Take time to travel through the story

A public domain image: Abram Called to be a Blessing
(In Canaan) the Lord appeared to Abram and promised:
“I will give this land to your family forever.”
Abram then built an altar there for the Lord.
(Genesis 12:7)

The story of Abraham and Sarah winds it’s way through several chapters in Genesis, so here is a reading plan that breaks it down into manageable chunks. Print out this plan and over the course of several days (weeks!), have your family read the story together. Included are activities and questions to go with each reading!

a girl readingIf you’d like to print out this reading plan/discussion guide, click here.

Read in Genesis Talk about or do…
12:1 If God called you to suddenly move to a not-named spot, would it be an adventure, or something to avoid? Would you go? What would you pack?
12:1-5 Abram faithfully goes! He doesn’t know where he is headed! (The Bible can look in hindsight and tell us that he went to a land called Canaan.) Someone’s actions reveal their character. What type of person is Abram? What would you like your actions to reveal about you?
12:1,4 Have each person take a turn at being led while blindfolded. Talk about how this felt. (Trust was required!) How is our walk with God sort of like a blind faith walk?
12:4-7 Hey, wait a minute! But God said he’d give Abram this land and yet the Canaanites seem to have gotten there first. Yet what does Abram do? (Hint: 12:7 – he hears a repeated promise of land & builds an altar to worship God.) Name a time when your expectations didn’t meet what happened. How did you react?
11:31, 12:1 See if you can find on a map, all the places where Abram went. (Try this one.) Can you figure out how far Abram and Sarai traveled? What is the longest trip you’ve ever taken?
12:1-3 What does it mean to be blessed? (Ans: that you’ve received something good.) What does it mean to be a blessing? As Thanksgiving approaches, collect a list of your blessings. Everyone write or draw a blessing. Place them in your box you made in the Art Workshop! (or save them up if you haven’t visited Art yet.)
12:1-7 God has both made commands and promises to Abram. What has God asked Abram to do? What are his promises? Why does the promise to make Abram into a great nation (which requires lots of offspring) seem like a farfetched dream? (Hint: 11:30) What outrageous promises have you received?
13:14b-18 God is reminding Abram of the promises he has made. Abram used altars he built out of rocks to remind himself of encounters with God. Go on a walk and gather a few stones. Take them home & build a table-sized “altar.” Periodically restack the stones. Remember God is always with you.
15:1-7 Abram doesn’t bottle up his feelings! He tells God about his doubts. When have you doubted God? (It is okay to share your doubts with God!) What reminders of his promises has God given you?
15:5 Plan a star gazing night. What do the number of stars represent for you?
15:18a, 17:1-4 What is a covenant? (Look up the definition in your Bible dictionary.) A covenant is like a special agreement including a promise. What examples of covenants (special promises) can you think of? Write a family covenant that everyone can participate in. Bonus Q: What does the little “a” mean, after the 18?
17:1-9 How old is Abram? (99!) Look back at 12:4 to see how old Abram was when our story started. How many years has Abram waited for God’s promises? Why do you suppose God waited so long to fulfill the promise of a son? What can we discover in waiting for God’s promises?
17:3-5, 15 Caregivers: provide the story of how your child’s name was chosen. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? What if your name change signified a change in relationship with God?
17:7-9 What does God mean when he says that this is an “everlasting covenant?” What does this mean for us? Hint: check out 17:7 (it’s our key Bible verse). Develop a family cheer using the words: “God is our God!”
18:1-15 Who are these three visitors? What do you make of the way Abraham treats them? How do you treat visitors?
17:15-17, 18:10-15 Why do Abraham and Sarah laugh? Tell about a time you laughed at an inopportune time. Speculate about what makes God laugh.
21:1-3 What does this story teach you about God? What long-awaited event has brought you the most joy?
Bonus questions: How are Jacob & Esau related to Abraham? How about Joseph? Draw the family tree.

Photo credits: Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Abram worships God in thanks for God’s promises, by Providence Lithograph Company, circa 1906; in the Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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