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

  1. Hope In Rising Waters

    1. Read Genesis 6:5. Are these good or bad people being

      1. What kinds of things do they hope for?

      2. 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.)

      3. 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.)

    2. Read Genesis 6:6. How does God react to our evil thinking?

      1. Do you ever consider how your actions affect God, as
        opposed to how they affect you or those around you?

      2. Had God made a mistake in creating man?

      3. What had God’s hope been in the Creation?

    3. 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.)

      1. 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.)

      2. Where is hope in this situation?

        1. On the part of God?

        2. On the part of people?

    4. 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.)

      1. 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.)

      2. Was God’s idea to just save Noah or to use Noah to
        save others?

      3. 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

    5. Read Genesis 6:8-9. Why did God choose to work with Noah
      and give him hope?

  2. Hope and the Great Nation

    1. Read Genesis 12:1-3. What did God ask Abram to give up?

      1. What did God promise Abram in return?

        1. Would this fulfill Abram’s hopes?

      2. 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

      3. 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.)

    2. 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
      with people.)

    3. 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?

      1. 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.)

      2. We read in Genesis 6:9 that Noah had a special
        relationship with God. Is that also true of Abram?

      3. Does God still work like that today – through
        specific people? Does God work to promote hope
        through one person at a time?

        1. If you say “yes,” then what does that say about
          how we should operate our churches?

        2. 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.

          1. Is there a difference between the Old and
            New Testament in God’s approach to

        3. Does this teach us anything about leadership in
          the church?

          1. Do we need more people or more commitment?

          2. If “more commitment” is the answer, why
            does God tell Abram ( Genesis 12:2) I will
            make you a “great nation?” Is the goal
            the nation?

        4. Are we all potential partners with God to reach
          the world?

          1. Should our hope be to become that partner
            with God?

          2. Or, should our hope be to find the person
            with whom God is working and help that

    4. Read Romans 5:12&15. Again we have a repeated reference to
      “one man.” How many “men” did it take to plunge us into

      1. How many “men” did it take to bring us out of sin?

      2. 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

  3. Hope and Our Life

    1. Read Jeremiah 17:7. Do you hope to be blessed by God?

      1. If you do, what does this text tell you to do? (Trust
        God. Have confidence in God.)

      2. The last time you got into some problem, what did you
        trust? To whom or to what did you turn?

    2. Read Jeremiah 17:8. To what is God compared in this verse?
      (The stream of water.)

      1. Where does the tree put its roots? (In the water.)

        1. Where are your roots right now? On what did
          your life feed last week?

      2. Is “heat” coming your way in the future? Do you
        expect you may have to face some difficult

        1. What does this tree fear about heat?

        2. When you have had “heat” in your life in the
          past, which was worse, the anticipation or the
          actual event?

        3. What is the antidote to worry about coming
          “heat?” (Having your roots in the water means
          you do not have to worry about “heat.”)

      3. 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.)

      4. 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.)

  4. Jesus and Hope

    1. 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.)

    2. Read Hebrews 9:8-10. Where these Tabernacle services good
      enough? (No. They were not able to clear the conscience of
      the worshiper.)

      1. If they were not good enough, what was the purpose
        for their existence? (The gave us hope for the “new

    3. 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
      “eternal redemption.”)

    4. 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?

  5. Next Week: The Jesus Hope: Part 1