Introduction: Normally, we try to study God’s Word in its context.
This week, we are going to do things differently. We will look at
“snapshots” of examples of hope (or the need for it) throughout the
Old Testament. Let’s get our mental cameras ready and jump into God’s
- Hope In Rising Waters
- Read Genesis 6:5. Are these good or bad people being
- What kinds of things do they hope for?
- What makes them bad people? (This is an important
concept: God points to the thoughts as the source of
wickedness, not the deeds that follow. Their hopes
were set on evil.)
- How thoroughly bad are they? (“Every” aspect of their
thoughts was evil and this happened “all the time.”
They do not seem to have any good thoughts.)
- Read Genesis 6:6. How does God react to our evil thinking?
- Do you ever consider how your actions affect God, as
opposed to how they affect you or those around you?
- Had God made a mistake in creating man?
- What had God’s hope been in the Creation?
- Read Genesis 6:7. God is unhappy that He made man and He
is pained about their sin. What does God decide to do to
take away the pain? (He decides to “undo” His Creation.)
- Over the years I have some in my class argue that God
never does anything “bad” to us. He simply allows
Satan to do the bad things that happen in our life.
I have never thought this (allowing someone else to
do the “dirty work”) placed God in a better light. In
an American court of law this is called a
“conspiracy” and it doesn’t matter who actually does
the deed. What room does this text give to believe
God will never harm us? (I do not see how the
judgment side of God could be more plain. Verses 6-7
even explain God’s mental process – God intended to
destroy the people.)
- Where is hope in this situation?
- On the part of God?
- On the part of people?
- Read Genesis 6:13-14. Why would God give Noah a way out
when He has set His mind to destroy people? (This shows
two things. First, God was not out to destroy people, He
was out to destroy evil. Second, no matter how bad the
situation becomes, God still provides hope for those who
walk with Him.)
- Does this give us hope? (If God’s attitude is still
the same, and He says He does not change (Malachi
3:6; James 1:17), He will destroy evil and provide a
way out for those who walk with Him.)
- Was God’s idea to just save Noah or to use Noah to
- Before we leave this text, I want you to notice that
God says He is going to “destroy both [people] and
the earth.” Why destroy the earth? (I don’t know.
Our surroundings affect us. It seems the earth became
a less pleasant place to be. Perhaps that gave people
less free time, and thus less opportunity to spend
time on evil. Maybe it made them more dependent on
- Read Genesis 6:8-9. Why did God choose to work with Noah
and give him hope?
- Hope and the Great Nation
- Read Genesis 12:1-3. What did God ask Abram to give up?
- What did God promise Abram in return?
- Would this fulfill Abram’s hopes?
- Why would God make this offer? What interest does
God have in this? (This shows that God has an
interest in blessing people. It shows that God offers
a plan of action to us to be blessed and be a
- What does the last part of verse 3 mean? (This is a
prophecy of Jesus – a topic we will look at later in
this lesson and next week.)
- Do you seem a similarity between God’s approach to Noah
and God’s approach to Abram? (In both situations God uses
one person to be the point of His contact and interaction
- As you look at Genesis 12:1-3 does it seem to you that God
is actually calling Abram away from his people so that God
can work with him on a “one to one” basis?
- Why do you think God is working with individuals
rather than groups? Is God the kind of “person” who
prefers to work “one on one?” (God does not have some
personality defect that He is limited in the way He
works. I think when God works through one person it
helps others to see the power of God rather than the
power of the person.)
- We read in Genesis 6:9 that Noah had a special
relationship with God. Is that also true of Abram?
- Does God still work like that today – through
specific people? Does God work to promote hope
through one person at a time?
- If you say “yes,” then what does that say about
how we should operate our churches?
- If you say “yes,” how do you explain Paul’s
teaching in 1 Corinthians 12 that we are not
“lone rangers” in working for God. Instead, we
are part of a body that works together.
- Is there a difference between the Old and
New Testament in God’s approach to
- Does this teach us anything about leadership in
- Do we need more people or more commitment?
- If “more commitment” is the answer, why
does God tell Abram ( Genesis 12:2) I will
make you a “great nation?” Is the goal
- Are we all potential partners with God to reach
- Should our hope be to become that partner
- Or, should our hope be to find the person
with whom God is working and help that
- Read Romans 5:12&15. Again we have a repeated reference to
“one man.” How many “men” did it take to plunge us into
- How many “men” did it take to bring us out of sin?
- How important are your decisions about sin? How many
people are affected by your decisions? (The theme in
the stories of Noah and Abram is that God wants to
work with individuals to promote His kingdom among
the people. This gives us hope that our relationship
with God can be personal and can result in great
- Hope and Our Life
- Read Jeremiah 17:7. Do you hope to be blessed by God?
- If you do, what does this text tell you to do? (Trust
God. Have confidence in God.)
- The last time you got into some problem, what did you
trust? To whom or to what did you turn?
- Read Jeremiah 17:8. To what is God compared in this verse?
(The stream of water.)
- Where does the tree put its roots? (In the water.)
- Where are your roots right now? On what did
your life feed last week?
- Is “heat” coming your way in the future? Do you
expect you may have to face some difficult
- What does this tree fear about heat?
- When you have had “heat” in your life in the
past, which was worse, the anticipation or the
- What is the antidote to worry about coming
“heat?” (Having your roots in the water means
you do not have to worry about “heat.”)
- What would be the parallel in your life to the
problem of “drought” for a tree? (Drought would be
anything that could adversely interfere with the life
and work of the tree.)
- What is the goal or work of the tree? (To bear fruit.
We are having a drought where I live. A very
interesting thing is happening to our Oak trees.
Apparently, to protect the survival of the oaks, they
are producing an unusual number of acorns. In
adversity, they produce more fruit.)
- Jesus and Hope
- Read Hebrews 9:1-7. What does this describe? (This is a
description of the Tabernacle set up by Moses at God’s
direction and a summary of the daily work of the priests
and the work of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement.
See Leviticus 16.)
- Read Hebrews 9:8-10. Where these Tabernacle services good
enough? (No. They were not able to clear the conscience of
- If they were not good enough, what was the purpose
for their existence? (The gave us hope for the “new
- Read Hebrews 9:11-12, 14. What is the “new order” to which
the sanctuary/Tabernacle service directed our hope? (The
sanctuary service was a living illustration, a symbol, of
Jesus offering Himself as our sacrifice. Jesus’ sacrifice
for us cleansed us of sin and gave us the opportunity for
- Friend, God gives us hope because He cares about us. He
cares about our sins, He cares about our daily struggles
and He cares about our eternal destiny. He is both
willing to destroy evil, and willing to give up Himself to
overcome evil. Will you place your hope in Him?
- Next Week: The Jesus Hope: Part 1