Bible Stories for Adults
God Makes a Covenant With Abraham
Welcome and Announcements
Next Week - The Offering of Isaac (Genesis 22)
Bible Words to Remember:
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ.
And so through Him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20
Promises to Abraham (Genesis 12-15)
What promises did God make to Abram when He called him? = Write on board
Genesis 12:2-3 = great nation, bless you, name great, be a blessing, all blessed thru you
What was Abraham's responsibility under this agreement, and did he fulfill it? = Sep. column
Genesis 12:1, 4 = Leave & follow God
What did God promise after Abram let Lot choose the choice land? = Add to board
Genesis 13:14-16 = All visible land, offspring like dust of the earth
What did God promise Abram after he rescued Lot and gave a tithe? (Genesis 14)
Genesis 15:1 = I am your shield (protect you) & great reward (bless you)
Blessed Abram (Genesis 15:2-6)
Did Abram get to see God's promises to him fulfilled?
Hebrews 11:8-9, 13 = No, but he accepted them by faith, fulfilled later
Did God fulfill any of His promises during Abram's life?
Genesis 13:2 = Yes, God blessed him materially
Did Abram feel fully blessed?
Genesis 15:2-3 = Didn't see how promises could be fulfilled without an heir
How did God respond to Abram's confusion and doubt?
Genesis 15:4-5 = Restated promise and elaborated on size
Did this help or did Abram continue to doubt?
Genesis 15:6 = He trusted God - his faith was credited to him as righteousness
Was Abram considered righteous because he obeyed God's instructions?
Romans 3:10, 20 = No, no one obeys the law perfect enough to be righteous
Then why was he considered righteous?
Romans 4:1-3 = His faith was credited to him as righteousness
Did Abram's good works and obedience help earn this righteousness at least a little?
Romans 4:4-8 = No, righteousness can only be received as a gift through faith
How does Paul explain this in a summary of the gospel?
Ephesians 2:8-9 = By grace you have been saved through faith ... gift of God
God's Covenant with Abram (Genesis 15)
Did Abram have any further doubts after God restated His promise of descendants?
Genesis 15:7-8 = He asked for help believing the promise of land
How were pledges and promises formalized in the days of the patriarchs?
Genesis 31:44-45, 48-50 = Jacob & Laban made witness heap, God is witness
Blood Covenant - Used as an absolute and unbreakable guarantee of critical agreements
Bound two parties together as one
Very serious & solemn - Reserved for only special & critical agreements
3 large animals split down the spine, halves spread on ground opposite each other
"May this happen to me if I break this covenant"
Parties exchanged coats - exchange of authority, What I have is yours
Exchanged weapons - My strength is yours, Your enemies are mine
Met each other in the center
Walked twice through The Way of Blood - Trail of blood between halves
The Blessing of the Covenant - Stated pledges of agreement
The Cut of the Covenant - Cut hands & wrists, bound together to intermingle blood
Pronounced a curse for breaking the covenant
Parties swore by their god, making him a third party
Joined names together
Ate a covenant meal of bread & wine together (Bread for flesh, wine for blood)
Represented willingness to lay down lives for each other
How did God show Abram how serious He was about His promises?
Genesis 15:9-10 = God had Abram prepare a blood covenant
How did God make this a one-sided covenant where all Abram had to do was accept it?
Genesis 15:11-12 = Waited all day until Abram tired and fell asleep
What was The Blessing of the Covenant? = Land from Brook of Egypt (Wadi, SW of Gaza) to Euphrates
Genesis 15:13-16, 18 = Told details of when, how and what
How did God handle the covenant ritual of walking twice through The Way of Blood?
Genesis 15:17 = Smoking firepot & blazing torch passed between pieces
What was the meaning behind the smoke and fire? = Represented God's presence
Exodus 13:21 = God stayed with Israelites in pillars of cloud & fire
How did God guarantee His covenant with us?
Hebrews 7:22; 9:12 = Jesus guarantees the better covenant by his own blood
God's Covenants with His People = What other major covenants did God make with His people?
Genesis 9:8 = With Noah, never destroy creation with a flood, rainbow
Exodus 19:3-6 = With Israelites on Mount Sinai, be my people
2 Samuel 7:8, 12-13 = Promise of an eternal kingdom from David's offspring
Jeremiah 31:31, 34 = Make a new covenant with Israel, all will know me, I will forgive
John 14:2-3 = In my Father's house are many rooms, I go to prepare a place for you
God Confirms His Covenant (Genesis 17:1-14)
What did God decide to do around 14 years after making this Blood Covenant with Abram?
Genesis 17:1-2 = Confirm His covenant, Greatly increase Abram's numbers
How did God point out that this really was the time? = Name change indicates change point in life
Genesis 17:3-5 = Changed his name; I have made you a father of many nations
What promises did God confirm?
Abram / Abraham = the (my) father is exalted / father of many
Genesis 17:6-8 = make fruitful, nations & kings from you, your God forever, Land of Canaan
Was this another one-sided covenant or did Abraham have a responsibility?
Genesis 17:9-10, 14 = All males circumcised, visible sign reminding Israel of special calling
How long did it take Abraham to complete what God commanded?
Circumcise = to separate, cut off - become a separate people cut-off from evil world
Genesis 17:23 = On that very day
God's Covenant Through Sarah (Genesis 17:15-19)
How did God point out that the life change was not only for Abraham?
Genesis 17:15-16 = Changed Sarai's name to Sarah
How did this differ from Abraham's understanding of God's plan?
Sarai = Possibly name of moon goddess in Haran
Sarah = means princess, royalty would come from her - Mother of nations & kings
Genesis 17:17-18 = He thought God would fulfill promises thru Ishmael
Why did God wait until Abraham & Sarah were old before bringing Isaac?
Genesis 17:19 = Only possible by God, Ishmael came from A taking matters in his own hand
How had God introduced Himself to Abram, and why?
Genesis 17:1 = El Shaddai (God Almighty), total control over nature, inc. Sarai's barrenness
What is the significance of circumcision instituted before Isaac?
Jeremiah 32:27 = I am the Lord ... Is anything too hard for me?
Colossians 2:11-12 = Chosen to be cut off from sinful world before child of covenant can come
Justified by Circumcision? (Romans 4)
Was Abraham justified (deemed righteous) & blessed because of circumcision?
Romans 4:9-11a = Abraham was righteous by faith, before he was circumcised
Are God's promises to Abraham's descendants only to the Jews (circumcised)?
Romans 4:11b-12 = promises to those of faith, not circumcision
How did Abraham receive the promise? By obeying the law?
Romans 4:13-15 = No. Through the righteousness that comes by faith
How can we be heirs to the promises God made to Abraham?
Romans 4:16-17 = Promise comes by faith; Abraham is father of the faithful in God's sight
Why did Abraham believe God's promise of offspring when he was past age?
Hebrews 11:11-12 = By faith Abraham became the father of multitudes
How can righteousness be credited to us?
Romans 4:18-22 = He believed God had the power to do what he said
Romans 4:23-25 = Righteousness will be credited to those who trust in Christ
God Visits (Genesis 18:1-15)
How did Abraham recognize God among the three strangers?
Genesis 18:1-2 = Recognizing God is possible when you live in a right relationship with God
How did Abraham react to this visit by God & angels?
Genesis 18:3-8 = Welcomed them heartily, washed feet, gave food & rest
What was God's message to Abraham?
Genesis 18:9-10 = To announce the coming of a promised son
How did Sarah respond to God's message?
Genesis 18:11-12 = She laughed since she & Abraham were too old
Would Sarah's laughter or age (90) interfere with God's plan?
Genesis 18:13-14 = Is anything too hard for the Lord? She will have a son
They Called Him Laughter (Genesis 17:19)
Isaac means laughter. Why did God pick such a name?
Genesis 17:17 = Abraham laughed at the idea of having a child at 100
What other biblical birth was received skeptically?
Genesis 18:10-15 = Sarah laughed at idea of child, then denied it
Genesis 21:6-7 = Sarah said, God has brought me laughter & everyone will laugh with me
Genesis 17:19 = God said to call him Isaac, God laughs with pleasure in giving His grace
Luke 1:31, 34-37 = Jesus born of virgin, John the B born to old E
Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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