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Lesson 2: His Glorious Purpose Foreshadowed in Types *

Introduction: Last week we studied how sin first entered the universe and then our little world. Did God have a plan in place to meet this challenge? Did Satan have a plan to increase his gains? Let's dive into our study and find out!

  1. Barred from the Tree of Life

    1. Read Genesis 3:22. In the last two weeks someone sent me a little booklet suggesting that if I ate the "original diet" of Adam and Eve (see Genesis 1:29) that I could greatly lengthen my life. What does Genesis 3:22 suggest was the special dietary secret to long life? (The tree of life.)

      1. I understand that Adam and Eve were barred from the tree of life because they had sinned. But, why did the fact that they now had the same kind of knowledge as God had, mean that they had to die? (1. Life is a gift from God. By sinning, humans had forfeited the right to this gift. 2. God did not want to perpetuate sin. 3. God had warned them of the penalty. Genesis 2:15-17. God's warning had become the major point of the controversy. Genesis 3:4.)

    2. Read Genesis 3:23-24. What does the posting of the guard say about the new relationship between God and humans? (God could not trust them.)

      1. How do you think Adam and Eve reacted to the guard?

    3. Let's go back and read Genesis 3:21. God banished them from the Garden of Eden. God posted a guard at the tree of life. What note does verse 21 give us about the relationship between humans and God? (Eternal life was a gift from God they had forfeited, but God continued to give them gifts to aid them in their life.)

      1. What significance do you find in God making garments of skin? (This means animals died to improve the life of humans. God is giving Adam and Eve a perpetual reminder that sin brings death. God is also giving them a "type" (a symbol) of the future plan of salvation - one life for another.)

      2. People who suggest that I take up the "original diet" never suggest that I should take up the original wardrobe!

  2. The Boys

    1. Read Genesis 4:1-2. Which son had the more noble profession? (Cain seemed to be doing exactly what God had commanded. Genesis 3:17-19, 23. Abel, on the other hand, had that "no sweat" job of watching animals.)

    2. Read Genesis 4:3-5. What do we learn about God's unstated worship requirements? (The Bible does not directly state what God told humans about worship, forgiveness of sin, etc. However, with the background of the rest of the Old Testament, we now know that God had instituted the sacrificial system among humans. When you sinned, you sacrificed an animal.)

      1. To what did this system of worship point? (The sacrifice of the lamb symbolized Jesus' coming death on our behalf. See John 1:29 and Revelation 13:8. This is further proof of God's plan for the salvation of humans.)

      2. What was going through Cain's mind that caused him to be angry? What kind of "self-defense" argument would you guess Cain had constructed in his mind? (First, he was sweating with "earth work" - which was precisely what God had commanded. Second, he was bringing the results of his own work. It was a diverse world, each one brought his own talents to the table, each one understood God's requirements in his own, unique way. No one had any right to judge him. He applied God's word to his own distinct background - which was gardening instead of shepherding.)

    3. Read Genesis 4:6-7. Considering what God said to Cain, how would you characterize God's attitude? (God is trying to reason with Cain. God is being sympathetic. God is counseling Cain. At the same time, God stands firm on what is required. God has a standard that does not vary based on our diversity of views and talents.)

      1. Do you think Cain fully understood the reason for God's specific system of worship? (I doubt that Cain fully understood the details of the plan of salvation. My bet is that he just thought: "I brought the best of what I do. I do the more appropriate work. God is being arbitrary in telling me I must sacrifice an animal instead of vegetables.")

      2. What does God's worship requirement teach us about the other religions of the world? (Years ago I had someone ask me, "How do you know that Christianity, instead of Islam, is the right religion?" That question bothered me enough that I started studying Islam and found that it relies upon the Old Testament. Both Judaism and Islam accept the Cain and Able story as true, yet both Judaism and Islam do not "sacrifice the Lamb" in their system of worship. They both have a "Cain problem." God's sacrificial system shows His plan for dealing with sin. Any religious belief that does not follow this pattern is missing God's master plan for dealing with the entry of sin into our world.)

    4. Read Genesis 4:8. Put yourself in the place of Adam and Eve. How do you think Adam and Eve felt about this?

      1. Did they blame themselves for this murder?

        1. Should they have?

      2. How did we get from perfect, sinless, God-created humans to a murderer in one generation?

      3. Read 1 John 3:11-13. What answer does this text give to our murderer in one generation question? (Humans choose sides. Those who choose evil hate those who choose right.)

        1. Is this "hating righteousness" the essence of Satan's plan to expand his kingdom?

      4. Sin has now shown its true colors. Satan, the serpent, has shown the ultimate result of his way of life. Since God had His plan for dealing with sin in place, why didn't God call an end to sin right then? Why wait 2,000 years to fulfill the plan? Why not send Jesus right now? Isn't the error of Satan's way and his plan for conquest now clear to all observers?

  3. Abraham and Isaac

    1. Read Genesis 22:1-2. Would Abraham's reaction to this instruction from God be the same as ours? (I assume that other "gods" sanctioned child-sacrifice and Abraham knew about this practice. There are at least five references in the Bible (see, e.g., Jeremiah 32:35) which specifically state that child sacrifice is "detestable" to God. In our case then, the oral word would contradict the written word. That was not true for Abraham.)

      1. Read Genesis 21:12. What other contradiction did Abraham have to sort out? (That Isaac was the fulfilment of God's promise for many descendants.)

    2. Read Genesis 22:6-8. What do you think Abraham meant here? What do you think he believed would happen?

      1. Given God's promise for Isaac's future, given the love of a father who has a son late in life, was anything more important to Abraham than his son, Isaac?

    3. Read Genesis 22:9-13. Why did God put Abraham through this? ( Genesis 22:1 & 12 indicate that God was testing Abraham. I think there is a larger explanation that is revealed in Genesis 22:8. God provided the Lamb for our sins. This test of Abraham is intended to forcibly bring home the point to fathers and mothers the extent of God's love for us. It is intended to bring home the point that while giving up our children will not cure the sin problem, God is looking for our unselfish obedience in response to His sacrificial love towards us.)

  4. The Snake

    1. Read Numbers 21:4-5. Since we are on the topic of parents, do you parents hear something familiar in this text about the exodus from Egypt? Does this have the general sound of young children?

    2. Read Numbers 21:6-7. Why is this an appropriate response to complaining? (The complainers were rejecting God's provision for their life. On another note, it might be a good idea to post this text in the place where your church has fellowship dinner.)

    3. Read Numbers 21:8-9. The story seems to get more bizarre. If you are dying from snake bite, why would looking at a model of a snake be the logical cure? (I believe the theological point for us is that we must face our sins to be forgiven. The serpent represented sin. God wanted the Israelites to face their sins. In the plan of salvation which God had in place, we must face and confess our sins as a condition to taking advantage of God's provision (the death of His Son) for our salvation.)

    4. Friend, from the Creation, God had in place a plan for your salvation. That plan was fulfilled in Jesus sinless life and death on our behalf. Will you face your sins by confessing them and accepting Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf? The alternative is a life where "the plan" is to hate those who choose Jesus.

  5. Next week: Jesus and the Sanctuary.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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