It is a blessing to teach children the Bible, because their world is so small and they are learning incredible amounts of information daily. The wonder behind the eyes of a child as the Bible is taught can challenge one to approach passages with child-like faith. Like one is reading the story for the first time.
“Who is Abraham” is a follow-up to Old Testament character bios that was started with Moses (see link for direct access). It is easy for those who have been studying the Bible for a long time to forget that people (especially children) may not know who different characters are in the Bible or why they are important. In addition to the bio, there will be a small game to follow-up what was taught. The game should likely be done at the very last.
Bible Character: Who is Abraham?
Bible Passage: Various in Genesis
Target Age Group: all children
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As a teacher, lessons like these can be very beneficial to inform the students, and assist in teaching other lessons. For, if students are familiar with the specific Bible characters, then other lessons can be taught with a whole new light. Also, the Old Testament sheds light on the New Testament, and the New Testament points back to the Old Testament. Understanding biblical characters can help give a well rounded understanding of the whole Bible.
Leader Preparation: Here are a few Biblical references which give good insight to Abraham. Time permitting, read over as many as you can. This is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to give interesting insight specifically related to the character of Abraham (not including every “special” event that Abraham partakes).
- Genesis 12:1-9–The Call of Abram. Summary: God promises to make Abram (Abraham’s original name) a great nation. Abram was 70 years old!
- Genesis 15–God makes a covenant with Abram. Summary: God specifically chose Abram to make a great nation out of him. God did not do this because of any greatness found in Abram. Abram falls asleep and sees a vision from God that shows him that the covenant promise had been made.
- Genesis 17:1-9–God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of a multitude.” Summary: God reminds Abraham of the promise. Abraham is 99 years old.
- Genesis 17:15-19–God promises Isaac. Summary: God changes Sarai’s (Abraham’s wife) name to Sarah and promises that she will have a son, Isaac, in her old age. Isaac, God says, will carry out the “everlasting covenant.”
- Genesis 22–The Sacrifice of Isaac. Summary: God tests Abraham’s willingness to follow Him by asking him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham demonstrates his obedience and God provides a replacement sacrifice to be used in place of Isaac.
- Genesis 25:7-8–Abraham dies at 175.
Obviously the information and facts about Abraham could fill many books. The above are only a few passages of many which speak of Abraham, but hopefully they will give good in-depth understanding for you as a leader before the passages (discussed below) are taught.
Another Helpful Suggestion for the Teacher
Children, as you probably know, have a difficult time sitting still for a long time; they can have a difficult time reading (or being read) Bible verses continuously. So, instead of reading directly, ‘Story’ the information. Instead of reading verse by verse all the information, try to tell the children what happened to the characters like you were telling someone at work a very interesting event. People tend to grasp stories easily.
Using the ‘Story’ method requires that the teacher know the information incredibly well, which means that the chapters pertaining the Bible passages ought to be read many times. Teaching Scripture is a high honor and should be done with care. We would not want to tell false information about the Bible.
Memory Verse 1: Genesis 22:17 (NIV)–I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.
Memory Verse 2: John 8:58 (NIV)–“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
Quick Facts of Abraham:
[One does not need to read all of these verses, but can disperse the information accordingly].
- Abraham’s father was Terah (Gen. 11:27)
- Abraham was originally from the land of Ur (Gen. 11:31).
- God promised to make Abraham a great nation (Gen. 12:2-3).
- Abraham was a coward (see story in Gen. 12:10-20).
- Abraham trusted God (Gen. 15:6).
- Abraham tried to take matters into his own hands against God (see Gen. 16).
- Abraham’s original name was Abram; God changed it to Abraham, which means “Father of a multitude” (Gen. 17:4-5).
- Abraham attempted to save Sodom, an evil and corrupt city, but the city was too sinful (Gen. 18:22-33).
- Abraham brought Lot, Abraham’s nephew, out of Sodom, which God would destroy (Gen. 19)
- Abraham had two important sons: Ishmael (Gen. 16:15) and Isaac (Gen. 21:1-7)
- Abraham passed God’s test (Gen. 22)
- Abraham died at age 175 (Gen. 25:7)
Abraham was the founder of the Israelites, God’s people. Jesus was not born of Mary until many, many years later. However, Jesus says in John 8:58,
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
This statement tells us that Jesus is indeed God. Jesus explains that he was before Abraham! John 1:2 explains,
[Jesus] was with God in the beginning.
We believe that Jesus, who is the Son of God, is also God himself. Jesus, who is the God-man, came to earth to take our sins and sacrifice himself on the cross to be able to give us eternal life.
Come up with your own questions that you would like your students to know. They do not have to be difficult questions; the purpose is to learn general facts about Abraham. Make it a game. Boys vs. Girls. Split the room up into two groups. Be creative; give points.
Here are a few sample questions:
- True or False: Abraham lived in the land of Ur. Answer: True
- True or False: Abraham was the uncle of Lot. Answer: True
- What was Abraham’s name before God changed it? Answer: Abram
- What was the name of Abraham’s wife? Answer: Sarai or Sarah
- Name two sons of Abraham. Answer: Isaac and Ishmael [He technically had more sons Gen.25:2, but Isaac and Ishmael are the main two.]
- How old was Abraham when he died? Answer: 175
- How did God test Abraham? Answer: …by telling him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
- Was Abraham always courageous? Answer: No
- Did Abraham ever make mistakes? Answer: Yes
- What does “Abraham” mean? Answer: Father of a multitude.
- Bonus: True or False: Jesus said that he was before Abraham. Answer: True
- Bonus: True or False: God did not provide a sacrifice in place of Isaac. Answer: False