TEXT: Genesis 12:1-9; 13:14-18
The students will be able to tell that Abraham trusted God and God called him to be the father of His chosen people.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Open your class session by showing your students a map of your state. Pick out a city some distance from your own, and ask your students to pretend they have been told to go to that city but they are not sure how to get there. What should they do? Obviously, they should follow the directions given by the map. Tell your students your Bible story today is about a man who was told to go far away—but he wasn't provided with a map. His instructions came directly from God.
- God called Abram to leave his father's house and go to a land that He would show him.
- Abram was given the promise that he would be a father of many nations, his name would be great, and through him all the families of the earth would be blessed.
- Abram trusted God and left his father's house and journeyed to the land of Canaan.
Climax: God rewarded Abram's trust by promising him that the land of Canaan would be his for an everlasting possession.
Conclusion: Abram was blessed of God because he believed God and answered His call.
Response: The students will be able to explain how Abram obeyed God and was blessed for doing so, and will recognize that they, too, will be blessed if they obey the call of God.
Throughout the New Testament Abraham is lifted up as an example of a man who had the kind of faith that pleased God (Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:9; John 8:39). Because of his faith, Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave his home and family and go to a place he knew nothing about (Hebrews 11:8). He was willing to surrender the known for the unknown because of his confidence in God's Word.
Abraham's faith was persistent. Although year after year went by without any sign of the fulfillment of God's promise to make a great nation from his offspring, Abraham continued to believe God. Subsequent history proved that God was well able to keep His promises to Abraham, but also, even though Abraham faltered at times (Genesis 16:4 and Genesis 20:1-2), Abraham maintained an unshakable faith in God. Because of this, God entrusted to Abraham the unique privilege and responsibility of being the father of His chosen people, and through his lineage would come the One who would bring the revelation of God to lost mankind.
Abraham's life is a beautiful illustration of the grace of God working through a man of faith. (See Ephesians 2:8-10.)
- Show the students magazine pictures of modes of travel (car, bus, plane, boat, bicycle, horse, camel, donkey, walking, etc.). Decide which is the fastest, which is the slowest. Compare the time for a student's trip to church with Abraham's trip, which was probably about five or six miles per day.
- On a street map of your city show children the location of each of their homes and of the church. Talk about the route used by each to arrive at Sunday school. Also discuss the transportation each of them use. Compare this to the unit map (see Patterns) of the Holy Land and the route and means Abraham used to reach the Promised Land.
- Abraham lived in tents. See the Patterns sections for some different ways they can be made.
- Make a match-up puzzle tube for your class (see Patterns), and let the children take turns matching the sentences. Measure and cut a piece of construction paper so it fits the circumference and length of whatever tube you decide to use (paper towel tube, tennis ball can, etc.). Write in the words as given in the pattern. (To simplify them for the younger children, write each sentence in a different colored ink: red—"God cares for you"; blue—"I will not be afraid"; green—"Give thanks to God"; lavender—"The Lord is my helper." Cut on the dotted lines and wrap the strips around the tube. Fasten ends with cellophane tape. Leave strips loose enough so children can easily turn them. The child turns each strip to put words in correct order. Each sentence will help the children understand why Abraham trusted God. Impress upon the children that for these same reasons they can trust God.
- What did Abraham do when God told him to leave his country and relatives and go to a land that He would show him?
- Why did Abraham believe God? Was it a hard thing for Abraham to do?
- How do you suppose Abraham felt when he looked over the land that God had promised to give to him and his children?
- Does God always keep His promises? How and when did He keep His promise to Abraham?
- What promises that God gave to Abraham can we claim for our own promises also?
- What special Baby was born many years later and was part of God's promises to Abraham?
- Make a small suitcase for each child to pack for Abraham's journey (see Patterns). Copy the suitcase and objects to be packed onto different colors of paper. Cover them with clear contact paper and cut them out. Fold the suitcase on the dotted line so the title, Abraham's Journey, is on the outside. Attach Velcro or let the children use double-stick tape to attach the objects to the inside of the suitcase. Comment on each one; such as, Abraham took his family, he took all of his animals, they packed their clothes and dishes, they were sure to take the LORD with them.
- Give each child a copy of the travel sheet (see Patterns). Pass out crayons and tell the children to draw an x through the things that Abraham did not use on his journey. They may color or draw a circle around the things he might have used.
- If you are in a situation that permits a long distance view, have the children pretend they are on "Promise Hill." Tell them to pretend they are Abraham and can have everything for as far as they can see. Explain that this is what God promised Abraham.
Prepare three boxes. Label one NAMES, one QUESTIONS, and one TREATS. Put the name of each child in the department on a slip of paper in the NAMES box. Put questions pertaining to the lesson in the QUESTIONS box and put TREATS in the remaining box. Pick a slip of paper out of the NAMES box and let that child draw a question from the QUESTIONS box. If he answers it correctly he may pick a treat from the TREATS box.
Draw a picture of Abraham (see Patterns) and cut it out of posterboard. Below him hang a chain of paper doll figures. Behind each one have a question about the lesson. The children may come up by turns and choose a paper doll. If he answers the question behind the doll correctly he is rewarded with a bookmark or prize dealing with Abraham.
Make stars out of posterboard and spread glitter on them. Fasten them to a background of black or dark blue posterboard, with a question behind each star. Let each child pick a star and if the question is answered correctly he is rewarded. If not, the question is put back and another may come up and try to answer it or choose a different question.
Use large stick puppets for your review (see Patterns). The figures or scenes should be mounted on the front and back of the sticks, so they can be held up showing first one side and then the other. The sticks could be: Abraham/Abraham praying; a tent/large question mark; a scene representing Abraham's homeland/large question mark; a group of people representing Abraham's friends and family/large question mark; the words go/ stay; a multitude of stars/large question mark.
- Abraham's Big Family — Palm Tree Book, Concordia
- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — Pict-o-graph, Standard Publishing
- Land and People of Promise — Book, Augsburg