Community Group Study “Genesis: Filled with Violence”
Before your community group meets:
Read Genesis 6:1-22. Write out 10 observations you have from the text.
How many times does the text emphasize the sinful state of the world? List out the various ways
How does God respond to the earth’s corruption and violence? Look at Genesis 6:6-7 and 6:18 for examples.
We are currently studying the ongoing fall of humanity, in Genesis 3-11, as sin and rebellion against God grow. It began in the garden with Adam and Eve’s distrust in God’s word and their identity as image bearers. The rebellion continued in Cain’s anger towards God and his jealous killing of his brother Abel. The downward spiral grew as Lamech sang songs to his own vengeance and power. Chapter 5 showed us that God preserved a righteous and faithful remnant, but death still reigned as the words “and he died” echo throughout the chapter. This study guide will highlight how sin and rebellion hit a new rock bottom and God’s grief-filled response in his decision to blot out life on the good world he created out of his love.
As you read Genesis 6:1-4, it likely will not surprise you that this passage has some of the most debated verses in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the bible). The text starts off with a story of the “sons of God” seeing the “daughters of man” as attractive and taking them as wives. This language reminds us of Genesis 3 as Eve “saw” and “took” the fruit. Yet, the text doesn’t tell us clearly who the “sons of God” are. Debates rage about whether they’re the faithful line of Seth’s family from chapter 5, or angelic beings/demons, or if they’re human rulers and kings. The interpretive challenge is that “sons of God”, at various times, refer to all three in the bible. Either way the conclusions are clear… their actions are sinful, it’s a corruption of marriage, and it leads to the wickedness of man increasing to an all time high. God sees this new level of sinfulness and evil on the earth and God looks to the human heart and connects the two; the problem is that the intention of the thoughts of the human heart were evil all the time (Genesis 6:5). Instead of responding out of sheer anger, God gives us a window into his character and thoughts showing us, the reader, that he grieves where humanity is at and he regrets what has taken place and he feels sorry and pain over making mankind. This does not mean that God wants a “do-over” and that he did not know this would happen. Instead, the reader should take to heart that God is expressing emotion, he desires to be known and therefore is showing us his heart.
God determines to bring an end to the reign of sin and at the same time demonstrate his mercy. God acts like a surgeon working to protect someone he loves by removing that which is trying to kill it in order for his loved one to live. Sin had corrupted the earth and the earth was “filled with violence” to a level never before seen.
As you read through this passage and discuss in your community group, look for why God is acting in judgement and how he displays his mercy.
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:
Read Genesis 6:1-8. What do these verses show us about how far sin has expanded? Why do you think God gives us a window into his feelings and thoughts about sin and evil’s corruption?
How does Noah stand out in the Genesis 6 world? What in the text tells us this?
What is the goal of God’s judgement?
How does the flood story foreshadow what God does in Christ?
Read Genesis 7:1-8:19, write down 10 observations including patterns do you see in the text, relevant numbers and notice anything that seems similar to the Genesis 1 creation story.
What is the importance of Genesis 8:1? Did God forget about Noah and if not what is being emphasized here?
How does this passage show us examples of God’s grace?