Note: Abraham and Sarah are first introduced in Scripture as Abram and Sarai. God changed their names when He made a special covenant with them, which is described in Genesis 17. For simplicity, this Bible study uses the names “Abraham” and “Sarah.”
1. When God asks us to obey, He doesn’t always reveal the details. Read Genesis 12:1-3. Where did the Lord tell Abraham to go?
- What enabled him to take such a risk? (Hebrews 11:8-9)
- What is the definition of faith, according to Hebrews 11:1?
Hebrews 11:6 says “he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
- What did the Lord promise Abraham? (Genesis 12:2-3)
- Has your heavenly Father ever asked you to do something that seemed illogical to you at the time? If so, what did your experience teach you?
2. God’s guidance will not contradict His ways or His Word. Read Genesis 12:10-20.
- What did Abraham do instead of trusting the Lord to take care of him? (Genesis 12:13)
Although the patriarch did not have the Bible or even the Ten Commandments, he knew his action was wrong.
- In what area of your life are you currently tempted to disobey God instead of trusting Him? Explain your temptation.
- What do you think God would have you do instead of trying to solve the problem using your own effort or reasoning?
3. When we disobey, other people suffer. In Genesis 15:4, God promises Abraham a son, not just an heir. But years later, Sarah is still childless.
- What did she suggest to Abraham? (Genesis 16:2)
- What were some of the negative consequences of his action? (Genesis 16:4-6; 11-12)
- When you live for yourself instead of seeking to follow God, how are those around you negatively affected?
4. God often gives us a second chance to obey. Some opportunities come only once in a lifetime. Once we miss them, they are gone forever. But many times, our gracious Father offers us another chance.
- What did Abraham do with his second chance in Genesis 20:1-13?
- What three reasons does he give for using deception?
- How are his excuses similar to the excuses we might use to justify sin?
- Is God giving you a second chance? What is He asking you to do?
5. The Lord may ask us to surrender the dreams and plans He gives us. Read the story of the sacrifice of Isaac in Genesis 22:1-14.
- Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? (Genesis 22:12)
We can begin to value God-given possessions, relationships, dreams, or even ministry more than we treasure our relationship with Him. This is a form of idolatry.
- What are the warning signs that a God-given gift has become too important?
- Is God asking you to release an idol to Him so that He has your whole-hearted devotion? You may need to give it up literally or just surrender control of it in your heart. Write a prayer expressing your feelings and yielding to the lordship of Christ.
6. The rewards of obedience can last for generations. Because Abraham obeyed God, he became the father of the people of Israel. Years later, his descendants gave birth to the Messiah, through whom the entire world was blessed (Genesis 17: 4-8; Genesis 22:18).
- How would you like to be remembered by your children and grandchildren (or by the next generation)?
- What can you do in this next year to be one step closer to making that kind of impact on your world?
Closing: Like Abraham, you may impact the lives of those whom you never meet. Be obedient to God’s request, even if it doesn’t make sense from a worldly point of view. Perhaps the sacrifices you make today for Christ’s sake will bless others for generations to come.
Prayer: Father, I’m so grateful that You have a purpose and a plan for my life. Please reveal Your will to me and empower me to obey it willingly and faithfully. Increase my faith that I may be a blessing to the world around me for Your sake and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.