November 22, 2020 – Genesis 21 – 22

Lesson Date: November 22, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 21:1-8; 22:1-18

AIM: To lead students to discover that God provided a substitute sacrifice so Isaac did not have to die, and to give them an opportunity to trust in the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 21 – 22 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the words “Promise” and “Substitute” on the board. Write the following scripture references on index cards or small pieces of paper: Genesis 12:2; 13:16; 15:4-5; 17:19; 18:10; Galatians 3:8-9, 13-14, 16, 29; Hebrews 11:11, 17-19; and James 1:13-14. Enlist some volunteers who are comfortable reading aloud to look up these verses and be ready to read them when called upon.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the word “Promise” written on the board. Ask them what a promise is (a pledge, commitment, or vow). Ask: “Have you ever had to wait a long time for a promise to be kept?”

Direct the students’ attention to the word “Substitute” written on the board. Ask them what a substitute is (someone who stands in for or takes the place of someone else). Ask: “What are some circumstances when one person substitutes or stands in for another?” (they might name substitute teachers who fill in for regular teachers, or employees who stand in for fellow employees who are out sick or on vacation).

Tell the class in today’s lesson we are going to learn about a very important substitute, but first we are going to learn that God kept a very important promise to Abraham.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the book of Genesis.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the dangers of sin and sinful associations; Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah).
  2. The Birth of Isaac.
    • Read Genesis 21:1-2, emphasizing the phrases “as he had said” and “as he had spoken” in verse 1 and “of which God had spoken to him” in verse 2.
    • Direct the class’ attention to the word “Promise” written on the board and remind them that for 25 years God had been promising to give Abraham and Sarah a son.
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read the following verses: Genesis 12:2; 13:16; 15:4-5; 17:19; and 18:10.
    • Even though God waited 25 years to fulfill this particular promise, He did fulfill it. God can always be trusted to do as He has said.
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Hebrews 11:11.
    • Read Genesis 21:3-8.
    • Abraham and Sarah rejoiced at the birth of their baby boy. Abraham was 100 years old and had been in Canaan for 25 years.
    • Later, Sarah and Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away from the family for good, but God still cared for them and blessed them.
    • Summarize: After 25 years of waiting, God gave Abraham and Sarah the son He had promised. They named him Isaac, just as God had told them.
  3. God Tested Abraham.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 22:1-2.
    • Explain the following:
      • The word tempt in verse 1 actually means, “test.”
      • God did not try to tempt Abraham to do evil.
      • The Bible clearly states that God does not ever do this.
      • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read James 1:13-14.
      • God tested Abraham’s faith and trust in Him.
    • Ask: “What did God tell Abraham to do?” (offer Isaac as a burnt offering).
    • Be sure the class understands that a burnt offering involved killing the sacrificial animal and burning its flesh on an altar.
    • Tell the class that Mount Moriah (locate on the map of Canaan) is the ancient name for what became the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
      • The Jewish temples built by Solomon, Zerubbabel, and Herod all sat on that mountain.
      • It is currently the site of the Muslim Dome of the Rock mosque.
      • The book of Revelation assures us that a new Jewish Temple will one day be on that very spot.
    • Read Genesis 22:3.
    • Ask: “How did Abraham respond to God’s strange instruction?” (he obeyed).
    • Read Genesis 22:4-6.
    • Tell the class that Abraham, Isaac, and his servants arrived at Mount Moriah.
    • Ask: “What did Abraham tell his servants?” (he and his son would go worship, after which they would return).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 22:7-8.
    • Tell the class that Isaac asked a very reasonable question – where is the sacrificial lamb?
    • Ask: “How did Abraham answer Isaac?” (he said, “God will provide Himself a lamb”).
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Hebrews 11:17-19.
    • Read Genesis 22:9-10.
    • Ask: “Was Abraham really going to go through with it?” (yes).
    • Summarize: God tested Abraham’s faith by telling him to sacrifice his promised son. Abraham obeyed God’s instructions.
  4. God Intervened and Provided a Substitute.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 22:11-13.
    • Ask: “Who called out to Abraham?” (the angel of the Lord, which was a pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ).
    • God told Abraham not to kill his son.
    • Ask: “What did God say He now knew about Abraham?” (that he feared God and would not withhold anything from Him).
    • Direct the class’ attention to the word “Substitute” written on the board.
    • Ask: “What did God provide as a substitute sacrifice in Isaac’s place?” (a ram that was caught in a bush).
    • Tell the class that animal experts say it is impossible for a ram to be caught by its horns in a bush, but this one was!
    • Ask: “What did Abraham do?” (he freed Isaac and offered the ram in his place).
    • Remind the class that verse 8 says Abraham believed God would provide an animal for the burnt offering. That’s exactly what He did!
    • Tell the students that verse 14 says Abraham named the place Jehovah-jireh, which means, “The Lord will provide.”
    • Summarize: God stopped Abraham from killing his son and provided a sacrificial animal for the burnt offering.
  5. God Reaffirmed His Promises to Abraham.
    • Read Genesis 22:15-18.
    • Tell the students that God was pleased with Abraham’s faith. He restated some of the promises He had previously made to Abraham.
    • Ask: “What promise did He restate in verse 17?” (that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sand on the seashore).
    • Ask: “What promise did God restate in verse 18?” (all nations of the earth will be blessed through Abraham’s descendants).
    • Ask: “How is that possible?” (through Jesus Christ).
    • Explain the following:
      • The Lord Jesus Christ is a direct descendant of Abraham.
      • People of all tribes, tongues, and nations have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
      • Because of this, all nations have been blessed through Abraham.
    • Ask the previously enlisted volunteer(s) to read Galatians 3:8-9, 29.
    • Summarize: God was pleased with the faith Abraham exhibited in his willingness to offer his Son. The Lord reaffirmed the promises He had previously made to Abraham.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the class’ attention to the word “Promise” written on the board. God made a promise to Abraham, and after 25 years He kept it. Ask: “Do you think you might have grown doubtful over the course of 25 years?” (yes, and Abraham did, too).

Direct the students’ attention to the word “Substitute” written on the board. Isaac was going to die as a sacrifice, but God provided a substitute in the form of the ram.

Explain to the class that Isaac was a type (a representation or symbol) of Jesus Christ. Tell them Isaac was an Old Testament representation of Christ in the following ways:

  • God promised to give Abraham and Sarah a son, but they had to wait a long time before that promise was fulfilled. In the same way, God promised to send His Son into the world, but centuries passed before He was finally born in Bethlehem.
  • Jesus was born of a virgin, while Isaac came forth from the dead womb of a ninety-year-old woman.
  • Isaac was the son through whom God’s covenant promises were passed down to the Jews, while Jesus is the One through whom the promise of redemption is fulfilled to all those who believe in Him.
  • Isaac was bound and placed on a sacrificial altar on Mount Moriah, while Jesus was nailed to a cross and died as the perfect and final sacrifice very near that same spot.
  • Jesus arose from the dead, and the Bible tells us Abraham symbolically received Isaac back from the dead.

Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Galatians 3:13-14, 16. Tell the class God provided a substitute sacrifice so Isaac did not have to die; and in the same way He provided a substitute sacrifice for us in the person of His Son. Since Jesus took our place, those who trust Him for salvation do not have to pay the penalty they deserve for their sin.

Tell the students one of the wonderful promises God makes to us in the Bible is: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13). Encourage anyone who has never received Christ to trust in the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Voice a closing prayer of thanks and commitment.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Genesis 22:8. Encourage them to find some promises in the Bible, memorize them, and believe them.

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