Lesson Focus “For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” (Psalm 117:2)
As the result of failures on the part of people during the early years of earth, God called an individual. He chose a people to be His own and called a man, Abram, who was to become the father of the Hebrew nation. Our story begins in Genesis 12.
In spite of the wickedness of the human heart seen in earlier chapters of Genesis, God wanted to show His grace. He wanted a chosen people to whom He might entrust the Holy Scriptures, to be His witness to other nations and through whom the promised Messiah would come. Therefore, God called Abram to leave his home in an idolatrous country and go to an unknown land where God would make him the father of a mighty nation.
Abram, later called Abraham, was willing to move according to God’s desires because God’s promises stood before Abraham as an accomplished fact. Abraham’s faith in God was rooted in his belief that God would keep His promises. Wherever Abraham went, he built an altar to God. God honored him by revealing Himself to him. God made a covenant with him that he would be the father of a great nation and that through him the nations of the earth would be blessed. His family became God’s special charge; God dealt with them as with no other people. Through Abraham and his descendants, the promises of God were passed down to all generations.
Bible Story Call of Abram Genesis 12:1-9; 13:1-8
Read from your Bible. Ask students to find it in a Bible too. Those that can read can follow along. Choose the passages you would like to read aloud. Use visuals to help tell the story.
Abram was a man who worshiped God. He lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. Ur was a beautiful place, but many of the people there did not worship the true God. The people built towers called ziggurats. They used the towers to worship the moon god. This made God very sad. God loved Abram so much. He wanted to make sure Abram would not worship the moon god. God told Abram to move away from his family and friends who worshiped the moon god. God promised to take care of Abram in a new home. He promised Abram he would have many children and grandchildren in the new home.
One day Jesus would be born into Abram’s family! Abram did what God told him to do. Abram took his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, to the new home.
Abram and Lot had many sheep and camels. They had many shepherds and servants. The sheep, camels, shepherds, and servants all went, too. They walked, and walked, and walked. At last they came to their new home. It was called Canaan.
Everyone was happy to be there! Abram built an altar in Canaan. He thanked God for leading him to his new home. God took care of Abram, Sarai, and Lot in Canaan. Soon there were many more sheep and camels. There were so many sheep and camels that the shepherds and servants could not find room for them. The shepherds and servants started to argue and fight. Abram did not like the arguing. He did not like the fighting. He wanted his new home to be peaceful. Abram had an idea.
Canaan was a big land. He could live in one part. Lot could live in another part. Abram and Lot looked at the big new land. The best land was on the right. There was a river. There was green grass. There were large cities. On the left there were just trees and fields.
Abram told Lot to choose first. Lot chose the best land. He took his sheep, camels, shepherds, and servants to the green grass near the river and the cities. Abram took his sheep, camels, shepherds, and servants to the trees and fields. The arguing and fighting stopped.
Everyone was happy again. God was happy Abram was in his new home. He reminded Abram about His promises. Abram believed God’s promises. God kept His promises!
Bible Challenge “For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” (Psalm 117:2) Read this passage from your Bible. Ask students to locate it in a Bible too. Help them learn this verse.
Try this experiment: Never Ending Love – Mobius Strip
Supplies you’ll need: 2- 12x2 inch strips of paper Scissors Tape Give each student two strips of paper. Ask: Where is the beginning of these strips? Where is the end?
Make a circle with one of the strips, and then tape the ends together.
On the outside of the circular strip of paper, draw a red line in the middle all the way around the circle (or use some other color). Notice that the circular strip has two sides. It has an "outside" (with a line drawn around it) and an "inside" (with no line drawn on it).
Carefully cut all the way around the middle of the circular strip (where the red line is in the pictures). Notice that you end up with two circular strips.
With another strip of paper, make a circle again but don't tape it yet. Draw and X on one end of the paper so the X on the outside. Twist that end over so that the X is facing downwards, then tape it to the other end.
Now you have a circular strip with a twist in it. This is called a "Mobius Strip."
Draw a red line in the middle all the way around the Mobius Strip (or use some other color), just like you did with the circular strip. Notice that the Mobius Strip only has one side! It doesn't have an "inside" and an "outside" like the circular strip does! How is that possible?
Carefully cut all the way around the middle of the Mobius Strip (along the red line in the picture), just like you did with the circular strip. Notice that it makes one large twisted circular strip instead of two circular strips! Talk about it: Now our paper strips have become a big loop which has no beginning or end. What does Psalm 117:2 say lasts forever? Faithfulness means always keeping your promises and doing what you say you will do. God is faithful and His promises last forever.
Build It With the Blueprints (Abram Follows God’s Direction) Genesis 12:1-8 Energy Level: Medium Energy. This game will help your kids understand the value of helpful direction as they work together to build something fun. Supply List
Two or more identical sets of building materials such as Lincoln Logs, Tinker toys, or Lego construction toys.
Copies of a pictured structure that can be built with the pieces provided (from the toy leaflet)
Copies of the written directions for building the pictured structure (from the toy leaflet)
The Game Greet your students warmly, and divide them into groups based on the size of your class and the number of building sets you have available. Hold up one of the building sets and say: We’re going to work together in groups to build this (Show the picture and name the structure you are building). Explain to the students that you are adding a twist to the project. Say: God told Abram to leave his home and travel to a new land. Along the way, God gave Abram simple instructions to guide him on the journey. I’m providing half the groups with this picture of the (name the structure). The other group(s) will have the picture plans plus written directions. Encourage the kids to have fun building the toy, whether they are following the directions or inventing the steps themselves while looking at the picture. Post-Game Discussion Questions When the structures are finished, bring the groups together to discuss these questions.
What were the difficulties for the group(s) that built the (name the structure) without directions?
How did the directions help the group(s) that had them?
What directions did Abram receive from God? How might Abram’s life have been different if he had been without these instructions?
Say: God always gives helpful direction when he asks us to accomplish difficult things.
Follow the Leader – Who’s It? Students sit or stand in a circle. Choose one student as “It”. “It” leave the circle and covers eyes. Silently choose another player as the leader. The leader begins an action such as clapping hands, stamping feet, wiggling fingers, etc. Call “It” back to the circle while students are doing the action the leader has started. After 10 seconds, the leader begins a new action. Students imitate the leader’s new action while trying not to look at the leader. “It” tries to identify the leader. When the leader is correctly identified, he or she becomes “It” and a new leader is chosen. Repeat game as time permits.
Follow the Leader – Line Leaders Students stand in a line, facing the person in front of them. The first student in line is the leader. The leader stays in one place and begins a motion (moves legs, arms, bends to the side, etc.) The second student follows the leader, the third student follows the second, the fourth student follows the third, etc. The effect will be a delayed movement like the wave at a sports event. Repeat several times with new leaders. If you have a large group, divide into two or more lines. The leader of one line begins a motion, immediately followed by the leader of another line. Ask: What it easier to be the leader or the follower in these games? Why? How can we show that we want to follow God? What has God promised to do for us?
Steps of Faith – The children will trace their feet/shoes on to paper in this activity. Before Class: Obtain copies of the Obeying is a Step of Faith sheet for the children in the class. Obtain markers, crayons or colors for the children to use to trace their feet on the papers. During Class: Remind the children that having faith in God, and obeying God, sometimes means stepping out in faith, just like Abraham did. “We step with our feet. Abraham and his family walked a long way to the Promised Land. Let’s trace our feet on to this paper to remind us that sometimes having faith means stepping out and doing something new.” Allow the children to stand on the pieces of paper and trace the outlines of their shoes (or feet) on the paper. They may also color in the outlines.
Faith Walk – The children will learn to depend on someone else to lead them. Before Class: Obtain a blindfold which can be used for the children During Class: Clear an area of the classroom for the activity. While the children watch, place a few obstacles in the area, for example: a chair, a table, a basket full of toys, etc. Show the blindfold. Choose one child (or adult) to be the helper. Ask for a volunteer to wear the blindfold while the helper guides them across the room, missing the obstacles. Explain that we often have faith in other people. We believe our parents will give us lunch. We believe our grandparents will remember our birthday. We believe the pilot will be able to fly the plane…etc. Having faith sometimes means trusting God, even when we may not be able to see where He is leading us… just like Abraham did when he traveled to the land God promised to him. Demonstrate leading the blindfolded volunteer around the room. Let a helper try it. Make sure the helper keeps the volunteer away from the obstacles they cannot see. God is worthy of our trust!
Sing “Father Abraham” – The children will sing and have fun moving around! Father Abraham had many sons… Many sons had Father Abraham! And I am one of them, and so are you… So, let’s just praise the LORD! Right arm! (With each of following, repeat chorus and add one movement as described below.) Right Arm, Left Arm! Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Foot! Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Foot, Left Foot! Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Foot, Left Foot, Chin Up! Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Foot, Left Foot, Chin Up, Turn Around! Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Foot, Left Foot, Chin Up, Turn Around, Sit Down!!!
Right Arm – wave right arm Left Arm – wave left arm Right Foot – tap or step with right foot Left Foot – tap or step with left foot Chin Up – nod head up and down Turn Around – turn around in circles Sit Down – sit down in place… (Carefully!)
Air to the Throne “God …fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2 What’s Gonna Happen You’re going to use a hair dryer to “hover” a ping pong ball. The How Behind the Wow Bernoulli’s Principle states the faster liquids or gases flow, the less pressure they exert. The ‘hair dryer air’ had less pressure than the surrounding still air. What You Need Hair Dryer Ping Pong Ball Paper Towel Tube Extension Cord (If Necessary) What You Do
Hold the hair dryer so that the air blows upward.
Turn the hair dryer on high.
Place the ping pong ball into the air flow. The ball will hover some six inches above the hair dryer.
Gradually rotate your hand so that the hair dryer moves from straight up (12 o’clock) to about 11o’clock. The ping pong ball will travel with the air flow.
Rotate your hand back past 12 to 1 o’clock. Again, the ping pong ball moves with you.
To finish off your ‘routine’ rotate the hair dryer back so that it is blowing straight up. With the ping pong ball still hovering in the air, use your other hand to pick up the paper towel tube. Hold the tube vertically just above the ping pong ball. The ball will launch up toward the ceiling.
Turn the hair dryer off as the ball shoots upward. It’s a nice way to end.
That’s it. Practice a couple of times. Otherwise, you are there. Plan on speaking over the sound of the hair dryer. Now go forth and entertain for the Lord.
God has blessed us so much…so much. Think about it-our families, friends, church, just everything. And, above it all, God says that everyone who trusts in Jesus will live in heaven forever. Isn’t that something? Nice things now…living in heaven later. That’s what I call being blessed. One of the neatest things about God is that-during our lifetime-He has plans and purposes for each of us. Reminds me of this ping pong ball (show ball) and this hair dryer. The ball is like us; the hair dryer is God. Watch what happens when we start things going.
(Start Dryer; place ping pong ball in airflow. From here on you will have to talk over the hair dryer.) So, here we are up here in the air living our life. As God has plans for us, He lets us know He wants us to go this way (rotate one direction). Then after a while He sends us back over this way (rotate back the other way). Tell you what, there’s nothing like the excitement of living with God and travelling the paths he has for us. (Move hair dryer back to the vertical air flow. As you do this, pick up the paper towel tube.) Well, maybe there is one thing that is more exciting-that will be when our time comes to live forever with God in Heaven. And it goes like this!! (Stand tube directly above ping pong ball.) There we go (turn off hair dryer) up toward God and our forever home. Purpose on this side, forever on the other. That’s what you call ‘air to the throne.’
Potato Plunge – God will never leave us
Supplies: Glass bowl Pie tin Small plastic glass with a flat bottom Small potato
Place the glass mixing bowl on the table with the pie tin sitting on top of it. Turn the plastic glass upside down in the center of the pie tin and set the potato on top of it. Grip the pie tin securely and yank it quickly. Both the small plastic glass and the pie tin will pull toward you. The potato though should fall into the bowl.
Talk about it: Read Nehemiah 9:31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
What did you expect to happen? What did you notice about the pie tin and the bowl? What did you notice about the potato when the pie tin was yanked?
Abraham was asked to leave his family and his country and go to a new land to live. Perhaps he felt like the rug had been pulled out from under him (much like the pie tin and the glass – and the potato). What people mean when they use that expression is they were surprised when things changed and they could no longer depend on who or what they thought they could. No matter what people do to us, God is there and we can depend on Him.
Be glad God will never abandon us!
“God will love you and bless you.” (Deuteronomy 7:13)
Pray: Dear God, thank you for loving me and taking care of me. Thank you for all the people who are a blessing to me. Thank you for sending Jesus to take away my sins. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.