Community Group Study “Genesis: The Redemptive Promise”
Before your community group meets:
Read Genesis 11:27-12:4, write out 7-10 observations you see from the text including things like ages, places and even how many times God says “I will”)
Where is Abram from and how does this relate to the story of the tower of Babel?
What promises did God make to Abram and has God given up on his project to bless all of humanity? How is God’s plan to accomplish that shown here?
Abram shows us what it looks like to live in dependence and trust in God, even though things are not seen clearly. How does Abram display trust and dependence? Think about and try to write down a few thoughts about “What does trust and dependence on God look like in the life of a follower of Jesus?”
Genesis chapter 12 and the call of Abram is a big pivot in the storyline of redemption. The first such turn was Genesis 3 and the introduction of sin into the good world God created. We then learned in Genesis 3-11 about God’s work with humanity as a whole to maintain a righteous line of faith despite the growing presence of sin and evil. The tower of Babel narrative ends with humanity divided and scattered and readers of Genesis wondering, “is God done with humanity?”, “How will God bring the Genesis 3:15 redeemer to crush the work of the serpent?”, “What is next in the plan of God?”
What we see is that God calls one man and promises to bless him unconditionally and use him to create a people for God, to give them a place and to bring about his promise of a redeemer. Those are three good words to remember as we walk through Abram’s story, God’s blessing includes: People, Place, Promise.
This promise was not made specifically to us and individuals today, but has affected every follower of Jesus today. God’ promise to Abram is to bless the nations of the world through him and his family. The ultimate offspring of Abraham is Jesus, and the scripture talks about us being counted in Abraham’s family through faith in Christ (Galatians 3:16-18). Meaning that when God told Abram to count the sand or number the stars he was pointing forward to all who’d walk with God through faith in God’s promise to send a savior.
We learn that Abram’s life is filled with impossibility. He is from a country that worships the moon, his wife is unable to have kids, his name means “great father” but he is a walking irony since he is childless and not to mention he is a spry 75 years old. None of these components add up to someone who could naturally do what God has promised for Abram. Yet Abram responds to God with active trust and goes with God.
Abram will show tremendous faith and trust in his active walk with God, however as the story unfolds we will see that God certainly chooses and uses weak and imperfect people. Abram will wrestle with fear and faith, belief and unbelief, as well as trying to force God’s promise. His story will show us God’s committed faithfulness to his promise and that if it was left up to humanity to solve the problem of sin, we’d be doomed.
At your community group:
Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.
How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week?
Scripture and Discussion Questions:
As a group, define and describe faith based on Genesis 11:27-12:4 and what we heard in the sermon.
What are some of the details we learned of Abram that would make this kind of active trust in God’s promise difficult? Why would God choose to use someone in this kind of situation to create a people for himself?
Read Hebrews 11:8-10, what motivated Abram to go with God?
What is the end goal of God’s promise to Abram in Genesis 12:3 (see also Galatians 3:7-9) and how does that compare with what we’ve already learned in Genesis chapters 1-11?
The message used the phrase “faith grows in the soil of impossibility”. What did the pastor mean by that? Many of us focus on our negative life circumstances and the obstacles in our life to following God fully. What areas in your life are you looking at the things you can see instead of what God has called his people to?
Read Genesis 12:4-13:1 and list out 10-12 observations you have from the text like geography, repeated actions, who is talking and who is remaining silent, etc.
How did Abram demonstrate trust in God’s blessing and promise?
What motivated Abram to create his plan to lie about Sarai?
How does God respond to protect his blessing and promise to Abram?