Trust is necessary for us to survive everyday. We trust that the power company won’t take our money and run; we trust that Starbucks will still be serving coffee when we arrive; we trust that the T will take us to work (well..most of the time anyway). Despite this, trust is something that can be hard earned and easily lost. For those of us who have been let down, trusting someone can feel like a leap of faith. This week, we look at the story of Abraham, of how Abraham learns to trust God, of how God proves that He is trustworthy. We’ll ask the tough question, “what might it look like for us to trust God?”
What was something that you were afraid of as a child? How did you overcome that fear?
Genesis 17:1-22; Genesis 22:1-19
Read Genesis 17:1-22.
1. Genesis 17:11 calls circumcision a “sign” of the covenant, meaning it is meant as a representation of the covenant, not a condition of it. What conditions does God place on Abraham in his terms of the covenant?
2. In this passage God clarifies the terms of his promise in Genesis 12. What specifically is God’s promising to Abraham and Sarah?
3. Why do you think God changes Abraham’s and Sarah’s names? What do these new names signify?
4. What is Abraham’s response to God’s promise? Is it reasonable? How would you respond?
5. Why do you think Abraham suggest that God use Ishmael as the child of promise? Why do you think God rejects this plan?
Read Genesis 22:1-19.
6. God has fulfilled his promise to Abraham and Sarah by giving them Isaac. Why would God test Abraham in this way? What exactly is God testing?
7. What, if anything, is commendable about Abraham’s response?
8. Why does God approve of Abraham’s response? What does it tell us about what God’s desires from those who He enters into relationship with?
9. What sort of God does this story of Abraham reveal? Is that God trustworthy, dangerous, both or something else?
10. What do you think it means to “trust in God,” and do you?
11. What areas of your life are you afraid to trust God with? What would it look like if you started trusting Him in that area?
Diving Deeper: Isaac and Jesus
1. How do you see the story of Abraham and Issac reflected in the story of Jesus? Why is that significant?
2. How is Jesus’ story different than that of Isaac’s? What is significant about the differences?