October 18, 2020 – Genesis 8:15 – 11:9
Lesson Date: October 18, 2020
Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 8:15 – 11:9
AIM: To lead students to discover the promises God made to mankind after the Flood as well as sinful man’s behavior, and to commit themselves to cling to His promises, resist their sinful desires, and do what God says.
Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 8:15 – 11:9 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the words “Promises,” “Sinful Nature,” and “Pride and Disobedience” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the following stories to the class:
Jerry signed the papers for the mortgage on his new home, agreeing to make a certain payment every month for a specified number of years. Later he quit making the payments, defaulted on the loan, and lost his house.
Susan and Tom stood at a wedding altar, promising to remain together “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.” A few years later Tom found someone he thought was more exciting and captivating, so he left Susan.
Lindsay’s boss promised her a big raise if she won a certain contract for the company. She worked hard, put in many extra hours, and got the contract! Unfortunately, her boss told her the company couldn’t afford to give her the promised raise.
Ask: “What do all those stories have in common?” (broken promises). Ask: “Has anyone ever broken a promise to you?” (yes). Tell the class people often break their promises, but God never does. In today’s lesson we will learn about some promises God made to mankind.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are studying the book of Genesis.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the Flood and the safety provided by the ark).
- Noah Left the Ark.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 8:15-20.
- Explain the following:
- Noah, his family, and all the animals had been in the ark for over a year.
- The ground was dry (Gen. 8:13), but they had not yet left the ark.
- Remind the students that God told them to go into the ark (Gen. 7:1) and He shut the door behind them (Gen. 7:16).
- Noah did not leave the ark until God told him to do so. Noah was obedient to God.
- Ask: “What did Noah do when they left the ark?” (built an altar and offered sacrifices to God of the clean animals).
- Tell the class this was one reason God told Noah to bring seven pairs of the clean animals into the ark (Gen. 7:2).
- Summarize: Noah obeyed God by leaving the ark. He built an altar and offered sacrifices to the Lord
- God’s Promises.
- Read Genesis 8:21-22.
- Tell the class the Lord was pleased with Noah’s offering.
- Direct the students’ attention to the word “Promises” written on the board.
- Ask: “What did God promise?” (to never again curse the ground or destroy all living creatures; He also promised that the regular cycle of days and seasons would continue).
- Tell the class God made these promises in spite of the fact that mankind was still sinful by nature (v. 21).
- Direct the students’ attention to the words “Sinful Nature” written on the board.
- Summarize: In spite of man’s sinful nature, God promised to never again destroy all life on earth. He also promised that the seasons and day and night would continue as long as the earth remains.
- God’s Instructions and Warning.
- Tell the class that next God gave Noah and his sons some instructions and an important warning.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 9:1-4.
- Ask: “What did God command them to do in verse 1?” (be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth).
- Explain that God instituted a new relationship between mankind and animals – the very animals Noah had just lived with for over a year. From now on, God said animals would have a natural fear of man.
- Ask: “What new instruction did God give them in verse 3?” (they were now free to eat the meat of animals).
- Tell the students this is another reason God told Noah to bring seven pairs of the clean animals on the ark.
- Ask: “What were they not allowed to consume?” (blood along with the meat).
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 9:5-7.
- Ask: “What warning did God give in verses 5-6?” (neither humans nor animals are allowed to kill people, upon penalty of death).
- Stress the fact that God instituted capital punishment right after the Flood. Some people today think capital punishment is wrong, but God thinks it is right.
- Ask: “According to verse 6, why must those who kill innocent people be put to death?” (because man is made in the image of God; killing an innocent person disrespects the image of God they bear.
- God instituted capital punishment because man is made in God’s image.
- Executing a guilty murderer declares the value of human life. Allowing the guilty murderer to live shows disrespect for man and for God.
- Ask: “What did God command them in verse 7?” (be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth).
- Summarize: After the Flood God allowed man to eat meat but He strictly forbid murder, instituting the death penalty to show the value of human life.
- God’s Covenant and Sign.
- Read Genesis 9:8-17.
- Tell the students that next God established a covenant (a contract, a promise) with mankind and animals.
- Direct the students’ attention again to the word “Promises” written on the board.
- Ask: “What did God promise?” (to never again destroy the world with a flood).
- Ask: “What is the sign or token of God’s covenant promise?” (the rainbow).
- Ask: “Is the rainbow in the sky to remind us or God?” (God said it is there to remind Him, but it also reminds us).
- Tell the students every time we see a rainbow it should remind us of God’s everlasting covenant with all flesh on earth.
- Summarize: God made a covenant with mankind to never again destroy the world with a flood. He gave the sign of the rainbow as a perpetual reminder of His promise.
- Noah’s Sin.
- Ask: “Since God destroyed all the sinful people on earth there was no more sin – right?” (wrong – man still has a sinful nature – Gen. 8:21).
- Direct the students’ attention again to the words “Sinful Nature” written on the board.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 9:20-22.
- Explain that Noah planted a vineyard, made wine, got drunk, and lay naked in his tent.
- This is the first mention of wine or drunkenness in the Bible.
- Alcoholic beverages make people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.
- There is nothing good about alcoholic beverages!
- Tell the class that Ham gazed upon his father’s nakedness with some sinful motive – perhaps taking joy from his father’s lack of dignity. He told his brothers, hoping they would join in the “fun.”
- Read Genesis 9:23-27.
- Ask: “What did Shem and Japheth do?” (went backward into the tent and laid a garment over their father’s nakedness).
- Noah blessed Shem and Japheth, but he pronounced a curse upon Ham’s son Canaan (the father of the Canaanites: the wicked idol worshipers who later settled in the Promised Land).
- Summarize: Noah foolishly got drunk and behaved inappropriately. Because of Ham’s sinful action, Noah cursed his son Canaan.
- Man’s Pride and Disobedience.
- Tell the class that chapter 10 names the descendants of Noah’s sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and tells where their families eventually settled.
- Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 11:1-4.
- Explain the following:
- After the Flood everyone on earth spoke the same language.
- In defiance of God’s commands to fill the earth, the people stayed together.
- They settled in the land of Shinar (locate on the Map of the Ancient World) in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).
- They decided to build a city and a great tower (probably a ziggurat: a step-sided pyramid).
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what were the two reasons they wanted to do this?” (for their own fame and so they would not be scattered abroad throughout the earth).
- Direct the students’ attention to the words “Pride and Disobedience” written on the board.
- Tell the class these people demonstrated pride and they disobeyed God’s command to fill the whole earth (they wanted to stay together in one place)
- Read Genesis 11:5-9.
- Ask: “What did God do?” (caused them to speak many different languages so they could not understand one another or complete their building project).
- The people scattered and populated the earth. The place was called Babel (literally “confusion” – locate on the Map of the Ancient World), which would later become the site of the city of Babylon.
- Summarize: Motivated by pride and disobedience, the people started to build a great tower for their own glory. God confused their languages and scattered them throughout the earth.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students this lesson reminds us that God will keep His promises. He kept His promise to preserve Noah and his family, and He has kept His promise to never again destroy the whole earth with a flood. The rainbow appears in the sky just as He said it would, and the days and seasons have continued uninterrupted for thousands of years.
This lesson also reminds us that man is proud and sinful by nature. Even after seeing the complete destruction brought about by sin, Noah and his son sinned anyway. As soon as men began to once again multiply on earth they demonstrated their sinful pride and disobedience at Babel. Man is still sinful (Rom. 3:23).
Finally, this lesson reminds us that God will do His will, in spite of our disobedience. The people wanted to bring glory to themselves and disobey God’s command to fill the whole earth, but God made sure that His will was done. Today there are people living in almost every part of the earth. Why? Because God commanded that man should fill the earth.
Ask: “How should we apply these truths to our lives?” Suggest that we should cling to the promises of God, reject and resist our sinful desires, and do exactly what God says.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Encourage everyone to thank God for His promises, confess their sins, and commit to obeying His commands. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Genesis 9:16. Encourage them to obey God’s commands this week.
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