S3E2: Abraham's Story (Feb. 6)
People of Promise /:2:/ Abraham's Story.
Remember, all the preview material below is optional. Just show up!
Scripture Covered: Genesis 16-20
Themes: The pattern of human choice and consequence demonstrated by Abram and his family, underscored by the continued blessing of God's unconditional promise; also, Abram's name change to Abraham; and The Angel of Yahweh who shows up to reiterate and make good on the promise of God's blessing.
Key Question(s): Does God really know best? Does God keep His promises? How do I feel about God's blessing resting on people who have done me wrong or who I don't like very much? And who is this Angel of Yahweh character?
Abraham's story is filled with episodes of human drama and the consequence of bad decisions. All throughout, God's faithfulness and promise of unconditional blessing remains constant. If we're honest with ourselves, we demonstrate a similar pattern of life to that of Abraham and his family— sometimes it seems easy to believe in God's promise, walk in God's love, and follow God's will. But other times we take issue with God's commands and want to take matters into our own hands. And when the consequences of our own decision come, it's tempting to blame someone else, or even to blame God for our circumstances, rather than to take responsibility for our own actions.
In this section of Genesis we look deeper into the family life of Abram, whose name is changed by God to Abraham (meaning "Father of a Multitude"), to reiterate God's unconditional promise of blessing. Throughout the story of Abraham's family an enigmatic character named "The Angel of Yahweh" continues to show up, reiterating God's promise and speaking as God.
During our gathering we'll look into the identity of this character and the role He plays in the continuing pattern of personal formation through faith, choice and consequence of our human behavior (discussed in our previous gathering). As a preview, our ministry partners at The Bible Project have created a short video describing this enigmatic character, The Angel of the Lord. Enjoy!
Most if not all of the Bible’s most important concepts are introduced in the book of Genesis, even though many biblical precepts, whether moral, civil or spiritual, take thousands of years to fully develop. Some even have yet to be fully realized, e.g. the full restoration of God’s Kingdom on Earth. In these initial pages of scripture, we see a glimpse of important things such as marriage & relational fidelity, patience, faith, faithlessness, sin, consequence, angst, strife, promise, blessing and salvation.
As we read through Abraham’s story we are invited to look inward into our own lives and see our story and behavior within the life of Abraham and his immediate family. While it isn’t entirely rosey, if we pay attention we’ll find encouragement and hope in God’s faithfulness and blessing that underpins everything in spite of bad decisions.