Saturday, January 19, 2013


Theme: Israel's Roots

When I think of Genesis I think origin, creation, or beginning. GREEN

Genesis can easily be divided into 2 parts: Planks & Patriarchs

Planks: The foundation of our faith {Ch.1-11}

Patriarchs: The fathers of our faith {Ch.12-50}

Often when we read through the Old Testament we think of God as being a God of wrath and judgment, not grace and mercy.

Mercy: Not giving what you DO deserve
Grace: Giving what you DON'T deserve

Genesis 3
God speaks.
Satan tempts.
Adam & Eve sin.
God gives mercy and grace.
He told Adam & Eve not to eat of the fruit . . . they did anyway. God told them it would lead to death. While sin does ultimately lead to death, Adam & Eve did not die right there (mercy). Instead, you see God sacrifice animals on their behalf and God gives them coverings (grace).

I continued to see this pattern throughout the book . . . mercy & grace everywhere. All the way until the end, the story of Joseph. His brothers sell him to slavery and when they're finally reunited, Joseph not only withholds judgment (mercy) but lavishes his brothers with love and goods (grace).

I think one of the most powerful verses in this book is in Genesis 15:6. God makes a covenant with Abraham, promising land, seed, and blessing. “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” Before any of this is fulfilled, Abraham believes. And it’s His belief in the promise of God, the character of God, that makes him righteous. Abraham sleeps with Hagar.
He believes first, is made righteous, and then sins.

This is so POWERFUL for us to remember! It is not our actions that make us right with God, it is our belief. Abraham was made righteous at the point of belief. He was not chosen because of his actions (good or bad) but because of his faith.

God moved first. God called Abraham. God made the covenant. God declared him righteous.

As you watch the rest of the story unfold . . . you see this pattern over and over.

God doesn't choose the “good one”, the better one, the first one. He chooses whom He chooses. And often they are not the one we would choose.

Why would God choose Jacob over Esau? Because then God gets all of the glory for making Jacob a new man.

Why would God allow Christ to come from the line of Judah, a hypocritical adulterer, instead of Joseph a faithful, gracious servant? Because God gets all the glory for choosing the scandalous, the sinful, the shady lineage and making it righteous through Christ.

That’s our God. Here in Genesis. The God who chooses relents, who is gracious, who is merciful, who is just, and who keeps His covenant.

Through Genesis, God has made it clear:
In the beginning, God . . . (Genesis 1:1) it starts with Him, through Him, for Him, by Him. It's all about God, the Creator and Sustainer.

Christ was the plan from the beginning (Genesis 3:15)

God chooses, God calls, God promises. (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob)

God is Creator, Initiator, Redeemer. He is just, merciful, and gracious.

Application Questions
1. Genesis 15:6 God declared Abraham righteous at the point of belief. How does this change your view of attaining righteousness? Sin? Grace?

2. Sarah laughs at God in disbelief. Has there been a time when you’ve laughed at God in disbelief?

3. Isaac, the son laid on the altar to sacrifice was Abraham’s prized possession. Are there things getting in the way of you loving God the most? Things you need to lay on the altar to make God your most prized possession?

4. Jacob wrestles with God through the night. It is then that Jacob finally encounters God and God gives him a new name Israel. When have you truly wrestled with and encountered God? Have you truly accepted your new identity in Christ?

5. Joseph was beaten, thrown in a pit and left to die, and then sold into slavery by his brothers and yet he was able to forgive and lavish love upon them. Are there people in your life you need to forgive for much less?

Visit our church's website to hear the sermon & download the chart: The Well Community Church

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