Grades 3-6 Sunday School Lesson

Through the Bible

God's Chosen People - Abraham - 1

Author’s Notes:  

From very early on in our lesson series, “Through the Bible,” we learned that through Adam, sin had become part of our human nature.  And in our last few lessons, we have seen a great deal of evidence of that sin nature in the hearts of man.  But we also learned, in the Garden of Eden, that from the beginning of time God had a plan to save us from sin’s terrible penalty.  He planned to send a Messiah who would be the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  In order to do this, God wanted to separate a special group of people through which the Messiah would be born.  Today’s lesson marks the call of the man who would be the Father of this nation.  His name is Abraham, and he was the beginning of the Hebrew people, the nation of Israel.

Lesson 1 Handout

Coloring Page

Opening comments/story:

Do you have anything that belongs to just you, and you alone?  Maybe you have a special toy that is just yours, or a book.  Or maybe you have a pet that belongs especially to you.  If you do have something that belongs to you, and nobody else, how do you feel about it?  Do you take extra good care of it?  Do you make sure nobody else does something that might ruin it? 

For those of you who have brothers and sisters, you probably have to share lots of things. So if you have something that’s just yours, that makes it really special!

Did you know that in the Old Testament, God chose a group of people to be just His?  They were called the Hebrew people, or the Israelites.  They were very special to Him, since one day His very own Son, Jesus Christ, would be born into a Hebrew family.

And that Hebrew nation began all the way back in the book of Genesis with a man named Abraham.  In today’s lesson, we’re going to learn about Abraham, and about the promises God gave him as He set out to build a special nation through him.

And before we’re finished, today, we’re going to find out that many of the promises that were made to Abraham can be for us, too!  How exciting to know that God was thinking about us, even way back then.

Today’s memory verse will remind us that we, too, have been specially chosen by God.  He calls us “a chosen generation.”  Let’s learn the verse together before we look more into the call of Abraham, and the beginning of the nation of Israel.

Memory verse:  (Have the children repeat this verse with you several times, until they are able to say it themselves.  And encourage them to repeat it to others several times during the week, so that it’ll have a place in their hearts.)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”  1 Peter 2:9
Opening prayer:  Lord, thank You for each student who’s here, today.   And thank You for Your Word, The Bible, where we can learn new truths about You, and Your plans and new beginnings for us.  Help each one of us here, today, to be attentive to what You would have us learn.  Give us open ears and hearts, ready to listen to Your words.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This Week’s Lesson:  God’s Chosen People - Abraham  (Genesis 12:1-8)

Several weeks ago, we began a new lesson series going through the Bible.  And we talked a little bit about how the Bible is a book full of new beginnings.  We started from the Bible’s very beginning with the creation of earth, and Adam and Eve.  We learned very early on that through Adam, was the beginning of man’s sin nature; it’s something each of us is born with.  And in our last few lessons, we saw the evidence of that sin nature in the hearts of man, as they grew more and more wicked as time went by.

But we also learned, back in the Garden of Eden, that from the beginning of time God had a plan to save us from sin’s terrible penalty.  Does anyone remember what that penalty for sin is?  Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death...”  The penalty for our sin is death.  And eternal death is being forever separated from God in a place God prepared for the Devil and his demons. 

But at the same time, we also learned that God is “… ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness…” (Nehemiah 9:17)  He wants nothing more than to save us from our sins.  So He planned to send a Messiah who would be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. 

In order to do this, God wanted to separate a special group of people through which the Messiah would be born.  You see, man with his sin nature did not continue to worship God.  They began looking around them at things in this world like the sun and moon, or even the animals God had created.  And they worshiped them.  Or some of them used their imaginations, and made up new gods to worship. Very few continued to worship only the one, true God. 

So God decided to choose for Himself a group of people who would belong especially to Him.  He wanted their love; and  would demand their worship, their faithfulness, and their loyalty.  And in return, He would take care of all their needs, protecting them from their enemies; and would even give them a special place to live that they could call home.    

This chosen group of people is known by several names.  You may have heard them called the Hebrews, the Israelites, or the Jews.  These are all names for one nation of people; God’s chosen people.  And it all began with one man named Abraham.

When we first meet Abraham, in Genesis 12, his name was actually “Abram” which means “exalted father.”  That’s a little strange, because when God chose him, Abraham had no children.  Not a single one.  But God had big plans for Abram, and would later change his name to the longer “Abraham” because it means “father of a multitude.” And that’s exactly what God had planned for him.

Let’s open God’s Word to Genesis 12, and find out what sort of man God chose, in Abraham, to be the beginning of this new nation of Israel. 

(Genesis 12)

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him:  Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

What did God tell Abraham to do?  He told him to leave his home and his family behind to go to a new place that God would later show him.  Does that sound like an easy thing for Abraham to do?  No!  It’s never easy to pack up all your belongings to go start a new life somewhere else, especially when you have to leave friends and family behind.  Have any of you ever moved to a new town?  Was it hard to leave your friends behind? 

God was asking Abraham to make a very important choice – to keep living the same life he’d been living for many, many years; or to pack up and follow Him to some unknown, new place.  But God made sure that Abraham knew there would be some rewards for following Him.  What promises did God make, if Abraham would obey Him?


Wow!  Those were some pretty incredible promises.  Wouldn’t you like to have someone promise that they would give you a happy life where people recognized your name; and where your friends would be blessed, and your enemies would be punished?  That sounds pretty good!

So Abraham had a very important choice to make.  What were Abraham’s choices?


Let’s look again at Genesis 12:4 to see what Abraham chose to do.

4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him:  Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

What does this verse tell us that Abraham did?  Did he choose the option of just staying right where he was, hoping God would ask someone else, instead?  That certainly would have been the easiest thing for Abraham to do, especially since he wasn’t exactly a young man.  How old does verse 4 say Abraham was?  He was seventy-five years old!

But Abraham wasn’t going to let a few years keep him from picking up and heading out. 
When God chose Abraham as the father of His new nation, God had chosen a man of action.  And there’s no indication that Abraham even hesitated.  The passage simply says that God spoke, and Abraham responded.

And not only was Abraham a man of action; he was a man of obedient action.  We can choose to act, and it might still be of no value to the Lord if our actions are not obedient ones. 

Do you remember the story of Jonah?  God told him to go to the city of Nineveh to preach to them.  Jonah also responded with action.  The problem was that instead of going to Nineveh as God asked, Jonah ran away in the opposite direction. 

Have you ever been tempted to respond to God that way?  Maybe you know God wants you to talk to someone you don’t know very well, but when you see that person, instead of talking to them, you pretend you don’t see them, and head in the other direction.  That’s taking action.  But it’s taking action like Jonah, not Abraham.  And what happened to Jonah when he went the wrong direction?  God sent a giant fish to swallow him up in the sea. 

If God asks us to do something, and we choose to act, but not the way God wanted, that is disobeying God.  And He will likely keep working on us until we finally agree to do things His way.  But God didn’t have to worry about that with Abraham, because he was ready to act, and he was obedient.  This is what Abraham did:

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.

8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

When God called Abraham to go to a new place He would show him, Abraham responded immediately and obediently.  He did exactly what God asked of him, bringing along only the people in his immediate household.  His nephew Lot lived with them because his own father had died. 

How did Abraham know when to stop?  Verse 7 tells us that God once again appeared to Abraham, and it was with another promise.  God told Abraham that this was land He would give to Abraham and his descendants.  And when God told Abraham they had finally arrived at their new home, their Promised Land, what did Abraham do?    He stopped, and built an altar to worship God.  Abraham was thankful to the Lord for leading him safely to this new home.

So what was it about Abraham that made him willing to leave all that he had back in Ur of the Chaldeans, to go to a new home he knew nothing about.  Not only was Abraham a man of action and a man of obedience; Abraham was also a man of faith.   Abraham believed that God was sincere in the promises He had made.  He believed that God could safely bring him and his family to the place He would show him.  And he believed that God would keep the promises He had made.

Without that faith, Abraham would never have left his home and family to follow God and begin a brand new nation of people. That same faith would later lead Abraham to trust God to give him a son, even in his old age.  And in the New Testament, we find that it was Abraham’s faith that made him righteous in the eyes of God.  Romans 4:3 says, “…Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”  Righteousness is right standing, with our sins forgiven, before God.  So Abraham’s sins were forgiven because of his faith in God.

God needed a man He could count on to be a faithful father to a new nation.  So He chose Abraham: a man of action, obedience, and most importantly, faith.  Those would all be very necessary traits as God continued to lead and test Abraham through the following years.  Some of the promises God had made to Abraham would be a long time in coming.  And Abraham’s great faith in God would help him remain obedient, as he waited for their fulfillment.

Closing Comments:

Do you think that God is still looking for those traits today, in you and me?  Do you think He’s looking for men and women, young and old, who will respond when He calls, who will be obedient, and who will trust Him?  Yes, He is!  Because not only did God begin a new, chosen people with faithful Abraham, He also has a group of chosen people even today.   And we can be included!

Our memory verse talked about this group, calling them a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people.”  This new, chosen generation is called “Christians,” which means little Christs.  They are the ones who actively, obediently, and faithfully follow the Lord because they have placed their faith and  trust in Him. 

Would you like to know what this verse means by “a peculiar people?”  In our language, today, peculiar usually means strange or weird.  But that was not the original meaning of the word.  It actually meant “special.”  Other Bible translations say , “a people of His own,” or “His special possession.”   Do you remember back at the very beginning of today’s lesson when I asked you if you have something special that belongs to just you; something that is your very own?  And I asked you how you felt about that thing.  That’s the way God feels about us when we are saved, when we become Christians.  Can you imagine that?  When you are God’s child, you are very precious to Him, His own special possession.  He sees you as one of His most special treasures!

How about you, today?  Do you hold a place in God’s heart as one of His special treaures?  Have you placed your faith and trust in Him, and asked Him to be the Lord of your life, just like Abraham did?  If you have, you can know deep in your heart that God has a very special love for you, and He will always take care of you and protect you because you are precious to Him.

If you have not asked God to forgive your sins, and have not put your trust in Him, why not do that today?  Can you think of anything better than being a treasure to God?

Closing Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for Your holy Word, the Bible.  And for all it teaches us about the way You’re still choosing people to be Your special treasures.  If anyone here, today, has not invited You into their hearts, to be their Lord and forgive their sins, I pray that they would do that this very day; so they can come to know You as the wonderful Heavenly Father You truly are.  For we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

Activity:  (Review Questions)

Fill in the Blanks

1. God called Abraham to leave his home and family.
2. Abraham was a man of action.
3. Abraham was a man of obedience.
4. Abraham was a man of faith.
5. The word “peculiar” in our verse does not mean weird, but special.

True or False

1. God drew Abraham a map of exactly where he would be going.  (false - God did not tell him exactly where he was headed)
2. God wanted to have a special people through whom His Son, Jesus, would be born.  (true)
3. Abraham asked God to choose someone else to be the father of His chosen people.  (false – Abraham obediently followed God)
4. God promised to bless Abraham .  (true)
5. God declared Abraham righteous because of his faith.  (true)


Lisa DeVinney