My notes on teaching the Old Testament, by Mama Brenda.
Leader’s notes: Genesis
Don’t give out notes at the beginning or ask the ladies to close their books.
Ask what things and people the ladies found in scanning through Genesis.
It is important that any homework that has been done is seen to be valued.
Work through the first paragraph on page 7 opposite.
What does this book of beginnings tell us the beginning of?
Try and elicit some of the answers in section 1:1-11:9 and then give out notes.
Make sure the ladies know where they are now –
just below where it says Cush on the map on page 2, see introduction.
Student's worksheet. Lesson 2 Genesis
Genesis is the first book in what we call the Old Testament of the Bible. It is also the first of five books which the Jews call the Law - they are the same first five books as our Bibles - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. They are attributed to Moses who lived through much of what happened, but the account of his death must have been added by someone else! Creation and the earliest history was transmitted by word of mouth and in parts by written sources. These were probably collated by Moses inspired by God, the Holy Spirit. To western ears that sounds risky. But many of you will know lots of groups who have oral traditions which have been faithfully and reliably handed down the generations, before that group had written language. We trust God to protect the word He has given us.
1:1 - 11:9 Genesis is a book of beginnings -
the beginning of the world as we know it
the beginning of our universe - God’s creation
the beginning of man - God’s creation
the beginning of sin
the beginning of family
the beginning of the announcement of God’s plan of redemption
It also tells of God’s grief at making mankind, His response of the flood, and after the repopulation of the earth, mankind’s wanting to go his own way and be in charge. These chapters would make a big study in themselves!
11:10 onwards we have the beginning of the story of the development of the nation God called His chosen people.
Genesis 11:10-26 Shem, one of Noah’s sons, was 100yrs old when he had
Arphaxhad was 35 when he had
Shelah was 30 when he had
Eber was 34 when he had
Peleg was 30 when he had
Reu was 32 when he had
Serug was 30 when he had
Nahor was 29 when he had
Terah was 70 when he had Abram, Nahor and Haran. All of these men had other sons and daughters, but God was choosing His chosen line.
Now look at where they were on the map of major empires, page 2 in Introduction.
Genesis 11:27-32 Haran (the person) died in Ur of the Chaldees.
Leader's notes: Genesis.
Get the ladies to find the information from Genesis 12:1-9.
The route they took followed the Fertile Crescent – land where it was possible to grow food and look after animals. South of this crescent was scrub and desert. This was, therefore, the usual route for travelling from Canaan to Babylon, Nineveh, Ur etc. Remember that fact when you get to exiles and returnees with Ezra and Nehemiah, in lessons 17 and 18.
Teach about the covenants with Noah, Abram, Abraham, and to the bottom of the page.
Student's worksheet: Genesis.
Terah, Abram and Sarai, with Haran’s son, Lot, left to go to Canaan but stopped at Haran (the place), where Terah died.
Ur and Haran are both on the map, page 2. The large travelling family left Ur of the Chaldees and travelled north west to Haran, then south west to Canaan. So with today’s boundaries - from south Iraq to south Turkey, to Syria and into Israel and Palestine.
Did you notice a fact in Genesis 11:30? Sarai had not had any children.
Then in Genesis 12:1-5 Abram, Sarai and Lot set out for Canaan because God had called Abram to go. God promised this leader of a group of nomadic herders:
12:2 from him would come a great nation
12:2,3 he would be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth
12:7 God would give him land
After the flood God had made a covenant with Noah - Genesis 9:12-17 - He made no demands of Noah - but He said He would never again destroy all earthly life with a flood.
God also made a covenant with Abram - Genesis 15:1-7 - he will have a son and the descendants will be as numerous as the stars. Abram believed God - against human understanding. This covenant made no demands on Abram.
Genesis 17 God confirmed His covenant with Abram -
name changed from Abram (God is Exalted Father) to Abraham (father of many)
nations and kings will come from Abraham
Canaan will be an everlasting possession
Sarai is to be called Sarah
But there is a cost - they must keep the covenant - the sign is circumcision - every male in the household more than 8 days old must be circumcised. For the Jews this still happens at 8 days old, for Abraham this happened at 99 years, for Ishmael it happened at 13 years (17:24-25), for the men with Abraham it happened at a variety of ages!
A Covenant is a formal binding agreement
Notice the changes in the covenants - no demands in Genesis 9 on Noah
no demands in Genesis 15 on Abraham
circumcision required in Genesis 17 on all males
Plus see Genesis 16:6; Romans 4:3; Hebrews 11:8,9,12,13; Romans 4:1,10-12.
Abraham’s trust in God’s promises is counted as righteousness. We will see Abraham in heaven!
Leader's notes: Genesis.
Work through the 4 applications to us today (see opposite page).
Number 1 is the most challenging. Think about it for yourself.
Try and understand it for yourself.
Then help the ladies to work on it.
It may be that it is helpful to think about God and nothing else with eyes closed - so you cannot see the material world - but you know your group, you decide how best to teach your ladies these things.
Student's worksheet: Genesis.
So how does this lesson apply to us? Isn’t it just ancient history? No!
1. God has a plan - before time was – before the universe was – before
man was - God was. Try pushing your mind to take hold of this truth –
nothing, nothing no-one but God!
2. God created - you, me, animals, rocks, rivers, everything –
God made it.
3. God planned people - we may sometimes wish He had not made some
people - but we must remember, then and now, every man/woman is a special creation of our God.
4. We see that God requires us to have faith in Him, to believe Him and to
Four big lessons there! And that is just the start of the Old Testament in our Bibles.
Please read Genesis 12:1-5,11, 15:1-7,16,17, 18:1-15, 21:1-21,
23:1,2,19-21 for next time.