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BIBLE STUDY: God’s covenant with humanity

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NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies For Life curriculum.

Bible Passage: Genesis 9:1-13

Discussion Questions:

— What’s the closest you’ve come to experiencing a natural disaster?

— What’s a new journey you’re especially glad you got to start?

— How does the promise of God’s rainbow encourage you in your Christian walk?

Food for Thought:

Recently I experienced the Ark Encounter with my wife and some friends. I used the word “experienced” intentionally. This massive replica of Noah’s Ark provides a visual image and allows those who visit this exhibit to go inside the structure for a sense of how the original ark might have been; everything but the smell!

The Ark Encounter reinforces the story and the reason for the Ark. Genesis 6–8 records the tragedy that came when humanity became so sinful God determined to destroy the world through a great flood.

God chose to preserve His creation through Noah and his family. God’s instruction to Noah reinforces for us God’s continued care for His creation. He reaffirmed His covenant with humanity, affirmed the value of human life, and promised to preserve His creation.

As Noah and his family departed the ark after the flood, Noah offered a sacrifice of gratitude to God (Genesis 8:20). God declared He never again would destroy the earth by flood (Genesis 8:21-22).

The stage was set for the next step in God’s plan. God blessed Noah and his family with the words, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” These words first appeared in Genesis 1:28, when God first blessed humanity and tasked people with ruling as His image bearers. The close parallel in language stresses how God was beginning again, but His purpose for people hadn’t changed. God was reaffirming the covenant He had made with Adam in Genesis 1–2. He now continued with Noah what He had begun with Adam.

God established the rainbow as a sign of His covenant with creation. This sign provided a visible reminder of God’s promise never to destroy the earth again by a flood. When people saw a rainbow, they would remember God’s promise and take courage. Again, God stressed the comprehensive nature of His covenant. The language stressed God’s personal initiative in the establishment of this important sign.

Bible Studies for Life

Bible Studies for Life is a family of resources addressing key issues in the lives of adults, students, and kids. Visit www.biblestudiesforlife.com and use it to help you “Connect the Unconnected, Strengthen Families, and Disciple People with Wisdom.” Free session downloads are available, plus PDFs and videos that accompany this Bible study resource.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by Lifeway can be found at Lifeway.com/SundaySchool .

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