Family Jesse Tree Study – December 6
Welcome to our family Bible study focused on preparing our hearts for Christmas. The Jesse Tree is the family tree of Jesus (see Matthew 1 and Luke 3 for a complete genealogy of Jesus). All along its branches are men and women of God who have incredible stories to share and from which we can glean a deeper understanding of faith and build a stronger relationship with God. God orchestrated these people and stories for a reason — to point us to His Son Jesus who comes to save us once and for all.
For this study, we encourage you to read, reflect, and journal on these scriptures on your own and then find a good time with your family to do this devotion together. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading followed by a devotion, discussion question, and prayer taken from “Jesse Tree Family Devotions” by the Reformed Church in America, then below that is a SOAP journal note from one of our study leaders. For printable ornaments to make your own Jesse Tree, see: http://images.rca.org/docs/discipleship/jessepatterns.pdf. If you’re doing this study with smaller kids, consider using a children’s Bible to share the stories, or use the shorter version of the scripture provided in parentheses. For older kids, consider introducing them to the SOAP method of journaling through this study.
We hope you join us in this study, and please share how it’s going, your favorite Christmas traditions, and prayer requests in the Comments section on our website.
Genesis 22:1-19 (shorter version – Genesis 22:1-14) – Isaac
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Isaac was a special boy, and his father, Abraham, loved him very much. But Abraham loved God even more than he loved Isaac. One day God asked Abraham to take Isaac on a journey. Abraham obeyed. God also asked Abraham to kill Isaac as a sacrifice, as a way of showing how much Abraham loved God. Abraham was sad, but he knew that he had to obey God. He trusted that even though he was being asked to do something terrible, God would make everything right. As he was getting ready to sacrifice Isaac, God sent an angel to stop Abraham and save Isaac’s life. Then Abraham sacrificed a sheep as a way of honoring God, and to thank Him for saving Isaac’s life.
When have you felt protected by God?
Protect us, dear God, when we have to do things that make us sad.
SOAP JOURNAL NOTE
Behold, He Is God | Dyea Rowland
This passage has been a journal entry of mine in the past. The focus had been directed to the time and even moments before Isaac was to be slain. But today in verse 13, it was the “ah, Behold, there He is, moment” that got me. God loves to show Himself, and in this foreshadowing of Jesus heading to the cross, came right here…right when Abraham thought it couldn’t get any worse, Behold, God showed up!
If I pay attention, I have these moments. The more I have my eyes on You and trust that You are there, the more I feel You, but the more I see You as well. What a good reminder for me today, to remember “Behold, Here You Are; Behold, There You Are”, but, moreover, to always keep my eyes on You.
Father, I know many of us have those moments where we feel we are being led to the altar – as the sacrifice or the one who has an obedience to You. It’s an understatement to say they are “just not fun”, but what is so amazing is You! You show up in those moments. You are a God that never leaves us and has Your hand in everything…no matter how big or minute I (we) may perceive it. Thank You for always showing up. In Jesus’ name…Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.
Posted on December 6, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Abraham, Advent, Bible, Bible Study, Christmas, faithful, focus, Genesis, Isaac, Jesse Tree, Jesus, obey, sacrifice, SOAP. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.