828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Christian Formation for Feb. 24 - Genesis 15:1-18; God's Covenant with Abram

February 24, 2013 – 2 Lent
Genesis 15:1-18
God’s Covenant with Abram
Background: Genesis presents an extensive history of Israel, beginning from the Creation through Joseph’s death. Genesis lays the foundation for the Abrahamic Covenant and identification of Israel as God’s chosen people. Additionally, Genesis foreshadows Israel’s oppression in Egypt and establishes the extent of the physical kingdom.
Theme: To this point, Abram and Sarai have been childless even though God has promised to make a mighty nation of Abram’s descendents. This passage shows Abram’s questioning of God’s promise of descendents and land as well as God’s response to Abram which cements God’s covenant relationship with Abram
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Genesis 15:1-18. Skim Genesis 2-11 and 12-14 for context.
* Identify the following people and places mentioned in the passage: Eliezer of Damascus, Ur, the Chaldeans, the Amorites, “the river of Egypt,” and the river Euphrates.
* Briefly describe the setting for this passage. What events have happened recently surrounding Abram?
* How has Abram arrived in this place?
* Abram argues that his heir will be Elizer of Damascus because he and Sarai are childless. He supports this argument with an impeachment of God’s promise and a statement that “a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” Why do you think Abram asserted that his heir would be a slave who was not actually sired by him?
* What strikes you as ironic about God’s promise, “no one but your very own issue shall be your heir”? In your opinion, what may be missing from that promise from God? What do you think Abram assumed when God made that promise?
* What does it mean to you when the writer states that Abram’s belief was reckoned to him as righteousness?
* How might this challenge us in our relationship with God all these millennia later?
* In verse 7, Abram changed his complaint and questioned God’s promise of land. Why might God have reminded Abram of the call placed on Abram? How might it be important for Abram to be reminded of his call?
* What strikes you as odd or ironic about God’s response to Abram’s question, “how am I to know that I shall possess it [the land]?”
* Of what might God be foreshadowing beginning in verse 13?
* What might the significance be of God’s promise to “bring the Israelites back in the fourth generation” because the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete?
* Some may argue that the boundaries listed in verse 18, from “the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates” does not coincide with Israel’s boundaries at any time in recorded history. Why might God make that promise to the Israelites? Why might that promise “not be fulfilled”?
* What is the message of hope for Israel in this passage? What is our hope in this passage?
* How do we apply this passage to our ministry today?

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