Session 4: Abraham’s Family
Worship has always been a significant part of Chapter Focus Week. Worship was also a significant part of Ancient Israel’s religious experience. We want Origins to be more than just an academic pursuit. We want this to be a spiritual journey for you as well. This session takes us from the Fall to Israel going down to Egypt. These songs will take us on a journey. As you listen, try to imagine yourself in their shoes. Close your eyes if you need to.
Imagine what it must have been like for Adam and Eve after they sinned and were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
The first part of Genesis, chapters 1-11, is considered ancient history. In the second part of Genesis, chapters 12-50, the first major character is Abraham. One of the major themes we see throughout the Old Testament and Scripture as a whole is that we can trust God to be faithful because of His past faithfulness.
God promised Abraham a piece of land for his future descendants. Israel doesn’t inhabit the Promised Land until after they leave Egypt, but the promise God made to Abraham was fulfilled.
To transition this journey from Eden to the next session, Israel will go down to Egypt at the end of Genesis. But in the book of Exodus, as we will look at in our next session, God does deliver His people from Egypt to inherit the Promised Land.
Over the next few weeks, come back to these songs and listen to them again.
In our last two sessions we have looked at creation and the fall of Adam and Eve. To give an overview of the entire Bible we will be skipping over many familiar stories like Noah and the Flood and the Tower of Babel. We pick up the story with Abraham. Watch this Bible Project video covering Genesis 12-50:
In your Origins book, review pages 34-37.
Set a time with your small group to meet before our Monday May 4 Bible Study. Begin brainstorming ideas for your group’s creative project (see below).
Small Group Time
Each small group has been assigned a tribe of Israel. This is your identity for the upcoming sessions!
During this session, imagine that you are members of your tribe once you are settled in the land, hearing old family stories around the campfire.
In your small groups, read through the following passages together. For convenience, all the texts in NRSV are linked here.
- Genesis 12:1-9
- Genesis 15:1-21
- Genesis 17:1-22
- Genesis 25:19-34
- Genesis 29:31-30:24
- Genesis 35:1-15
- Genesis 41:41-57
- Genesis 48
- Genesis 49
- Genesis 50:15-21
How did you hear the stories differently by listening as if you were a member of one of the tribes?
With your small group make something that creatively represents your tribal identity, from what you read in the stories above and in the specific blessings listed below. It could be a song, poem, coat of arms, or flag, for example. Be prepared to share what you created for 1-2 minutes at the beginning of the next session.
- Judah (Genesis 49:8-12)
- Benjamin (Genesis 49:27)
- Gad (Genesis 49:19)
- Naphtali (Genesis 49:21)
- Ephraim/Manasseh (Sons of Joseph – Genesis 49:22-26, Genesis 48)
As a group, sign up for a character and take some time to study them. Then prepare a 3-5 minute video to share with the whole group. Be creative and make it fun if you like! (You don’t have to do this right now, but the Miriam and Joshua presentations should be ready by our next session on Monday.)
There’s more info on pages 13-14 of your booklet. Ask Hans if you have questions or need guidance.
Post Small Group
The Hebrew word Selah is used in the Psalms. The meaning of this musical term is unknown, but it is believed to reference a pause. Turn to the Selah section on page 39 in your book to pause and reflect on how God is speaking to you up to this point in our journey through the Old Testament.