In the first lesson of the series, “Who was…?”, children will learn about Abraham, God’s chosen father of his people. This in-depth series will focus on fourteen specific people in the bible whom God used to fulfill, and implement, his plan of salvation for all of mankind. Included in this lesson is a trivia game called, “Who Said It?” and a special mission project. Children will be comforted to know that even Abraham wasn’t perfect but God greatly used him and God wants to use us too!
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Who was …. ? series on major Bible characters.
OBJECTIVE: To guide the children toward an understanding that Abraham, the “father” of God’s people, was greatly used by God and had a special role in the eventual birth of the Savior.
MAIN IDEA: Abraham wasn’t a perfect man, but God had a very special plan for his life. God also has a special plan for each of our lives!
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Genesis 12:1-4 & 7, Genesis 17:1-8, Genesis 12:10-20, Genesis 16:1-5 & 15-16, Genesis 17:15-20,
MATERIAL(S): blank sheets of paper, writing utensils, greeting cards (or various craft supplies to make greeting cards)
BONUS PRINTABLE: You can download our Abraham Coloring Pages.
Introduction (15 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “God, thank you for having a special plan for each of us! Help us learn from Abraham and how to trust you even when we make mistakes or face hard circumstances. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER REVIEW AND GAME: Say, “Today we’re going to start a new series to learn about specific people in the bible and discover how God used them to present his plan of salvation. We’re going to play a trivia game called, ‘Who Said It?’ to review some important biblical events and prepare for the new series.” Pass out the paper and writing utensils and ask the children to number from one to ten. Then explain that you will read a quote and they will write the name of the person they believe said it in the bible. (You may provide a list of names on the board to help the children.)
- “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (Abraham)
- “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Moses)
- “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth)
- “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.” (David)
- “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job)
- “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” (Elijah)
- “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.”(Daniel)
- “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jesus)
- “We have left all we had to follow you!”(Peter)
- “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.” (Paul)
After the game, review the answers and consider giving a prize to the child who answered the most quotes correctly.
Lesson (15 minutes)
- “We’re going to start by talking about Abraham – an imperfect man who God chose to start the Jewish nation (his people).” Explain to the students that Abraham’s original name was Abram (God changed it to Abraham later). Start by reading God’s promises to Abram in Genesis 12:1-4 & 7. Ask, “How old was Abram when God announced his promises (75)? What were God’s promises (to make Abram into a great nation, to make his name great, to bless him, and to give him land)?” Then read Genesis 17:1-8 to learn why God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. Emphasize that God gave Abraham a new name (and a new identity) because he would make him into, “a father of many nations.”
- Next, discuss that God’s choosing of Abraham doesn’t mean he was perfect. Read Genesis 12:10-20 to the class. Ask, “What sin did Abraham commit in this passage (lying/being deceptive)? Why was it such a serious sin (because it put others in harm’s way)?” Explain that even after Abraham’s sin, God still kept his promises (Genesis 15:1-6). Continue by reading one more account of sin in Abram’s life in Genesis 16:1-5 & 15-16. Ask, “What mistakes did Abraham make in this passage (adultery)? We’re going to see, however, that God still had a special plan for Abraham’s family.”
- Lastly, read Genesis 17:15-20. Ask, “What would happen to Isaac? What would happen to Ishmael?” Finish by summarizing the significance of Abraham being willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). Help the children understand that Abraham took obedience to the Lord very seriously, and the fact that he would be willing to sacrifice his own son mirrors God’s loving sacrifice of Jesus. Ask, “Did God still greatly use Abraham in spite of his mistakes (yes)? We learn from Abraham’s life that God is willing to forgive our sins and use us! We also know that Jesus died for everyone’s sins and that God wants us to repent and trust in Christ.” Share with the class how to become a believer in Jesus Christ and give an opportunity for the children to ask questions about salvation.
Mission Project – Encouragement and Birthday Cards (10 minutes)
Say, “God used Abraham, and he wants to use us too!” Research a non-profit organization that would receive encouragement or birthday cards for their staff or for the people they serve. Allow the children to sign (or make) cards with biblical messages and encouragement. Comment, “This is an easy way for us to practice being God’s representatives of love and to be obedient in sharing our faith with others.” Send or deliver the completed cards to the chosen organization.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: God gave Abraham many promises and chose him to be the father of the Jewish nation. We too are promised that God will use us if we are willing to obey and trust him.
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, we love you and thank you for your promises! Help us obey and trust your will with our lives. Amen.”
Who was …. A Study on Bible Characters
This lesson is part of a 14 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that introduces major characters in the Bible.