Genesis Themes: Getting Blessed
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I. God Reveals Himself as the One who Blesses or Curses based on our Response to Him
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image…male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over…every living thing that moves on the earth 2:16 LORD God commanded the man: Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat 17 knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.8…flesh reap corruption…Spirit…life.
Q: Can we have a relationship with God apart from obedience? Does God hold us responsible for our actions?)
II. Satan’s will for our life is a short cut to fulfill our desires for power (security/significance) pleasure & possessions
Gen 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Q: Where are you tempted to take Satan’s shortcut? What can keep you faithfully on the path? How do you keep eternal vs temporal focus ?
III. If you want to be accepted by God, do what’s right (give Him your best) Either we master sin, or it will master us
Gen 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over/master it." Cf 3:16
Q: If our worth and value don’t come from pleasing God, where else will we seek it? What effect will that have on what really satisfies?
IV. Worship is a Response to Revelation showing that God is worthy of our best, resulting in blessing
Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 4 So Abram departed…Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
Gen 15:5…So shall your descendants be." 6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Heb 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Gen 15:16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
Ge 22:1…God tested Abraham…"Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning…5 Abraham said … the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." 16 "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son 17 in blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants… shall possess the gate of their enemies 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.
Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, … 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
Q: How does faith relate to worship? If you don’t believe God rewards our actions, is it possible to worship or please Him? Cf Heb 11:6
V. Those who Journey in Faith take a while to arrive at their destination (we might be dead before we get there)
26:3 (Isaac )"Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." 25:33 Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Q: How do we respond when we don’t get what we want/hope for? What does that say about our faith and values? What is Satan’s lie?
VI. Best way to deal with temptation is to flee...but that doesn’t guarantee that life will be easy
Gen 37:5 Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 39:3 his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Ge 41:40 "You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you."
1Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Q: What’s our reaction when we sacrifice to do what’s right, and then things go from bad to worse? How does focus help center us?
VII. Grace is greater than nature (God sometimes reverses natural processes to reveal His purposes/will)
Gen 48:19 But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." Cf Heb 11:21 Rm 9:11
Q: Should we live expecting God to superintend natural processes, always go against nature, or surprise us with capriciousness?
VIII. People might mean to hurt us, but God intends to bless us through othercenteredness (if we don’t get bitter)
Gen 50:20 as for you, you meant evil against me; God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive
Q: How can we prevent bitterness from unintentional or even intentional wrongs from robbing us of God’s blessings? How do we bless others?