Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

God Makes a Covenant with Abram

Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-21; Hebrews 11:8

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jacob Blesses Judah (Genesis 49:8-12)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

Opening Prayer

Father of the Jews? (Galatians 3)
    Who did the Jews consider as their father?
      Joshua 24:3 = Abraham
    What, if any, relationship do Christians have with Abraham?
      Galatians 3:6-7 = Abraham is our father
    Why is it important that we are officially considered as children of Abraham?
      Galatians 3:26-29 = As children of Abraham, we are heirs to the promise
    What does it means to be heirs of Abraham's promise?
      Galatians 3:10-14 = Christ took our curse so we could receive A's blessing by faith

Abram's Family Tree (Genesis 11:27-32)
    Who were the members of Abram's family?
      Genesis 11:27-29 = Complete Family Tree on board (except Sarai-Terah line)
    How was Abram related to Sarai other than marriage?
      Genesis 20:12 = His half-sister, Complete Tree
    Did this family stay in Ur of the Chaldeans?
      Genesis 11:31-32 = Terah, Abram, Lot & Sarai left Ur for Canaan & settled in Haran
      Ur = Center of Sumer, 1st great civilization. Modern, wealthy, advanced city
      Haran = 600 miles from Ur, Different Hebrew spelling than Abram's brother

The Call (Genesis 12:1-3)
    Did God want this family to stay in Haran?
      Genesis 12:1 = No, God told Abram to leave everything he knew & follow Him
    What did God promise Abram in response for his obedience? = Make name great
      Genesis 12:2-3 = I will bless you...so you will be a blessing...all the peoples of the earth
    How were all nations blessed through Abram?
      Matthew 1:1, 17 = Jesus descended from David, who descended from Abraham
      Galatians 3:8-9 = We are blessed with righteousness through faith
    Was Abram selected because he was righteous or devout?
      Joshua 24:2 = No, his family worshipped idols

Abram's Response (Genesis 12:4-6)
    What was Abram's response to God's call?
      Genesis 12:4 = Abram left, 75 yrs old
    How was he able to leave everything he knew at such an old age?
      Hebrews 11:8-10 = By faith A obeyed & went, tho he didn't know where he was going
    What questions, explanations and details did Abram ask of God?
      Genesis 12:5-6 = None (Not Where, When, How or Why), He just obeyed

Another Promise (Genesis 12:7-8)
    What new promise did God give after Abram obeyed His first command?
      Genesis 12:7a = Promise of land of Canaan to Abram's offspring

    Why was offspring a significant part of God's promise?
      Genesis 11:30 = Sarai was barren (Gen 12:4 - Abram was 75 yrs old)
    How could someone so old become a father?
      Hebrews 11:11-12 = By faith Abraham became the father of multitudes
    Was it any easier for Abraham to have this faith than for us?
      Romans 4:18-22 = No, he had hope and faith against all hope, tho as good as dead

    Was God giving this land to Abram at this time?
      Acts 7:5 = Abram had no land, God promised to descendants although Abram had no kids
    How did Abram show his faithfulness to God?
      Genesis 12:7b-8 = Built altars

Promises to Abraham (Genesis 12-25)
    What promises did God make to Abram when He called him? = Write on board
      Genesis 12:2-3 = great nation, bless you, name great, be a blessing, all blessed thru you
    What was Abraham's responsibility under this agreement? = Separate column
      Genesis 12:1 = Leave & follow God

    What did God promise after Abram let Lot choose his land? = Add to board
      Genesis 13:14-16 = All visible land, offspring like dust of the earth
    What did God promise Abram after he rescued Lot and gave a tithe? (Gen 14) = Add to board
      Genesis 15:1 = I am your shield (protect you) & great reward (bless you)
      Genesis 15:12-16 = Descendants will be slaves 400 years but will return with great wealth
      Genesis 15:18 = Land from Brook of Egypt (Wadi, SW of Gaza) to Euphrates

    What promise did God make the year before Isaac was born, when Abram was 99 years old?
      Genesis 17:6-8 = Father of many nations & kings, eternal covenant, all Canaan
    What promise did God make to Abraham after he obeyed the command to sacrifice Isaac?
      Genesis 22:16-18 = Desc as stars in sky & sand on seashore; all nations blessed

    What did Abraham have to do in order to receive these promises? = Add under second column
      Genesis 15:6 = Have faith, believe

Blood Covenant
    Absolute & Unbreakable guarantee of a man's word; Bound two parties together as one
      Very serious & solemn - Reserved for only special & critical agreements
    Three large animals split down the spine
      Halves placed on the ground opposite each other
      Trail of blood between the halves was called the Way of Blood
        May this happen to me if I break this covenant
    Parties exchanged coats - exchange of authority, What I have is yours
      Exchanged weapons - My strength is yours, Your enemies are mine
      Walked twice through the Way of Blood
      Met each other in the center
        Stated pledges of agreement - the Blessing of the Covenant
        Curse for breaking the covenant was pronounced
        Parties swore by their god, making him a third party
      Cut hands & wrists - the Cut of the Covenant
        Bound wrists together to intermingle the blood
      Joined names together
    Ate a covenant meal of bread & wine together (Bread for flesh, wine for blood)
      Represented willingness to lay down lives for each other

God's Covenant with Abram (Genesis 15)
    How did God guarantee his covenant with Abram?
      Genesis 15:8-11 = God had Abram prepare a blood covenant
    Did both Abram and God walk through the Way of Blood?
      Genesis 15:12, 17 = No, only God did; One-sided covenant
    What was significant about the smoking firepot and flaming torch?
      Exodus 13:21 (Ex 3:2; 19:18; Acts 2:3) = God with Israelites in pillars of cloud & fire

    How did God guarantee His covenant with us?
      Hebrews 7:22 = Jesus is the guarantee of the better covenant
    How did Jesus act as the Way of Blood?
      Hebrews 9:12 = not by blood of goats & lambs but by his own blood

God Confirms His Covenant (Genesis 17:1-8)
    What did God do around 15 years later to remind Abram of His covenant?
      Genesis 17:1-2 = Confirm His covenant, Greatly increase Abram's numbers
    Why did God change Abram's name to Abraham? = Right to give name belonged to owner
      Genesis 17:3-5 = for I have made you a father of many nations
      Abram / Abraham = Mean the (my) father is exalted & father of many

    What was Abraham's responsibility under this covenant?
      Genesis 17:9-10, 14 = All males circumcised, visible sign reminding Israel of special calling
    How long did it take Abraham to complete what God commanded?
      Genesis 17:23 = On that very day

Justified by Circumcision? (Romans 4)
    Was Abraham justified (deemed righteous) & blessed because of his circumcision?
      Romans 4:9-11a = Abraham was righteous by faith, before he was circumcised
    Are God's promises to Abraham's descendants only to the Jews (circumcised)?
      Romans 4:11b-12 = promises to those of faith, not circumcised
    How did Abraham receive the promise? By obeying the law?
      Romans 4:13-15 = No. Through the righteousness that comes by faith
    How can we be heirs to the promises God made to Abraham?
      Romans 4:16-18 = Promise comes by faith; Abraham is father of the faithful in God's sight
    How can righteousness be credited to us?
      Romans 4:22-25 = Righteousness will be credited to those who trust in Christ

God's Covenant Through Sarah (Genesis 17:15-16)
    Why did God change Sarai's name to Sarah? = Name change indicates change point in life
      Genesis 17:15-16 = Mother of nations & kings
      Sarai / Sarah = Mean Haran moon goddess & princess (royalty would come from her)
    How did this differ from Abraham's understanding of God's plan?
      Genesis 17:17-18 = He thought God would fulfill promises thru Ishmael

    Why did God wait until Abraham & Sarah were old before bringing Isaac? = Isaac - he laughs
      Genesis 17:19 = Only possible by God, Ishmael from A taking matters in his own hand
    How had God introduced Himself to Abram, and why?
      Genesis 17:1 = El Shaddai (God Almighty), total control over nature, inc Sarai's barrenness
      Jeremiah 32:27 = I am the Lord ... Is anything too hard for me?
    What is the significance of circumcision instituted before Isaac?
      Colossians 2:11-12 = Chosen to be cut off from sinful world before covenant child comes

Closing Prayer

Abram's Family Tree
                              +---------------- Nahor
                              |                 |
                              |           +---- Milcah
                  Terah-------+---- Haran-+---- Iscah
                              |           +---- Lot
                              +---- Abram
                              |     |
                              +---- Sarai  (barren)

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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