Week 3

Cornerstone Connection Lesson

 


Supplemental Youth Sabbath School Ideas

 


 

The standard Youth Sabbath School materials for the topic “Noah Way” contains a Student Lesson and a Teacher’s Guide.  In addition to these materials provided by the General Conference Sabbath School Department, the North American Division Youth Department is providing supplemental materials you may choose to add to this lesson.  Think in terms of your specific setting and the young people at your Youth Sabbath School.  As you seek to involve them in the study and application of the Bible for this week, prayerfully pick and choose the components that will form the Youth Sabbath School for your young people.  Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you make your plan, and then continue to be sensitive for the Holy Spirit to guide you during the Sabbath School.

Session 3 Noah Way!

Scripture passages:

  • Genesis 6, 7:1-16, 7:17-9:17

Overview

Noah provided a model and invitation for people to live for God in contrast to making themselves and their experience the only thing that mattered to them.

Read the Student Lesson as well as the Teacher’s Guide. This may provide everything you need for the Youth Sabbath School.

 

 

 


 

 

Download Lesson 3


Following are additional component parts that you can pick and choose, use “as is” or adapt them to your specific Youth Sabbath School. These supplemental ideas provide more options for this topic. Hopefully you will have more than you need and more than you can use, so you end up picking what will work the best for your Youth Sabbath School. Here’s a brief description of the seven supplemental materials: 

  1. Opening Activity
    An icebreaker or something to get people focused as you begin.
  2. Video clip and follow up questions
    A short video clip and an idea for you to create your own video on this week’s topic, plus a few questions to follow up with discussion.
  3. Music
    It’s best if you create your own music and choose what’s best in your setting. We are not endorsing a given style or even a specific song. Select songs related to this week’s lesson. We’ll give you several different songs with lyrics that relate to the topic for this week. Sing along with YouTube or better yet, create your own music. Lyrics can also be found simply by “googling” the song title.
  4. Bible study guides for Scripture for this lesson
    An another approach to the same topic as the Teacher’s Guide, but just a different way of looking at it. Expect activities to illustrate the topic, followed by some questions.
  5. Application ideas for living out this lesson this week
    Let this spark your ideas to move from talk to action by living out the lesson in practical ways in your life this week.
  6. An outreach or world mission component
    If Sabbath School is just for us, we will spiritually die. We must share what we’ve been given. This can be done locally and/or globally. We’ll suggest several options over 3-4 weeks on reaching out.
  7. Youth leader tip for the week
    This bonus is just for the youth leader—a quick tip and an illustration to enhance your youth leadership.  You may already know this, or you may learn it through trial and error.  Here’s a way to get it with a quick infusion.

And here are those seven supplemental materials in more detail for this week’s lesson:  “Noah Way!”


1. Opening Activity

An icebreaker or something to get people focused as you begin.

Divide into two groups and face on in “What Did You Say?” If you have only one person, you face off with that one. If you have two or more, divide into equal teams. If you have more than 6–8 people, just pick 6–8 and have them form two teams in front of the rest of the group. 

Form two lines with the two groups. The person at the head of each group faces the first person at the head of the other group. One of the two at the front asks a question of the person they are facing. That person, instead of answering the question, answers with a question. For example, the first person may ask, “What is your name?” The person facing them cannot answer with the actual answer (“My name is Tom”). Instead, the response must be with another question, even though it may be totally unrelated, such as “Why is the sky blue?” 

  • The two people at the heads of both lines go back and forth until one gives an answer instead of a question or doesn’t ask a question or simply pauses or cracks. 
  • To make it more challenging, questions cannot be repeated.
  • When a person messes up, that person goes to the back of their line and the next person takes on the winner of the head of the other line. 
  • If an individual wins three times in a row, that person should really go to the back of their own line and give others a chance to play. 

 

Transition

As we consider “Noah Way” today, think about how well we humans listen to each other, and how well we listen to God.


​2. Video Clip and Follow Up Questions

A short video clip and an idea for you to create your own video on this week’s topic, plus a few questions to follow up with discussion.

Create a video clip that illustrates our world today and how those connected to God live in such a world.  Ask someone in advance to create follow up questions based on these video clips.

Or you can use the following YouTube video clip “Theodicy (Many Waters)” (3+ minutes) and the follow up questions provided (or create your own questions for “Theodicy (Many Waters)”):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5glJP70L0bA

Follow-up questions

  1. When have you asked the question:  If God is love, why is there so much suffering or evil on our world?
  2. When have you seen evil or suffering come as a result of what a person has chosen?  When have you seen it come without a person choosing it?
  3. Can you think of a time when somebody’s faith grew when they experienced suffering or evil?  How well has that worked for you?
  4. Do you want a God who will protect you from suffering and evil?  If so, how do you get such a god or such a power?
  5. To explain or defend why God permits suffering and evil (theodicy), the video suggests a third option—The Great Controversy.  How would you explain this?  How does this work in your life?  To what extent does this explanation work for you?

​3. Music

It’s best if you create your own music and choose what’s best in your setting.  We are not endorsing a given style or even a specific song.  Select songs related to this week’s lesson.  We’ll give you several different songs with lyrics that relate to the topic for this week.  Choose 3-5 of these.  Sing along with YouTube or better yet, create your own music.  Lyrics can also be found simply by “googling” the song title.

Here are 10 songs related to the theme of today’s lesson: “Noah Way.”

  • Take Heart
  • Be Strong and Very Courageous (Kids’s VBS Song)
  • Move
  • Oceans
  • Courageous
  • Will Your Anchor Hold in the Storms of Life
  • Days of Elijah
  • Awake and Alive
  • Our God
  • Be Still and Know

Take Heart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MfBQ30Ta9w

There is a light
It burns brighter than the sun
He steals the night
And casts no shadow
There is hope
Should oceans rise and mountains fall
He never fails

(Chorus)
So take heart
Let His love lead us through the night
Hold on to hope
And take courage again

In death by love
The fallen world was overcome
He wears the scars of our freedom
In His Name
All our fears are swept away
He never fails

(Chorus)

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failure
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome

All our heartache
And all our pain
God our healer
He has overcome

All our burdens
And all our shame
God our freedom
He has overcome

All our troubles and
All our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failures
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome

God our justice
God our grace
God our freedom
He has overcome

God our refuge
God our strength
God is with us
He has overcome
He has overcome

Be Strong and Very Courageous (kids’ VBS song)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NENosj521RQ

Moses had faith to part the sea
Daniel was brave in the lion’s den
Noah was busy building the ark
They trusted in their God
If you’re up against something really big
Just remember what God has said

(Chorus)
Be strong Be strong
Be strong and very courageous
Be strong Be strong
For I am always by your side

Queen Esther stood before the king
Joseph was left, sold as a slave
David had courage to face Goliath
They trusted in their God

(Chorus, repeat)

Move

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmUDDxflt6o

I'm not about to give up
Because I heard you say
There's gonna be brighter days
There's gonna be brighter days
I won’t stop, I'll keep my head up
No, I'm not here to stay
There's gonna be brighter days
There's gonna be brighter days

(Chorus)
I just might bend but I won't break
As long as I can see your face
When life won't play along and right keeps going wrong
And I can't seem to find my way
I know where I am found, so I won't let it drag me down, oh
I'll keep dancing anyway

I'm gonna move, move
I'm gonna move, move
I'm gonna move (I'm gonna move)

I've got to hold 'er steady
Keep my head in the game
Everything is about to change
Everything is about to change

This hurt is getting heavy
But I'm not about to cave
Everything is about to change
There's gonna be brighter days

(Chorus, repeat)

Oceans

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=behM7KhhXcs

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

(Chorus)
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

(Chorus)

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
(Repeat twice)

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Courageous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

We were made to be courageous
We were made to lead the way
We could be the generation
That finally breaks the chains
We were made to be courageous
We were made to be courageous

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we're watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

(Chorus)
We were made to be courageous
And we're taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall

We will reignite the passion
That we buried deep inside
May the watchers become warriors
Let the men of God arise

(Chorus)

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Seek justice
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your God

In the war of the mind
I will make my stand
In the battle of the heart
And the battle of the hand
(Repeat)

We were made to be courageous
And we're taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we'll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

We were made to be courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Will Your Anchor Hold in the Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9aLhTHmuTg

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain? 

(Chorus)
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love. 

It is safely moored, 'twill the storm withstand,
For 'tis well secured by the Savior's hand;
And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy the blast, through strength divine. 

(Chorus)

It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o'erflow. 

(Chorus)

It will surely hold in the floods of death,
When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the veil.

(Chorus)

When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore
With the storms all past forevermore

(Chorus)

Days of Elijah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWSATpx7uzk

These are the days of Elijah
Declaring the word of the Lord, yeah
And these are the days of Your servant Moses
Righteousness being restored

These are the days of great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

(Chorus)
Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet's call
Lift your voice, year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill, salvation comes

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming flesh
And these are the days of Your servant, David
Rebuilding a temple of praise

And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are all white in Your world
And we are the laborers that are in Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the Lord

Chorus, repeat

There's no God like Jehovah! (repeat many times)

(Chorus, repeat)

Awake and Alive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aRlxHtB0pg

I'm at war with the world and they
Try to pull me into the dark
I struggle to find my faith
As I'm slippin' from your arms

It's getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last

(Chorus)
I'm awake I'm alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it's my time
I'll do what I want 'cause this is my life
Here, right here
Right now, right now
Stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I'm awake and I'm alive

I'm at war with the world cause I
Ain't never gonna sell my soul
I've already made up my mind
No matter what I can't be bought or sold

When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again

(Chorus)

Waking up waking up, repeat 3 times

In the dark
I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you

Chorus

Waking up waking up (Repeat 3 times)

Our God

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aRlxHtB0pg

Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There's no one like you
None like you

(Chorus)
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There`s No one like you
None like you

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
(Repeat)

(Chorus)

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
(Repeat)

Be Still and Know

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHlbnNUHQGI

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still oh restless heart of mine
Bow before the Prince of Peace
Let the noise and clamor cease

Be still and know He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is God
Be still
Be speechless

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is our Father
Come and rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones, calling each of us to come
Be still, be still


4. Bible study guides for Scripture for this lesson

Another approach to the same topic as the Teacher’s Guide, but just a different way of looking at it.  Expect activities to illustrate the topic, followed by some questions.

“Noah Way”

Scripture passage:

  • Genesis 6; 7:1-16; 7:17-9:17
  • Life on Earth—Genesis 6:5-6, 11-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13-17
  • Judgment and Deliverance—Genesis 6:5-8, 11-14
  • Life on the Ark—Genesis 7:1-24

Here’s one way of studying the lesson this week »


Life on Earth (Based on Genesis 6:5-6, 11-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13-17)

Materials needed

  • Post-It notes and pen/pencil for each participant
  • A string or rope or masking tape to mark the room into two halves
  • Song “Tug O’ War” by NewSong (optional)
  • Collection of favorite Bible verses

Our few verses for this study are some of the most somber verses in all the Bible. You might want to refer to these when one of your parents or other authority figures makes some comment about how bad this world has become. Let’s read together just one verse: Genesis 6:5.

In the New International Version it reads: “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”  Things can’t get much worse than this!

  • Every inclination—sounds like 100%
  • Thoughts—your mind
  • Heart—your feelings; from the inside
  • Only evil—what happened to the mixture of good and evil?
  • All the time—back to 100%

Questions

  • Have you ever lived in a situation like this?
  • Have you ever spent any moment of time in this kind of environment?
  • Which of the five components in this verse sounds the worst to you?
  • What would you do if you were God?
  • What would you do if you were a follower of God?

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve knew only good. But once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they added evil to their repertoire of experiences (see Genesis 3). By the time 10 generations had passed on earth, God’s creation had gone from “only good” to “good and evil” to “only evil.” 

Most people today are able to see both good and evil in their world. Are you able to identify both? For example, evil often shows itself in selfishness that can lead to human conflict, ego trips, taking from others, loose language, lying, etc. Evil also shows itself in violence, destroying things, using people for your own purposes, taking, coercion, fear, sickness, cheating, abuse, and death. Write on a Post-It note an example of evil and post it on this wall. (Give participants some time and explain more if needed.) After you post one example, think of another one and post it as well. In fact, post as many specific things you would classify as “evil” in the next two minutes. (Have a countdown clock if possible or just keep track yourself as the leader.)

That’s enough evil, at least for now! Let’s switch to the opposite. Let’s use some more Post-It notes, but this time to write some specific examples of what you would classify as “good.” For example, “good” is often associated with unselfishness and can be seen in sharing, cooperation, encouragement, integrity, trust, empathy, etc. Good also shows itself in life, courage, compassion, forgiveness, joy, patience, hope, healing, serenity, restoration, and love. Are you ready to write a specific example on a Post-It note? Let’s post these on a different wall. And once again, after you post one example, please think of another one and post it, too. I’ll give you two minutes to post examples of good. (Reset your countdown clock or keep track yourself again as the leader.)

Let me read a few more verses from Genesis 6. Here are verses 11–12 (NIV): “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.” I count three uses of some form of “corruption” in just two verses. Bible dictionaries include these kinds of descriptions for this word (the Hebrew word is shacath): destroy, mar, waste, ruin, lose, perish, pervert. 

And perhaps the saddest verse of all is verse 6: “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deply troubled.” God’s good creation was down to the last breath of just one man, Noah, and his family. We find out later in the story that only eight people opted for God’s way. Everyone else had sold out to Satan and the evil that comes with that. You have to wonder if Satan would have been the perpetual ruler of earth if God hadn’t of stepped in!

I suppose if we lived in a place that was practicing genocide (deliberately killing large groups of people, especially choosing a particular ethnic group of nation), we would feel like we’re in the midst of evil. A bonded laborer experiencing modern-day slavery or a child stuck in a brothel could identify with being surrounded by evil. Someone suffering under persistent and perpetual addiction might feel like evil was in control internally and externally. But most of us can’t relate to life in this manner. We see both good and evil. Which do you see more of: good or evil?  

Move to the wall that has the collection you see more of from your perspective. (Help participants move to either the wall with “good” Post-It notes or “evil” Post-It notes.)

Now that you’re there, please arrange the Post-It notes from top to bottom, with the top being the most extreme example of good or evil, and the bottom being the least extreme example. You’re basically ranking these. (Give additional instructions as needed. If there’s a tie, participants can put Post-It notes side-by-side.)

Let’s transition to something more physical.  (Move to a different part of the room where you will play a type of tug-of-war game without a rope!  Divide the space in half with a string or rope on the floor, or you can use masking tape on the floor as the line that splits the space in half.  Separate your group into two random but somewhat equal groups and then explain the activity.)

Announce that you are going to have a tug-of-war between the two teams, except without using a rope. The participants will function as the rope. When somebody wanders close enough to the dividing line or is lured there, other members of your team can grab on and pull them to your side. As long as one part of you still has contact with your side, you remain on your side. But if you get pulled all the way across the line, you are now on the other side. By the way, if you are pulling somebody to your side and in the process you step completely to the other side and no part of your is touching your original side, you just switched sides, too! You can put one foot or hand across the line to grab another person as long as one foot stays on your side of the line. 

Encourage individuals to work together in groups to extend a person’s reach and still keep them grounded to their side of the line. This can be a physically demanding and exhausting activity, especially for those in the thick of it. If your clothes are very dressy for Sabbath School, you may opt not to do this activity.

Set a time limit. If everyone hasn’t been pulled to one side of the other by then, the team with the larger number of people can be declared the winner.

(A good song to play in the background is “Tug O’ War” by NewSong, just over three minutes in length, and available for 99 cents as an MP3 at https://www.amazon.com/Tug-Owar/dp/B004ZW8TEI)

Questions

  • What did you do during this activity?
  • How would you describe this experience?
  • Which side did you spend more time on?
  • Were you ever pulled to the other side?
  • Did you feel more of a loyalty to one side?  Explain.
  • We won’t label one side good and the other side evil, but in what way is the pull of good and evil in your world similar to this activity?

(Return to the two walls with the Post-It notes for good and evil. Remove all of the good Post-It notes so all that is left is evil.)

Here’s the harsh reality of our world in the time of Noah. There was only evil. Continually.

We’ve asked this earlier, but we’ll ask it again. What would that look like? How would you describe it? We’ve removed the good. All we’re left with is the evil. Although this may sound very dark and hopeless, let’s enter this harsh reality by reading through our list of Post-It notes, one at a time. Let’s take turns going to the “evil” wall and taking one note and reading it aloud.  

(Give each participant a chance to go to the wall and pick one of the Post-It notes to dread/escribe an evil. You might choose to stop after some of them or read them all to the bitter end.)

Questions

  • Is this an accurate description of our world today?
  • Will our world ever return to this?
  • What will you do if this happens again?
  • What do you think God will do if this happens again?

The Bible contains two letters that Paul sent to the younger pastor, Timothy. In 2 Timothy 3:1–5 we can read another example of collective evil in the world. Here it is from The Living Bible: “You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad. They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that.”

We’ve had enough evil today, don’t you think? God provided an ark for any who wanted to escape the evil in Noah’s day, and he had Noah build it right in front of everyone. In Paul’s day, he gave Timothy the antidote to what he described in the first part of 2 Timothy 3. Toward the end of that same chapter (verses 13–17, TLB), he wrote: “Evil men and false teachers will become worse and worse, deceiving many, they themselves having been deceived by Satan. But you must keep on believing the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know that you can trust those of us who have taught you. You know how, when you were a small child, you were taught the holy Scriptures; and it is these that make you wise to accept God’s salvation by trusting in Christ Jesus. The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.”

Let’s close with some good news—something “good” from the Bible. Perhaps you have a verse from the Bible that you consider to be “good news.” If so, please share it with our group now.

I have some “good news” verses I selected before our time together. I’m happy to pass these out if you’d like to have one. And please read it for the rest of us—to encourage us.

(Read the verses provided in advance “Good News from the Bible” and choose the ones you’d like to have on hand, or glean from your own favorites.  These verses can lead to additional discussion, but don’t use them to give your own little sermonettes at this time. Let the participants do the talking now. Close with prayer.)

Here’s another way of studying the lesson for this week »


Judgement and Deliverance (Based on Genesis 6:5-8, 11-14)

Materials needed

  • Print out of “Harsh Verses in the Bible”
  • Color copy of “What Do You Think” plus a pen/pencil for each youth
  • Popsicle stick for each person in Youth Sabbath School

The Bible has some very harsh statements in it.  For example, let’s Read Genesis 6:6 (NIV).  “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

There have been times when some parents, distraught and emotionally pained and frustrated, have blurted out to one of their children, “I wish you would have never been born!”  That’s harsh!  In today’s climate, that would be considered “abusive.” 

Questions

  • Why would a parent ever say that?
  • Is there any chance that you would say that if you become a parent?
  • Have you even known someone that you wish had never been in your life?
  • If anyone ever told you sometime in the past that they wish you had never been born, how did you feel and how did you respond?
  • How does Genesis 6:6 relate to John 3:16?

We can find other verses in Genesis 6 that provide some reasons for the strong statement about God found in verse 6. I’m going to assign 5 different verses to different people. These are all found in Genesis 6, the very first book of the Bible, and only 10 generations removed from Adam and Even being in the Garden of Eden.  

(Ask for volunteers or assign the 5 different verses to 5 different people. If you have less than 5 people, either choose one verse per person or give more than one verse as needed. If you have more than 10 people, get into groups and assign one verse to each group.)

The first verse in Genesis 6 I’ll give you is Genesis 6:11. The second one is Genesis 6:5.  Next is Genesis 6:13. Then we’ll check out Genesis 3:7. And finally, Genesis 6:12.  I have these as a handout for you. There are questions at the bottom of each sheet with a verse from Genesis 6. Go ahead and respond to those as well.

(Repeat these as needed. Give the individuals/groups time to look up their verse and then respond to the questions. After they have worked on their responses, lead in a discussion for the whole group about what their particular verse adds to this topic and how they responded.)

Questions

  • What themes are you picking out from Genesis 6.
  • Do you like what you’re finding?  Why or why not?
  • How does this fit your picture of God?
  • Would you identify with a God like this?  Obey?  Love?  Copy?
  • If the Genesis 6 God doesn’t match your picture of God, are you more likely to change your picture or disregard what you read in the Bible or something else?

Let’s switch to something easier and more pleasant than Genesis 6. I have a different sheet. And I have a copy of the same sheet for everyone. It’s a brief quiz with answers that should be fairly simple. There are only six questions. Please keep your answers to yourself for right now and we’ll do some sharing later.

(Hand out a color copy of “What Do You Think” to each person. Give them time to write their answers to each of the six questions. They don’t need to turn in their paper. Have them keep them for the group discussion that follows.)

While John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. . .” is probably the best-known verse in the entire Bible, another one that most people can (and do) recite is Matthew 7:1.  In most Bible versions it’s translated as some form of the King James Version: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”  The NIV renders it, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” and the NLT states, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.”

  • Raise your hand if you have heard this before.
  • Now raise your hand if somebody has ever judged you.
  • Okay, now raise your hand if you have ever judged anyone else.
  • And one more, raise your hand if you have ever “liked” something on social media (already today).

This verse tends to be very popular when a person has been accused of something and they don’t want to face the accusation.  It’s also used when somebody is asked to give a judgment and they would prefer not to do so.

  • Have you ever heard somebody use this verse to avoid judgment?
  • Have you ever used this verse to avoid judgment.
  • Were judgments still made?

You may have thought that Genesis 6 in the Old Testament was a harsh judgment by God, but there are also some harsh judgments in the New Testament. If you want to read some really harsh judgments made by Jesus, check out Matthew 23. Jesus actually speaks “ woes” and they come across pretty harshly.

But we’re focusing on Matthew 7 right now. What are we to do with verse one, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”?

Religious writer Elton Trueblood unpacked this verse in his book The Humor of Christ.  He explained that Christ used humor, sometimes in a sly way and other times in exaggerated ways. For example, “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven” (Matthew 19:24). That’s a very harsh statement, especially to people who thought that God blessed his favorites with riches. Jesus used humor to thwart this misunderstanding by describing something silly—a camel going through the eye of a needle.

Trueblood suggests that Jesus was doing the same thing with his statement, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”  Everybody judges. The next verse indicates that people are judged with the same type of severity that they use on others. For example, if someone regularly makes a big deal about how poorly things are done at church, if they ever do something poorly at church everyone will be harsher in their judgment because they had been so outspoken about it themselves.

But if you think you don’t judge, well, then you didn’t do the handout “What Do You Think?” Each question required a judgment on your part.  (Take a little time to explore some responses. Notice what happens when there is agreement or disagreement–both require that judgments be made.)

We could read the first 20 verses of Matthew 7 and get a very different message than what people often expect from just the first verse.  (If you have time in your Sabbath School, read through these and note the many judgments that are made, such as:

  • Speck in your brother’s eye
  • Log in your own eye
  • Hypocrite
  • Remove log from your own eye
  • Remove the speck from your brother’s eye
  • Who are “dogs”?
  • Who are “pigs”?
  • What are “pearls”?
  • What is “sacred”?
  • What is “throwing pearls to swine”?
  • Judging between bread and a stone
  • Judging between a fish and a snake
  • Would human goodness exceed God’s goodness?
  • Treat others the way you would want to be treated
  • How do you determine if a gate is narrow or wide?
  • How do you assess the number of people (many vs. few)?
  • What makes a person a prophet?
  • What makes a prophet false?
  • How does a person tell the difference between a sheep and a wolf?
  • Why inspect fruit?
  • Grapes vs. thorn bushes
  • Figs vs. thistles
  • What makes a good tree good?
  • What makes a bad tree bad?
  • Why cut down and destroy a tree?
  • What does fruit tell you about a tree?

That’s quite a few judgments that are made in the first half of Matthew 7. Oh wait, we probably should say something like that, because that’s a judgment, too!)

This might be overkill, but it’s probably necessary because this one verse has left so many people thinking that as long as they don’t say their judgments out loud, they aren’t really judging anyone or anything.

When a person says, “Hey, I don’t make any judgments,” that very statement is a judgment!

We must make judgments. And we do, in little things as well as in big things. Here are a few examples, and you can add your own:

  • How do I look?
  • Are you hungry?
  • Do you want to play basketball?
  • How much money can you spend today?
  • Do you want to try something new?
  • Which college would be ideal for you?
  • Will you be at Sabbath School next Sabbath?
  • Do you like her/him?
  • What time is it?
  • What’s the point in following Jesus?

We also rely on others to give us feedback, which is a form of making judgments.  Your parents have done it to you all your life. Every time your teachers gives you a quiz or test, you are being judged. How can you know if you’re doing well or doing poorly or doing average if you never get any feedback/judgment?

Let me give you give examples of big judgments in the Old Testament, and you tell me which one you think was the most significant one:

  • Adam and Eve being banned from the Garden of Eden
  • The flood God sent that destroyed the earth
  • The 10 plagues on Egypt
  • Israelites sent back to the desert when they feared entering Canaan
  • The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians

Questions

  • Which one of the big judgments in the Old Testament is most significant to you? Why?
  • What are your thoughts about the other ones?
  • What role did God play in these judgments?
  • Why did God go through with these judgments?
  • Did the punishment mean the end, or was there ever another chance?

(If you have time, you can do a similar thing with five examples from the New Testament.)

Here are five examples of big judgments in the New Testament. Again, tell me which one you think was the most significant one:

  • Peter’s denial of Christ
  • Christ’s series of final rebukes to the Jewish leaders
  • The stoning of Stephen
  • Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth
  • John’s pointed messages to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3)

(You can ask the same questions that you asked for the Old Testament passages.)

We live in a time in which judgments are always being made, the most extreme judgments grab the attention of the headlines and social media chatter, and yet we claim that we don’t judge. Let’s set the record straight. We do judge. We should judge. We can’t help but judge. 

But going back to Matthew 7, the things we are quickest to judge are the things we are most sensitive to ourselves. If I have a problem with pornography, I’ll probably be the first to pass judgment on someone else who gets exposed for involvement with pornography. The counsel given in Matthew 7 is not that I shouldn’t judge that person, but that I should start by removing the log in my own eye first. Ouch! That can be painful! But once the log is out of my eye, I can help rather than hurt the person who has the same problem as me, but on a smaller scale. Perhaps we should take a popsicle stick and put it someplace we’ll see it frequently so it can remind us to take the stick out of our own eye first, then we can humbly help others rather than hurt them. (Offer a popsicle stick to each person in the group. See the application section for more of an explanation.)

Did you catch that? When I’m judging another person, let that trigger me to judge myself on the same thing, humbly repent and confess, and then provide empathetic help. Otherwise I’ll just keep making judgments (silently or publicly), but neither the other person nor I will actually be helped.

We started this study with some harsh statements from Genesis 6. And they are harsh. They involve severe judgments. Severe times call for severe judgments. But what many people often miss with God’s judgments is that God provides deliverance. Please don’t miss this! In each instance, God provided deliverance. But he didn’t force people to accept his deliverance. You can apply this to each example given. 

In the annual cycle religious holidays and gatherings God gave his people in the Old Testament, the Day of Atonement symbolized that Judgment Day would come. The Feast of Trumpets preceded this for 10 days to reflect, repent, and come clean with God. The pattern of straying from God, wake up calls, repentance, judgment and deliverance are consistent throughout Scripture.

We’ll close with just the example of the worldwide flood—what we started with. Humans constantly thinking evil troubled God. Is that terribly shocking? We quickly move over the verses of constructing the ark and go immediately to the flood. God warned the people for all the years it took to construct the ark that the earth would be destroyed and the ark was their way of deliverance.  It wasn’t just words; there was a living and growing testimony of an ark on dry land.  They could see the reality, but since it had never rained from the sky nor had the springs of the great deep burst forth (Genesis 6:11), it required faith—another step that included trusting God.  Some people, sometimes the majority of people, aren’t willing to do that.

Let’s admit that the response required more than knowledge; it also required faith. The same continues to be true today.

Questions

  • What judgments do you see today?
  • What judgments might there be in the future?
  • Do you see God alerting people in advance?
  • What deliverance does God offer in the face of judgment?

Here’s another way of studying the lesson for this week »


Life on the Ark (Based on Genesis 7:1-24)

Materials needed

  • Blue painters tape to make a circle on the floor to play “King of the hill/circle”
  • Copy of “Ark Timeline” for each person and something they can use to write on their sheet of paper

Do you know how long Noah and his family were in the ark?  With all of those animals?  (Solicit guesses, but don’t give an immediate answer even if someone guesses correctly.)

We can figure this out by reading Genesis 7. Let’s take a look. Genesis 6 describes the construction of the ark. In Genesis 7:1 God instructed Noah to go into the ark and to take his family and the animals. Let’s read Genesis 7:4 (NIV), “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creative I have made.”

Questions

  • Would you have gone into the ark if you had been alive at that time?  Why or why not?
  • What would you have done for those seven days when nothing was happening to indicate a flood?
  • What might cause you to doubt if being in the ark was the best place to be?

According to Genesis 7:11, Noah was 600 years old when the flood came. And seven days after entering the ark, the flood came from above and from below. We read this in verse 11, including the date of the seventeenth day of the second month (so they entered the ark on the tenth day of the second month, seven days earlier than the flood began).

Verse 12 tells us that it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. I’m wondering, have you even been in a small space for 40 days and 40 nights? If not, what was the longest you’ve been in a confined space? (Solicit responses.)

Let’s try if for just 10 seconds, at least for starters. This activity is called “Let’s Get Closer” and you’ll see why in just a moment!  (Use the painter’s blue masking tape to mark out a rectangle space on the floor.  Tear off strips of the tape to make the rectangle the size so that the number of participants in your Youth Sabbath School will have to been completely compressed to fit inside the lines.  Ideally some will have to step on the feet of others and literally hold on to stay inside the lines. People don’t naturally do this, so it will take some coaching and coaxing.)

Excellent! We should try something like this with the entire church, don’t you think?! Okay, that was only 10 seconds. Take a good breath, because we’re going to try it once more for longer than 10 seconds. We’re going to try it for the length of one typical Christian song. This one is less than four minutes—technically it’s 3½ minutes long. Let’s get back together inside the lines. Get comfortable, if that’s possible, and grab ahold. I’ll get ready to start the music as soon as everyone is inside the circle. Okay, “Let’s Get Closer” again! 

(Once everyone is inside the circle, play the song “Flood” by Jars of Clay (1995), which runs for 3½ minutes. It’s available in iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube. This soaring, mournful song isn’t about Noah’s flood, although some of the lyrics make allusions to it. See how long your participants can last in their attempt at being in a very confined space for less than four minutes.)

Questions

  • What made this difficult?
  • What’s the longest you think our group could have lasted in such a small space?
  • How do you think Noah’s family was able to make it inside the ark for so long with all of those animals, no electricity or batteries, and no contact with anything or anyone outside of the ark?
  • Would you rather have been inside the ark or outside the ark at this time? 
  • Would you rather have been inside or outside the ark during the seven days before the first rain?

So Noah and his family got to live inside this limited space for seven days plus 40 days. That’s about a month and a half! And during the flood it must have been quite a ride with not only rain, but “all the springs of the great deep bursting forth” (Genesis 7:11). And some believe Satan himself tried to destroy the ark. The God who predicted and warned of this flood didn’t let that happen to his ark. But it could have been quite the ride! 

But there’s still more! According to Genesis 8:1–3, God remembered Noah and everything (people and animals) that were with him. God stopped the springs from the deep and the floodgates of the heavens. Plus, God sent a wind over the earth and the water receded. It took only 150 days until the ark stopped floating and ran aground on the top of Mount Ararat (Genesis 8:4). That’s another five months!

On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. That would be seven and a half months since they entered the ark. And they got to stay inside even longer. It took another 40 days until Noah was able to open a window of the ark (Genesis 8:6). Try to imagine the smell, the darkness.

There are stories about the different birds being sent out—the raven, a dove, a dove again, and again—all with a week between each test flight. By the time Noah and his family and the animals left the ark, they had been on board for more than a year (370 days; see Genesis 8:14 compared to Genesis 7:11).

Questions

  • How would you survive on the ark for that long?
  • Would it require something supernatural for you to make it?
  • Would God provide that for you?
  • How were the other people able to make it?
  • How were the animals able to survive on the ark for so long?
  • What happened to everything and everyone outside the ark?
  • Would you rather have been inside the ark or outside the ark?

Some people have likened the ark to God’s people or God’s church. They say things like, “It might be stinky and I might not like some of the people in the church, but it sure beats being outside the ark.” But they should keep in mind that even though all the survivors on the ark spent more than a year there, none of them stayed inside the ark once they had a chance to leave. Does that apply to God’s church? Do people leaven the moment they get a chance to do so?

Consider your circulator system, your digestive system, your breathing system. Each of these is made to give and take, not to just hunker down and close off to the outside world. We need outside air, food to digest and waste to discard, the blood receives nourishment from the digestive system and your breathing system. We weren’t made to spend our entire lives inside an ark, just like we weren’t made to spend our entire lives inside a church.

The church might provide a haven or a castle or a gathering to worship and a place to experience community. But we’re also called to go into all the world. Abraham was to be a blessing not just for his descendants, but for the whole world (Genesis 12:2). Jesus told his disciples to take the good news to the entire planet (Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:8).

While I don’t recommend that you spend your life inside a confined space, I do recommend that you have regular contact with God’s church. There might be times when you need greater intensity, but I can’t think of a time when you need to have no contact with the Body of Christ. But there might be times when you need the intensity of a tightly knit group—your ark experience, so to speak.

You can see the segments of time along the bottom for those 370 days Noah and his family were on the ark with all of those animals. But there’s also another line at the bottom entitled “My Time on the Ark.”  

I’d like for you to think of a time period that you have already spent that might have been really good but also very challenging for you. For some of you it might be an entire school year. For others, it might have been a short-term mission trip. Maybe it was an entire summer that would fit your time on the ark. Let me give you some time to think about an intense time in your past or possibly an intense time in your future. It might be that your first year of college will be your time on the ark. This would be a time when you are glad to be where you are, but the intensity is challenging and maybe downright difficult at times.

(Give participants about 4–5 minutes to reflect and jot some notes. Feel free to enter into dialogue with those who need help envisioning this. Encourage them to think in their past first, unless something comes to their minds right away about a future challenge they are anticipating. Obviously the future will be known in reality only when it happens. But that doesn’t need to preclude giving it thought in advance. When the time has ended, encourage people to share in groups of 2–3 people. Have each smaller group close with their own prayer.)


5. Application Ideas for Living Out this Lesson this Week​

Let this spark your ideas to move from talk to action by living out the lesson in practical ways in your life this week.

The following applications relate to the corresponding “Bible study guides for Scripture for this lesson” above.

A. Place a pitcher of water on a dresser or table or stand in your bedroom for one week. Have two clear glasses and use masking tape to mark one “good” and the other one “evil.” As you start the day, pray for God to flow through you with good wherever you go and whatever you do today. Fill the glass with the amount of good you are praying for God to do through you. At the end of the day, reflect and thank God for the good God did through you. Then empty the glasses and fill each one with the amount of “good” and “evil” you saw today. Pray about that before you go to sleep. Repeat each day for a week.

B. Consider some of the decisions

C. Consider a place in your life


6. An Outreach or World Mission Component

If Sabbath School is just for us, we will spiritually die.  We must share what we’ve been given. This can be done locally and/or globally. We’ll suggest several options over 3-4 weeks on reaching out.

With the topic of “Noah Way” it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the evil that is in the world. Some feel overwhelmed by the darkness rather than taking light to the darkness. For several sessions we have focused on food, hunger, and what we might do about it.

For an international impact, check out this 2-minute animated YouTube video from ADRA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znGhjEhSNZc

Donate by going to:
https://giftcatalog.adra.org/#/

And then scroll down and click on “Filter by Impact Area” and go to “AGRICULTURE.” That will give you options for sustained food beyond just one quick meal. Prices range from home gardens ($25) to greenhouses or commercial vegetable farming ($50) and more.

For something closer to where you live, eat a meal with people who are eating their meal at a local soup kitchen in your community. If you already have a relationship with that soup kitchen, this is much easier than simply showing up. If your youth group is large, you could negatively impact the flow of what usually happens for meals. Start small. Participate and observe as a client. Leave a donation with the host for your meal. See if you and your group can be part of helping provide food for the soup kitchen. But also see if you can get acquainted with clients and listen to their stories. You might find that instead of darkness, you hear from them about light. Food can be an entryway for friendship and a broader view of the world.


7. Youth Leader Tip for the Week

Those who has a little bit of exposure to young people and the current culture aren’t as likely to be shocked or reactionary when they see or hear about young people. Adults tend to have “selective memory” about their own teen years. Young people might simply be trying to “push your buttons” to see if you still care about them when they do something or look a certain way intended to shock. You can acknowledge their look or action, but will you still put your arms around them? Don’t confuse loving on them with condoning their looks or actions.

Good News from the Bible

GENESIS 9:8–9, 11, 13
God told Noah and his sons, “I am making a covenant with you and your descendants, I solemnly promise never to send another flood to kill all living creatures and destroy the earth. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the earth."

EXODUS 25:8
Have them make me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them.

DEUTERONOMY 6:4–6
The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.

JOSHUA 1:9
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

PSALM 46:1–3
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

JOSHUA 24:15
If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.

2 CHRONICLES 7:14
If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.

PROVERBS 3:5–6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

ISAIAH 40:31
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

ISAIAH 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

ZEPHANIAH 3:17
The LORD your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.

MATTHEW 7:12
Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.

MARK 5:36
Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.”

LUKE 10:2
The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask him to send out more workers for his fields.

ACTS 1:8
When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere.24 

ROMANS 8:1–2
There is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit—and this power is mine through Christ Jesus—has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.

JOHN 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

1 CORINTHIANS 13:12
Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.

GALATIANS 5:1
Plant your feet firmly therefore within the freedom that Christ has won for us, and do not let yourselves be caught again in the shackles of slavery.

EPHESIANS 2:8–10
Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.

PHILIPPIANS 4:13
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 

HEBREWS 12:1–2 
Let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.

1 PETER 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

1 JOHN 4:7–8
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love.

Harsh Verses in the Bible

Genesis 6:6 (NIV) says, “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

Check out another verse in Genesis 6.  Write it in your own words and respond to the questions below.

Your additional verse is:  Genesis 6:11 (NIV)
“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.”

  • How would you write this in your own words?
  • How does your verse relate to Genesis 6:6?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Is this good news or bad news? Explain.

Genesis 6:6 (NIV) says, “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

Check out another verse in Genesis 6. Write it in your own words and respond to the questions below.

Your additional verse is: Genesis 6:5 (NIV)

“The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”

  • How would you write this in your own words?
  • How does your verse relate to Genesis 6:6?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Is this good news or bad news? Explain.

Genesis 6:6 (NIV) says, “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

Check out another verse in Genesis 6. Write it in your own words and respond to the questions below.

Your additional verse is: Genesis 6:13 (NIV)

“So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them.  I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.’”

  • How would you write this in your own words?
  • How does your verse relate to Genesis 6:6?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Is this good news or bad news? Explain.

Genesis 6:6 (NIV) says, “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

Check out another verse in Genesis 6.  Write it in your own words and respond to the questions below.

Your additional verse is:  Genesis 6:7 (NIV)

“So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’”

  • How would you write this in your own words?
  • How does your verse relate to Genesis 6:6?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Is this good news or bad news? Explain.

Genesis 6:6 (NIV) says, “The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.”

Check out another verse in Genesis 6. Write it in your own words and respond to the questions below.

Your additional verse is:  Genesis 6:12 (NIV)

“God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.”

  • How would you write this in your own words?
  • How does your verse relate to Genesis 6:6?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Is this good news or bad news? Explain.