Covenants: Noah

Day 1
The Call of Abraham
Read Genesis 12:1-5
The Lord told Abram very clearly in his dream that he had to go. The Lord also made Abram several promises.
1) I will make you a great Nation
2) I will make you a great blessing
3) I will bless those who bless you & curse those who curse you.
4) All of the people of the Earth will be blessed through you.
If the Lord came to you in a dream, would you believe it? If not, why?
Would you do what the Lord asked you to do in the dream (vision)?
What would your reaction be if God asked something really hard or uncomfortable of you?
Thoughts of Reflection:
The Lord always has greater for each of us. He created us in his image to carry on his word & works. As I think about Abram in this scripture, his work was really hard. Abram was 75 years old. The packing and traveling must have been brutal. Not only did he leave but he had to take all of his possessions and his people.
What do you think he had to say and or do to get all of these people motivated to leave the security of the place they called home and follow him?

Abram and Lot separate
Read Genesis 13:5-9
Abram built an altar to the Lord at each place he had stopped. What a way to honor the Lord! How often do we stop and give offerings of thanks and appreciation unto the Lord as we walk out our assignments? Abram loved his nephew and did not appear to mind that Lot was being blessed by his relationship with him. In today’s society we usually do not welcome such relationships. We have names for people that play a similar role to Lot, like “User, Poser, Gold Digger.” Abram said not a word of anything negative about his nephew being blessed in his presence. In fact, he even let him choose his land to support his wealth & growth.
What is your attitude towards people gaining from hanging out with you? Are you loving them or cursing them?
Would you give the “Lot” in your life first choice of land? Why or why not?
What are you doing to give thanks and praise to the Lord as you walk out your assigned journey?
The altars that Abram built along the way served as a memorial to his children as a sort of “Facebook memories”-like feature in his life. As they would pass by them, Abram would tell the story. This kept going for generations and as you see it is now recorded in the Bible as a reminder and story for us as we come across it in our journey.
How can you do a similar thing in your life for the generations that will come after you?

Read Genesis 15
This is where it seems to all get real serious in Abram’s life. This scene right here is an amazing picture that unfolds before us in a complex and difficult picture of what our salvation looks like. Make no mistake, Abram (Abraham) is not just some insignificant, Old Testament character, but rather that this scene is returned to throughout the whole New Testament as a significant piece of Galatians, Romans, James, and 1 Corinthians. So if you do not pay close attention to this scene, I think you will miss an important element.
Remember, that in a covenant, two people are walking in the agreement. In God’s typical fashion, this story again gives us the picture of Abram, fast asleep and doing nothing, while God (in the image of the smoking pot and fire) floats through the divided sacrifice by himself, offering to take the extreme punishment all on Himself if the covenant is broken. This is the beginning of the story of Jesus!!
All of this language of covenant, sacrifices, and the images in this text seem to be very confusing. How are you doing with understanding it?
What does this text make you feel?
How does this story look like what Jesus did on the cross?

Read Genesis 16
God promised to make Abram a great nation and not through the chief servant of his possessions, Eliezer. Abram, in Genesis 15, believe that God was going to do what He said he was going to do, and that was counted toward him as righteousness. So his righteousness was because of his faith in what God promised.
The reason that is so significant for us is because we think that the belief then coupled with the good life, are what equals us being saved. The placement of chapter 16 in this story blows that out of the water! Remember, that through this whole story, Abram is counted righteous. But yet he takes matters into his own hands and decides that since he is getting up there in age and Sarai is barren, God may need a little help. So the two of them put together a plan to save God from His promise that seems to be tanking! But God didn’t need help and he would prove that…but in another 16 YEARS!!!
How does this part of the story help you in your journey of understanding how and when you were saved?
In what ways have you seen yourself trying to help God along in giving you what think He may be missing?

Read Romans 4:13-25
Romans take the thread of what we have seen in this sermon and weaves it into the New Covenant story, helping us connect the dots and try to understand it all together. I have always been intimidated by the complexity of the book of Romans and its deep truths and hard theological terms. But with this story of Abraham and Sarah fresh on your mind, reading Romans 4:13-25 becomes much easier to work through. If you didn’t get it the first time, I really encourage you to spend some time looking at it and trying hard to process it.
Paul is writing a truth that you need to understand. You can not create your own righteousness or goodness. That endeavor has already failed and the mark of perfection is missed. That is the depressing thing about staying in our sins and not following Jesus. Jesus gives us what we are not able to do ourselves!
How has your idea of faith changed after this sermon and reading Romans 4:13-25?
How does this help you in the battle of your mind and the doubts of your salvation that you face often?
What are some ways that you can be reminded of this as you are going through life?

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