I will …
Week 1: Genesis 11:31-12:9
This week we begin a new preaching series on the life of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jabob’s sons. In these four generations, God initiated a plan for the redemption of the whole earth that would culminate in the person and work of Jesus. From these stories in the book of Genesis we learn that God promises to bless us. And God always keeps his promises. God is the major mover in our world. He has the power to bring to pass what he has planned. Our job is to obey. To trust him. To demonstrate our trust by our obedience. God’s call to obedience often provides just enough information to take the next step. The lives of the patriarchs demonstrate that perfect living is not required for God’s promises to come true. They will fail, misunderstand, lie, and doubt. But God is patient, redemptive, and powerful. It is good news for us that he is able to deliver on his promises despite our failings. And he has done this supremely in Christ. Today we begin this adventure by looking at the beginning of Abraham’s story. God is doing something in history and it involves us just as it involved Abraham 4000 years ago.
What was the most challenging move (from one place to another) you have ever had to make? Why?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Genesis 11:31-12:1 and Joshua 24:2-3) Was Abram a worshipper of the LORD (Yahweh) originally? What all did God ask Abram to leave behind when he called him to move? What did Abram know of God’s plan up front? When God calls someone to do something, how much information does he typically provide up front? Why do you think God works that way?
2. (Genesis 12:2-3) God’s promises to Abram included seven different parts. Which parts were specific to Abram? Which parts related to other people? Do any of these promises apply to you today? (See Galatians 3:7-9, 26-29)
3. (Genesis 12:4-6) How much of a risk was Abram taking in obeying God’s call? Why do you think Hebrews 11:8 holds up Abram’s obedience as such a good example of faith? (See also Hebrews 11:1) The original audience for Genesis was the Israelites after they had left Egypt and were preparing to invade the promised land. What impact do you think hearing this passage might have had on them?
4. (Genesis 12:7-9) Is the promise God gave in verse 7 a repetition of earlier promises? Or is something new revealed here? As Abram explores the land God has promised him, he builds altars to the LORD (Yahweh). Altars were places to meet with God, call on him, worship him, and offer oneself to him. With this in mind, what do Abram’s actions indicate about the importance he placed on an ongoing connection with God for his success? What is Abram communicating to his family and to all of the Canaanite peoples around him by doing this?
1. What step of obedience is God calling you to take? What is holding you back? What aspects of Abram’s faith might God be asking you to emulate right now?
2. Galatians 3:29 says that we are heirs of the promises God gave to Abram by virtue of being made sons of God through faith in Christ. Do you believe this? How can you let this truth change the way you live and relate to God or others this week?