Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sacrifice

A Sabbath School resource from the Victorian Conference of the Adventist Church in Australia

The Garden Promise

Read Genesis 2:25-3:11
Through God’s action because of the first sin of Eden’s couple, we learn that sin clothes itself in death while righteousness clothes itself in life. How is this evident in our lives?
Before sin, Adam and Eve were ‘naked’ and didn’t mind. The same is true with us in our innocence and sin. 
A child, taken from a hot bath, will run - stark naked - through the house in absolute rapture. An adult attempting this, is most likely pursued by a posse of orderlies. What changes as we age? Why do innocents become reticent? How does joy become shame?
When we sin, we feel naked and ashamed. Why? What changes about us when we sin?
Have you ever had a time when you have felt “naked and unashamed” before God? Tell that story? What transpired to lead to this moment?


Three Trees

What ‘tree’ reduces us to ‘naked and ashamed’?
What ‘tree’ lifted for us held ‘naked and unashamed’ our freedom from death?
What ‘tree’ - many fruited - is promised to us? 
Which tree defines you? How? Why?


Worship Differently

While religions all around them were caught up in temple prostitution, self-harm and human sacrifice; the Israelite God required sacrifices of grain, animals and drink. 
How do you think this affected the Israelites view of their God? 
How might it have increased their willingness to be involved in Yahweh Worship? 
What impact do you think this difference in sacrifice had on the nations around Israel? 

Read Genesis 22:1-19
When God asked him to offer his son, Abraham went along with it because this was a normal thing for “a god” to ask for in that time. This story is often misunderstood today because we do not live in an age of sacrifice, much less human sacrifice. When God stopped Abraham, moments before the death of Isaac, what was God teaching about Himself? 
What was God teaching about the worship He required?
What did the story teach, to nearby nations, about the willpower of Yahweh’s people?
What is hinted at by the thrice-repeated phrase “Only son” in this passage?
How does this phrase “only son” link back to Genesis 3:15?
To what image does a ram, his head locked in a thicket, link forward?
What did Abraham call this place? Why? 
How did this event and story, retold through the ages, shape the religion of Israel? 
How has this story served to define, even today, our God as a God of the people, a God who loves?


Conclusion

A God Worth Obeying: This week, I was talking with a friend who comes from an eastern background. She is not a Christian and often asks questions...