Genesis - In the Beginning

by Sarah Barry   05/29/2000     0 reads




Daily Bread - Old Testament [ 2000 ] download the message

 Genesis - In the Beginning

Key Verse: 1:1; 12:2 

Genesis, the first book of Moses, is the book of beginnings. Through Genesis study, we can understand why our world is like it is, and where we must look to find a solution to its many problems. We also find that our lives have meaning and purpose. Chapters 1 and 2 tell us that God is almighty and that he is sovereign. He created a good and orderly world for his own glory and for our happiness. He established spiritual order: God first, mankind next, and the material world last. When this creation order was kept, the world was full of peace and righteousness; God was glorified, man was happy, and all creation rejoiced day and night. Chapter 3 tells the tragic story of the fall of man--his deliberate disobedience which broke creation order. The rest of the Bible is about the devastating effects of sin in man's life and in the world. It is about man's long pilgrimage back to the tree of life. It is the story of Almighty God who loves the world and did not give up on mankind. God's redemptive history runs from Genesis to Revelation like a bright thread of life and hope through the dark history of sinful man.

We will study chapters 1-11. These chapters set the stage for the rest of the book. When we accept Genesis 1:1 in our hearts, we can begin to understand the Bible, the world and ourselves.

IN THE BEGINNING Genesis 1:1-2, Key Verse: 1:1

1. God created the heavens and the earth (1)

"In the beginning God..." God is eternal. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He is almighty. He created the universe and all that is in it for his own good purpose. He is the Owner of all things. The world was not an accident--and neither am I. Life has meaning when we know our Creator, find his purpose for our lives, and live for his glory. Verse 1 introduces chapter 1. It proclaims God as the Creator of all things in heaven and on earth. By faith we know that God created the universe (Heb 11:3).

2. The earth was formless, empty and dark (2)

Verse 2 describes the state of things before God spoke. A world--or a human soul--without God's word is chaotic, empty of life and meaning, and full of darkness. The rest of chapter one describes how God brought order out of chaos, shined light into darkness, and filled the emptiness with life.

Prayer: Lord God, Creator and Owner of all things, I worship you and I acknowledge your sovereignty over my life.

One Word: God created me and all things

LET THERE BE LIGHT Genesis 1:3-5, Key Verse: 1:3

1. "And God said...and it was so" (3)

God created all things by his word: "And God said..." He reveals himself in his works of creation. He is personal. He feels and thinks and communicates with his creatures. We can know him. His first word on the first day of creation was, "’Let there be light,’ and there was light.” God's word has absolute authority. We must obey him.

2. God saw that the light was good (4-5)

The light which God called into being was good because it was just as God wanted it to be. It fit into his creation plan. Light is mysterious. It is the source of all energy. Without light, there can be no life. Jn 1:4 says that "In him was life, and that life was the light of men." 1Jn 1:5 says that God is light and in him there is no darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. God separated the night from the day, and set the stage for the work of the 4th day.

Prayer: Lord of light, shine into this dark world today; shine your holy light into my soul, that I may walk in the light of life.

One Word: God said, "Let there be light."

THE SECOND AND THIRD DAYS OF CREATION Genesis 1:6-13, Key Verse: 1:10

1. The expanse he called "sky" (6-8)

On the second day, God stretched out the sky and made the atmosphere. Perhaps the waters above were the clouds. How delicately God balanced the oxygen, nitrogen, CO2 and all the components of the air so that the atmosphere could sustain life and support birds in flight. The water below the sky was ready to be filled with fish. So God prepared the environment for his work of filling on the 5th day.

2. The dry ground he called "land" (9-13)

On the third day God spoke and the water under the sky gathered to one place; the dry land appeared, and God saw that it was good. Then God commanded all kind of vegetation to grow out of the ground. Plants and trees bore fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. So God made a beautiful and orderly world. It was ready for animal inhabitants and for mankind. God saw that it was good. He created the world for his glory and for man's happiness; God is good.

Prayer: Father, thank you for creating a beautiful world, a world made for your glory and our highest good.

One Word: The heavens declare his glory

GOD FILLS THE EMPTINESS Genesis 1:14-25, Key Verse: 1:21

1. The fourth day of creation (14-19)

God put a great light in the sky--the sun. He put it there to give light to the earth, to rule the sky, and to glorify himself. He filled the night sky with the moon and stars. These lights mark the orderly flow of time. So God created time. Time is the stuff of which history is made.

2. The fifth day of creation (20-23)

God created the creatures of the sea--fish and reptiles; he created the birds to fly across the sky. He blessed his creatures and commanded them to fill the empty ocean and sky. Each living creature was made to reproduce according to its kind. God was pleased, and he blessed his work.

3. The beginning of the sixth day (24-25)

On the sixth day God made the land animals. The stage was set for the creation of mankind. On the 4th, 5th and 6th days God filled the environment he had prepared with life and beauty. God was pleased.

Prayer: Father, praise your holy name, for you are almighty and you are good. Help me to give you glory during my brief lifetime.

One Word: God made everything beautiful

GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE Genesis 1:26-27, Key Verse: 1:27

1. God had a plan (26)

God wanted to make a man in his own image. He wanted this man to be the crown of his creation, a steward and ruler over all things. He wanted a man who could share in his work, a man with whom he could talk, a man who would appreciate the beauty and wonder of creation, a man who could understand spiritual things, a man whom he could love and who could love him. He declared his intention. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would all participate in the creation of mankind.

2. Created in God's image (27)

On the sixth day God created men and women in his own image. Like the other animals, man must eat and sleep and give birth to children like himself. But unlike the animals, man is a soul. He shares God's life. He is weaker physically than the lion or the elephant, but he can rule over them because he is a rational, caring person. He can wonder about the meaning of his life. He longs for fellowship with God.

Prayer: Father, help me to grow in your image until your life in me rules my animal nature.

One Word: Created in God's own image

GOD BLESSED THEM AND SAID, "BE FRUITFUL" Genesis 1:28, Key Verse: 1:28

1. God blessed them (28a)

God did not create mankind to be miserable, but to be happy. He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number." Their first joyful task was to fill the earth with people who, like themselves, bore God's image. Man's misery comes from sin, not from God (Ch 3).

2. God gave them mission (28b)

In verse 28, God gave mankind a blessed command; he commissioned them to do the work for which they were created. He commanded man to subdue the earth--to cultivate it, and to rule over the animal world. This command establishes spiritual order. God is over all; man obeys God; man rules the world. God's command opens the door to all study, research and work that is done for the glory of God, for the happiness of mankind and for the well-being of all created things. Man was created for mission. Men without mission cannot be happy.

Prayer: Father, help me to know you and stay in your will so that I may know and do the work you have for me to do.

One Word: Man = mission

IT WAS VERY GOOD Genesis 1:29-31, Key Verse: 1:31

1. God is the giver of every good thing (29-30)

After commanding mankind to be the stewards of the world, God gave necessary food to them and to the animals. Men and animals were vegetarians. There was plenty of food for all, so there was no need to struggle for survival. That struggle would begin after the fall. Men and animals were at peace with one another (Isa 11). When men sought God's kingdom and righteousness first, everything they needed was provided (Mt 6:33).

2. It was very good (31)

God saw that the world he had created was good. There was spiritual order and beautiful harmony. Each act of creation fit into the whole, and man was the crown of creation. God was glorified, and all his creatures were happy. God is the one who alone can say what is good and what is bad; what is valuable and what is not. He created you and me and said, "It is good."

Prayer: Father, thank you for teaching me that my life is precious to you, and that you created me for a good purpose.

One Word: God said, "It is good."

SABBATH REST Genesis 2:1-3, Key Verse: 2:3

1. The heavens and earth were completed (1)

For six days God worked hard and completed the heavens and the earth in all their vast array. He set an example which he commanded us to follow (Ex 20:11). He wants us to work hard for six days; he wants us to finish what we start.

2. On the seventh day God rested (2-3)

God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested from all the work of creating he had done. He commanded mankind to keep the Sabbath day holy (Ex 20:8-11). Music needs rests; mankind needs rest in order to restore his soul and body, so the Sabbath was made for man. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. We cannot find true rest apart from him (Mk 2:27,28; Mt 11:28,29). Now, God is working all the time; we find rest and restoration when we participate in his work (Jn 5:17).

Prayer: Father, thank you for creating the Sabbath. Help me to work hard for six days and take time to come apart and worship and serve you one day in seven.

One Word: Keep the Lord's day holy

FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH Genesis 2:4-7, Key Verse: 2:7

1. No man to work the ground (4-5)

The seeds were in the ground and everything was ready to spring to life, waiting to be watered--but there was no man to take care of the earth. God made man to be the shepherd and steward of his world.

2. God formed from dust (6-7a)

God molded man and animals (19) from dust. There is nothing innately precious or valuable about the stuff of which we are made. We are nothing but dust. But the hand of the Master Workman molded us. His touch makes our dust special.

3. God breathed the breath of life (7b)

God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being--an immortal soul. God is the owner of life. He breathes into us both physical and spiritual life. We belong to God. He loves us. He created us in his image, so we must respect our own lives and the lives of others.

Prayer: Father, I am only dust, so I cannot be proud. But your life is in me; I am precious to you--and so are my neighbors and all human beings.

One Word: Made from dust--but God-breathed

THE LORD GOD PLANTED A GARDEN Genesis 2:8-14, Key Verse: 2:9

1. The LORD God (8)

"LORD" was the name God taught Moses when he sent him to redeem his people from slavery in Egypt. It is a name that reflects God’s love (Ex 3:14;6:3). He loves his people and wants to be with them to bless them. He wants man whom he created to be happy, so, as an expression of his love, he planted a beautiful garden for him. He provided everything necessary for man's happiness.

2. The trees and rivers of the garden (9-14)

The garden must have been full of flowers and singing birds and delicious vegetables, but here the beauty of the garden is represented by trees. They stand tall, representing all the things man needs for life and happiness. They were good for food; they were beautiful. Man who bears God's image could appreciate and enjoy them. There were two special trees put there to provide for man's spiritual need. God would say more about these later. The rivers suggest that the blessed life of the garden would follow the rivers and gradually spread to all the earth.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your love, and for your gracious provision for my needs.

One Word: God wants mankind to be happy

ADAM'S BIBLE Genesis 2:15-17, Key Verse: 2:17

1. To work the garden and take care of it (15)

God created man for mission. He put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. He must subdue and rule over the earth by being the steward and shepherd of one garden.

2. The Sovereign God's command (16-17)

God's command has two parts: first, "You are free..." God owns the garden; he gave mankind freedom to enjoy it to the fullest. A man who knows that everything he has is God's gift, and who is thankful, is happy. Second, God put limits on freedom: "You must not eat..." This limit makes man truly free, for he is free under God. If he does not acknowledge God's sovereignty, he becomes a slave to his animal nature, to other men and to the material world. When mankind freely chooses to obey God's command, creation order is established in the world and in his own life. God warned mankind about the dire consequences of disobedience.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the Bible, your word. It tells me about your love for me; it tells me how to live a happy life in your world.

One Word: Love God; obey his word

A SUITABLE HELPER Genesis 2:18-25, Key Verse: 2:18

1. It is not good for the man to be alone (18-20)

There was one thing lacking in the Garden of Eden--man was lonely. God knew man's problem. Man was busy naming the animals which God created. He was working as a steward and shepherd, so he didn't have time to think much about himself. But God knew he needed a suitable helper.

2. God created woman (21-25)

The creation of woman is an extension of the creation of man. 1:27 says that God created mankind, male and female, in his own image. God put the man to sleep, took one of his ribs, and created woman. He brought her to the man to be his friend, and to help him do the work God had given them to do. God joined them together in the mysterious union called marriage. What God has joined, man should not separate. The man must make a commitment to his wife. They must pioneer a new world. The family is the first building block of society. There must be order; there must be love.

Prayer: Lord, establish families that are bound together in you to do your work.

One Word: God made marriage

WHERE ARE YOU, ADAM? Genesis 3:1-13, Key Verse: 3:9

1. A friendly conversation with Satan (1-5)

The serpent represents Satan (Rev 12:9). He cleverly planted doubt of God's love in the woman. He told her that obeying God's command was not a life and death matter; that eating the forbidden fruit would make her powerful like God. Instead of being thankful to God for the garden, she began to complain in her heart. She took God's word lightly and Satan's word seriously, and disobeyed God. The man thoughtlessly followed his wife. Because they disobeyed God and followed Satan, they left God's kingdom and became slaves to the ruler of this world.

2. Where are you? (6-13)

Mankind's relationship with God was broken; they were lost. They didn't know who they were. They were ashamed and tried to cover themselves; they tried to hide from God. Each tried to escape responsibility and blame someone else. Sin had already begun to make men and women miserable.

Prayer: Father, help me to obey your word and not be deceived by Satan's lies.

One Word: Thank God, and obey him only

A WORLD UNDER CURSE Genesis 3:14-16, Key Verse: 3:15

1. God cursed the serpent (14-15)

God cursed the serpent. He punished him by destroying his pride (14); Satan would be at war with mankind, but in the end, he would lose. God planted the hope and assurance of victory in man's heart. The offspring of the woman would someday crush Satan's head. Jesus, the offspring of the woman, did this. He was sorely wounded, but he won the victory by his death and resurrection.

2. Woman's punishment (16)

God's blessing became a curse. Woman's greatest joy became her greatest pain; furthermore, she became a captive to her own desire, and instead of being a willing and joyful helper and friend to her husband, she became his slave. Only Jesus can set women free from the curse of slavery to desire, and enable her to serve God in freedom and joy.

Prayer: Father, I was born under the curse of sin; but I thank you for Jesus, who sets me free and gives me hope and makes me fruitful.

One Word: Jesus crushed Satan's head

MAN WITHOUT MISSION Genesis 3:17-19, Key Verse: 3:17

1. Because you listened to your wife (17a)

When God rebuked him, Adam blamed his wife, and even hinted that his predicament was God's fault. But Adam could not avoid responsibility. He had God's clear command. He should obey God, no matter who suggested that he do otherwise. God's word must always have priority over every other word or idea. And God must be first in our affections.

2. Cursed is the ground (17b)

God cursed the ground because of man's disobedience. He did so in hope that men would repent. All creation suffers because of man's sin. So all creation waits for mankind's redemption.

3. Life without mission (18-19)

Man must now wrest three meals a day from the soil; he must labor for his own survival--then, in the end, die. Man without a mission from God must live a meaningless existence. Only Jesus can restore meaning and mission.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for restoring meaning and mission through your gospel.

One Word: Life without mission = misery

GOD'S LOVE FOR FALLEN MANKIND Genesis 3:20-24, Key Verse: 3:21

1. Garments of skin (20-21)

Even though Eve had been a poor helper for Adam, he accepted her as his wife and as the mother of all the human race. As Satan had promised, their eyes were opened to know good and evil; but Satan had not told them the whole story. Because of sin, they were filled with shame; man's self-image became ugly. He could not like himself or anyone else. But God still loved them. He shed the blood of an animal and made garments of skin to cover their shame. God didn't give up on them, for love never gives up.

2. Banished from the Garden (22-24)

The tree of life was in the garden. Man in his fallen estate should not eat of it and live forever, so God banished him from the Garden. The tree of life appears again in Revelation 22:2,14,19. God gives eternal life to those who believe in Jesus. He plants hope in the hearts of men who must live in a cursed world.

Prayer: Father, thank you for covering my sin and shame with the blood of Jesus, and for giving me hope.

One Word: Garments of skin

CAIN AND ABEL Genesis 4:1-16, Key Verse: 4:7

1. Cain's and Abel's offerings (1-5)

God accepted Abel's offering, but he did not accept Cain's. Cain offered something as if he were doing God a favor. Abel brought the first and best of his flock. He came by faith, knowing that he was a sinner. He feared and thanked God. When rebuked, Cain did not repent. He became angry.

2. If you do what is right (6-8)

God loved Cain and gave him a precious word. He warned him that sin, like a crouching lion, was at the door of his heart. He could take hold of God’s word and overcome sinful desire. But Cain rejected God's word. Sin conquered him; he murdered his brother.

3. A restless wanderer on the earth (9-16)

Cain talked back to God, "Am I my brother’s keeper?” God cursed the ground, and Cain became a restless wanderer, a man with no roots and no heavenly destination. He was full of fear and anxiety. He was cut off from the source of spiritual life. Still, God protected him with a mark--but he was marked as a murderer.

Prayer: Father, help me to keep your word in my heart so that sin may not master me.

One Word: Don't become a restless wanderer

CAIN'S DESCENDANTS Genesis 4:17-26, Key Verse: 4:26

1. A godless culture (17-24)

Cain wanted to be remembered--he longed for eternity. He wanted human fame. He bore a son, and built a city, and named the city for his son. Among his descendants we find the first musician, the first cattle rancher and the beginnings of technology. But the godless culture he spawned was full of violence, hatred and revenge; it was polygamous. Lamech sang a rap song praising violence and revenge to his wives. He made God's gracious promise to Cain an excuse for murder. Godless cultures degenerate into corruption and violence.

2. Men began to call on God (25-26)

God granted Adam and his wife a third son, Seth. Adam was grateful to God. When Seth's son Enosh was born, men began to call on the name of the Lord. Men asked God's mercy and help and put their trust in him. The slender thread of God's life in man was not broken. Hope was still alive.

Prayer: Father, thank you for raising up a few men of God even in the most godless culture.

One Word: Call on the name of the Lord

FROM ADAM TO NOAH Genesis 5:1-32, Key Verse: 5:24

1. In God's image (1-17)

Adam's descendants through Seth were different from the descendants of Cain. Cain's descendants were corrupt and full of violence, but Seth's descendants called on the name of the Lord (4:24). God created mankind in his own image. Even though Adam sinned, the image of God was still there. Seth's descendants were mortal men: They were born, they begot children, and they died. Their life spans were long--perhaps the ravages of sin had not yet set in. Seth bore the image of his father Adam, and the image of God.

2. Enoch and Noah (18-32)

Enoch was in Seth's line. Hebrews 11:5,6 says that he was a man whose faith pleased God. He did not experience death; he walked with God, and God took him to heaven. Another Lamech is in Seth's line. He is quite different from the self-centered descendant of Cain. He feared God and overcame his despair, so he could name his son "Noah."

Prayer: Father, help me to walk with you as Enoch did, and hold your hope in my heart.

One word: Walk with God

NOAH'S ARK Genesis 6:1-22, Key Verse: 6:9

1. The Lord was grieved (1-13)

God looked at men's hearts. He saw that people only tried to please themselves. Marriage is the touchstone of faith. Men of God should marry women of God, but instead, they chose wives who pleased their physical senses. So marriage lost its spiritual meaning; man became flesh. He ate and drank and had sex, but he shut God out of his life (Lk 17:26,27). He produced beautiful children, but they too were men and women of flesh. God's heart was full of pain. He was grieved. Corruption and violence spread. God made a hard decision.

2. Noah found favor with God (14-22)

Noah also ate, drank, and had children. But he walked with God. God told Noah that he was going to destroy the earth. He told him to build an ark for himself, his family and the animals. Noah believed God and obeyed his word (6:22;7:5,9,16). He had the courage to live by faith (Heb 11:7). So he became the lifeline of the human race.

Prayer: Lord, help me not to grieve you, but to obey your word and live by faith.

One Word: Don't grieve God--believe and obey

THE FLOOD Genesis 7:1-24, Key Verse: 7:23

1. Go into the ark (1-16)

Noah believed God and built the ark. God made a covenant with Noah (6:18). When the time came, he commanded Noah to enter the ark with his family. He took pairs of every living creature, and necessary food for them and for his family. Noah did all that God had commanded. They went into the ark and the Lord shut the door. Those who entered the ark by obedient faith were saved; all others were lost. In the same way, God saves those who come to Jesus and put their trust in him. Those who refuse God's provision for salvation will be lost (Jn 3:16-18).

2. The floodgates of heaven were opened (17-24)

They entered the ark on the 17th day of the 2nd month of Noah's 600th year. On that day the flood came. Water came up from the ground and rain poured from the sky. It rained 40 days and 40 nights, and water covered the earth. Even the highest mountains were covered with water. Only Noah and those with him in the ark survived.

Prayer: Father, your judgment is just; I also deserve to die; keep me in Jesus, the ark of my salvation.

One Word: Fear God; trust and obey him

GOD REMEMBERED NOAH Genesis 8:1-22, Key Verse: 8:1

1. God restores creation (1-17)

The earth was covered with water, as it had been in the beginning. But Noah's ark floated on the surface of the water. For Noah's sake, God again made the earth habitable. He pushed back the flood waters with a wind. The dry land appeared. The dove and raven tested the atmosphere as the first birds had on the 5th day. When the dove brought back a green olive leaf, Noah knew that the earth was not dead but alive! Hope was born in his heart.

2. Noah worships God (18-22)

Noah came out of the ark at God's command, one year and ten days after he entered it. Noah knew he was a sinner. He deserved to perish, but by God's grace he was saved. He built an altar and, with a thankful heart, offered a burnt offering to atone for sin. God accepted his offering. God knew that man's sinful heart had not been changed (8:21), but he accepted Noah's offering and looked forward to the perfect sacrifice for sin.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for remembering sinners and providing for our redemption.

One Word: God welcomes sinners who come to him

THE COVENANT OF LIFE Genesis 9:1-17, Key Verse: 9:16

1. Order restored (1-3)

God blessed Noah as he had blessed Adam (1:28a). But creation order had been broken by man's sin, so man could not rule over the earth without God's help. No one can live in chaos, so God reestablished order. But it was an order based on fear, not on love and respect. Man became carnivorous. "Survival of the fittest" became the rule. Because of the carnage of the flood, life became cheap. So God had to teach man the value of life.

2. Man's life is precious (4-17)

The value of man’s life is not derived from his pragmatic usefulness. He is valuable because he bears God's image (6). The fetus in the womb, the retarded or old person all have God's life in them. God taught the value of human life by making murder a capital offense. The covenant of life and the rainbow remind us that all life belongs to God. God remembered Noah’s offering, and set aside blood to use as a sacrifice for sin on the altar (Lev 17:11). It was for atonement and man’s spiritual life.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to respect every person, for your image is in each of us.

One Word: God made man in his image

THE SONS OF NOAH Genesis 9:18-28, Key Verse: 9:23

1. Ham's disrespect for his father (18-22)

Noah was a man of human weaknesses. One day, he enjoyed wine and got drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. His two older sons respected their father and covered his shame. But Ham made fun of him.

2. Noah curses Canaan (23-28)

The human race was beginning again, and there was only one family on earth. From this family came the people who populated the earth. Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan because of what Ham had done. This was not just a family matter; Noah's family was the first building block of human society. Man must live in community, and there must be respect and order. A father, a king or a president must be respected because he represents the whole. Order in society demands that respect be given to those to whom respect is due (Ro 13:6,7). The words of Noah were prophetic. The descendants of Canaan were corrupt; God's hand of judgment fell on them when Israel conquered Canaan.

Prayer: Father, restore mutual respect to this nation and its families.

One Word: Respect to whom respect is due

THE CLANS OF NOAH’S SONS Genesis 10:1-32, Key Verse: 10:9

1. The Japhethites (1-5)

Japheth was apparently the oldest (21). After Babel (ch 11), people spread to their territories. Their clans became nations, each with its own language. Some sons of Japheth built boats and sailed the oceans. Perhaps they were the ancestors of the Europeans.

2. The Hamites (6-20)

Among Ham’s descendants were both godly and ungodly people. There was Nimrod, son of Cush. He was a powerful and godly man (9). He built the great cities of Mesopotamia: Babylon and Nineveh. The Cushites also pioneered Africa. Canaan was another son of Ham. The Canaanites lived in the land God gave to Abraham. They were godless and corrupt; God’s judgment fell on them.

3. The Semites (21-32)

The descendants of Shem are the ancestors of the oriental peoples. Abraham was from the line of Shem. This genealogy is repeated in 11:10-26.

Prayer: Lord, I praise you for your sovereign rule of history. Help me to live before you even in a godless society.

One Word: Nimrod, a mighty man before God

THE TOWER OF BABEL Genesis 11:1-26, Key Verse: 11:6,7

1. A tower that reaches to heaven (11:1-4)

The descendants of Noah settled in the plain of Shinar. Contrary to God’s command, they decided not to scatter. They all spoke the same language. They developed technology They believed in their human invincibility. Together they could rule the world without God. So they decided to build a tower that reached to the heavens. It would be a symbol of their pride and human greatness. They didn't need God. People still build such monuments to pride.

2. The Lord scattered them (5-9)

God saw their pride and disobedience, but he did not destroy them. Instead, he effectively thwarted their plans by confusing their language. They couldn't talk to each other without intense language study; so they scattered.

3. God’s new plan (10-26)

God quietly began his own plan to save the world. He would focus on one man. So the genealogy of Shem is repeated, for it leads to Abram.

Prayer: Lord, help us to obey your word instead of using technology to build towers.

One Word: Use abilities to glorify God

YOU WILL BE A BLESSING Genesis 11:27-12:9, Key Verse: 12:2,3

1. Leave your country (11:27-12:1)

Abram lived in a world under curse. His wife was barren. He was stuck in a fruitless, meaningless life. Then God called him to leave his father’s house and go to an unknown land.

2. I will bless you (2-5)

God does not call men to make them miserable. God promised to bless Abram. He promised to make this barren man into a great nation. He promised to make his name great. God would train him in faith until he became a man of great inner strength and character. God promised to make Abram a source of blessing for all people (Gal 3:8,9). God blesses us so that we can be a blessing.

3. Building altars in Canaan (6-9)

Abram obeyed God’s word and left. When he and his family arrived in Canaan, God promised, “To your offspring I will give this land.” Abram believed God and built an altar. He continued to build altars and call on the name of the Lord as he lived in tents in the promised land among the powerful Canaanites.

Prayer: Lord, give me courage to live by faith, and make me a blessing.

One Word: Blessed to be a blessing

ABRAM GOES DOWN TO EGYPT Genesis 12:10-13:4, Key Verse: 13:4

1. "Say you are my sister" (10-16)

Abram went to Canaan in obedience to God's word; he went to Egypt because of a material problem created by the famine. He did not pray or build altars in Egypt. He made a selfish plan for his own survival (11-13). His plan worked; he was treated well for Sarai's sake, and his life was spared (16). But he lost his wife, and the possibility of having children by her, and he lost the land God had promised him.

2. Abram comes out of Egypt (17-13:4)

Abram was trapped by his own folly. He did not know that God was in Egypt, but God was there. The Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh's household. Pharaoh realized that he was in trouble because of Sarai, so he expelled Abram's family from Egypt–with all the wealth they had acquired there. Abram returned to the altar he had built before, and again called on the name of the Lord. This was an act of repentance; it was a new beginning. God helped and blessed him in spite of his weaknesses.

Prayer: Lord, help me to depend on you and not on my human calculations.

One Word: A man of God must live by faith

ABRAM AND LOT SEPARATE Genesis 13:5-13, Key Verse: 13:8,9

1. God blessed Abram and Lot (5-9)

Abram came out of Egypt with great wealth and with a repentant heart. He trusted God and returned to his altar-building life. Lot, his nephew, moved around with Abram, but he maintained an independent life. Because of Abram Lot too became wealthy. Then a problem arose: The land could not support them together. So when their herdsmen began to quarrel, Abram suggested that they separate. Lot jumped at the chance. Abram offered Lot first choice. He regarded his relationship with Lot as more important than getting the best land.

2. Lot's choice (10-13)

The valley of the Jordan looked like a combination of the garden of the Lord and the land of Egypt--the best of both worlds. So Lot chose this, and moved near the city of Sodom. Two things about Sodom are mentioned here: First, it would be destroyed; second, the men of Sodom were sinning greatly against the Lord. Lot's selfish decision seemed small, but it would lead him to destruction.

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust you and your blessings; keep me from compromise.

One Word: People before property

GOD ENCOURAGES ABRAM Genesis 13:14-18, Key Verse: 13:14,15

1. After Lot had parted from him (14a)