Online Bible Study Course  ‘They said it was impossible’

Online Bible Study 1 – They said it was impossible

Introductory discussion questions

  1. Do you have a dream or ambition that you haven’t attempted because you think it is impossible?
  2. What are the things that have stopped you trying?
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Genesis 17:15-19

Isaac’s Birth Promised

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

  1. What promise does God make to Abraham in this passage?
  2. Why is this seemingly impossible?
  3. How does Abraham react and what does this tell us about his faith?
  4. How would God want you to react to a seemingly impossible promise?

(Sarah is the only woman in the bible whose name is changed and whose age is given. Sarah means “princess.” Despite being well past child bearing age, Sarah miraculously conceives a child. Sarah “will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” v16)

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Genesis 18:9-15

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

  1. What announcement does God make to Abraham?
  2. Why does God repeat this announcement?
  3. Why was it important for Sarah to hear this announcement?
  4. How does Sarah react to God’s announcement?
  5. How does God respond to Sarah’s behaviour?
  6. How would you react to a seemingly impossible announcement?
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Counties evangelist Clive Cornish walks towards the Brecon Beacons in South Wales. Pen y Fan is southern Britain's highest mountain

Genesis 21:1-9 – The Birth of Isaac

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

  1. How does God fulfil his promise to Abraham?
  2. The name Isaac means “laughter”. Why is this appropriate?
  3. How does Sarah’s laughter after the birth of Isaac compare to her laughter in Genesis 18?
  4. What does this story tell us about God’s character?
  5. How would the birth of Isaac affect Abraham’s and Sarah’s faith?
  6. How does this story challenge you?
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Closing thoughts

In Genesis 12 God calls Abraham:

12The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

In the passage above we learn Abraham was 75 years old when called by God to leave Harran. In Genesis 17 we read Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was conceived. Abraham and Sarah had waited 25 years for God to fulfil his promise to bless them.  In the short video “They said it was impossible” we hear it was almost 14 years between God informing Clive he would walk with the cross and the start of the first walk around Wales. When Clive announced he was going to walk with the cross many of his friends and family told him it was impossible. When Sarah was told she was going to bear a child she laughed in disbelief. After 25 years waiting she must have thought it would never happen.

Do you believe God is calling you to a seemingly impossible task? Then seek God, know it is of God and step out in faith. If it is of God then it cannot fail.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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