April 13, 2020

Ep. 7 - Abram

Ep. 7 - Abram

Genesis 11:29 – 13:18.  The world starts to become evil again.  God wants to use Abram to fight against the rising tide.  But will Abram trust God to lead him?  #bible #stories #kids #adventist #sda #abram #abraham  Want to get a hold of "Papa"?  papas...

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Genesis 11:29 – 13:18.  The world starts to become evil again.  God wants to use Abram to fight against the rising tide.  But will Abram trust God to lead him?  

#bible #stories #kids #adventist #sda #abram #abraham  

Want to get a hold of "Papa"?  papasbiblestories@gmail.com


After the Flood, and after God confused people’s languages at the Tower of Babel, people really spread out and filled the Earth.  People went out in all directions; exploring, and looking for new and exciting places to live.  It would have been a time of great adventure.  You know, it was during this time that many of the famous nations in the Bible were founded – Canaan, Nineveh, Babylon, and Moab just to name a few.  Actually, around this time, founding nations was kind of like the cool thing to do.  A lot of people would go to sleep at night, and dream about one day founding a big important nation. 

But while people were having all this adventure and exploring and finding all these exciting places to live, for whatever reason, they also started to become violent, and corrupt, and evil.  That’s right kidzos, things started to go downhill…again.  Now, do you kidzos remember what happened the last time that people became violent, and corrupt, and evil?  Didn’t God do something pretty…drastic?  That’s right kidzos, He did, God sent the Flood!  And things were getting bad again.  So, what was God going to do?

Well kidzos, we serve an amazing God, and this time God wasn’t going to let things get so bad.  To make sure that things didn’t get so bad, God was going to do something about it.  Something that was going to take a lot of faith…a lot of…trust.  God needed someone who was really going to trust Him.  Who was that going to be?

That’s when God thought about Abram.  Abram was a 75-year old man who lived in Ur of the Chaldeans.  (BTW in those days, people lived to be about 200 years old, so 75 years old would be more like 40 years old today.)  Abram had a very beautiful wife named Sarai, and all of their family lived close to each other.  And one day, God spoke to Abram, and said,

"Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

(Gen 12:1-3)

God wanted to make a great nation out of Abram.  With all the nations that were popping up everywhere, God was going to have a nation too. And through this nation, God would help people to stop being violent, and corrupt, and evil. 

But…before God could make a great nation out of Abram, God needed Abram to do something.  Something that was going to be hard to do.  God needed Abram to leave his home – to leave his friends and his brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces and all their families - and to travel somewhere that God hadn’t even told him yet.  It was a big deal.  Abram had a decision to make.  Was Abram going to trust God – to trust His promise to make a great nation from Abram and trust Him to lead Abram to the right place?

Abram made his decision.  The Bible says, “Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him.” (12:4) Abram gathered up all his stuff – his flocks of animals, his money, tents, food, and all the servants who worked for him.  Abram and Sarai said their good-byes and left their home.  It would have been a difficult day for them.  It wasn’t all bad though.  Actually, Abram’s nephew – Lot – came along with his family and all his stuff.  But outside of Lot, Abram and Sarai would never see any of their family or friends again.  They would never see their home again.  And where were they going again?  They had no idea!  But they set out anyways, trusting that God would lead them.

After a long and tiring journey, Abram, beautiful Sarai, Lot, and their families, servants, and flocks finally arrived to the place that God was leading them – Canaan.  Abram stopped in a place in Canaan called Shechem, pitched his tent and looked around at the land that God was giving him.  The Bible describes Canaan as “a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.” (Deut. 8:7,8)  Wow that sounds like a nice place to live! 

Okay so Abram had done what God had asked him, he’d left his home, he’d arrived in the promised land, and now it was time to start having kids and time to start building that nation that God had promised right? 

Well…not exactly.  When Abram arrived in Canaan, it was already filled with people.  It was filled with people like the Kenites, Kenezzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, Jebusites, all the ites – people were everywhere!  And they were all people who worshipped idols.  And many of them were violent and corrupt.  Abram found himself a stranger in a land full people who did not know God.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, not too long after Abram arrived in Canaan, there was a severe famine.  The rain stopped, and all those brooks of water Abram saw, well they dried up.  And all the wheat, and barley, and vines - they died.  And all the fig trees, and pomegranates, and vines withered away.  Abram, his family, and his servants were about to run out of food and water. 

This is not at all what Abram had expected when he decided to leave his home.  And Abram must have wondered if he’d made the wrong decision.  Why had God made all those promises, and asked him to travel so far, only to have all these problems?  What was going on?  Maybe he should just give up and go back home?  What was Abram going to do?

Well Abram decided he was still going to trust God.  He was going to trust that God would keep his promises and that somehow what God promised would come true. 

Alright, so Abram decided he wasn’t going to go back to Ur, but what was he going to do about this famine?  Well what he needed was a temporarily place go where there was some food and water just to get them past this famine.  And the closest place he could find was a country called Egypt.  It was maybe a few weeks journey west.  So, they packed up their stuff (again), and started on their journey.

But as they got close to Egypt, Abram found even more problems.  Apparently, Egypt’s pharaoh (which btw the king of the Egyptians was called a Pharaoh) really liked beautiful women.  He like them so much, that even if they were already married, he would often kill their husbands and take them for himself.  Well that sounds terrible.  It’s a good thing that that Abram doesn’t know anybody who’s married to a beautiful wo…oh wait…Abram was married to a beautiful woman!!  Oh no, Abram was in trouble. 

You know kidzos, with everything that had happened already, probably Abram was at his limit.  First, he makes a long journey that takes months, then he arrives to a land filled with violent people, then a famine comes that almost kills him, and now they were coming into another place (from which he couldn’t turn back), and the Pharaoh was going to kill him? 

It was all too much for Abram.  Why was God letting him run into so much trouble?  Why wasn’t God doing anything?  Abram felt like he had to do something.  Abram considered his options, and after thinking about it long and hard, there was only one terrible thing that he could think to do.  Abram turned to his wife Sarai, and said, “Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” (12:12) Ah kidzos, the only thing that Abram could think to do was to lie to Pharaoh and tell Pharaoh that his beautiful wife was actually just his sister.  Boy, to do something so drastic Abram must have been really worried, and really desperate.  I mean, Abram obviously didn’t want to lose his wife, right?  But as far as Abram was concerned, it was either he lies, or he dies.  He didn’t see any other options.    

And Abram wasn’t worried for nothing, because soon after they arrived in Egypt, Pharaoh did notice Sarai.  And the Bible says that Sarai was “taken to Pharaoh’s house.” (12:15) And all of a sudden, Sarai was living with Pharaoh, and Pharaoh was going to make Sarai his wife!  Abram would been very sad.  And he must have felt abandoned.  Why had God left him to make this terrible decision?  What about God’s promise? Where was God?

Well, even though Abram didn’t know it, God hadn’t gone anywhere.  God was right there with Abram, God would keep his promises, and God was not going to let this terrible thing happen to Sarai.  So what was God going to do?  How was God going to fix this big mess?  The Bible says that, “The Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues.” (12:17) Plagues are like really bad things that happen to you, seemingly out of nowhere.  Like bad diseases, really bad weather…things like that.  Now the Bible doesn’t say exactly what plagues came to Pharaoh’s house.  Maybe swarms of locusts came and ate all Pharaoh’s stuff, or maybe thousands of green frogs all of a sudden decided to come live in Pharaoh’s house, or maybe swarms of tiny gnats came and started biting them all over the place.  We don’t know exactly what happened, but what we do know is that Pharaoh found out why all the bad things were happening to him.  He found out that Abram had lied to him, and that Sarai was actually Abram’s wife.  And he also somehow found out that God was causing all the plagues because Pharaoh was about to make Sarai his wife.  So, Pharaoh called Abram to him and said, “What is this you have done to me?  Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?  I might have taken her as my wife.  Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” (12:18-19)

And just like that, everything was ok.  Pharaoh gave Sarai back to a very happy Abram. And they were able to leave this whole terrible situation and head back to Canaan.  Pharaoh even gave Abram a lot of nice gifts to take back with him, probably just to make sure that all the plagues actually stopped. 

Abram learned an important lesson that day.  Do you kidzos know what that lesson was?  Well, in addition to learning that it’s never a good idea to lie, he also learned that he really could trust God.  That God really was taking care of him.  And that even when things didn’t happen the way he expected them to happen, and even when he felt that God wasn’t there, He was there.  And kidzos, this lesson is for us too.  Even when we are having lots of problems, and we feel like God isn’t there, He’s there.  And He will always take care of us.