Children’s Study – Abraham, Part 9

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Abraham – Part 9

Understand that everyone who has faith is a child of Abraham

[by Victor Torres]

In the last few months, we have been going through the story of Abraham. Some of you may have already noticed that his story is very long. In fact, some of you may have also noticed that the Old Testament where we can find all these old stories, the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the story of Noah and his sons, the story of the city of Babel and now the story of Abraham, is much longer than the New Testament.

[vocabulary]
Testament (n): [new meaning] proof or evidence that something exists or is true
Testament (n): [old meaning] a covenant between God and the human race

Why do we need to study all these stories? This is why:

2Ti 3:16 Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. (CEV)

[vocabulary]
Scriptures (n): the books of either the Old Testament or the New Testament or of both: the Bible

Everything in the Bible, including these old stories is useful for teaching and helping people. Everything in the Bible is good for correcting people and for showing them how to live. Those are the reasons why we need to study these stories.

As we study these stories, it is important to keep in mind that the words of God is also very, very deep. There are so much more that you can still learn even after reading the Bible in full and going through these studies.

Before we continue the story of Abraham, let’s review some of the things that we have learned about him:

• Abraham was called Abram before the Lord changed his name
• Abraham has a wife named Sarai, before the Lord changed her name to Sarah
• Sarah was barren, which means she could not have a child
• Abraham had a nephew named Lot who came with him when they left Ur to go to Canaan

It was the Lord who commanded Abraham to leave his country:

Gen 12:1 The LORD said to Abram: Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. (CEV)

The story of Abraham is about the faith in God we need to have in order to please Him.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out into a place which he was afterward going to receive for an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he went. (MKJV)

True faith is coupled with obedience. We cannot just say we believe in God and in Christ and not obey the things which He tells us. This kind of faith is dead.

Jas 2:17 Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead! (CEV)

So no matter how much you say you believe in God and Jesus Christ, if you continue to be disobedient or disrespectful to your parents, then your faith is useless.

Now I hope we are beginning to see how useful it is to know the story of Abraham. God is using Abraham’s story to show us how much we should trust Him, as Abraham trusted and obeyed Him by leaving Ur without knowing where he is going.

Gal 3:6 The Scriptures say that God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith.
Gal 3:7 And so, you should understand that everyone who has faith is a child of Abraham.
Gal 3:8 Long ago the Scriptures said that God would accept the Gentiles because of their faith. That’s why God told Abraham the good news that all nations would be blessed because of him.
Gal 3:9 This means that everyone who has faith will share in the blessings that were given to Abraham because of his faith. (CEV)

[vocabulary]
Gentiles (n) – a person who is not Jewish

The good news is that all nations would be blessed because of Abraham. That is truly good news! Abraham is also a symbol of our Lord, and all nations means all people will be blessed by having the faith of Abraham which is a symbol of the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are millions if not billions of people who die not even knowing who Jesus Christ is, but the Bible has been teaching since the beginning that these people will learn who Jesus Christ is and will have faith in Him and will also be saved. This is not what most Christian churches teach.

Let’s review the other things we learned about Abraham so far:

• When Abraham reached Canaan, that’s when the Lord appeared to him and promised him to bless him abundantly.

[vocabulary]
Abundantly [adv coming from the word abundant]: marked by great plenty

• After He promised Abraham to bless Him, the Lord decided to test Abraham’s faith by striking the land with famine.

[vocabulary]
Famine (n): an extreme scarcity of food

• Because of this famine, Abraham had to go to Egypt to search for food. This is when we saw Abraham telling his wife Sarah to lie for him and tell the pharaoh that she is his sister. The pharaoh gave many cattle, silver and gold to Abraham because he wanted to marry Sarah whom he taught was just Abraham’s sister. The pharaoh later discovered that Sarah was actually Abraham’s wife after the Lord plagued him and his house, so he had to release Sarah and send Abraham away.

[vocabulary]
Pharaoh (n): a ruler of ancient Egypt
Cattle (n): cows, bulls, or steers that are kept on a farm or ranch for meat or milk
Plague (v): to cause constant or repeated trouble, illness, etc., for (someone or something)

In this part of the story of Abraham, we learned how our faith in God fails from time to time. There is no one who is given a strong faith right away. Our faith needs to grow by going through trials or challenges in life.

Jas 1:3 You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested.
Jas 1:4 But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything. (CEV)

[vocabulary]
Endure [v] – to deal with or accept (something unpleasant)

Those who know God know the importance of these trials or challenges in life. God will not give us everything we want because that will only weaken our faith in Him, rather than strengthen it.

1Pe 1:7 Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. (CEV)

Let’s continue our review of the things we have learned about Abraham:

• Because Abraham and Lot had too much livestock (these were given by the pharaoh of Egypt), there was not enough grass for these animals to eat. So Lot and Abraham had to part ways. Abraham stayed in Canaan, and Lot decided to live in Sodom.

[vocabulary]
Livestock (n) – farm animals (such as cows, horses, and pigs) that are kept, raised, and used by people.

• About this time, the king of Sodom, along with four other kings, rebelled against king Chedorlaomer who ruled over them. Chedorlaomer defeated the king of Sodom and the four other kings who fought against him. After defeating the king of Sodom, Chedorlaomer took Lot and his possessions.

[vocabulary]
Possession (n) – the condition of having or owning something

• Abraham then went after Chedorlaomer to save his nephew Lot, and defeated king Chedorlaomer with only a few men.

This part of Abraham’s story where he beat a great king and his army with only 318 men also relates to the great things that we are able to do, even things that seem impossible, when we are given the faith of Jesus Christ:

Mat 17:20 Jesus replied: It is because you don’t have enough faith! But I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you. (CEV)

Let’s continue our review:

• After Abraham defeated Chedorlaomer, he gave a tithe of what he got from defeating him to Melchizedek, whom we learned is king of Salem [meaning king of peace], and who is also a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[vocabulary]
Tithe (n) – an amount of money that a person gives to a church which is usually equal to 1/10 of that person’s income.

We also have the peace that this world couldn’t give if we trust in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.

• We also saw the Lord telling Abraham to sacrifice a heifer, a female goat, a ram and a young pigeon to Him, as an answer to Abraham’s question:

Gen 15:8 But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it? [the land that the Lord promised, Canaan]” (CEV)

[vocabulary]
Heifer (n) – a young female cow; especially: one that has not had a calf
Ram (n) – an adult male sheep

We learned that these three types of animals are symbols of how God matures our faith and our understanding of His words.

• We also saw Abraham having a son whom he named Ishmael from a slave woman named Hagar.

We learned that Hagar is a symbol of our faith when we are still believing in the false teachings of Babylon. Ishmael is also a symbol of ourselves when we are still slaves of our flesh and the traditions of this world.

[vocabulary]
Babylon (n) – a city devoted to materialism and sensual pleasure

Last study we saw the Lord promising Abraham that he will have another son, and this time it will be from Sarah. We read that Sarah laughed at this promise because she and Abraham were too old to have a child. The Lord reassured them that they will indeed have a son, and the Lord told him to name his son Isaac.

This is the point where we are taking off and continuing the story of Abraham:

Gen 18:1 One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the LORD appeared to him.
Gen 18:2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground,
Gen 18:3 and said, “Please come to my home where I can serve you.
Gen 18:4 I’ll have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, then you can rest under the tree.
Gen 18:5 Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honored to serve you.” “Thank you very much,” they answered. “We accept your offer.”
Gen 18:6 Abraham quickly went to his tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get a large sack of flour and make some bread.”
Gen 18:7 After saying this, he rushed off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared.
Gen 18:8 He then served his guests some yogurt and milk together with the meat. While they were eating, he stood near them under the trees,
Gen 18:9 and they asked, “Where is your wife Sarah?” “She is right there in the tent,” Abraham answered.
Gen 18:10 One of the guests was the LORD, and he said, “I’ll come back about this time next year, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son.” Sarah was behind Abraham, listening at the entrance to the tent.
Gen 18:11 Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was well past the age for having children.
Gen 18:12 So she laughed and said to herself, “Now that I am worn out and my husband is old, will I really know such happiness?”
Gen 18:13 The LORD asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Does she doubt that she can have a child in her old age?
Gen 18:14 I am the LORD! There is nothing too difficult for me. I’ll come back next year at the time I promised, and Sarah will already have a son.”
Gen 18:15 Sarah was so frightened that she lied and said, “I didn’t laugh.” “Yes, you did!” he answered.
Gen 18:16 When the three men got ready to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked part of the way with them.
Gen 18:17 The LORD said to himself, “I should tell Abraham what I am going to do,
Gen 18:18 since his family will become a great and powerful nation that will be a blessing to all other nations on earth.
Gen 18:19 I have chosen him to teach his family to obey me forever and to do what is right and fair. Then I will give Abraham many descendants, just as I promised.”
Gen 18:20 The LORD said, “Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things.
Gen 18:21 Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren’t, I want to know about it.”
Gen 18:22 The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the LORD stayed with Abraham,
Gen 18:23 who asked, “LORD, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good?
Gen 18:24 Wouldn’t you spare the city if there are only fifty good people in it?
Gen 18:25 You surely wouldn’t let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right.”
Gen 18:26 The LORD replied, “If I find fifty good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed.”
Gen 18:27 Abraham answered, “I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, LORD, for daring to speak to you like this.
Gen 18:28 But suppose there are only forty-five good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?” “If I find forty-five good people,” the LORD replied, “I won’t destroy the city.”
Gen 18:29 “Suppose there are just forty good people?” Abraham asked. “Even for them,” the LORD replied, “I won’t destroy the city.”
Gen 18:30 Abraham said, “Please don’t be angry, LORD, if I ask you what you will do if there are only thirty good people in the city.” “If I find thirty,” the LORD replied, “I still won’t destroy it.”
Gen 18:31 Then Abraham said, “I don’t have any right to ask you, LORD, but what would you do if you find only twenty?” “Because of them, I won’t destroy the city,” was the LORD’s answer.
Gen 18:32 Finally, Abraham said, “Please don’t get angry, LORD, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only ten good people there.” “For the sake of ten good people,” the LORD told him, “I still won’t destroy the city.”
Gen 18:33 After speaking with Abraham, the LORD left, and Abraham went back home.

Next study, Lord willing, we will look at this part of Abraham’s story more closely and learn valuable lessons from it. We will also answer the questions you have submitted regarding this part of Abraham’s story.

[Notes: All definitions of the vocabulary words came from Merriam-Webster dictionary. Most of the time, the simple definition is used and not the full definition in the dictionary.]

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