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 YOU curriculum.
Bible Passages: Genesis 6:1-2, 6, 8, 18, 22; 7:1
Discussion Questions: How do I know what’s best for my family? Think about your life and your home. How well do you emphasize grace in your relationships?
Food for Thought:
God is holy and fearsome! He cannot tolerate sin. In Noah’s day people were eroding God’s plan for marriage and practicing ungodly sexual activities (vv. 1-2). Verse 5 explains: “‘Man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and … every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time.”‘ Things were so corrupt God regretted creating humankind and decided to wipe them off the face of the earth (vv. 6-7).
Genesis 6:5-6 shows God’s reaction to the rampant evil on the earth (“‘grieved in His heart”‘). But His grace also shines through. He searched the earth for people living for Him and walking in His ways. Of all the people on earth, God found only one man — Noah — upon whose family He could pour out His favor (v. 8). Noah was the kind of man who would go against the flow of the culture in which he lived because he trusted and walked with the Lord. He faced many days when life was so difficult he wanted to give up, but Noah did everything God commanded. He needed and found grace.
Because of Noah’s righteous walk with God, he and his entire household (including extended family) were saved. Noah was untainted with the gross corruptions of the age in which he lived. He and his household escaped destruction by the knowledge and fear of God, and God’s grace towards them. Throughout the Bible we see how the faith and obedience of one person can make a big difference in the lives of many.
More than anywhere else on earth, our homes and churches should be places of grace. The word favor or grace means “‘undeserved blessing given by one who is more powerful.”‘ Because of sin, each and every one of us deserves death. Yet God extends grace and mercy to us every day. In Psalm 145:8 we find the source for grace that should overflow into our words and actions: “‘The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love.”‘
Picture this: The power of a single drop hitting the water. There’s no way to tell how far the ripples will extend. Mighty rivers begin as drops and tiny streams of water. When you’re struggling to find hope and ready to give up, it’s amazing what can happen when one person decides to be kind, unselfish or courageous. With one kind word, ripples will spread, and others may be moved to kindness.
The late poet and author Maya Angelou wrote, “‘The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals scars left by a larger society — a massive, powerful society.”‘ Be that drop that starts a ripple effect in your family and relationships. The promise to Noah and his family was based in the gracious character and promise of God. As we extend more grace, our families and friendships will weather life’s storms. The ripple effect continues.
Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU’s short, topical studies are culturally relevant with clear life-application components that challenge learners to live missionally as they connect, grow, serve and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated 3-in-1 quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.
Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.