I’m tired. I’m wrapping up a 15 hour day that started at 5am this morning, and ended with a dodgeball game with some kids in the S.A.Y. Yes program. After eight months with these young people, we ended our season of ministry tonight by sharing with them some of the graces of God that are evident in their lives. It’s been a joyful season and I pray that it bears eternal fruit in the lives of these young men and their families. [Read more…] about Working for Food that Never Perishes, Part 1
I mentioned last week that my heart was full. It is filled with thankfulness to God. Back in January I began to feel as though it was time for a change, and after much prayer and counsel with trusted men, I decided that the change that needed to be made was with my job. [Read more…] about What’s Next?
I really do love what I do on Sunday mornings! I don’t take it for granted that the parents of Bethlehem Baptist Church allow me to participate in the spiritual life of their children. Each Saturday night that I write these lessons, the Lord touches my soul through his Holy Word as I prepare these lessons.
Genesis 18, 19:1–29
The Lord appears to Abraham
- God communicates with man.
- God is all powerful.Man is a sinner and cannot save himself.
- “Is anything to hard for the Lord.” (Gen 18:14)
- God is holy and will not tolerate sin.
- God will punish sin.
- God is sovereign.
- God is merciful.
Bring in a phone. Do you know what this is? What do you do with it? Talk on it. That’s right. Well, God talks to us. Do you know how? The bible… Well, in this story, God visited Abraham, and talked to him.
Last time, we talked about Abraham, and his wife Sarah. They got a name change. God changed their names because he made some promises to them. He promised that they would have a son, right? Do you remember what they would name him? Isaac. Do you remember why they were going to name him Isaac (laughter)? It’s because when God told them that they would have a son, they laughed.
They laughed because it would be really hard for a woman Sarah’s age to get pregnant. (LOOK: Lesson 8–Pt 1) She was 90 years old when God first made the promise. That’s really old. So they thought that God must be joking, because no woman that old could have a baby.
But let ask you… Do you think there is anything that is too hard for God? Why? The bible says in Psalm 115:3, “Our God is in the heavens, he does everything that pleases him.” So God could make an old lady have baby. God is sovereign. That means he’s the boss.
Since God is the boss, he makes the rules. And there were some people in two cities who were breaking God’s laws.
LOOK: Lesson 8, Pt 2.
What is happening in this picture?
Why did God burn this city?
Did God have to do that?
God is holy and will not tolerate sin. God hates sin. Holy means that God is perfect, and righteous, and that there is no one like Him. And he never sins. It also means that he must punish sin. That’s why God destroyed the world with a flood, and that’s why he’s destroying this city with fire.
But God is also kind and merciful. He forgives sin. Not everyone in this city was burned up. Do you know who was saved out of the city? Lot, and his family. Lot was Abraham’s nephew, and he prayed for Lot.
When God told Abraham that he was going to destroy the city, Abraham asked God, “But if there are 50 people who love you, would you spare the city?” God said yes. But Abraham knew that there wasn’t 50 people in Sodom who loved God, so he asked, “What about 45? Would you not burn the city for 45 righteous people?” And God said he wouldn’t burn the city if Abraham could find 45 people who loved God. But Abraham knew that there wasn’t 45 people in Sodom who loved God.
God told Abraham that he would not destroy the city if he could find only ten people that loved him there, but there wasn’t even ten people in Sodom that loved God. They all loved sin and hated God.
There was one family that God saved from Sodom and Gomorrah before he destroyed them. That was Lot’s family. God is merciful and kind, and did not destroy everyone. He sent two angels to destroy the city, and Lot greeted them and invited them to his house. When the men of the city saw this, they began to act very wickedly, and sin against God. So the angels stuck them blind until the morning.
In the morning the angels told Lot to get his family and rush out of the city, because they were going to destroy it. They ordered them not to even look back at this wicked city!
As they were leaving the city, Lot’s wife disobeyed and looked back at the city and became a pillar of salt. She had made a very bad mistake. She was double-minded, not sure if she wanted to follow God. So since her heart longed after Sodom, she became a pillar of salt. The bible says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your might.”
Did God burn everyone?
If there were more people in the city who loved and obeyed God, would God have burned the city? Why?
God is merciful and would have stopped the punishment on the city if there were only ten people in the city who loved and obeyed him.
God will be merciful to you too! If you will confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. Let’s pray.
I absolutely love teaching my preschoolers in Sunday School. It is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever undertaken, but the reward is sweet. I get to take big truths and try to bring them down to the level of a 3–4 year-old. So when you think of me, pray that I would be faithful to this task. I look forward to meeting some of these youngsters in heaven one day and hearing how these classes had eternal effects!
Check out my Sunday school lesson for this week, Oct 21, 2012:
God makes a covenant with Abram and gives him a new name
- God communicates with man.
- Faith pleases God; man must have faith in order to please God and be declared righteous (to be saved).
- God knows everything.
Do you remember the story from last week? Mr Korpi told you about a man that God called and sent to a new land. Do you remember the man’s name? Abram. That’s his name. Everyone has a name right? Who gave you your name?
(Show pic for #7)
Well Abram is the name his mommy and daddy gave him. But God gave him a new name. Do you know what it is? Abraham. Let’s look at God’s word and find out why God named him Abraham.
First off, God spoke to Abram. He said, “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” God is Abram’s protector. And ours too! God spoke to Abram, and he speaks to us, with his Word, the Bible. If we didn’t have the Bible, we wouldn’t know anything about God.
So God told Abram not to be afraid, but Abram was afraid. He was afraid because he didn’t have any children. And God took Abram outside and told him to look at the stars. (LOOK: Use coloring page to show stars. Ask if they can count stars in the sky. But God knows how many there are. God knows everything.) Well, we can’t count the stars, but God told Abram that he would have that many children and grandchildren.
That’s a big promise. Can God keep his promise? Why?
God gave Abram a promise. Do you think Abram believed God? He did. He believed God and that made God happy. Believing God means having faith. And God’s word says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith pleases God.
What was the promise God made to Abram? That he would have as many children as there are stars in the sky! And that is why God gave Abram a new name… (Coloring book pic for lesson 6) What is this man’s name? (Pic for lesson 7, part 1) But now he has a new name. What is it? Abraham. Do you know why he called him Abraham instead of Abram? It’s because Abraham means “father of nations.” And that’s what God promised that he would have a lot of children and be the father of nations.
Ishmael, although not the promised son, is still the seed of Abraham
- God is faithful.
God promised to multiply Ishmael’s descendants because he was the seed of Abram; God renewed his promise to Abram.
- God is sovereign.
- God knows everything
(Pic from lesson 7, part 2) Do you know who this baby is? His name is Ishmael, and he is Abram’s first son. But he is not the son that God promised to Abram. God promised a special baby to Abram and Sarai, but it wasn’t Ishmael. God is still good to Ishmael though, because Abram asked God to have mercy on him.
God promised Abram and Sarai a son, but they got impatient. That means they got tired of waiting. They were really old. So they made a plan for Abram to have a baby with a lady named Haggar. They wanted to rush God. But that’s not what God promised. God promised that Sarai would have a baby for Abram. We can’t rush God, because he is sovereign. That means he’s the boss.
But even though Ishmael wasn’t the son that God promised, Abram prayed and asked God to not forget his son Ishmael. Since Abram had faith, and was righteous, the bible says that “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” So God heard Abram’s faithful prayer, and promised to be good to him.
And God kept his promise to give Abraham and Sarah a son. They named him Isaac. Isaac means “laughter.” They named him that because when God told them they would have a son, they laughed. So they named him Laughter.
I just had a baby, and I gave her a name too. I called her Johanna. Johanna means “God is gracious.” God will keep his promise to be gracious to you if you have faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Let’s pray.
What a blessing it is to “teach [God’s Word] diligently to your children.” (Deut 6)