Aim to know God’s plan for Abraham

* to know God’s plan for Abraham
* to understand the relevance of the story to our own lives

* Bible story of Abraham – Genesis 15: 9-13 dividing animals, Genesis 22: 1-18 offering Isaac
* Large pictures of Abraham, heifer, she-goat, ram, dove and pigeon
* Papers showing how to draw a goat, sheep, cow and birds
* Papers showing how to make a paper aeroplane
* Children’s worksheet


Lesson Outline
1. Facts about Abraham
2. The Principles of Restoration
3. Restoration in Abraham’s Family
4. What Can we learn from the story?
5. Activities – worksheet, draw animals, make paper aeroplanes, act the story
6. Review lesson aims
7. End with a prayer


Note: There is enough content here for two lessons. One lesson could focus on Abraham’s first condition and one on the second condition. If it is taught as one lesson I would suggest beginning the lesson on point 3 – Restoration in Abraham’s family.

1)Facts about Abraham
a) Ask children facts about Abraham and Isaac to help tell the story. Write down the facts they know on the whiteboard
* God chose Abraham 400 years and 10 generations after Noah. 
* He is known as “the father of faith.”
* He was the son of Terah, a rich idol maker. 
* God asked him to leave his country and father’s household and take his family to a land God would show him. He left in the middle of the night and wandered around like a gypsy.
* God changed his name from Abram (“lofty father”) to Abraham (“a father of many nations”). 
* God told him that he would be the father of many nations, and his children would inherit the land of Canaan. From his family the Israelites came, who were later called Jews. Abraham had two wives, Sarah and Hagar. Hagar was an Egyptian servant belonging to Sarah, but because Sarah couldn’t have children she gave Hagar to Abraham for a wife. Hagar had a son and called him Ishmael. His family became the ancestors of Muslims.
* God promised Abraham, that Sarah his wife would have a baby when they were very old. She was 90 and he was 100 when the child was born. He was called Isaac, which means “laughter,” and God chose his name
* God told Abraham that He planned to destroy the city of Sodom because of its sin. Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy Sodom, and God agreed that He would not destroy the city if there were 50 righteous people in it, then 45, then 30, then 20, or even 10 righteous people. Two angels who visited, only found one righteous person living in Sodom. This was Abraham’s nephew, Lot. 

Consequently, God decided to destroy the city, but two were angels were sent to Sodom to warn Lot of this. The angels took Lot, his wife, and his daughters out of their house, telling not to look back .Lot’s wife, did look back, and was turned into a pillar of salt. 

2)The Principles of Restoration
Review the main points about restoration:
* God’s purpose in history is to restore human beings to the original unfallen state so that we may fulfill the purpose of creation.
* But fallen man is in the midway position between God and Satan. To cut off from Satan each person must restore himself to the level Adam and Eve had grown and then receive the Messiah, to be fully restored.
* In order to receive the Messiah we must first separate ourselves from Satan by making two indemnity conditions: the foundation and faith and substance, which reverse the mistakes of the Fall.
* The foundation of faith is to restore Adam and Eve’s lack of faith in God’s word, by making a symbolic offering
* The foundation of substance is to restore their failure to develop a Godly nature and perfect their character, by getting rid of fallen nature

3) Restoration in Abraham’s Family
Review the previous attempts to make a foundation for the Messiah.
* The restoration chart shows where mankind was at the time of Abraham. They were still below  the formation stage, because the chosen people had failed to fulfill their responsibility.
* Adam’s family failed to make a foundation of substance (get rid of fallen nature), because Cain killed Abel.
* Noah’s family failed, because Ham did not unite with his father, so he couldn’t inherit Noah’s foundation of faith (obey and trust God)

1. Abraham Cutting Animals in two
Show large pictures of the animals. Read Genesis 15: 9-13 about Abraham cutting animals in two.

Principle Level 4 Explanation
God asked Abraham to sacrifice a heifer, a ram and she-goat, and a pigeon and a turtle dove (Gen 15:9). These three kinds of sacrificial offerings were the offerings required for restoring the Foundation of Faith. They symbolized all the things of the cosmos . . .

. . . . Abraham cut the offerings in two and laid one half against the other, except for the birds, which he did not cut in two. Birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abraham drove them away. That evening at sunset, God appeared to Abraham and said, “‘…Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years…'” (Gen 15:13). The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses because Abraham did not cut the birds in two. This caused the Israelites to suffer four hundred years of oppression. Then what was Abraham’s sin? It was his failure to divide the dove and the pigeon. 

In order for God to relate to anything, it must first be symbolically separated from Satan.  What were the consequences of his mistake ? Making up for the lost 400 years would require another 400 year period of separation from Satan. This was done through the Israelites’ 400 years of oppression in Egypt. If the symbolic offering had been successful, then the Foundation of Faith would have been restored. Then the work of establishing the Foundation of Substance would have taken place in Abraham’s family, centered on his sons. This would have involved an Indemnity Condition for Removing the Fallen Nature between Isaac, the second son, and Ishmael, the first son. There is no mention of this matter in the Bible because Abraham had already failed in his offering, which was to have restored the Foundation of Faith.

Foundation of Faith

Central Person Abraham
Offering a heifer, a ram & goat and a pigeon & dove
Time Period 3 days
Result: Because Abraham didn’t cut up the birds, the condition failed. God said his descendants would suffer for 400 years.

2. Abraham’s Offering of Isaac
Read Genesis 22: 1-18 about Abraham’s offering of Isaac.
Principle Level 4 Explanation
* Abraham was able to make this extremely difficult sacrifice in an acceptable manner (Gen 22:12) because of his absolute faith, obedience, and loyalty to God. At the point where Abraham was prepared to make the sacrifice, the absolute faith and obedience within Abraham’s heart left no room whatsoever for Satan’s accusation. Thus Satan had to leave Isaac. Separated from Satan, Isaac stood on the side of heaven, and God ordered Abraham not to kill Isaac. God had now recovered Isaac, who had been lost. In offering Isaac, Abraham symbolically killed himself for his failure and made it possible for Isaac to be set up as the resurrected Abraham. Through this offering, Abraham also met the condition for allowing Isaac to take his place as the central person for  the Foundation of Faith. Although Abraham and Isaac were two separate individuals, they represented one resurrected person. Consequently, the offering of Isaac marks the shift from Abraham to Isaac as the central person in Abraham’s family.

New Foundation of Faith centred on Isaac
Chosen Person Abraham Isaac
Offering Isaac a ram
Time Period three days
Result: When Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice, they both showed complete faith in God. Isaac became the new chosen person and the foundation of faith was successful.


4) What Can we learn from the story?
1. Man is changeable. God cannot be sure he will keep his promise. We can start out with great determination, but the next minute we give up. 
– We must keep a promise and finish what we start.

2. Abraham didn’t follow God’s instructions exactly. Doing most of it correctly is not enough
– We must listen carefully to instructions and carry them out precisely. If we don’t follow the correct recipe exactly, our cake won’t turn out right.

3. Satan looks for an opportunity to invade a condition. When Abraham was tired “birds of prey came down upon the carcasses” and later he “ fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” When we make a condition in front of God, we often reach a point where it can be difficult to keep going. Fear, doubt or tiredness may cause to stop. 
– We must break through difficulties in order to succeed.

4. Abraham had to pay indemnity for his mistakes. When Abraham failed the first condition, God asked him to do a more difficult one. If we do wrong we have to correct our mistakes. 
– We have to pay something back for a mistake, before we can continue as normal.

5. Abraham and Isaac both showed incredible faith and determination in the second condition. Abraham completely trusted and obeyed God. And Isaac, unlike Ham, completely and trusted and obeyed his father. Then God blessed them.
– When we trust and obey God’s word, God will bless us.

5) Activities
* Complete the worksheet
* Make paper aeroplanes, to practise following instructions exactly and to finish what we start
* Draw simple pictures of a goat, sheep, cow and birds
* Act out the story


6) Review the aims
To conclude ask each person what they could learn from today’s lesson. Refer to the lesson aims:
* to know God’s plan for Abraham
* to understand the relevance of the story to our own lives


7) End with a Prayer