Week 1 A Closer Look at God's Chosen People

An Overview of Genesis 11-50

God always has a plan. God's plan began before the foundation of the world was laid (Ephesians 1:4) and unfolds throughout the pages of the Bible, even beyond today. In this plan God created man and woman because He desired fellowship and communion with them. They were placed in the perfect environment, a Garden that supplied their every need. God desired for them to never be separated from the perfect peace and personal presence of Himself.

Then, in a moment's decision, everything changed. A single act of disobedience led to the downfall of all mankind. Romans 5:12 states "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." All mankind would suffer and die, eternally separated from God.

But God had a plan. This plan would bring redemption and salvation to all who believe. God knew from the beginning that He Himself would be the sacrifice for sin and that one day He would introduce His Son Jesus as fully man yet fully God. "For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many." (Romans 5:15)

We see from the beginning of Genesis, God's plan unveiled a race of people through whom the Savior would be born many years later. These people are referred to as God's chosen people, also known as the Hebrews, the Israelites, and later known as the Jews. This Closer Look is designed to give a brief overview of the beginnings of the Hebrew race, including their forefathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and the twelve tribes of Israel (or Jacob's twelve sons) as revealed throughout the book of Genesis.

1. After the flood had destroyed every living thing on earth, except for Noah's family, the world would be repopulated by Noah's sons.

a. Which of Noah's sons would beget a man named Terah? (See chapter 11:10)

b. Who was born to Terah? (See verse 27)

c. Why is this genealogy of Shem listed in Genesis chapter 11 significant?

2. Read Genesis 11:31-32 to answer the following questions:

a. Who did Terah take with him on his trip?

b. What was to be their final destination?

c. Where did they settle?

The world was created and then destroyed due to man's sin and wickedness. Everyone and everything were wiped out except for Noah's family. As the world is repopulated, sin is once again leading man into rebellion against God, as seen at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). But God had a plan. This plan begins to unfold with Terah's family.