Hope Sabbath School

A lively discussion of a weekly topic which is reviewed by a rotating group of twelve young adults. Viewers from around the world participate in the one-hour Bible study program.

Hope Sabbath School


The Creation

Think about the vast power of God, who upholds the cosmos, and yet can be so near to each of us. Why is this amazing truth so amazing?

The Fall

In the first two chapters of the Bible, we learn that at each stage of Creation, six times God evaluates His work as “good” and at the end of the Creation week during His seventh assessment, God evaluates His work as “very good”. However, things drasticaly change in Chapter 3 and the structure of the chapter highlights two main themes: the theme of temptation and the theme of salvation.

Cain and His Legacy

In Genesis, what follow immediately after the Fall, and then the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, are mainly births and deaths, all in fulfillment of God’s prophecies in the preceding chapter.

The Flood

We shall not study the biblical story of this cosmic event in order to understand it from a scientific point of view. We do not possess all the data to be able to comprehend this phenomenon. Apart from the scientific discussion, a number of questions will be debated. The fundamental question concerns God Himself: What does this story teach us about the God of the Bible and His purpose? Gnostic philosopher Marcion of Sinope (ad 85–ad 160), and many other Christians after him, used the Flood to demonstrate that the God of the Old Testament was a violent and cruel God, set in diametric opposition to Jesus, the God of love.

All Nations and Babel

The survivors of the Flood, the three sons of Noah, will generate three branches of the humanity, which will constitute the nations of the world. It seems that humanity is on the right track to filling the earth and bringing God’s image to the ends to the earth. Yet, the story of the Tower of Babel marks a dramatic break in that momentum. God’s commission of universality is replaced by the human ideal of unity and uniformity. Humans want to be one, and worse, they want to be God.

The Roots of Abraham

In this central section of Genesis (12-22), Abraham leaves his past to follow G\od's call.  As a result, Abraham always is on the move, always a migrant, which is why he also is called a “stranger” (Gen. 17:8). In his journeying, Abraham is suspended in the void—without his past, which he has lost, and without his future, which he does not see.  In the New Testament, Abraham is one of the most mentioned figures from the Old Testament, and we will start to see why.

The Covenant With Abraham

The Abrahamic covenant is the second covenant, after the covenant with Noah. Like Noah’s covenant, Abraham’s covenant involves other nations, as well, for ultimately, the covenant with Abraham is part of the everlasting covenant, which is offered to all humanity.

Jacob the Supplanter

This section picks up on the continued family history of Isaac, the miracle child and early ancestor of the promised Seed. The story doesn’t start out particularly well, however. The flawed character of his son Jacob will be manifested in the rivalry between the two brothers over the birthright (Gen. 25:27–34) and consequently over the right to obtain the blessing of Isaac (Genesis 27).

The Promise to Abraham

This section takes us to the climax of Abraham’s religious journey: the sacrifice of Isaac. This sacrifice is the “test” of Abraham’s faith. . A number of questions will be explored: What is the meaning of this test? Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son in contradiction to His promise? How will God provide? Why did the sacrifice change from Isaac to the expectation of a lamb and finally to the ram? What is the theological and prophetic significance of the failed sacrifice?

A New Name: From Jacob to Israel

Jacob is now free from Laban. Under God’s blessing, Jacob has become rich. It seems that he is at last happy. He has reached his goal and is heading home to Canaan. Yet, Jacob is profoundly worried about his future in Canaan and the threat posed by his brother. It is precisely at this moment that God chooses to approach Jacob. This extraordinary confrontation will radically change the character of Jacob. As a result, Jacob is renamed Israel.  After a night of wrestling, Jacob emerges from his encounter with a blessing and a new name. He has had a personal encounter with the God of love and lived. In turn, Jacob is able to look upon the face of his enemy, his brother, Esau, in humility and love.

Joseph, Master of Dreams

The story of Joseph covers the last section of the book of Genesis, from his first dreams in Canaan to his death in Egypt (Gen. 50:26). In fact, Joseph occupies more space in the book of Genesis than does any other patriarch. We will also see that the life of Joseph highlights two important theological truths: first, God fulfills His promises; second, God can turn evil into good.

Joseph, Prince of Egypt

Joseph not only explains to Pharaoh the meaning of his dream, which concerns the future political and economic problem of the country of Egypt—he also provides Pharaoh with the solution. Joseph does not merely content himself with the revelation of God’s plans. Nor is he passive, waiting for God to perform another miracle. Joseph suggests to Pharaoh that he appoint a “discerning and wise man” to manage the complex operation of preparing for the famine.

Israel in Egypt

This last section of the book of Genesis takes us to the end of the patriarchal period with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph. The whole clan of Jacob is now in exile in Egypt. The last words of the book are “a coffin in Egypt.” The history of salvation seems to have no happy ending. And yet, this is the part of the book that is the most redolent of hope.

About the Show

A lively discussion of a weekly topic which is reviewed by a rotating group of twelve young adults. Viewers from around the world participate in the one-hour Bible study program.

Hope Sabbath School
Bible, Education
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