Genesis

Genesis

by Laurie Polich-Short

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Overview

Genesis by Laurie Polich-Short

Studying the Bible can be a daunting prospect, with each passage revealing new truths at every reading. The Studies on the Go series is designed to help keep your youth group focused and exciting, exploring the rich depths in every book of the bible. In Genesis, Laurie Polich-Short delivers a set of 30 in-depth study sessions to unlock the potential in the first book of the Bible. Every chapter is examined with care and matched with questions to promote discussion in a group study setting. These segments also include tips to help your students apply what they learn in their everyday lives. The Studies on the Go series has provided invaluable resources for small group leaders, and Genesis is a title in that same tradition. Structured study questions and varied discussion topics promise a rich experience and deeper understanding of God’s word for your small group.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310889830
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Series: Studies on the Go Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Laurie is a speaker, writer and associate pastor of Ocean Hills Covenant Church (www.oceanhills.org). She speaks at youth conferences, women's conferences, colleges and churches around the country. lauriepolich.com/Short/About_Laurie.html

Read an Excerpt

Studies on the Go

Genesis
By Laurie Polich-Short

Zondervan

Copyright © 2012 Laurie Polich-Short
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-88983-0


Chapter One

IN THE BEGINNING Genesis 1

* * *

"In the beginning, God created."

Genesis 1 reveals how. With the words "And God said" the power of God's word is demonstrated. God spoke—and it came to be. Light and darkness. Earth and sky. Plants and trees. Stars and sunshine. Fish and birds. You and me.

God said, "Let there be ..." and there was.

The first 26 verses of Genesis 1 describe how God created life. But the last seven verses show that God gave responsibility for that life to us. God declared us rulers of creation, and because of that we have the power to plant trees and give birth to babies and cure diseases.

But we also have the power to kill and destroy and bring death.

One look at the way we've handled this power makes us question whether human beings were worthy of such responsibility.

God believed that we were.

Perhaps that is the greatest miracle of all.

IN THE BEGINNING: GENESIS 1

Share

Warm-Up Qs (Use one or more as needed depending on your group)

• If someone asked you to describe how you suppose the world began, how would you answer?

• While you were growing up, were you taught to agree with divine creation or the theory of evolution? Which view best represents what you agree with now?

• What evidence of God's creative power do you see in the world around you? Is there any place in the world around you where you feel closest to God? Why?

Observe

Observation Qs

• According to vv. 1-2, what information do we have about how the earth came to be? What information do we have about God from these verses? What information don't we have?

• As you observe vv. 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, and 24, what do they all have in common? How did God create the world?

• What was the order of creation? (What did God create first? What did God create last?) Is there any verse in Genesis 1 that is confusing to you?

• What do you observe in vv. 26-30 about the creation of human beings? What tasks did God give us to do?

Think

Interpretation Qs

• According to Genesis 1, there were six "days" of Creation. But v. 14 says God introduced the measurement of seasons, days, and years. Do you believe the six days of creation were the same length as our days? Why/why not?

• How does God view the objects of his creation? How do we know? Did God say anything different after he created us? What clues do we have in this chapter about God's feelings in regard to creating the world and us?

• Look at Genesis 1:26-27. Do you wonder if God created only men in his image—or men and women? Why? What do you suppose it means to be created in God's image?

• Why do you suppose God says, "Let us make mankind in our image?" (v. 26) Why does God use plural language?

Apply

Application Qs

• If someone asked if you believe the earth and human race were divinely created, how would you respond?

• What part(s) of the biblical creation account are difficult for you to understand? What parts are easy for you to understand?

• As you consider the tasks God has given humans to do on this earth (vv. 26-30), how do you rate our performance? Do you suppose God is pleased or disappointed with how we've managed the world around us? What grade do you give yourself as a manager of creation?

• When you think about being made in God's image, how does that affect the way you feel about yourself? Do you feel more like a mistake or a masterpiece? Why?

Do

Optional Activity

Gather magazines and newspapers and put them in the middle of your group. Distribute pieces of poster board or construction paper and have your group cut out and paste (on one side of the paper) words and images that represent how they see themselves; on the other side should be words and images that represent how God created them to be. Have your students share if there are differences between the way they see themselves and the way God sees them—and why.

QUIET TIME REFLECTIONS

Day 1: Genesis 1:1-5

• What word or verse stands out to you from this passage? Why?

• How did God start creating the heavens and the earth? What did God use to create?

• Spend time today thinking about the power of God's word— and what kind of power it has in your life.

Day 2: Genesis 1:6-13

• What word or verse stands out to you from this passage? Why?

• What did the earth first look like when God created the sky? When did trees first appear?

• Spend time today thinking about what the earth looked like after the third day.

Day 3: Genesis 1:13-19

• What word or verse stands out to you from this passage? Why?

• Where did seasons come from? What is the "light to govern the day" that God created for us?

• Spend time today thinking about what the earth would be like without the sun—and thank God for its light and warmth.

Day 4: Genesis 1:20-25

• What word or verse stands out to you from this passage? Why?

• Where did God first create living creatures? What were they?

• Spend time today thinking about the different fish and animals God has created—and how they reflect God's artistry.

Day 5: Genesis 1:26-28

• What word or verse stands out to you from these verses? Why?

• What two commands does God give man and woman? What does this tell you about God's love for us?

• Spend time today thinking about God's love expressed to us through creation.

Day 6: Genesis 1:29-31

• What word or verse stands out to you from these verses? Why?

• How does God feel about creation when he's through? Do you suppose God still feels that way?

• Spend time today thinking about how you have appreciated God for creation. What can you be thankful for today?

Day 7: Genesis 1

Read through the whole chapter and write out the verse or passage that stood out to you the most this week. What did you learn from this chapter that you can apply to your life?

Chapter Two

ADAM AND EVE Genesis 2

* * *

Unlike the rest of creation, human beings were not spoken into existence. We were made—by God's own hands. By creating woman and man, God satisfied the human need for relationships. And God has been doing that ever since.

We are given fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends and partners, husbands and wives. These relationships bring joy and sorrow to our lives, but in them we grow to become what we never could become alone.

Genesis 2 also introduces us to one of life's greatest mysteries—the power of human choice. God introduces this power by planting a tree in the garden and telling Adam not to eat from it. We might wonder why God would allow the possibility of humanity's wrong choice by putting that tree in the garden; but without that possibility, there would be no freedom. And that's the real message of Genesis 2.

Human beings were created by God to be free. Obedience is our choice.

ADAM AND EVE: GENESIS 2

Share

Warm-Up Qs

• Do you imagine God as a male or a female or both? How do you picture God?

• When was the last time you felt really lonely? What caused you to feel that way?

• How would the world be different if there were only men and no women? How about if there were only women and no men?

Observe

Observation Qs

• According to v. 7, how did God make man? What caused the man to become a living being?

• What was the man's purpose in the Garden of Eden according to v. 15? What specific instruction did God give the man in vv. 16-17?

• What did God notice about the man in v. 18? What did God decide to do?

• According to vv. 21-23, how did God make woman? How did the man respond? What was God's design for man and woman according to v. 24?

Think

Interpretation Qs

• How does this creation account differ from the creation that happens in Genesis 1? What are the similarities?

• Why do you suppose the Bible records both Genesis 1 and 2? What does chapter 2 offer that chapter 1 doesn't include?

• Do you suppose it was significant that the woman was created out of man's rib? (v. 21) Why do you suppose God did that rather than creating her separately out of the dust in the ground?

• Look back at Genesis 1:27. Do you believe God's image is found only in man—or in woman and man together? What does that tell you about God?

Apply

Application Qs

• Why do you suppose God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone"? Do you suppose you could survive without other people in your life? Why/why not?

• Why do you suppose people tend to picture God as a man? Do you believe it's possible that God has both male and female characteristics? Why/why not?

• What do you believe God's original intention was for the relationship between women and men? Do you believe that our culture is following God's intention? (see v. 24)

• Why do you suppose God gave the possibility of choice by placing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden? What would human beings be like if we couldn't choose wrong?

Do

Optional Activity

Get play dough or clay and distribute an equal amount to each student in your group. Give them 10 minutes to form their clay into the shape of people. Debrief the experience by talking about the challenges they had with this exercise, and what it must have been like for God to shape a human being from the dust. Have everyone vote on the clay model that best represents God's design in Genesis 2.

QUIET TIME REFLECTIONS

Day 1: Genesis 2:1-3

• What word or verse stands out to you from these verses? Why? • What did God do after creating the earth? What does that tell you about our own lives?

• Spend time today thinking about the ways you rest. Do you believe you need to work more—or rest more?

Day 2: Genesis 2:4-7

• What word or verse stands out to you from these verses? Why?

• How did God form the first man? What caused man to become a living being? How does that relate to our own lives?

• Spend time today thinking about the gift of breathing. Have you ever been thankful for being able to breathe?

Day 3: Genesis 2:8-14

• What word or verse stands out to you from this passage? Why?

• What two trees were in the Garden of Eden? Why do you suppose God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden?

• Spend time today thinking about how God brought freedom of choice into the world.

Day 4: Genesis 2:15-17

• What word or verse stands out to you from these verses? Why?

• What does God command the man to do? Do you feel as though God is being unfair to the man by creating something he's supposed to avoid?

• Spend time today thinking about how God strengthens us by giving us choices.

Day 5: Genesis 2:18-22

• What word or verse stands out to you from this passage? Why?

• Why did God form the first woman? What does this tell you about God's intention for women and men?

• Spend time today thinking about the differences between men and women and why God created both.

Day 6: Genesis 2:23-25

• What word or verse stands out to you from these verses? Why?

• How do the man and woman feel about themselves by the end of this chapter? How does this differ from the way we feel today?

• Spend time today thinking about God's intention for man and woman and how things are different today.

Day 7: Genesis 2

Read through the whole chapter and write out the verse or passage that stood out to you the most this week. What did you learn from this chapter that you can apply to your life?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Studies on the Go by Laurie Polich-Short Copyright © 2012 by Laurie Polich-Short. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1. Genesis 1: “In the Beginning” (sample enclosed)
2. Genesis 2: “Adam and Eve”
3. Genesis 3: “The Fall”
4. Genesis 4: “Cain and Abel”
5. Genesis 6-9: “The Flood”
6. Genesis 10-11: “The Tower of Babel”
7. Genesis 12-15: “The Call of Abraham”
8. Genesis 16: “Hagar and Ishmael”
9. Genesis 17-18: “Is anything too hard?”
10. Genesis 18-19: “Sodom and Gomorrah”
11. Genesis 20-21: “Fear and Faith”
12. Genesis 22: “Abraham’s test”
13. Genesis 24: A Perfect Match”
14. Genesis 25: “Twins of Prophecy”
15. Genesis 27: “Jacob’s Blessing”
16. Genesis 29-30: “Leah and Rachel”
17. Genesis 32: “Wrestling with God”
18. Genesis 33: “Surprised by Grace”
19. Genesis 34: “Results of Revenge”
20. Genesis 37: “Devine Dreams”
21. Genesis 38: “Tamar’s Tenacity”
22. Genesis 39: “Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife”
23. Genesis 40: “Trust in Trials”
24. Genesis 41: “Perseverance Pays off”
25. Genesis 42: “Unrecognized Reunion
26. Genesis 43-44: “Grief and Payback”
27. Genesis 45: “Seeing God’s perspective”
28. Genesis 47: Authority from God
29. Genesis 49: “A shadow of things to come”
30. Genesis 50: “God’s Purpose Revealed”

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