How can we be peacemakers and show generosity to others? Includes a lesson and 2 games.
Needed: soft balls or paper wads, a snack or other prize
Intro Game: Snatch Ball
Mark a line down either side of your play area. Place soft play balls on the line. If you don’t have play balls, you can wad up waste paper to play with. Form two teams and tell the students to stand a certain number of steps away from the line. On “Go!” the students race toward the line to snatch the balls. They then throw the balls at the other team. When a student is hit with a ball, they’re out for the round.
Play as many rounds as you like, and then point out that the kids had to snatch the balls to make sure the other team didn’t get them.
Ask students, Have you ever gotten into a fight with someone? Maybe a brother or sister? Or a friend? Or even a teacher or parent? Do you remember what you were fighting about?
What do you think would have happened if you just stopped fighting and let the other person have their way? Would that have been so bad?
Well, we’ve been learning about Abram. Does anyone remember what God told Abram to do? (God told Abram to leave his country and his friends and his family and go to a new country.)
So Abram went to the country of Canaan, but after he got there, there was a drought. All the animals and plants were dying and there wasn’t enough food for everyone to eat. So Abram went and lived in Egypt for a while. Does anyone remember what bad thing Abram did in Egypt?
He was afraid that someone would kill him and take his wife, Sarai, away from him because she was so beautiful, so he lied and said that Sarai was his sister. Then Pharaoh did take her to be his wife, but God made Pharaoh and everyone in his palace sick and made Pharaoh give Sarai back to Abram.
Now, in our story, we’re going to learn about what happened to Abram and his family after they went back to Canaan.
Summarize Genesis 13 with this Bible story, asking the included questions as you read.
When the drought in Canaan was over, Abram and his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, left Egypt and returned to the country of Canaan. But Abram and Lot had both become so rich and had so many animals that they couldn’t live in the same place anymore. Their servants were always fighting with each other about whose sheep got to eat the best grass.
So Abram said to Lot, “Lot, let’s not fight about whose sheep gets to eat the best grass. Let’s move away from each other. You pick which direction you want to go and I’ll go the other direction.”
Then, Lot looked all around him and decided to take the best land for himself. “I’ll go move over by Sodom and Gomorrah,” he said, “because that land is the best.”
Do you think Abram should have let Lot take the best land?
Abram agreed to let Lot have the land that he wanted because Abram was generous and didn’t want to fight about it. Then, God rewarded Abram and said, “Abram, look around you. I am going to give this whole country of Canaan to your children and to your grandchildren forever.” And Abram went and built an altar to God to thank Him for everything God had done for him.
Why do you think God rewarded Abram by giving him the whole country like that? (Because Abram was generous and didn’t fight with Lot about who got the best land.)
Do you think maybe we could let other people have the best sometimes and trust God to reward us as He did for Abram?
Remember, God wants us to be generous and not fight with people if we can help it.
Game: Snatch Ball with a Twist
Set up to play Snatch Ball again. But instead of putting all the balls on the line, only put one ball on the line. Keep the rest with you. On “Go!” the students will run for that one ball. Give the rest of the balls to whichever side doesn’t get the one in the middle, and continue playing normally.
After the round, remind students that when we let others have their way, God will reward us, just like you rewarded the team that didn’t get the ball in the middle.
Set all the balls in the middle again. Tell students that you want them all to be generous and let the other team have their way this time. See what happens when you say, “Go!”
Keep dropping hints that you actually don’t want the teams to run forward to get the balls. Once they understand and don’t immediately run for the balls, give them a snack or a prize. Tell them that because they were generous and were willing to let the other team have their way, you’re going to reward them.
Lord, You are generous with us and You want us to be generous with other people. Help us not to be selfish or to fight with other people, but to let them have their way sometimes. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This lesson is included in my book, Father Abraham: Children Sunday School Lessons on Genesis 12-50.