Archive for the ‘Abraham’ tag
The text for this lesson is Genesis 24:10–28.
- By moving Rebekah to selfless service (drawing countless gallons of water for a man and his camels), God identified an ancestor of the One who would serve us by His suffering and death.
- Law: In our sinfulness, we think only of our own convenience and pleasure.
- Gospel: Jesus’ selfless sacrifice of His life and death (Romans 8:32) gives us all we need and frees us to serve others gladly.
- Describe God’s activity in the process of selecting a wife for Isaac.
- What evidence does the servant receive that his mission to find a wife for Isaac is a success (Genesis 12: 17–20)? What is the servant’s response (Genesis 12:26–27)?
- God had promised many descendants to Abraham (Genesis 15:1–21), including the Savior. Isaac was the son through whom this would happen. The selection of a suitable wife was an important job for this servant. How did the servant love and serve his master, Abraham? How do we know that he trusted in the Lord?
- In what way or ways did the servant serve his master, Abraham?
- Both Abraham and his servant demonstrated faith that God would provide the help they needed for all details of life. Which act of faith most amazes you?
- Read Genesis 24:16–21. How did Rebekah love and serve Abraham’s servant? Why did Rebekah water the servant’s camels?
- How did God work through the humans in the Bible story to show His love?
- When you are asked to do something difficult, how do you respond? Who has done something very difficult for you?
- Read Martin Luther’s explanation of the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. What is your daily bread? God works through the vocations of others to care for us. Give examples of how people are “daily bread.”
- Just as Rebekah welcomed the servant who had traveled a long distance to serve his master, Abraham, God gives us many people who serve us through hospitality—making us feel welcome and comfortable away from home. Who are some of these workers? How can you show God’s love to these people?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 21:1–7; 22:1–19.
- As God provided a sacrifice for Abraham and Isaac, so He provides the perfect sacrifice for our sin, His Son, Jesus, the Lamb of God.
- Law: God demands that I trust Him completely.
- Gospel: Because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, God gives me faith to trust in Him.
- Law: God tests my faith.
- Gospel: Jesus was tested in every way and grants me strength to trust God when my faith is tested.
- Law: God requires a sacrifice (payment) for my sin.
- Gospel: God sacrificed His own Son, Jesus, for me.
- Compare Isaac to our Lord Jesus Christ. There are stark similarities. Yet, there is one crucial difference. What is this difference? How does this difference display our heavenly Father’s sacrificial love for us? Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. What did our heavenly Father put His Son through that He did not ask of Isaac? How did His providing of a ram to Abraham and Isaac foreshadow the Lamb of God, who took our place on the sacrificial wood of the cross?
- Genesis 22:1 describes the sacrifice as a test. Certainly Abraham felt that the desire to protect his son conflicted with his desire to submit to the will of his gracious Father in heaven. This was more of a result of the real test than the test itself. What was the real test?
- Mount Moriah, where the sacrifice of Isaac took place, would later become the location for the temple. See 2 Chronicles 3:1. The ram that took the place of Isaac would be the first of hundreds of thousands of beasts to die for the sins of the Church. Skim Exodus 29:38–46 and Leviticus 5:14–19. Now read Mark 14:53, 64. Where did Jesus receive His death sentence and from whom did He receive it? The lambs and rams of Leviticus 5 were measured out in silver. With what coinage was our sacrificial ram bought?
- God provided a ram as a sign to accompany His Word. From whence did the ram come? Why does God continually bring forth a visible, tangible sign of His promises of mercy for us even as He gave Abraham the ram while He spoke with him from heaven?
- After the test, God reaffirmed His promise concerning the multitude of Abraham’s offspring. God’s promises seem to be conditional based on Abraham’s actions. Read James 2:21–23. How does James not contradict the Christian doctrine of justification before God by faith alone? Was Abraham’s promise granted to him because of his works or his faith?
- Read Job 19:25–27. How does Job’s profession of faith complement Abraham’s
trust in the resurrection of the Redeemer and, consequently, his belief in Isaac’s own rising on the Last Day?
- Moses adds that the mountain is called this to this day (Moses’ day). What does the fact that Abraham named the mountain after God’s work rather than his own signify to the future generations? How does God’s providing on this mountain relate to them now? How does it relate to us?
- Your church is also the place of God’s visitation. In your church, He gives His gifts of forgiveness and salvation through the Word and Sacraments. How does your church name reflect that “Yahweh will provide” in this space?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 15:1–6; 17:1–27
- God gave Abram (Abraham) faith to trust His promises to save His people. God gives us faith in Jesus, our Savior.
- Law: God wants me to believe and trust in Him.
- Gospel: God grants me faith in Jesus, my Savior.
- Law: In my sin, I doubt that God can do what He promises. I do not trust God.
- Gospel: God in His mercy carries out His promises, giving me reason to trust Him in all things and the faith to do so.
- “Fear not, Abram.” Why would Abram fear? He has just vanquished the enemy, rescued Lot, and received the blessing of the priest of the Most High God. What is there to fear?
- Have we felt the fears of Abram?
- How often have we sat, like Abram, in the silence of our corporate Confession considering our own doubts and fears, waiting for these words: “I, as a called and ordained servant of the Word . . . forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”? How often have we yearned for our Shield, Abram’s very great reward, Jesus Christ, to speak His comforting words of clemency to us?
- God speaks over and over again to Abram. Yet, His Word is always the same. He continually tells Abram that He will bless him through his offspring. Contemplate this cycle of fear/promise in the life of Abram. How is this similar to our lives of faith in Christ? Christ crucified is preached every Sunday of the year in our churches. Every Sunday, His resurrection is proclaimed. Why must we be comforted with the same message over and over again as was Abram? What does this message say about our need to go to regular worship services and hear His merciful speaking?
- It is popular these days to give a loved one a paper certifying that a star will be named in one’s honor. Yet, this is only paper. Reread Genesis 15:5. How are we linked with the stars? Look toward heaven, Christian, and number the stars. Each one bears the name of an offspring of Abraham. Read Galatians 3:29. How is this so?
- Genesis 17 is not so much about Abraham as it is about Sarah. This was her promise. Abraham had already received the promise of a son born to him (Genesis 15:4). Believing that the barrenness of Sarah was a barrier, Abraham took matters into his own hands. He had a son, Ishmael, by Hagar. God’s promise to Sarah required even more faith. How is it that she who was infertile could produce a child?
- Note Abram’s reaction in Genesis 17:17. In the midst of God’s speaking, Abram laughed. Seems a bit inappropriate, doesn’t it? Read Psalm 126:1–3. God showers His good gifts on us every Sunday. Felicity follows forgiveness, even if tempered by reverence. God found no fault with Abram’s festive feedback. How was Abram’s laughter a sign of his faith? What else accompanied it? Should we follow Abram with regard to his worship practice?
- What did circumcision signify? Read Exodus 4:24–26. How important was the circumcision covenant to God? Read Colossians 2:10–14. In which watery way are Christians to be circumcised now? Explain how this is tied to Christ’s own keeping of the Law. See Luke 2:21. How important is it to God that we receive the new circumcision without flesh? What is bestowed upon us in this new circumcision?
- John the Baptist declared that God can
make descendants of Abraham out of stones (Matthew 3:9). What does this tell us about how Christians are made? What does this tell us about the hardness of our hearts before we are converted? In a discussion with the Pharisees, Jesus told them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did” (John 8:39). How was Jesus’ thought influenced by Genesis 15:6? What is it that Abraham did?
- Do you ever wonder why Moses wrote this simple sentence in Genesis 15:6? Certainly faith is not seen. We can’t look at someone and see faith written across the forehead. Moses, too, could not see Abram’s faith. See Romans 4:20–25. Why would the Holy Spirit inspire Moses to pen this intimate look into the inner workings of Abraham’s soul?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 13-14
- God used Abram (Abraham) to rescue Lot from his enemies. God used His own Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our enemies—sin, death, and the devil.
- Law: I am overcome by sin and the temptations of the devil; I am doomed to death because of my sinfulness.
- Gospel: God’s Son, Jesus, is my rescuer from these powerful enemies, granting me new life with Him in heaven.
- Law: Because of sin, I have enemies in my life.
- Gospel: God in Christ rescues me from my worst enemies—sin, death, and the devil.
- Read 1 Peter 1:6–7; John 9:1–3. What are two reasons why Christians like Lot suffer?
- Read Genesis 14:12. Which “way” were the kings who captured Lot going? Read Genesis 14:13. Abram was the first to be called a Hebrew. In the Hebrew language, Hebrew describes one who “crosses over” a river. While the kings of this world were going their own ways, Abram was crossing over into the Promised Land to live as a sojourner. Upon whose “way” was Abram treading by faith? Read Psalm 119:9. What defines God’s way?
- In the midst of much bloodshed, God rescued Lot. He brought forth Abram to defeat the enemy despite a lack of numbers. Abram had just 318 fighting men. Yet, Abram believed God. He had no land with which to supply his soldiers food and shelter. Yet, Abram believed God. What does it say about the faith God gave to Abram? Read Exodus 14:25; Joshua 10:11. When the faithful go to war, who does the fighting?
- Compare the blessing Melchizedek gave to Abram with the blessing God gave to Abram in Genesis 12. In Genesis 12, Abram was blessed directly, but who was really being blessed by Melchizedek? See Matthew 7:11. What does this imply about the true source of blessing?
- How does the Lord rescue those of His who are in captivity? How does this “rescuing” reach its pinnacle in Jesus’ mission on earth? Read Luke 4:18–21. What does it mean for Jesus to “set at liberty those who are oppressed”?
- Abram defeated the kings’ armies with adept strategy and fortitude. After defeating the kings in battle, how did Abram react? Abram had no place to call his own, and yet he did not seize any of the land that God had already promised would be his! Read Hebrews 11:10. What did Abram’s refusal of the physical land of Canaan imply about the location of God’s Promised Land? Read 1 Peter 5:6–7. How was Abram’s trust in God’s promise made manifest in his humble reaction toward his unbridled victory? What place does humility play in the life of the Christian, who is saved solely by God’s grace through faith?
- God graciously saved Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of one righteous man, Lot. Read Genesis 14:17. The king of Sodom came out to greet Abram. How did Abram’s rescuing of Lot serve Sodom? Skim Genesis 19. What did it mean for the king of Sodom to receive God’s salvation only to reject the Word preached by Melchizedek? With the exception of Lot and his family, was there anyone left in Sodom and Gomorrah who had not heard the Word and rejected it? How does Genesis 15 affect the way you view God’s long-suffering toward Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19?
- Read Hebrews 7:1–3. In what ways did Melchizedek foreshadow Christ?
- As priest of God Most High, Melchizedek blessed Abram with bread and wine. In what way does Christ bless us with bread and wine today? Read Hebrews 9:13–14; 10:12–14. Christ offered His sacrifice once for all. How is this once-for-all sacrifice tied to the forgiveness of sins that we receive in the Lord’s Supper?
- Lot was by no means the only one to live in bondage to his enemies. John declares that “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). John also tells us that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). All of us live in servitude to sin, but sin is not our only enemy. This fallen world and the devil work in unison to snatch us from our land of promise into captivity. Compare our situations to Lot’s. Was Lot capable of freeing himself, or did his salvation come from outside himself?
- In his rescuing of Lot, Abram foreshadowed our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ entered the battle and defeated the devil, this world, and even our sinful flesh for us. Read Hebrews 2:14–16. How does Christ’s crucifixion and death relate to the victory He has won over the devil?
- Read Hebrews 7:23–8:1. The Old Testament had many priests—Melchizedek, Aaron, and his sons to name a few. In our post-resurrection era, Christ Jesus Himself is our High Priest. He offered Himself as the sole sacrifice for our sins by His suffering and death. By this offering, He has redeemed us in all sufficiency. While we have one High Priest, the Church has millions in the priesthood. Read 1 Peter 2:4–5, 9–10. If our Lord has offered up the one sacrifice needed for sins, what kind of sacrifices do we offer?
The text for this lesson is Genesis 12:1-9
- God chose Abram (Abraham) and his descendants in order to carry out His plan of salvation. Christ fulfilled God’s plan for us and all people.
- Law: I am sinful and deserve only eternal death and damnation.
- Gospel: God provided my Savior from sin, Jesus, through Abram (Abraham) and his offspring.
- Think about what pictures form in your mind when you hear the name Abraham. Which events in Abraham’s life stand out?
- Read Joshua 24:2–4. What do we learn about Abram and his faith prior to Genesis 12? In which commandment do we hear about “other gods”? How does the fact that Abram served other gods affect the way we view his calling from God in Genesis 12?
- Read Genesis 11. Who are Abram’s descendants? Many more notable figures who did not forsake the worship of the Lord still lived at the time of Abram’s calling. Were there more suitable people for God to make such a gracious covenant with? Read Matthew 3:9. Since Abram was an offspring of faithful believers, what does Abram’s apostasy speak about the reliance on family ties to church membership? Does our upbringing guarantee that we will remain Christians, or is there another source for our salvation?
- As you read Genesis 12, consider the character of God. He chose one who had forsaken Him and chased after false gods. What one word might sum up the attitude of God toward Abram? How is God’s character seen in Christ, the fulfillment of this promise made to Abram?
- Blessings and curses abound in God’s speech to Abram. Who is responsible for the curses? Who is responsible for the blessings? The answers to these two questions differ. How does this fact affect how we view the faith of Abram? Abram was under the curse of Adam. What part does God’s Word, His promise of blessing in the death and resurrection of His only-begotten Son, play in Abram’s conversion?
- God promised to make Abram a great nation. How would this be received by one who is childless? Abram had one son of promise, Isaac. Isaac had one son of promise, Jacob. Is it a simple thing to believe that out of such meager roots would sprout a great nation? Further, how great a faith is required to believe that the scanty sapling of this great nation would endure through all of the trials of the Old Testament, eventually culminating in the Root of Jesse?
- Further, God promises to bless Abram. Read Luke 2:32. Who did Simeon, a man waiting for the consolation of Israel, declare to be the blessing, or glory, of Israel? Read John 8:56. How did Abram understand the fulfillment of this prophecy? By believing in Christ, the very incarnate Curse crucified for our sin, how did Abram escape the condemnation of his past idolatry and receive blessing instead of curse? What does this mean for us who are the Church, the very offspring of Abram?
- What is the scope of God’s promise to Abram? Abram shall be a blessing. In him, all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Read Matthew 24:14; Mark 13:10. God blesses all families by His Word. What blessings are given to those who hear this Gospel promise of God to Abram and believe? How does this same Word make good on the promise in the Church today?
- In light of the curse of sin and idolatry in our lives, define despair.
- How do you think Abram felt about the prospect of leaving his family, livelihood, and home to journey to an unknown location?
- God speaks to Abram through His Word, and God turns Abram from his sinful ways. He instills in Abram faith. This faith trusts God’s promises even if they do not seem to be the most rational course of action. Was it easy or difficult for Abram to have faith in the promises of God?