Scripture: Genesis 12: 1 – 10, 13: 1 – 4, 15: 1, 15: 5 – 21 or pages 34-35 and 38-39 in The Golden Children’s Bible
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis 12: 1 – 10, 13: 1 – 4, 15: 1, 15: 5 – 21 or pages 34-35 and 38-39 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land…
Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord…
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”…
Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”
And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.”
And he said, “Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?”
So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:
“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates.”
- What did God ask Abram to do? To leave his family,home and country and travel to another land.
- Have you ever moved to a new city or state? Was it hard to do? Did you miss your house and your friends and family there? It’s hard to go to a strange place isn’t it.
- How was Abram going to know where to go? God would show him.
- What did God promise would happen when he got to the new country? He would bless Abram and make his family into a great nation. His family would be a blessing to all the families of the earth.
- How do you think Abram’s family would be a blessing to the whole earth? Eventually, many years later, Jesus would be born in his family, and he would save us from our sins.
- Did Abram obey? Yes.
- Who went with him? His wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot
- Where did God take them? The land of Canaan. (Show the children on a map from Bible History on Line.)
- When he got there God appeared to him again and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” What are descendants? Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, etc.
- What did Abram do to show the Lord that he was thankful? He built an alter to the Lord
- Where did Abram settle in the land? Between Bethel and Ai
- What happened then? A famine came.
- What is a famine? There was no food.
- What did Abram do then? He and his wife and Lot went to Egypt until the famine was over.
- What did he come back to Canaan with? Animals, silver and gold.
- When Abram came back to the place he had originally settled between Bethel and Ai, what did he do? He called on the name of the Lord.
- What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? He prayed to God and trusted in Him.
- God spoke to Abram in a vision. What did he say to him? He would give him children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, etc. until there were as many of them as the stars.
- Did Abram believe God? Yes
- Then God had Abram bring a cow, a goat, a ram, a turtledove and a pideon. He cut the animals (except the birds) in half. Then at night a burning torch came and passed between the pieces. This was how a covenant was made in those days. What is a covenant? A promise.
- What else did God show Abram in a dream? That his family would be slaves for 400 years, but that they would come out of slavery with great riches. Abram himself would grow old and die in peace.
- Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us to trust him to lead us into his perfect will for our lives. And let’s thank him for Abraham’s descendant, Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins….
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Genesis 12:3b “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.
Color page #1 from Bible Printables.
Color page #2 from Bible Wise.
An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Show a video of this story:
Share the story “Son of Laughter” from “The Jesus Story Book Bible” . (Make sure that you order the collector’s edition, which has the DVD with the stories animated and narrated. It’s wonderful.)
Video #1 discussion starter from Crossroads Kids’ Club.
Video #2 (first part)
Video #3 (song)
Here is a great craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.
Bible Class Creations also has cute popsicle stick characters for acting out the story.
Older children would enjoy this star mobile from Sturdy for Common Things. (Scroll down.)
Here are some story board printables from Bible Story Printables.
Bible Story Printables also has a file folder game for this lesson. Search “Abraham”
This is a starry sky craft from Bible Class Creations.
There are several activities here at Bible Wise.
Younger children may enjoy these activities from Flame: Creative Children’s Ministry.
Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.
Here is another lesson plan from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa
Have younger children learn about trusting God with this activity from Children’s Ministry.
There are activities and crafts at Jesus Without Language.
Have the children make the booklet “God Makes A Promise to Abram” from Lambsongs. (Scroll down.)
Share this children’s sermon from Sermons4kids. Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!
Have younger children make these Friend of God Crowns from Bible Story Printables.
Make star hats from Jesus Without Language.
“Abraham” by Mary Rice Hopkins from her “In the Beginning” album. Get it at itunes.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.