Introduction: Samples. People offer me samples all the time. They
send them in the mail. They put them in with my newspaper. They offer
them on street corners. They tempt me with them in stores. Why do
merchants give out samples? They hope to draw me in to buy their
product. Our lesson this week is also a sample. We are going to
sample four contracts between God and man. Let’s jump into our
lesson and see if this encourages us to study these promises in more
depth later this quarter!

  1. Noah’s Contract

    1. Read Genesis 6:13&18. God offers Noah and his family a
      “covenant” – what we might call a “contract.” Is this
      covenant between Noah and God different than our
      contracts? If so, how does it seem different? (Genesis
      6:18 is the first time in the Bible that “berit,” the
      Hebrew word translated “covenant,” appears. Vines tells
      us that this Hebrew word is considered the parallel or
      equivalent to “word,” “statute,” “testimony,” “law,”
      “will” (as in last will and testament)and “loving-kindness.” This gives us a broader definition of this term
      than just looking at it as a contract.)

    2. Would you have accepted this contract offer?

    3. Read Genesis 6:22. As you consider this verse and the
      story of Noah, what do you think were the terms of the
      covenant between Noah and God?

      1. If Noah had not obeyed God, would they still have had
        a covenant relationship?

  2. Abram’s Contract

    1. Read Genesis 12:1-3. Assume God came to you with this
      offer, would you gladly accept?

      1. What would be the most difficult part of this offer?
        (Leaving his familiar surroundings.)

      2. Why do you think God wanted Abram to leave his
        familiar surroundings? What sense is there in that?
        (The text does not even say where Abram was going
        (“go to the land I will show you”) God apparently
        wanted to have a more focused relationship with

    2. Read Genesis 12:4-5. Abram accepted God’s offer. Do you
      think Abram had a relationship with God before God came
      with the offer in Genesis 12:1-3? (Yes. No one would
      accept such an offer unless you had confidence in the
      person making the offer.)

      1. Last week we discussed that Adam sinned because he
        chose Eve over God. How would you compare Abram’s
        decision to follow God with Adam’s decision to stay
        with Eve? (They were just the opposite. Abram passed
        the test that Adam failed – however Abram’s test was
        not as severe.)

    1. Read Genesis 11:31. Do you think God made the same offer
      to Teran, Abram’s father? (Something certainly caused
      Teran to set out for Canaan. If you look at Nehemiah 9:7-8, God is said to have brought Abram out of “Ur of the
      Chaldeans.” This shows that God’s plan for Abram was in
      action when his father left Ur – well before the promise
      of Genesis 12:1-3 when Abram was in Haran. The important
      point here is that this tends to show a long-standing
      relationship between God and Abram.)

    2. God offered Noah a contract to avoid the flood. He offered
      Abram a contract to be the father of a country. Is there a
      common thread in these two offers?

  1. Moses’ Contract

    1. Read Exodus 3:10-12. Do you think Moses wanted to enter
      into the contract God is offering him?

    2. Read Exodus 6:2-4. Does God’s contract with Moses have
      anything to do with His contract with Abraham? (This is a
      continuation of the same contract.)

    3. As you consider the contract offered to Noah, Abram and
      Moses, how do they differ, how are they similar? (Noah and
      Moses were offered a “rescue mission” contract. Moses and
      Abram were involved in different aspects of the same

  2. The Old Contract

    1. Read Deuteronomy 4:12-13 & 6:4-9. Does this contract seem
      anything like the others we have just sampled? (Because we
      are only looking at “samples” this week, this contract
      seems quite different.)

    2. The other contracts we looked at were keyed to specific
      people. This contract is not. Why is that? (As we look at
      each of these successive contracts, they seem to be
      getting broader all the time. They are less and less
      focused on an individual.)

    3. When you consider only Deuteronomy 4:12-13, what is our
      obligation under this covenant? (To follow the

      1. Why do you think God wrote the commandments on stone
        tablets? (If we have some doubt about what God wanted
        His people to do with the Ten Commandments, this
        erases the doubt. God wrote them down in a very
        permanent way so His people would have no doubt about
        what He wanted them to do.)

    4. What is our obligation under Deuteronomy 6:4-9? Is it
      different than the obligation under Deuteronomy 4:12-13?
      (What is similar is that in both instances God gives
      instructions about how to keep our attention on His
      commandments. What is different is God’s command about
      love. Telling someone to “Do this,” is substantially
      different than telling someone “Love me.” Together,
      however, they create a picture of a clear, long-standing
      relationship in which we fulfill our obligations out of

  3. The New Contract

    1. Read Jeremiah 31:31-33. God talks about the Ten
      Commandments and then says He is going to make a new
      covenant with Israel. Car manufacturers tell us about
      their “new” models, but rarely is the new model totally
      new. What is new and what is old about this new covenant?
      (What is old is that God is still speaking about His law.
      Verse 33 explains the difference: under the new covenant
      the law will be written on the hearts of the people.)

      1. What does it mean to have God’s law written on your

      2. Keep your bookmark at Jeremiah 31:33 and turn back to
        Deuteronomy 6:6. Carefully compare these two verses.
        What difference do you see between God’s description
        of what He had in mind for the Ten Commandments and
        what He has in mind for the new covenant? (Wait a
        minute! What we determined was “new” about the new
        covenant turns out to be part of the old covenant
        too. These verses show that God had exactly the same
        goal in mind all the time. In both the old and new
        covenants He wanted His law in “the hearts” of His

      3. Look again at Jeremiah 31, and especially verse 32.
        What does God say is the difference between the old
        and new covenants? (In this text God says the
        difference is that the old covenant was not obeyed.)

        1. Is God saying that the old covenant was not
          obeyed or that it could not be obeyed?

          1. What do you think God means by His remark
            (v.32) “though I was a husband to them?”
            (This sounds like an “even though I did my
            best” kind of remark. The New Living
            Translation says “though I loved them as a
            husband loves his wife.” God sounds like
            He expected His people to have kept the
            old covenant.)

        2. Why did the people not obey the old covenant?
          (These texts create a very strong argument that
          God’s goal for His covenants has not changed. He
          wants His law to be part of our “heart.” It
          seems the old covenant did not work because it
          did not become part of the “heart” of the
          people. They were not willingly obeying God’s

          1. A major difference between the old and new
            covenant is the coming of Jesus to earth
            as the Messiah. How do you think this
            affected “heart obedience?” (Let’s just
            put to one side for a moment the obvious
            importance of salvation by grace alone.
            Just seeing God come to earth, live as a
            man, demonstrate His love for us by His
            miracles, His life, His death and His
            resurrection, should be an irresistible
            force for writing God’s will on our

    2. Let’s read on: Jeremiah 31:34. What time or place is this
      describing? Is this a time when the Gospel Commission
      ( Matthew 28:18-20)does not apply? (The Gospel Commission
      tells us, among other things, to teach those around us.
      Jeremiah 31:34 says no more teaching. These verses in
      Jeremiah must be looking forward to a time after the
      Second Coming of Jesus.)

      1. If I am right about these verses in Jeremiah
        referring to our new life in heaven, what does this
        say about the Law? Is it, the “old” contract? (No,
        God’s Law is for all times. I think it is a serious
        theological error to put aside the Ten Commandments.
        God’s Law does not change under the new covenant,
        what changes is the way in way we relate to the Law.
        We now have the Law written in our hearts and our

    3. Friend, the good news in the theme that connects these
      contracts is that God wants to have a relationship with

  4. Next week: “All Future Generations.”