Lesson: Abram and Lot
September 15, 2010
Justin, Josie and Rita taught this to 12 kids on Saturday 18 September 2010
drivers: cheryl (10 am), sheila (12 noon)
Topics: (1.) Abram and Lot part ways; (2.) Abram rescues Lot
Scriptures: Genesis 13-14
New Song: Psalm 105 stanza 1
The original sea turtle photo is copyright blckbaronstock, shared here with permission.
Coloring: I will bring copies of this. [Other viewers: you have permission to reproduce this image, sized 8.5x11; 200ppi.]
- Setup: arrange tables, chairs, flip chart, map, CD player;
- (10:00am) name tags for Josee and any new students
- Review the ‘rules’ poster
- Hand out memory verse and Ps 105 cards
- together: Matthew 6 “Lord’s prayer”
- Sing – new psalm 105 stanza 1
- Lesson (see “Lesson” section below)
- (11:00 am) SNACK/BREAK
- Josee: Activity (relay game, freeze tag — something that keeps them out of trouble!);
- Make sure nobody is thirsty so the second half isn’t interrupted;
- (11:20 am) craft/activity — they could finish making their Abram/Sarai figures (see below) and a few may volunteer to demonstrate a skit of the story, with help — this will help for the review game; otherwise, there are beads and thread in the bin, which they might use to make a bead/picture craft;
- Review questions / game (see “Lesson” section);
- Singing: Apostle’s Creed and/or Jamie Soles’ “Abram”;
- Recite the memory verse together — remind them to practice at home for next week;
- Praying: Mr. Justin;
- (12:00 pm) Mini-albums and name cards back in the bin; the kids may collect their coloring papers and their crafts.
(a) Review and Introduction — Mr. Justin
[Rita and Justin, please feel free to use your own voice, and adjust the lesson as you see fit!]
Follow in your maps. (Front page of your mini photo album.) Abram and Sarai traveled from Ur to Haran. After that, they traveled with Abram’s nephew named “Lot” down to the land of Canaan.
Can you remember the modern-day country where Ur is? (Iraq.) Haran is in modern-day Turkey. Can you remember where Canaan is? (Modern-day Israel.)
- Though they did not yet have a baby, God promised a big family to Abram;
- God also promised that there would be good news for all the families in the world because of Abram’s family. Can you remember what very important baby from the family of Abram was born? [In Bethlehem, if they need a hint.]
- God promised Abram the land of Canaan.
God told Abram to leave his family in Haran and go to a place that He would show him. Abram obeyed God and left Haran. How old was Abram when he traveled with his wife and nephew into Canaan? (75 years old.)
Abram built an altar [likely piled rocks] near a great oak tree at Shechem. (See maps.) He built another altar near Bethel.
There was a famine in Canaan-land, so Abram and his family went to Egypt for a while. This week’s lesson is about what happened when they returned to Canaan.
(b) Abram and Lot part ways — Mrs. Rita
Does anybody know what a famine is?
Because of a famine in Canaan land, Abram, his wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot lived in Egypt for a while. After that, they traveled back to Canaan, the land that God had promised to Abram.
Abram was even more rich than before — he owned lots of animals/livestock, and lots of silver and gold. Abram, Sarai, Lot, and all the people who worked for them set up tents in different places as they traveled.
Eventually they were back in Canaan, near Bethel where Abram had built the altar. There in Bethel, Abram prayed to the LORD. [“You may as soon find a living man without breath as one of God’s people without prayer.” – Matthew Henry.]
Abram’s nephew Lot also owned tents, herds [cattle], and flocks [sheep, goats]. The land was becoming crowded with all of Abram’s animals and all of Lot’s animals. Some of the herdsmen were getting into arguments because their herds were so close together on the land.
“Let’s not fight over the land,” Abram said to Lot. “This is a big place, and we are relatives, so there is no reason for us to fight, or for our men to fight.”
Abram had an idea that he and Lot should separate, each living and working in their own area of land. Abram let his nephew Lot choose the land that he wanted first.
“If you choose the East, then I will live in the West,” said Abram. “But if you choose the West, then I will move to the East.”
[Draw simple map on flip chart and point at Bethel.] When Lot looked to the east, he saw how green everything was near the Jordan river, because the land was more watered. It was like a garden, and it reminded him of Egypt, which was also a valley — watered by the Nile river.
Lot preferred this land toward the east, and he chose it. So, Lot and all of his helpers and animals moved away from Abram, who stayed in Canaan with Sarai and all of their helpers and animals. Lot pitched his tent near a city named Sodom [somewhere around the Salt Sea, probably south part]. The people in Sodom were wicked and disobedient to God.
After Lot left, the LORD told Abram to look around in every direction.
“I will give everything you can see to you and your family, ” said God. “The number of your family will be like the dust of the earth — if the dust could be counted, then your descendants could be counted.”
Abram and Sarai still did not have a child, yet God was telling Abram that he would have many great-grandchildren, many great-great-grandchildren, and so on!
“Go ahead,” God said to Abram, “Walk through this land that I am giving to you. Walk across it from side to side and from top to bottom.”
In very old times like this, when somebody purchased some land, they would walk through it to finish the sale. God had not asked Abram for any money, but God was giving this land to Abram.
Abram moved his tent and settled near the oak trees that they had stopped at long before. [Near Shechem -- northern red dot in the map above.]
… but Abram would not be there for long before his nephew Lot got into some trouble and needed help.
(c) Abram Rescues Lot — Mr. Justin
The other people who lived in these lands were having wars. The king of Sodom, where Lot lived, was no exception. He and his men, with the help of four other kingdoms, fought a war against four other kings in the Valley of Siddim. [Likely at the south end of the Salt Sea.] The king of Sodom and his friends lost that battle. Their soldiers ran away into the hills, and some of them fell into slime pits. There is still black mud in the Salt Sea (called the Dead Sea today).
[Would be fun to show the kids these pictures of this tar muck at Pitch Lake in Trinidad, which has the same bitumen slime as the Valley of Siddim. It is not good to fall into a pit of this stuff.]
Since the king of Sodom lost that battle, his enemies went through Sodom and stole all the property and food. While they were at it, they kidnapped Lot and everything he owned! [Recall Lot lived near Sodom.]
Abram had 318 men in his camp that had been trained to use weapons. Until now, Abram had ignored all the ethnic groups living in the area. But when he heard that his nephew Lot was a prisoner, he marched after the army of the kings who had defeated Sodom.
Abram took his 318 men and some of his friends from the area, and they journeyed about 160 kilometers (from Surrey to Seattle), chasing the kings who had won the war. In the night, Abram divided his small army into two groups, and they attacked and won. The enemy army ran away, and Abram chased them for another 80 kilometers. [You may show the kids; this chase goes well off the Canaan map, not quite halfway back to Haran on the larger scale map the kids have on the front page of their mini-albums.]
There, Abram rescued Lot and all his helpers and their animals. Abram also took back everything the kings had stolen from Sodom.
When Abram returned home, the king of Sodom was very happy with him. People of ancient times would have expected this king to allow Abram to keep some of what he had rescued.
“Let us have our people back,” he said to Abram, “but you can keep all the animals and other things that Sodom owned.”
“No I will not,” answered Abram. “I have promised to God that I will not take any gift from you, so that you can never brag that you made me rich. No, I will not even accept one thread from you, or a shoelace from a sandal.”
Abram knew that the king of Sodom was evil. Also, the reason Abram had pursued the other armies was to rescue Lot and bring him back home.
And we will hear again of Lot’s troubles in Sodom!
(d) Review Questions — Mrs. Rita
[Can be done as the two-team relay game. Justin and Josee can each sit with one team of kids. Rita asks a question, and the teams quietly discuss the answer while Justin/Josee write it on paper. The kids take turns taking the answers to Rita. Rita can give extra points for the 'first' team, but the other team can still get points for a correct answer, perhaps even more points for a more detailed answer.]
- Why did Abram, Sarai, and Lot leave Canaan to go into Egypt? (famine)
- What would show that Abram was very rich? (livestock, silver/gold)
- [tricky] What did Abram do when he got back to the altar he had built near Bethel? (prayed to the LORD)
- Why did Abram suggest to Lot that they separate into different parts of the land? (land could not support them living together / herdsmen were arguing)
- Did Lot choose the land that looked more green, or did he choose the land that didn’t look as nice?
- Why was the land that Lot chose more green? [hint: this land was in the Jordan Valley]
- What was the name of the wicked city near where Lot set up his tent? (Sodom)
- When God told Abram to look around, how much of the land did God promise to Abram and his descendants? (everything he could see)
- [tricky] What else did God promise to Abram at the time? (his descendants would be like the dust of the earth)
- Did the king of Sodom and his friends win the battle in the Valley of Siddim? (no)
- What did the men who lost the battle do? (they ran away / some fell into slime pits / some ran to the hills)
- What did the men who won the battle do? (stole all the possessions and food of Sodom [etc] / kidnapped Lot / left the area)
- When Abram caught up to the armies that won the battle, what happened in the night? ( Abram divided his men into two groups / Abram defeated the enemy / enemy fled / Abram chased them for 80 km)
- What did Abram rescue from the enemy armies? ( Lot / Lot’s servants / Lot’s possessions / Sodom’s people and possessions / animals)
- What deal did the king of Sodom offer to Abram? (that Abram could keep the goods, just not the people)
- Why would Abram not accept the king of Sodom’s offer? (he had vowed to God / he knew Sodom was evil and wanted nothing to do with this king / he didn’t want the king to have a reason to brag)
- Who really gave Abram and Lot all the animals they had, the land they had, and the victory in the battle? (God)