The universal corruption of sin must be judged by the God who is judge of the whole world. But he is also acting in gracious mercy to save one man and his family…
Read Genesis 6:14-16
Why do you think God’s instructions in these verses are so specific? How does that show his grace?
The word ark is only used in one other part of the Bible – of the basket Moses was placed in (Exodus 2:1-5). What do the two vessels have in common?
In fact, the word for ‘ark’ comes from the Egyptian for coffin. How might the ark be a reminder of the way that God saves people in the face of death?
How specifically has God planned to save you in the face of death? How will you let that reassure you as you think about your future?
Pray: for those you know who are aware that they are reaching the end of their lives – that they would be trusting in God’s provision of a means of escape in the Lord Jesus.
The context of Genesis chapter 3-5, and chapter 6 verses 5-10, testify to the sinfulness of the human heart – a problem which centuries of human ingenuity have failed to remedy. On the one hand, God has chosen one man to respond to his grace. On the other hand, unrepentant people will face God’s judgement.
Read Genesis 6:11-13, and think about the following questions…
The words ‘corrupt’, ‘earth’, and ‘violence’ are repeated a number of times. Why is the passage so insistent about the sinfulness of the whole world, do you think?
In fact, the word for ‘destroy’ is an intensive version of the word for ‘corrupt’ – God is pushing the effects of sin to their ultimate conclusion. How will that help you to see sin for what it really is?
Read 2 Peter 3, verses 1-12. How is the flood a reminder for us of the destruction that this world will face?
How do these verses give you a helpful suspicion of your own motives? How will they help you not to love this world?
Pray: Asking God to give you a right hatred of sin, and a right longing for him to bring corruption and injustice to an end.
God good creation has been put into reverse by the devastating effects of sin, and death is now a regular feature of his creation (chapter 5), exactly as God promised in the garden. The question is, will God totally destroy mankind?
Read Genesis 6:5-10
What is so bleak about the assessment of the human heart in verse 5? Is it any better now (see Romans 3:10-12)?
Why is it important to remember God’s personal grief at sin, as well as his blazing anger?
Verse 8 says literally “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”. What is the danger in thinking that he was chosen because of his goodness?
In fact, his righteousness follows on from his being given God’s grace (verse 9). How will you respond to God’s grace as you walk with him today?
Pray: Praising God that he treats utterly sinful people with grace, and that the knowledge of that in your life would transform the way you live for him today.
Over the next three weeks we’ll be looking at the account of Noah in Genesis – do read Genesis 6:9 – 9:17 if you get the chance.
Read: Genesis 6:9-22 and have a think about the following questions…
What does the passage say about the state of mankind?
What is God’s response to man’s corruption? Is this fair?
How does God demonstrate his mercy to Noah and his family?
Pray: ask God to help us see the seriousness of our sin and ask him for forgiveness. Spend some time praising Him for His incredible mercy in saving His people.
Read: Matthew 28:11-20
In verse 11, back in ‘the city’ of Jerusalem, the Jewish rejection of Jesus results in deception and lies, the very thing they had accused Jesus of in 27:64. Now in 28:16 the risen Lord is in the countryside in Galilee ‘of the nations’ as he planned – to launch his mission to tell the nations the truth. All people are to hear of the saving work of God’s Servant, the light for those in the shadow of death.
How does this passage give you confidence to proclaim the truth to all people?
If Jesus has risen, he really does have all authority in heaven and on earth. But is there an area of your life where you deny him his rightful authority?
The mission doesn’t just stop with telling the good news, it’s about making disciples – People who continue to obediently and joyfully follow Jesus. How could you help disciple someone to obey Jesus’ teaching? Or, could you seek being discipled yourself?
Pray: Thank God that the message of Jesus as the saviour for all nations has reached you. Pray for someone you know who needs to hear this good news – that they would hear, accept and become a disciple of the risen Lord Jesus.
Read: Isaiah 52:13- 53:12
In the book of Isaiah, the light to the nations appearing in Galilee is revealed to be someone who is called the ‘Servant’ and ‘Son’. (Isaiah 42). All through Matthew’s gospel he has presented Jesus as this ‘Servant’ and ‘Son’ (the true Israel). But Israel the nation – like us- had failed to treat God as God and live as his sons and so were exiled. In this climax of the ‘Servant’ passages in Isaiah we see that the true Servant and true Son takes our place. In doing so, Jesus experiences the ultimate ‘exile’ from God so we will never have to. In dying on the cross, the blood of the one Servant, Jesus is “the blood of the new covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
Why is the resurrection necessary for the Isaiah passage to be true?
We are told in the Bible that the sting of death is our sin and that man is “destined to die once and then face judgement”. How does the resurrection utterly destroy the fear of death for the Christian?
How might you explain the relevance of the resurrection to a non-believer?
Pray: Praise God that the resurrection proves you are free from the impossible burden of trying to make yourself right with him and free from the burden of your sin. Ask his forgiveness for the ways in which you have rejected him this week. Thank Jesus, that he willingly laid down his life for you. Thank him that you will also be raised from death to enjoy eternity with him – the one who loves you more than any other.
Read: Matthew 28:5-10 and Isaiah 9:1-7
In chapter 4, just before beginning his section on the preaching and identity of Jesus, Matthew quotes Isaiah 9. In Matthew 26:32, Jesus tells the disciples that after he has been raised up he will go ahead of them to Galilee. Unique to Matthew’s account, we’re reminded of that twice here.
Why do you think Matthew draws our attention to Galilee in relation to Jesus?
Why is the resurrection crucial for Isaiah 9 to be fulfilled?
Now, in chapter 28, Jesus has been raised from the dead and his plan is to be carried out.
Pray: Thank God that his kingdom is established and that he is true to his promises. Pray for those you know amongst the nations who are proclaiming Jesus as the light of salvation. Pray that they will be encouraged and keep trusting in their faithful God.