20a – Even greater fall

Joseph lost his coat but he kept his character

39:20b-23 – Yet another advancement (PRISON)

v. 21 – The Lord was with Joseph in prison

Sometimes it is not enough to be committed and to desire to do what is right. Sometimes we simply must avoid putting ourselves at risk.

Cup bearer & Chief Baker (40:1-4a)  Interpreting dreams is God’s business

Dreams

Foretell & prepare way for Joseph rise to influence

Means by which earlier dreams fulfilled (Genesis 40-41 interpretation fulfill Genesis 37)

Cup Bearer – dream of restoration

Chief baker – dream of death

7 fat (7 years of prosperity) – 7 skinny (7 years of famine)

Rise over Egypt – Pharaoh’s Dreams (41)

Pharaoh was accepted as divine being who could influence other deities

But God’s plan couldn’t be altered by Pharaoh

Slavery & Prison

Obstacles to the promise

Uncompromising integrity

Read Genesis 39:1-6.

Why was Joseph originally chosen to serve Potiphar?

 

After Joseph was put in charge, what then happened to Potiphar and his household?

 

Describe Joseph. What makes him a great servant of God?

 

Read Genesis 39:21-23. What does this say about God?

 

After the chief cupbearer and chief baker were tossed in prison, they each had a dream. When Joseph approached and they told him their dilemma of no one knowing the meaning of their dreams, what was Joseph’s response.

 

The tribe of Judah is the messianic line. How is Joseph used for a great purpose to help the Israelites, including this important line for the people of God? 

 

———————————————————

Genesis 42-50 JOSEPH & JACOB

Joseph doesn’t stand in line of Messiah yet more material is devoted to him than Isaac & Jacob

Reunited (42-45)

1st Trip to Egypt (42)

2nd Trip to Egypt (43-45)

Genesis 45:5 – You sold me / God sent me

Setting in Goshen (46-47)

3rd & Final Trip to Egypt (46:1-4) – entire Patriarchal family moved there to Goshen

Vision at Beersheba (46:1-4)

In Egypt (46:5-47:12)

Patriarchal Family grew from 12 to 70 (46:26-27) – fulfillment of promise to Abraham

Joseph during famine (47:13-31)

Leave the land of promise in order to enter a land of slavery

Deaths of Jacob & Joseph

Joseph blesses Ephraim & Manasseh (48:1-22)

Of all the Patriarchs, only Jacob got it right when it came to the first born not being first.

Reversal of the 1st born mentioned in Hebrews 11:21, Ephraim over Manasseh

Judah for rule

Joseph for Prosperity

Elevation of Joseph’s sons to full Israelite tribes (Levi did not get land / Joseph out) – 12 land tribes

Jacob blesses his sons (49:1-28): Hebrew Poetry in the Old Testament

Genesis 49:10 – The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.

Death & burial of Jacob (49:29-50:21)

Buried at cave of Machpelah with Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, Leah (49:29-31)

Death of Joseph (50:22-26)

Read Genesis 42:37 & Genesis 43:3. In these passages, we have two different sons step up and volunteer to take responsibility. What is interesting about the two sons who stepped forward?

 

Read Genesis 44:11-15. Read Genesis 44:30-33. Joseph had the silver cup placed in Benjamin’s sack as a test. 

What was the test?

 

How has Judah changed since the episode with Tamar?

 

Read Genesis 45:4-7. When Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers, he speaks about what God had done—how His plan prevailed. 

Joseph was used to save everyone, including his own family, from famine. Imagine how different things could have been if Joseph would have left his pride and unforgiveness get in the way.

 

Personal Reflection: Is something getting in the way of you being used by God? Is something keeping you from God’s work?

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Handle With Care: Stain Removal

Week 1 – Stain Removal

[Genesis 14:22-23]

I will not take anything from you so that you can’t say you made Abram rich.

CARING FOR GOD’S GLORY

 

  • You were made to glorify God – Isaiah 43:7
  • No one can steal God’s glory – Isaiah 42:8
    • Satan loves when you try to steal God’s glory
  • The Earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory – Habakkuk 2:14

 

How do we live this out?

Live By His Strength [1 Peter 4:11] – remember, THE SAME POWER

Bear Fruit [John 15:8] – remember, ABIDE IN HIM

Shine Light [Matthew 5:16] – remember, DON’T HIDE THE GOOD NEWS

Live Intentionally [1 Corinthians 10:31] – remember, KEEP PRESSING FORWARD

GLORY BE TO GOD

 

Breakout Session Questions

1) Read Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah 60:1-3, and Revelation 21:22-25. What is the glory of God?

2) Read Isaiah 42:8. What does it mean that no one can steal God’s glory, if we know that often we do things to take His glory all the time?

3) Read 1 Peter 4:10-11. What have we been given to help us to live for God’s glory? Within this passage, we are given the answer to how we can do what we have been called to do – to live a life for God’s glory. What can we glean?

 

 

Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.

 

Not for Lack

When you look at the relationship between Leah and Rachel, on the surface you may feel bad for Leah because you read of Jacob’s great love for Rachel. Read Genesis 29. Rachel was younger, “had a lovely figure and was beautiful,” while Leah “had weak eyes” (v. 17 NIV). Plainly put, “Jacob was in love with Rachel” (v. 18 NIV).

Despite her love of Jacob, Rachel sacrificially remains silent so that Jacob would marry her sister Leah first. It was not a custom to have the younger child marry off before the eldest. Though Leah was “not loved” by Jacob as she desired, God soon blesses her with Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Note, Judah is the line that leads to Jesus.

These two sisters certainly had their moments, and more children followed to form the twelve tribes of Israel; Leah bore six of the twelve. Though Leah lacked the love of Jacob that she desired, God provided her a huge family and wealth. She is mentioned in Ruth 4, along with her sister, as building the house of Israel. Eventually she would be buried beside the man she adored, in the cave with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah (see Genesis 49:29-33). God was with her and her children. She was loved by Him. She was not for lack. God loves you too. Today, rest in His love. You, too, are not for lack.

“When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, He enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.” Genesis 29:31 [NIV]

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” – Psalm 127:3 [NASB]

 

I Will Give

Even though Lot chose the land to the east, it didn’t remove the promise of God. Remember, God promised Abram descendants, land, and blessing. Lot making a choice for some land, does not cancel a promise of God. No one can take away from the Word of God. This is why it is so vital for us to have His Word written in our hearts. This is why it is so important for us to be deep in the Word, reading it, meditating on it, cherishing it. So that we know these promises. So that we know what He says, what He commands, what He desires. So that we know Him.

Abram was given these promises and these promises would stand. Abram never saw all of the promises come to fruition; his descendants did. At this moment in the narrative, as Lot goes in one direction and Abram is to go the other, it would appear as if this promise of land would now not happen. That’s how you and I think so often. Well I guess this won’t happen now. God says this, God promises that, but I’m not seeing anything appear to be moving in that direction. At this point, God told Abram to stand and walk the land He would deliver.

Arise, walk into the promise of God. That’s basically what He told Abram. Arise, walk into the promise of God. See, God promises you and I a lot. He promises you things. Look into His Word. Read His promises. Speak to Him. Through the Holy Spirit, He will reveal His Word to you. Listen. You will read of His promises. But these promises do not just fall upon you. The world will tell you they aren’t true. Some will make you think they couldn’t possibly happen. You will look around and think that it’s never going to come to fruition. Arise, walk into the promise of God. Stand up. Walk forward in faith. Embrace the promises of God. Hold onto them. Trust that He will deliver.

“Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” – Genesis 13:17 [ESV]

Lift Your Eyes

After Abram and Lot part ways, with Lot selecting the Jordan Valley and heading eastward, the Lord speaks to Abram. He says, “Now lift up your eyes.” Lift up your eyes. Fix your eyes. Focus. Look from the place where you are. Imagine Abram looking upward, as he listened to the Lord. Then northward and southward and eastward and westward. God restates His promise to Abram. It didn’t matter that Lot took part of the land; Abram and His descendants would have it all.

I often find myself looking upwards. It is when I lift my eyes that I remember. I remember from where my help comes. I remember God has a great plan. I remember that I am His. I remember that this current circumstance is temporary. I remember what He has promised. I remember that He is with me. I remember Who has given me everything. I remember.

Today, lift your eyes. Remember what your Father has promised. Remember He wants a relationship with you. Remember He is with you through every step of the way. Remember.

“The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward.” – Genesis 13:14 [NASB]

Jordan Valley Choices

When Abram and Lot had conflict arise because God blessed them with so much, Abram initiated the separation of the two. He gave Lot the choice of the land to select. He basically said, “You go one way, and I’ll go the other.” Verse 9 notes that Abram said, “Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left” (ESV).

The narrative tells us that Lot made a choice. He “looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered.” Seeing the great land, he made his selection. While choosing the Jordan Valley, he disregarding what was happening in the area. He was taking residence in the area of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sadly, we all know these choices. We see what looks amazing, but it’s too good to be true.

We often make Jordan Valley Choices. We sacrifice for the sake of temporary pleasure. We choose to participate in things that get us close to crossing the line. We spend time near those who will cause us to move in the wrong direction. We pick what looks good from what we see on the outside, thereby missing the better choice. Today, focus on the choices you are making. Are you trying to select what you think would be most rewarding to you, no matter where it leads? Well-watered land isn’t always the most refreshing.

“Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)” – Genesis 13:10 [NIV]

Let There Be No Strife

I love what happens in Genesis 13:8. Abram recognizes that the conflict or strife between Lot and himself could not continue. When we get wrapped up in conflict, it may keep us from keeping our eyes fixed on God and His call on our life. It also may cause division. God’s Word speaks a lot about unity, not division. He wants a united people, a united people with a heart for Him.

Abram takes the initiative to do something about it, rather than allow the conflict to continue. What a great example of a leader—one who can notice a situation and take steps to ensure it would not lead to something worse. This meant a separation from his nephew, but it was necessary. It reminds me of what Jesus says in Matthew, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

God has great plans for His people. It requires us to humble ourselves and have a unity of mind. What does this mean? It means we are united for one purpose – doing the will of God. We don’t allow ourselves to get in the way, to be a stumbling block, to what God is doing. We don’t put ourselves first, but we show brotherly love to others and look out for their best interests. We trust that God has the best plan, and we surrender to it.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9 [ESV]

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” – 1 Peter 3:8 [ESV]

Jehovah Rophi

These past two weeks, I continue to be reminded of floods. As we continue our series through Genesis, we were discussing Noah and the Flood, and the aftermath. As well, Facebook has reminded me of the flooding we had in 2011, with photos of local areas flooded from Tropical Storm Lee. I cannot fathom the view Noah would have had from the Ark as the earth was destroyed by flood waters.

When I look back on these flood photos from Tropical Storm Lee, I still cannot believe the area was flooded. I remember seeing photos of Knoebels Amusement Park underwater and thinking I would never again get to take a family visit to the park. Two years ago, I found myself walking around at Knoebels as if the place was never flooded. Some of the photos of the roads flooded by Lee I have driven on just last week. It was as if nothing ever happened.

All of this talk of flooding these past few weeks reminds me of the restoration of God. He is Jehovah Rophi, God who heals, Who restores. In Exodus 15, God proclaims this to the Israelites as they cry out because of the bitter water at Marah. Still today, God restores. Yes, we will suffer a little while; however, “He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” Keep pressing forward. Restoration will come!

“He said, ‘If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, obeying His commands and keeping all His decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you.’” – Exodus 15:26 [NLT]

“In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” – 1 Peter 5:10 [NLT]

Renewal

As I study Exodus, I am preaching about Genesis. We just finished looking at the Creation story. As you review each day of Creation, you finally reach the seventh day. Rest. I love how God built this great rhythm of work and rest into His creation. This rhythm continues throughout the Bible, and today’s verse is one of these continuations.

God tells His people that the land needs renewal. As I take my morning walks, I often take note of the small things that I wouldn’t see rushing throughout my day. I look around the neighborhood, at the different gardens and flowers. I consider the different seasons, the way the growth patterns work. There is great rhythm in creation, and with it there is renewal that God designed within His creation.

We also need renewal. We need to have time to rest and time to renew ourselves in the Lord. Part of this means being intentional with your time. We have different seasons of our lives, just like there are different seasons of a calendar year. We have seasons of challenge, seasons of loss. We have seasons of growth and seasons of change. Each season is different, but each requires rest and renewal. More importantly, in each season we need the Spirit of God to lead us through, to mold us and grow us for the next season.

“But let the land be renewed and lie uncultivated during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest whatever grows on its own. Leave the rest for wild animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves.” – Exodus 23:11 [NLT]

God Remembered Noah

In Genesis 8, we read that “God remembered Noah.” This doesn’t mean that God forgot Noah, but then remembered Him later. When saying God remembered Noah, it means that God faithfully did what He told Noah He would do. This verse is saying that God was going to fulfill the promise He made to Noah (see Genesis 6:13-22).

Our God is faithful. Don’t think for a second that He has forgotten you or overlooked you. He remembers you and He remembers the promises He made to you. If you don’t know what He has promised you, spend more time in His Word seeking out these promises.

Just as God remembered Noah, God also remembers you.

“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.” – Genesis 8:1 [NLT]