Aims to learn the meaning of sacrifice

Aims:
1. To learn the meaning of sacrifice
2. To learn that God blessed Abraham because he obeyed God completely


Materials:
* Bible passages – Genesis 21:1-19
* large pictures of the story
* worksheets
* coloured pencils


Lesson Outline
1. Introduction
2. Story
3. Questions about the story
4. Discussion about sacrifice and obedience
5. Activities – worksheets, act out the story, “Will you do it?” game, maze
6. Review the aims
7. Prayer


1) Introduction
* Review the story of Abraham so far.
God needed someone who loved and trusted Him so much that he would obey all His commands.
He chose Abraham and promised to make a great nation from his descendants if he obeyed.
Abraham did exactly as he was told, except for one thing. God asked him to make a burnt offering and to cut some animals in half: a goat, a ram, a dove, a pigeon, and a heifer. But he didn’t cut up
the birds. Because of this failure, God said Abraham’s descendants would suffer in another country for 400 years. This happened when they became slaves under the Egyptian rulers. 
Because Abraham failed to cut the birds in half, he needed restore this failure. God asked him to make a new offering to test his obedience.


2) Story
Genesis 21:1-19
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” 

Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the
place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We
will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he
reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!””Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The
LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” 

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your
only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”


3) Questions about the story

* What does the word sacrifice mean?

* To give something up

* Why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice his own son?
– To restore his failure to fulfill the animal sacrifice to divide all the animals
– To test Abraham’s obedience to God above everything else

* Where did Abraham and Isaac go to make the offering?
– The mountains of Moriah

* How did Abraham feel about sacrificing his own son?
– Horrified, heavy in his heart, sad

* What did Isaac ask his father?
– Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?

* What did Abraham answer?
– God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son

* How did Isaac feel and think when he was tied up on the altar?
– Afraid, obedient, trusting, accepting, brave

* What did the angel say?
– Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

* What did Abraham use as the offering?
– A ram

* What did the angel promise?
– God will bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.
– Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies.
– Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.

 

4) Discussion
1. What does the story teach us about sacrifice?
– Sometimes God asks people give up something they treasure the most, because he wants them to put God first. Abraham did this because he loved God even more than his son, even though it was the most difficult thing he could ever do.

– Think about the thing you have that you treasure the most. Is it a toy? A picture? Now imagine having to give up that thing. Imagine seeing it destroyed. How does that make you feel? 

– When we sacrifice something we think we will lose, but not is not always the case. For example, if you give piece of cake to your brother or sister instead of eating it yourself, when you see how
happy she or he becomes, you will also feel happy. You have given love by sacrificing something for them and you feel God’s love inside your heart in return.

– Sacrificing for someone is also a way to show you love them

2. What does this story teach us about obedience?
– Because Abraham obeyed God he received God’s blessing in return. If you obey your parents you also will receive God’s blessing in return
Abraham didn’t understand why he had to sacrifice his son. Often we have to obey even though we can’t understand the reason for it. When someone asks you to do something and you feel like
saying, “no” say a prayer and ask God to help you.

 

5) Activities
* Act out the story
* Worksheet – Colour the picture and write the missing words
* Dot-to-dot picture
* Maze – help Abraham find the way to the top of the mountain

* Play “Will You Do it?”
Have the children line up in a horizontal line across the back of the room.  All the children listen to your question and respond with, “Yes, I do”.  You then issue the command and they all may
respond.  In this game everyone will be a winner when they reach you.  (Adjust the commands according to your room size, so that they can reach you by the time you’ve finished asking the
questions.)

1.  Mother asks you to turn the TV off.  Will you get up and do it without saying, “wait”?  (You may take 3 baby steps forward)
2.  Teacher asks you to stop talking in class when she’s talking.  Will you stop talking?  (You may take 4 little hops forward)
3.  Big brother asks you not to play in his room while he is at school.  Will you stay out of his room?   (You may take 1 giant step forward)
4.  Grandmother tells you eating cookie dough is bad for you.  Will you keep your fingers out of the mixing bowl when she’s not looking?  (You may take 2 scissor steps forward)
5.  Daddy tells you to come straight home from school and not stop for any reason.  Will you go straight home even though your friend calls from his house to come see his new kittens?  (You may
take 3 side-winder steps forward)

 

6) Conclusion
* Review the two aims of the lesson
1. To learn the meaning of sacrifice
2. To learn that God blessed Abraham because he obeyed God completely

 

7) End with a prayer

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thirdManish Saluja