Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lesson - Abram Obeys God

VERSES:   Gen. 11:27-32;   12:1-6;  Heb. 11:8

MEMORY VERSE:   Gen. 12:2  If this whole verse is too much for the children to remember, simply shorten it to the first phrase, "And I will make of thee a great nation..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   "Joshua"  Write this book on a slip of paper and give to the students after class to take home and memorize. They should be reciting all five books in order.

PRAYER:   Pray that wherever God takes us, we will go, willingly and without complaining.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog.  Click orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Map, showing Ur of the Chaldees, Haran, and the land of Canaan.  There are maps that can be purchased in stores, but a rough map like the one above will be fine for this lesson.  
  • Make sure the map is large enough for all to see.  If you choose not to purchase a map, a hand drawn will work just as well since we are only pointing out areas.  It is fairly easy to draw a map by hand if you have an overhead projector as mentioned on this blog in March - Visual Aid #4 and a good black and white copy of a map.  Even if you do not have a projector, a simple map can be drawn by looking at a real map and drawing a large map on butcher paper.  Begin with the bodies of water, and it will be easier.  Take a look at the hand drawn map above this lesson to get an idea of how simple the areas can be.  (Yes, you can do this!)
  • Show which direction Abram journeyed from Ur up to Haran, then down into the land of Canaan to the city of Shechem (Gen. 12:6) as you tell the story.  
  • After the flood, the earth began filling up with people again.  Some of the people were good and obeyed God, but still some were not good and did not listen to God. That is the way it was and is still today.  Some people listen to God and some people don't.  Which ones should we be like?  That's right!  The ones who listen to God and love Him and do what He wants to do.  How do we know what He wants us to do?  The Bible!  We must read the Bible!  He tells us what pleases Him through the Bible!
  • There was a good man and his name was Abram.  (Later God changes his name to Abraham (Gen. 17:5), but we will call him Abram in this lesson today.)  Abram was a good man who loved God and tried his best to do those things that God told him to do. He lived a place called Ur of the Chaldees, but he moved north with his father and family to a place called Haran.  He was married and his wife's name was Sarai. (Her name changes later, too, to Sarah(Gen. 17:15), but, in this lesson, we will call her Sarai.)  
  • When Abram lived in Haran, God talked to Abram just like I am talking to you. God doesn't talk to us like that today, does He?  How do we know that he doesn't?  That's right! The Bible tells us so! (Heb. 1:1, 2)  God talked to Abram and told him to leave his home.  He wanted him to leave his country, leave his family, and to leave his father's house. God told him that He would show him where to go. Did Abram know where he was going?  No, but he trusted God and went where God told him to go.  Abram trusted God.
  • God said if Abram would leave his home and go to a new country, that God would make a great nation out of him, that God would bless him. that God would make his name great, and he would be a blessing.  A blessing is something good.  Good things come from blessings.  God went on to say that He would do good things for all those people who would would do good things for Abram and God would do bad things to people who were bad to Abram.  And the best part was that God said that all the families of the earth would be blessed by Abram.  That's you and me!  We are "all families of the earth!"  Good things would happen to US if Abram did what God told him to do...and that good thing was that Jesus would come and bring salvation!
  • Let's look in our Bibles and see what Abram did.  Turn to Genesis 12:4, 5 and let's read what Abram did.  (Read verses.)  What did Abram do?  That's right!  He took his wife and his nephew. Lot (Abram didn't have any children), their cattle, and everything he owned and left Haran.  Abram obeyed God!  The new land that God was to guide Abram to was a land called Canaan.  Can you say, "Canaan?"  Good!  Where did Abram go to when he left Haran? Canaan!  Abram and Sarai lived in tents instead of houses.  That's where we will leave Abram and Sarai today:  In the land of Canaan without any children and trusting God.
  • Reviewing past lessons is always recommended if there is extra time at the end of class. Singing songs can also be used to finish the extra time.  Always keep the students involved and interested.  It pays to have extra review questions handy.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • When we see a name in the Bible that has the letters "ch" in it, it sometimes makes the sound of a "k."  Words like "Chaldees" is pronounced "Kal-deez."  Think about some names in the Bible that might have this sound in them. (Enoch, Jehoiachin, Zechariah, Melchizedek, Christ, Christian--to name a few.)  
  • Look on a map to see where to find Ur of the Chaldees, Haran, and the city of Shechem which was in the land of Canaan.

ACTIVITY:  Map  (Moderate Activity)
Materials needed:  Either a purchased map or a hand-drawn map of the "Ancient World of the Patriarchs": one that shows Ur of the Chaldees, Haran, and the land of Canaan, individual maps for each child with only those three areas designated, butcher paper, black marker, crayons.
  1. The teacher will need to draw one more smaller map on an 8.5" x 11" paper with a black marker.  Again, begin with the bodies of water, and it will be easier. Write the names of the bodies of water and three dots, placing a U, an H, and a C on the map in the right places.  Write "Abram's Journey" and "Genesis 12:1-6" at the top of the map.
  2. Let the children finish writing the names of the areas.  It is fine if the words are written large and childlike.  After all, they are children!
  3. Have the students draw small arrows, showing the direction that Abram walked.
  4. Let them color the rest of the map.