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<< AT A GLANCE
Audience People of Israel
1450-1410 B.C. Moses may have completed Genesis before his death on Mount Nebo. The Israelites were camped on the east side of the Jordan River, awaiting their entrance into the promised land.
Setting The events take place in Mesopotamia, the region known today as the Middle East.
Verse to Remember I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (12:2-3).
Central Theme From the beginning, God has desired a relationship with his creation-you!
UNCHANGING TRUTH >> When we fell, we fell hard. That's what the book of Genesis shows us again and again. When God created us (the human race), he gave us everything we could possibly want, including the opportunity to choose for ourselves whether to obey or disobey him.
We looked around at paradise, saw how perfect everything would be if we would just follow God's plan ... and then took off on a sin spree that ruined everything. Creation hasn't been the same since. And once we got a taste of sin, we were hooked. Lying, cheating, sex with strangers, incest, kidnapping, rape, murder, human sacrifice-nothing was too disgusting or too nasty for us.
The thing is, though, no matter how far we fell, no matter how sick and twisted things got, no matter how badly we messed things up, God never stopped loving us. Sure, he called down some scary judgments to remind us how seriously he takes sin, but he never wiped us off the face of the earth or abandoned us. He never gave us what we deserved. Why? Because God had a plan to make things right again, a way for us to enjoy the kind of relationship with him that he had in mind all along.
If you've done some things that have seemingly ruined your relationship with God, don't let that be the end of your story. Do something about it. Admit what you've done. Ask God to forgive you, and start again. Remember, God allows "do overs."
LIFE LESSONS >>
1 God is the reason the world is a remarkably beautiful place. Every time we notice the amazing wonders of creation, we should praise God for his creative work (1:31).
2 God does not take our sin lightly. Neither should we (6:5-7).
3 God promises to bless people who are faithful to him. If we obey him, he will use us to accomplish his will (6:8-8:19).
4 The fact that we are able to claim Jesus as Savior and Lord today is due to the personal relationship God began with Abraham and his descendants (12:1-3).
GENESIS 5: 17
17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived 895 years, and then he died.
18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.
21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.
28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed." 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
6 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
5 The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
9 This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destory both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.
Live the adventure Ge 6:5-9
Making Yourself Known
God's work isn't a job for cowards or chameleons. The kind of people God uses to accomplish his will are those who are willing to step away from the crowd-away from doing what everyone else is doing-in order to take a bold stand for him. If you want to truly follow God, your place will be out in the open, where others can see you and everyone knows who you serve.
CAIN VS ABEL
>> Adam and Eve's first son >> Adam and Eve's second son
>> Worked as a farmer >> Worked as a shepherd
>> Earned a reputation for being >> Earned a reputation for being faithful indifferent and self-pitying and conscientious
THE MAIN EVENT
In Old Testament times, God's people were required to make regular offerings to the Lord. This usually involved sacrificing an animal or a certain portion of produce as a gift to God. Offerings were serious business. Not only were they a way for people to show their thankfulness for what God had done for them, but they were also a means of demonstrating repentance and receiving God's forgiveness for sin. (Remember, this was way before Jesus died as a once-and-for-all sacrifice for our sins.)
When the time came for Cain and Abel to make their offerings, they had two radically different strategies. Cain haphazardly rounded up some of the crops he had been growing, threw them together as a rather pathetic offering, and said, "Here you go, God. Hope you like it. Too bad if you don't." (Maybe he didn't say those exact words, but no doubt that was his attitude.)
Abel, on the other hand, went to a lot of trouble to make sure his offering was just right. He carefully looked through his flocks and selected the meatiest, least blemished firstborn animals to offer as a sacrifice. Abel worked hard to make sure that his offering was as perfect as it could possibly be.
You know the old saying, "It's the thought that counts"? That was certainly the case here. God knew the thought (or lack of it) that went into Cain and Abel's sacrifices, and he gave each one the response it deserved. God rejected Cain and his offering but welcomed Abel and his offering with open arms.
When Cain saw how God responded, he went ballistic. But instead of dealing with the real issue-his heart-he unleashed his anger and envy on his younger brother. Cain tricked Abel into following him to an isolated field, where he attacked and killed him. When God asked Cain where his brother was, Cain gave the now famous reply, "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Of course, God knew what had really happened. He pronounced a curse on Cain and sentenced him to a lifetime of wandering, with no land to farm and no place to call home.
Cain is remembered today as the first murderer in human history. His name is forever associated with the most violent, heinous crime possible. Abel, on the other hand, is remembered much differently. Hebrews 11 lists the names of Old Testament people whose faith so impressed God that he singled them out as examples for us to follow. That passage is sometimes called "the faith hall of fame," and Able is the first one on the list.
What's interesting is that the legacies of Cain and Abel were built almost exclusively on this one ill-fated incident. The Bible tells us practically nothing else about either man. All we know is that Abel approached his offering-his responsibility to God-with a positive spirit, and Cain approached his with a negative spirit. And that's really all we need to know.
There are lots of areas in our lives where maybe we can get by with less than our best effort-guitar lessons, math homework, basketball practice. But our relationship with the Lord should not be one of them. God demands-and deserves-our best efforts, fueled by a genuine desire to please him.
Read more about Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-16.
GENESIS 16 : 15
HAGAR AND ISHMAEL
16 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, "The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her."
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me."
6 "Your servant is in your hands," Abram said. "Do with her whatever you think best." Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
"I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered.
9 Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." 10 The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."
11 The angel of the LORD also said to her:
"You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.
NOW OR NEVER
GE 16: 1-3
Nothing is impossible for God. He's not restricted by timetables or even biological clocks. He knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it-even if we don't.
To: my son,
Heavenly father: you are never out of my sight. I know all of your joys and sorrows, your strengths and weaknesses, your triumphs and failures, as long as I'm around, you will never be alone and will never have to rely on your own strength, and I'll be involved in your life forever.
Excerpted from NIV Revolution: The Bible for Teen Guys Copyright © 2007 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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