Genesis: In the beginning...

A Bible Study on Genesis 1-11

Flood Watch LESSON 5

For Devotions:

bulletRead Read Isaiah 54:1-10.
bulletIn your opening prayer, give thanks for all the ways in which God daily protects us and pray for those who are suffering from natural disasters.

For Openers:

bulletTell about an experience you had with flooding.
bulletWhich natural disaster do you think is worse and why? - tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake
bulletIf you could have a fresh start on your life, what is one thing you would do differently?

For Your Information:

bulletIt will help us make sense of this text if we recognize that two stories about the Flood have been interwoven. The stories can be roughly distinguished by noting where the name "God " is used (called the Priestly or P Source) and where the name "Lord" is used (called the Yahwist or J Source). Mark or shade in your Bible the following verses which are from the J Source:
bulletGenesis 6.5-8; 7.1-5,7-10,12,16b-17,22-23; 8.2b-3a,6,8-12,13b, 20-22.
bulletRead each story separately from 6.5 to 9.17.
bulletNow make some comparisons between the two stories and fill in the table
bullet6.9 - "Noah walked with God" - See 5.24.
bullet6.15 - The dimensions of the ark are roughly 450 x 75 x 45 feet.
bullet7.6 and 8.13 - The flood lasts a little more than a year.
bulletCompare Genesis 7.11 with 1.6-10. What is the description of 7.11 suggesting? Note that the waters come from below and above.
bulletCompare 8.1 with 1.2. Now what is being suggested?
bullet8.4 - Ararat - We do not know which specific mountain this might be. It does refer to some mountain or range in historic Armenia.
bulletCompare 8.17 with 1.22. (Looking ahead a bit, also compare 9.1 with 1.28.) How is the re-creation completed?
bulletLink 8:21 and 9:11; link 9:1 and 9:7.
bullet8.21-22 - What are the three promises God makes?
bullet9.2-4 - In contrast to 1.29-30, note that animals are now available as food.
bullet9.4 - On "blood," see Deuteronomy 12.23.
bullet9.5-6 - In contrast to God’s dealing with Cain, a death penalty is now instituted. See Exodus 21.12-14, 28-32. Note that even animals are subject to this law!
bulletCompare 9.16 and 6.12-13. What does God see and do?
bullet9.20-27 - This story accounts for the later hostility between the Israelites and the Canaanites. In 9.22, to see the nakedness of one’s father is later prohibited. (See Leviticus 18.7)
bullet10.1-32 - The Table of Nations descended from Noah

For Discussion:

  1. Why did God cause the flood?
  2. What kind of person was Noah before the flood? Afterwards?
  3. What is God’s relationship with humankind?
  4. Look again at 6.5-7. How is God pictured in these verses? Can God's mind change? (Look at the story in 1 Samuel 15 and especially compare verses 11 and 29.)
  5. Is the Flood a new start or a new creation or a new, improved version of the old or what? To put it more dramatically, which headline is more true?
      Flood allows for fresh start            "Everything is gone"
  6. How are people today the same and/or different than the people in the time before the flood?
  7. What made Noah righteous and distinct from the rest of the people in his time? Are you righteous? How do you walk with God? How are you distinct from other people?
  8. It was doubtless a difficult thing God asked Noah to do. Is there something difficult God is asking you to do? How can the story of Noah be an encouragement for you?
  9. Should Noah have tried to save others? What do you picture happened when the waters started to rise and people called out to Noah for help?
  10. If you had lived in Noah's time, would God have chosen to save you? Why (not)? When Christ returns at the End, will God choose to save you? Why?
  11. Which headline is more true?
           Pairs of animals also survive        Only one family and some animals saved
  12. 8.20-22 - Why was God pleased with Noah's sacrifice?
  13. What do you think God means by saying in 8.21 that "the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth "? Despite this human evil which still remains, why do you think God decided not to destroy humanity again?
  14. 9.1-3 - Why does God repeat the command to Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply? Today we hear more about the problems caused by overpopulation. Does the command to humans to "be fruitful and multiply " still apply to us today?
  15. 9.4-6 - What is the punishment for killing a person (which applies to both humans and animals!)? Do you see this punishment for murder as limiting or perpetuating violence?
  16. 9.6 - Why does God prohibit murder? What is important about being made in God's image that makes murder so terrible?
  17. 9.12-17 - What is the sign of the covenant? Look closely at verses 12 and 13. With whom does God make this covenant? What does God promise in this covenant? What duties do humans have in this covenant?
  18. What symbolic rainbows do you have in your life? How have these helped you?
  19. Read and relate Matthew 24.35-39 and Hebrews 11.7 to the story of the Flood.
  20. Read and relate Proverbs 23.39-35 and/or Ephesians 5.17-20 and/or 1 Timothy 5.23 to the story of Noah's drunkenness.

For Later:

bulletRead 1 Peter 3.18-22. Celebrate your Baptism!
bulletTake a look at today’s newspaper. What are some indications of the "wickedness of humankind"? Pray for the transformation and restoration of these people.
bulletTake a look at today’s newspaper. What are the natural disasters that are afflicting people around the world? How will you help them?


Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman

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