Small Group Outline: God’s response to sin (10-11-2015)

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God’s response to sin

Genesis 6:5-8, 9:1-11

Opening Questions

  • Why do you think God flooded the earth in Noah’s day?
    • Was it because people were wicked?
    • If God’s love is unconditional, how can we understand this?

Genesis 6:5-8 (HCSB) Before the Flood

When the Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Then the Lord said, “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky- for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor in the sight of the Lord.

Why did God flood the earth?

  • He regretted making people and He was sad because of people’s wickedness.
    • We expect to read about God’s anger, but instead we read that God was sad because people lived without Him.
    • In verse 13, God tells Noah that He decided to flood the earth and put an end to every creature on the earth.
      • God did not act in anger. He made a clear and rational decision.
      • Flooding the earth was the best thing that could be done.
    • Here is what we learn about God
      • His response to sin is sadness.
      • God bears the responsibility to take care of the sin problem.
      • God does not depend on us as He acts.
        • He decides on the best course of action.

Genesis 9:1-11 (HCSB) After the Flood

God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear and terror of you will be in every living creature on the earth, every bird of the sky, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are placed under your authority. Every living creature will be food for you; as I gave the green plants, I have given you everything. However, you must not eat meat with its lifeblood still in it. I will require the life of every animal and every man for your life and your blood. I will require the life of each man’s brother for a man’s life.

Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in His image.

But you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out over the earth and multiply on it.” Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, “Understand that I am confirming My covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you- birds, livestock, and all wildlife or the earth that are with you- all the animals of the earth that came out of the ark. I confirm My covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by the waters of a flood; there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Why did God save Noah’s family?

  • Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
    • Why do you think Noah found favor?
      • We don’t know. Scripture doesn’t tell us why God chose Noah.
      • If we remember that God doesn’t depend on people, then it doesn’t really matter.
      • Noah could have been the most righteous person, but he also could have been just as sinful as the rest of the world. We just can’t know at this point.

God reestablished the covenant He made with Adam and Eve.

  • Because of this, we can know that God did not flood the earth in order to destroy it. He flooded it in order to reestablish it.
  • God did not end the world, He renewed it and restored it.
    • People paid the price for their own sin against God.
  • What does this reveal about God’s character?
    • God treasures His creation.
    • God is not a destroyer, He is Creator. He renews His creation.
    • When God brings wrath on the earth, it is always for the sake of renewal.
    • When God punishes people, it is always for the sake of renewal.

Practical implications of this story

  • When we sin against God, God is sad.
  • When God punishes us, it is for our own good and for our renewal.

Questions for group discussion

  • We know from this text that God is sad when we sin. Do you think He also gets angry, even though we did not read about His anger here?
    • Where are some examples in Scripture when God gets angry with sinfulness?
  • We read that God regretted that He made people. What do you think this means?
    • Regret is a feeling of sadness, especially concerning a loss.
    • God was sad because people were leaving Him.
    • God made the best decision concerning His creation.
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