GET ACQUAINTED: What is the biggest prize or contest you’ve ever won?
SCRIPTURE: Review the verses that Scott used on Sunday
OBSERVATION: A genealogy is a list of ancestors. Some Americans have made a hobby out of creating a personal family tree, but most of us today can only name a few ancestors. Genealogies were very important to the Jews of Jesus time. It wasn’t uncommon for a Jewish man of that day to be able to list all of their ancestors all the way back to Abraham. How many of your ancestors can you name? Why do you think this was important to the Jews? The New Testament provides genealogies for Christ in Matthew and in Luke. Why was it so important to trace Jesus’ family history?
Rahab was a prostitute. She led a life of sexual sin that was forbidden by the Law of Moses and could have resulted in a death sentence if she had been Jewish (Leviticus 20:10 ). Rather than death, however, she receives grace, forgiveness, a husband, and a son that would become a direct ancestor of Jesus. What does this tell us about the Israelites of that day? What does this tell us about God? Why do you think she chose to trust the Israelite spies in the first place?
Ruth was a Moabite woman. The Moabites were descendants of Abraham’s nephew Lott, however, they were worshippers of the pagan god Baal. Israelites were forbidden to marry them because of the way they treated the Israelites when they entered the promised land (Deuteronomy 23:3-4 ), and because Moabite women enticed some Israelite men to worship Baal (Numbers 25:1-3 ). What are some of the “other gods” that Americans worship today? What are some of the idols in American culture that entice us away from God?
(2 Corinthians 12:8-9 a) “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.'” If anyone had reason to be proud about their service for Christ it was Paul.
But he goes on to say in (2 Corinthians 9 b) “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.” How has God used your weaknesses to minister to others? Why do you think God’s power works best in our weaknesses?
Ruth and Rahab came to God in weakness and he rewarded their faith with “a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 ) He offers to reward us with eternal life if we turn to him in our ultimate weakness which is our inability to overcome sin and death with our own effort. Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf made this possible. Why do you think God chose to save us this way? What are some ways you can share this Good News with those in your life?
Prayer: Father from this day forward I commit to putting You first above all else. I confess for allowing things to often become idols in my life. Would you also help me to see my weakness as strengths, as ways for Your power to be seen at work in my life? Help me to use them to minister to others who may have or are struggling with the same things I have. Father would you place someone in my path this week that I may be able to share Christ with and give me the courage to do it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.