Title: God’s Promise to Abram
Scripture: Genesis 12:1-9, 13
Target Age Group: 3rd-5th grade
Main Point: God uses people He calls to fulfill His promises.
Supplies: Bibles, pencils, paper, markers, map showing Abram’s route (from http://www.bible-history.com/maps/6-abrahams-journeys.html)
Optional: The Story of Abraham Coloring Page (free on our website)
Ask: What does it mean to make a promise to someone?
Ask: Describe a time when you have made a promise, or someone else has made a promise to you.
Say: We don’t keep 100% of the promises we make do we? We might have really good intentions to do what we say we’ll do, but sometimes we forget or we decide that we’d rather do something else entirely. There is only one person who keeps His promises 100% of the time and that is God!
Say: Today we’ll hear a story about how God called a man named Abram to follow Him, and we’ll hear about the promise that God made to Abram. We’ll learn that God uses people He calls to fulfill His promises.
Pray that God would open their hearts to hear His Word.
Tell the Bible Story about Abram
Tell the Story: A man by the name of Abram was living in the city of Haran when he heard God’s voice telling him to pack up his family and his belongings and move to the land of Canaan. Abram was 75 years old at the time!
Ask: Can you imagine if God asked you to leave behind everything that was familiar to you to go to a foreign land where you didn’t know anyone? How do you think you would respond to God?
Tell the Story: As hard as it must have been for Abram to leave behind 75 years’ worth of memories, he trusted God and he obeyed. Abram believed that God uses people He calls to fulfill His promises. So Abram packed up his family (his wife Sarai and cousin Lot), his servants, and all their belongings, and they set out for the land of Canaan just like God had told him. God must have known that Abram needed some encouragement because God also gave him this promise…
Read Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Say: Wow! What a promise! God told Abram that he would make his family so big that they would be their own nation! God also said that the whole world would be blessed because of Abram’s family. What makes this promise so miraculous is that Abram was 75 at the time and he and his wife Sarai didn’t have any children. Abram might not have understood exactly how God was going to fulfill His promise, but he knew that he could trust God’s plan because God uses people He calls to fulfill His promises.
Tell the Story: Abram and his family arrived in the land of Canaan where God had told him to go. When they arrived Abram built an altar to the Lord and worshipped Him there. Then God said…
Read Genesis 13:14-17 “Life up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
Say: God uses people He calls to fulfill His promises. As we continue through the story of Abram we’ll see how God used him in amazing ways to bring about the promises He made.
Ask: Who remembers the 3 things God promised Abram? (He would be a great nation, the world would be blessed through his family, God would give them the land of Canaan.)
Say: God promised that the whole world would be blessed through Abram’s family. You see God knew that ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, people had a great big problem. That problem was sin, and it separated them from God. God knew the people He had created needed to be rescued, but there was nothing they could do to save themselves. But God had a rescue mission all planned out from the very beginning, and He would use Abram and his family to bring it about.
Ask: Did you know that Jesus was born into Abram’s family? God used Abram to be the father of a great nation, the Israelites, and Jesus would come into the world through that nation. God would use Abram’s family to bring salvation to the entire world! Abram had no idea at the time what an important job God called him to, but he trusted God and believed that God uses people He calls to fulfill His promises.
Lesson Review Questions
- How old was Abram when God called him to leave Haran? (75)
- Who else went with Abram? (Sarai, Lot, his household)
- Where did they move to? (Canaan)
- What 3 promises did God make to Abram? (He would be a great nation, the world would be blessed through his family, God would give them the land of Canaan.)
- Who was a very important descendant of Abram? (Jesus)
Learning Activity 1: Abram’s Challenges
Supplies: Bibles, pencils, paper
- Have the kids find a partner to work with and read through Genesis 12-13 together.
- Instruct the pairs make a list of the challenges that Abram faced in obeying God’s call.
- Come back together as a large group and go over what the teams came up with.
- Ask: How did God use each of these challenges for Abram’s good?
- Say: Abram faced a lot of difficult things by obeying God, but ultimately he was blessed beyond measure! We can trust that when God calls us to do something, He will be glorified and we will be blessed for our obedience.
- Ask: What are some challenges you have faced in obeying God?
Learning Activity 2: Map It
Supplies: Bibles, makers, map showing Abram’s route (from http://www.bible-history.com/maps/6-abrahams-journeys.html)
- Divide the class into groups of 3-5 and pass out one map per group.
- Using the biblical narrative, have the kids map out Abram’s journey from Ur to Canaan.
- Explain that God’s ultimate purpose in calling Abram out of Ur and into Canaan was so he could establish a people for himself out of which the Messiah would come.