Abraham's SonsMain Points to Remember
Prayer: Father, please keep us from pursuing our plans and instead guide us through your plans
Activity: Make a timeline to show that God's time is larger than our time. Put Abraham and one end and Christ at the other. Talk about the promises God made to Abraham and mark their approximate completion on the timeline. Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old. A great people could start about the time of the captivity - 400 years after Abraham. The land would be about 50 years after that. The Messiah would come 2000 years after Abraham! Discuss how much sooner the son of promise came than the other promises. Which promises did Abraham live to see? Should we always expect to see all of God's promises fulfilled in our lifetime? No. There are some things we do that we may never see the full result of. But we must trust that the promise will be fulfilled and our efforts will be worth it all.
Discussion: Do the ends justify the means? Sarah felt that if she couldn't give Abraham a son, Hagar could. She failed to rely on God to give them both a son. God often asks us to participate is his plans, but that doesn't mean we can change his plans. We can't use any old means to achieve God's ends. The crusaders felt they could torture people into "converting" to Christianity. Many people today feel they can worship, or obey, in whatever fashion they desire, as long as their "goal" is to worship or obey. God wants "obedience more than sacrifice". He wants us to submit, and trust that his ways will accomplish his plans.
Activity: Add Ishmael and Isaac to a family tree that will develop as the lessons progress. Have the students make generic paper people (like Bible Friends). Name them and post them on a board, using yarn or dots to connect the family lines. A great source for OT family tree information is: http://bible.ort.org/books/gened2.asp