Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lesson - A Father Of Many Nations

VERSES:  Genesis 17:1-22; James 2:23

MEMORY VERSES:   Gen. 17:5    "...but thy name shall be Abraham..."


PRAYER:   Thank God for taking care of us and protecting us. He always knows what is best for us.  We only need to trust and believe God like Abram did.

SPECIAL SONG:   The Books of the Old Testament (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3) and The Bible, The Bible (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2)

VISUAL AID:  A large poster, duplicating the Activity today.  (See below.)

  • When the Bible says something, it is always important, but when it says the same thing twice or even three times, it is VERY important!!  God had already promised Abram that he would be blessed if Abram obeyed God.  He had promised Abram that God would make him a great nation, that God would bless him, that God would make Abram's name great, that Abram would become a blessing, that God would bless all those people who were good to Abram and bad things would happen to those who did bad things to him, and that through Abram all families of the earth would be blessed IF ABRAM OBEYED GOD.  
  • In our lesson today, God tells Abram again of the blessings that God would give Abram if he obeyed God.  Because Abram was going to be a father of many nations, God did something unusual.  He changed Abram's name to Abraham!  Now we don't call him Abram anymore, what do you think we are going to call him?  That's right! Abraham!  God also said that Sarai would have a new name.  Her new name would be Sarah!  Abraham and Sarah!  Brand new names!
  • God also told Abraham that Sarah was going to have a baby. We know lots of people who have babies, don't we?  But what was so unusual about Abraham and Sarah's baby was that he was a baby who was promised.  A little boy baby.  Do you know how old Abraham was when this baby boy was born? Let's open our Bibles to Genesis 17: 17 and read how old Abraham would be when the baby was born. (Read verse.)100 years old!  And Sarah was 90 years old!  That's really old to have a baby!  Let's put our bookmarks right here.  Is anything too hard for God?  No! Nothing is too hard for God.
  • God told Abraham that he was to name the baby "Isaac" and that through baby Isaac, all those promises that God had promised to Abraham would come true.  Abraham said to God, "O that Ishmael would live before You!"  God knew that Abraham was thinking about a blessing for Ishmael because God answered and said that He had blessed Ishmael and that Ishmael would have many nations come from him, but Isaac would would be the son with whom God would have a covenant.  Remember a 'covenant' means promise.
  • James is a book in the New Testament in the back of our Bibles. In James 2:23, the Bible calls Abraham a Friend of God. That is a very high compliment because the Bible doesn't say things just to be polite.  The Bible has only important words and it calls Abraham what?  That's right!  A friend of God! We should all want to be friends of God, shouldn't we?
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Talk about the definition of a "conditional" promise.  If Abram would have NOT obeyed God, would God have given him everything He promised?  No!  Abram must obey God to receive the reward.  That is just like us today.  We can receive blessings--even a home with God in Heaven--but we must obey God before we receive the "good" things.  Just like at home or in school, we receive the treat when the work is done.
ACTIVITY:  Tent Picture
Materials needed for each child:  9" x 12" construction paper, old fabric cut into 6" x 8" triangles (I used old towels that had seen better days), two 1" circles cut out of white paper, 1 small red heart, glue, scissors.
  • Pass out one piece of construction paper to each child.
  • Pass out one fabric triangle to each child.
  • Instruct the child to cut the fabric up the middle to form two triangles.  Help, if it too difficult to cut, but let the child try first.
  • Glue ONLY one outside edge on each of the pieces of fabric.
  • Apply to paper, leaving the UNGLUED edges together in the middle to form a 'tent.'  The 'tent" flaps should open and close freely. (See the top of this blog for a pictured example.)
  • Opening the 'tent', glue two small circles inside.  These are heads of Abraham and Sarah.
  • Glue the small heart inside the tent.
  • Make faces on the heads an the word "Isaac" on the heart.
  • Write "A Father of Many Nations" and "Genesis 17:5" at the top.
  • Remember it is more important for the child to do the work than for the Bible teacher to do the work, if at all possible.  Imperfection is treasured in the eyes of a parent!