Step 9: The Old Testament
The fall of Adam not only affected man's relationship with God, but it eventually caused a breach in human relationships. The downward course of human nature plunged even deeper with the murder of Abel by his brother Cain.
As people began to forge a civilization without God, violence and death became constant realities of human existence. Man's wickedness became so vile that God regretted ever making a human being.
Finding only Noah and his family worthy of saving, God decided to destroy His creation by flood. Nevertheless, after the flood, man's inherent sin nature caused him to once again go his own willful way. This time, God met man's arrogance by confusing the language of evil people and scattering them over the face of the earth.
Even so, we see the redemptive heart of God at work in the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The calling of Abraham brought the promise of salvation. Because Abraham obeyed God in faith and love, God was able to give him a promise of blessing to the world. The story of Abraham shows how God developed and tested Abraham's faith in relationship to the promise.
The chosen line through Abraham and Isaac led down to the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, who fulfilled the promise of blessing and redemption. The lineage of Christ is part of the fabric of the Book of Genesis. Those selected to be in the line were chosen because they were men of faith like Abraham. Today, we who choose Jesus by faith have our part with faithful Abraham (Romans 4:16).
Cain and Abel
In Genesis 4, two sacrifices are made. Evaluate each. Why was one acceptable to God and the other was not? What do you think verse 7 means?
Read Hebrews 11:4. What part did faith play in Cain and Abel's sacrifice? Give at least one present-day example of the two types of sacrifices offered by Cain and Abel.
Why was God sorry that He had made man on the Earth? (Genesis 6:5-7)
Why was Noah chosen by God to build an ark? (Genesis 6:8-9)
What do you think God accomplished through Noah? (Genesis 6:17-22, Hebrews 11:7)
Abraham holds a unique place in the history of the world. Three religions point to Abraham as the founder of their faith: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. On the basis of Genesis Genesis 12:2-3, 16:4,15, 17:19, how does each faith trace its origins to Abraham?
Why do you suppose God made the request of Abraham recorded in Genesis 22:1-2? Study Genesis 22:8 and give your explanation of it.
How does Abraham's willingness picture God's love for us?
What important lesson have you learned from God's response to Cain?
Do you think you would have boarded the ark with Noah? Why or why not?
How have you and your family been blessed in Abraham as promised in Genesis 12:3?
How can the story of Abraham's offering Isaac to God in Genesis 22 help your faith to grow?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.