Term 1 – Week 5

Big Idea – Abraham believed God’s promise of a land, offspring & blessing.

Genesis 12:1-7; 15:1-21

Lesson Background

This unit of work is an overview of the Old Testament from creation in Genesis 1 up to God’s promise to King David in 2 Samuel 7.  The theme for the unit: God always keeps His Promises.

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.‘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’………The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:1-3, 7

We have started to see how the world was repopulated through the line of Noah, his sons and their wives, and the resulting nations that came from these people spread and scattered. They are fulfilling God’s command to them. But God isn’t done with his people yet. Genesis zooms in on the line of Shem, Noah’s son until we get to a man named Abram. God makes and keeps a number of the most important promises in the entire Bible. These promises are the covenant with Abram (note his name changes in Genesis 17).

  1. The promise of Land

Genesis 12:1 God commands Abram to leave his home, his country, to an unknown place ‘which God will show you.’ Abram ups sticks and goes to the land God was going to give to Abram and his family (vv.6-7). The problem is that there are Canaanites in that land already. This land was not Abram’s yet, so he was still a nomad travelling from place to place. As is explained in Hebrews 11:8-10, Abraham showed faith to go where he was commanded, without any prior knowledge. When he did arrive, the land was not his, and would not be the land of Israel for generations. But he went by faith in God’s promises.  

Genesis 12:2 sees God promise that Abram will be made into a great nation, a vast multitude of people. But there was a big problem – Abram was old and without any children! This becomes a serious issue for Abram’s trust in God. In Gen 15:2 he even points out this problem to God! However, in 15:5 God uses the stars as a striking visual of the multitudes of people who will come from Abraham’s offspring. This is a promise that is almost hilarious in its extent given the situation. How did Abram respond? Verse 6 is clear for us, Abram believed what the Lord said and it was credited to him as righteousness. This is key verse for how the New Testament defines faith (Romans 4:3) – the trust in God’s promises.  

This promise is heavily connected to the previous two. The word ‘bless’, ‘blessing’ or ‘blessed’ appears 5 times in the promises (12:2-3). God wants to bless Abram, but also bless the world through Abram. This one man and his wife will somehow be connected to a plan that will bless the whole world. What does this blessing look like? 15:1 gives us an indication – Abram’s great reward is God himself. The blessing for God’s people is his presence with them, dwelling with them. To be blessed is to be forever happy in the presence of God. This would be a

moment of significance throughout the Old Testament as Israel’s leaders celebrate, yearn for, or neglect the presence of God with his people. Abram’s faith is expressed in believing these promises and following the Lord’s commands.   We know that Abram, later Abraham, would never see these promises fully realised. But we can look through the Old Testament and see how God kept these promises. A great nation was born, yet an even greater nation is promised, one that will certainly bless all nations. That promise comes through the offspring of Abraham, Jesus, born in his line and born of God, the one through whom all of God’s promises are fulfilled (2 Corinthians 1:20). In Jesus, we are part of a multitude of people as many as the stars, with a promised land far greater than this world, and the blessing of a perfect relationship with God. 

Outcomes

The children will understand that God kept his promise to Abram through Jesus. The children will follow Abram’s example of faith in God’s promises as we trust in Jesus.

Songs

Hello Song (Emu music)

Very, Very, Very Big God (EMU Music – Very, Very, Very Big God) 

Memory Verse

God said to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation. And I will bless you. 
I will make your name great. You will be a blessing to others. 
All nations on earth will be blessed because of you.” 

Genesis 12:1-2, 3b

Leaders PDF

this has been put together using purchased external material and therefore this resource may only be used by Dundonald Church. For more information please contact natasha.small@dundonald.org

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Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

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