Genesis Part II
April 21, 2024

The Story of Abraham: Faith and Doubt

The Rev'd Adam Lowe
Genesis 12:10-20

Questions and going deeper resources

Small group questions

Connect How can we persevere in obedience to God, when we are unsure of the direction God is taking us?
1. Have you ever seen an example of the popular ‘expectation vs reality’ trend online? (i.e., when two
images or videos are juxtaposed of how the reality of something contrasts with someone’s expectation.)
2. Do you have a personal experience of a funny contrast between expectation and reality? (e.g., it could
be some food you cooked, a place you went, or something you purchased)
Read Genesis 12:10-16
3. What has just happened in the verses that precede this? How extraordinary and extensive was God’s
promise to Abram? What are the various dimensions of the blessing and who does it benefit?
4. Were things going well up to now? What was the catalyst for Abram to move his people to Egypt?
5. Why would Abram have wanted to go to Egypt? What had God promised to provide for Abram?
6. What is notably missing about Abram’s actions (or, more specifically, how he made the decision)?
7. What do you think was really at the heart of Abram’s failure to seek the Lord’s guidance?
8. When things aren’t ‘going to plan’ as you expect, are you ever tempted to bypass the Lord and take
matters into your own hands? When are you most susceptible to this?
9. Upon making the decision, how is Abram immediately led into a compromising situation and action?
Why did Abram do this? How did it get more complicated than Abram anticipated?
10. What was the fruit of Abram’s self-reliance? How is this a threefold reversal of God’s intentions?
11. How can distorting (or misunderstanding) God’s promises, doubting that God will follow through, or
being dissatisfied with God’s timing, tempt us to bypass God or lead us into sin?
12. When faced with a tension between expectation and reality, what should we be prompted to do?
Can you think of an example of when you have done this?
Read Genesis 12:17-13:4
13. How does God respond to the situation? How is it clear that God will faithfully work out his purposes
even in spite of faltering people? How should this give us great confidence personally?
14. How does the Pharaoh show more moral sensitivity and respect for God’s power than Abram (here)?
15. When Abram goes, what does he do? What is incredibly encouraging and instructive about this?
16. When we go astray, how does God’s faithfulness give us confidence that we can return to him?
17. What ultimately can give us confidence that God will be vindicated and is working out his purposes?
Apply Is there any area in your life—in which you feel a disconnect between expectation and reality—that you
need to bring to the Lord in order that you can renew your trust in his faithfulness?

Lord, thank you that your faithfulness does not falter and that you indeed are working out your purposes. Please help us to trust in your promises, be patient in your timing, and quick to seek out your purposes. Amen.
Going deeper resources

On Your Front Line this Week
How can you demonstrate generosity this week to someone on your frontline?

For Families
• Download: some of the family resources to use at home: stbartskids.org

Listen, Watch, and Read
• Listen: “Called to be a Blessing” by Hugh Palmer:
• Listen: “Genesis 11:27-12:20” by Andrew Sach:
• Listen: “The Patriarch (Abraham and Christ)” by John Stott:
• Listen: “The Cost of Mission” by Tim Keller:

Series Resources
• Website: All of the resources from our earlier series on Genesis Part I: The Beginnings of Grace:
• Watch: “Genesis 12-50” by the Bible Project:
• Watch: “How should we read the Old Testament? with Chris Wright” by Questioning Christianity:
• Read: “Genesis - Kidner Classic Commentary Series” by Derek Kidner:

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