Lesson 19 第十九课

God renewed His promises to Abram

Scripture: Genesis 13:5-17

Genesis 15:5-6, 12-16

Genesis 17:1-5, 15-17


1.      Lot moved away from Abram.

   Abram and Lot settled together with all they owned in the land of Canaan.

Abram was very rich. He had many cattle, sheep and goats. Lot, Abrams nephew, was also rich like his uncle.

Because Abram and Lot had many sheep and cattle, there wasn't enough grass and water for their animals.

   Trouble developed between the servants taking care of Abram’s and Lot’s herds. 

Read Genesis 13:5-7

Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also very wealthy with sheep, cattle, and many tents. 6 But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together. There were too many animals for the available pastureland. 7 So an argument broke out between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot. At that time Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land.

    Abram had a solution which he proposed to Lot.

Read Genesis 13:8-9

So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left."

   Lot chose to move to the fertile plain.

Read Genesis 13:10-11

Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the LORD or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 Lot chose that land for himself-- the Jordan Valley to the east of them. He went there with his flocks and servants and parted company with his uncle Abram.

Lot chose the grassy plain because it was well-watered and had plenty of grass for his animals.

Even though Lot believed and trusted in God, he didn’t consider how this move to live with ungodly people would affect him and his family and their knowledge of God. Lot was thinking about how to make more money. 

   We have already learned that it is foolish to ignore God.

o  Because Cain made a foolish decision to ignore God, all his descendants were drowned in the flood. 

o  Because Lot chose prosperity, some terrible things later happened to him and his family.

   Be careful of the choices you make. 

Don’t be like Cain or Lot. You may have to make a choice between taking time to make money and taking time to listen to God’s message. Which will you choose? If you choose to turn away from listening to God’s Word, you will regret it forever when you are in the place of everlasting punishment. Riches will not help you if you die and go to the Lake of Fire.

   Lot made the wrong choice. 

Read Genesis 13:12-13

So while Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, Lot moved his tents to a place near Sodom, among the cities of the plain. 13 The people of this area were unusually wicked and sinned greatly against the LORD.

Abram stayed up in the rocky, less fertile hills and mountains of Canaan. Lot moved down to the fertile plain and settled near the city of Sodom. 

   The people in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were very wicked.

Sodom and Gomorrah were cities in this fertile plain that Lot had chosen. The people who lived in these cities didn’t want to know about God or what He wanted them to do. They only thought of themselves and satisfying their evil desires. But even though the people in those cities weren’t thinking about God, He saw all they did. He was their creator and He rightfully owned them, even though they were following Satan. 

   God is still the same. 

Just as God knew about the people in Sodom and Gomorrah, God knows all about people today. Although people may choose to reject God and follow Satan, they still rightfully belong to God. When He decides He has given people enough time to repent, He will judge and punish them.

Just as God was watching the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah to see if they would repent and believe in Him, God is also watching each one of you to see if you will repent and believe in Him.

2.    God renewed His promises to Abram. 

After Lot moved away from Abram, the Lord spoke to Abram. The Lord encouraged and reassured Abram that He, God, would be with him and that His promises to Abram would all be fulfilled.

   God promised again to give Abram all of the land of Canaan. 

Read Genesis 13:14-17

After Lot was gone, the LORD said to Abram, "Look as far as you can see in every direction. 15 I am going to give all this land to you and your offspring as a permanent possession. 16 And I am going to give you so many descendants that, like dust, they cannot be counted! 17 Take a walk in every direction and explore the new possessions I am giving you." 

   God promised Abram that he would have many descendants. 

Read Genesis 15:5-6

Then the LORD brought Abram outside beneath the night sky and told him, "Look up into the heavens and count the stars if you can. Your descendants will be like that-- too many to count!" 6 And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD declared him righteous because of his faith. 

One night, God took Abram outside of his tent and told him to look up and count the stars if he could. God then promised Abram that his descendants would be as many as the stars, even though Abram did not have any children at this time.

Think about that. How many stars can you see in the sky on a cloudless night? There are so many stars that you cannot even count them. 

How could Abram have so many descendants? Abram and Sarai had been married for many years and were old, but they had never been able to have a child.

Although it seemed impossible for Abram that his descendants would be unable to be counted just like the stars are unable to be counted, Abram believed God. Abram trusted that God would give him a child and that God would send the Deliverer as one of his descendants. 

Because Abram believed God, God accepted Abram as if he had no sin. Abram was a sinner, but because of his trust in God, God accepted him as if he was perfectly righteous.

 

3.    God told Abram what would happen to his descendants. 

Read Genesis 15:12-16

Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15 "As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 "Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."

God knew all that would happen to Abram’s descendants before they were ever born.


   All of the future is known to God.

Do you know what will happen next week or next year or in ten years? Do you know what will happen in 100 years or 200 years? No person can tell what will happen in the future, but God knew what was going to happen to Abrams descendants. God knows everything. God knew about their future, and He knows all about your future as well.

 

4.    God gave new names to Abram and Sarai.

Read Genesis 17:1-5

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to make you into a mighty nation." 3 At this, Abram fell face down in the dust. Then God said to him, 4 "This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of not just one nation, but a multitude of nations! 5 What's more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram; now you will be known as Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. 

   God changed Abram’s name when he was 99 years old.

Not many people live to that age now, but in those days, people lived longer than they do today. 

God changed Abram’s name to Abraham because God promised he would become the father of many descendants. Abraham means “father of a multitude of children.”

Read Genesis 17:15-16

Then God added, "Regarding Sarai, your wife-- her name will no longer be Sarai; from now on you will call her Sarah. 16 And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings will be among her descendants!" 

   God changed Sarai’s name when she was 90 years old.

Even though Sarai was so old and had never been able to have a child, God promised she would have a son. God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah because she would become the mother of many descendants. Sarah means “mother of nations.” 

Read Genesis 17:17

Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. "How could I become a father at the age of one hundred?" he wondered. "Besides, Sarah is ninety; how could she have a baby?"

   Because God is almighty, He could give a son to Abraham and Sarah. 

Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was 90 years old. They were too old to have a son, but nothing is impossible to God.

   All life comes from God. 

God gave life to the first man and woman. God created Adam and Eve out of the dust of the ground. He breathed into them and gave them life. He is the almighty God who gave life to you and your children. Because of His great power, He was able to give a son to Abraham and Sarah, even though they had passed the age of having children.

Abraham believed God and he laughed with joy because he was so amazed that God was going to do this great thing. To man, it was impossible. But Abraham knew God could do anything He wanted, so he trusted in God.


Discussion Questions

 

1.     Why did Lot move away from Abram?

2.     Why did Lot choose to live on the plain near Sodom?

3.     Did Lot consider how this move would affect him and his family and their knowledge of God?

4.     If a person does not choose to listen to God, will he regret it?

5.     How did God know about the wickedness of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah?

6.     Can any person hide his thoughts, words or actions from God?

7.     What land did God promise to give Abram?

8.     How many descendants did God promise to Abram?

9.     Why did it seem impossible that Abram’s descendants would be unable to be counted?

10.     What was Abram’s response when God promised that he would have many descendants?

11.     Why did God accept Abram as if he had no sin?

12.     What did God say would happen to Abram’s descendants?

13.     Who knows the future of every person?

14.     What new name did God give to Abram?

15.     What does the name, Abraham, mean?

16.     What new name did God give to Sarai?

17.     What does the name, Sarah, mean?

18.     Why couldn’t Abraham and Sarah have a child unless God performed a miracle?

19.     Who gives life to every person?

20.     Is anything impossible for God?