Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18/19)

Hi friends.

This month we are journeying through the books of Genesis and Exodus. Today’s story is from Genesis 18:16-33 and 19:1-29.

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If you remember from last time, Abraham and his wife Sarah had three visitors come to them. (Probably angels, possibly Jesus was one of them based on the text, but it doesn’t explicitly say.)

When it was time for the visitors to leave, they warned Abraham that the people of the city of Sodom and it’s neighbor Gomorrah were very wicked. They made REALLY bad choices and God was NOT happy. He said He would destroy the cities because the people were THAT bad.

But Abraham asked, “God, but what if there are 50 people who are making good choices? Who follow You? Will You save the city if 50 people love you?”

God answered, “Yes. For 50 people, I will save the city.”

Then Abraham asked “What if there’s only 45 people?”

God replied, “For 45 people, I will save the city.”

Abraham then asked “What about only 40?”

“For 40 righteous (people who make right choices) people I will not destroy the city.”

Then Abraham got bold and asked about 30, or 20….”or maybe God…what about even 10? Will you save the city if only 10 people follow You?”

And God once again answered “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

Isn’t God patient? He let Abraham ask and ask and ASK. This story also shows us that God is listening to us. He already knows what we’re going to say, but He is alive and real and His heart can be moved by people who love Him.

So then the visitors went to Sodom and stayed with Lot, Abraham’s nephew. The people in Sodom wanted to do very bad things to the visitors, but Lot stopped them. The people were so bad, they then threatened to do bad things to Lot, but the visitors pulled Lot back into his house and warned him to GET OUT because indeed these people WERE making terrible choices and God WOULD destroy the city.

(If you have older children, you can discuss how in order to save his guests, Lot offered his daughters to the bad men for them to do whatever they wanted to the girls. This is not ok and i don’t believe Moses or God is condoning with Lot did. We have to remember that everyone in the Bible (besides Jesus) sinned and was susceptible to making terrible choices. Characters (real people!) in the Bible stories are not portrayed as heroes or villains…though it sometimes appears or is taught that way. Everyone in the Bible is a complex person with real emotions, and choices. This was bad choice. We also need to remember when we talk to people who don’t believe in God, that we are no better than they are. Christians are often called hypocrites because we falter just as much as people who don’t follow Christ, but it is not our choices that give us our righteousness, but the grace and patience and mercy of God.) (Romans 5-6)

God had mercy on Lot and his family (which means He was nice to them even though they didn’t deserve it.) Lot hesitated leaving, but the visitors took Lot, his wife and their two daughters out of the city. Lot was more sure of his evil city than he was of God. But God saved Lot and had the angels move him out of there. They told them to go to the mountains, but Lot asked if they could just go to a different, closer city instead.

Again, God was patient and had mercy on Lot and his family and said ok. BUT, they were warned, when they left “DON’T LOOK BACK!”

When the sun came up the next day, God sent burning fire and sulfur like a volcano on the cities and it destroyed everything there…the plants, the animals, even the people.

As they hurried away, Lot’s wife disobeyed and she looked back and do you know what happened? She turned into salt. (In Luke 17, Jesus implies that she actually WENT back). Even though God was very patient to listen and merciful to Lot and His family, there are still consequences when we disobey God.

Even though God was angry at the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, He listened to Abraham because Abraham loved and served God. He also showed patience and mercy to Lot and his family.

When you talk to God, do you know that He is listening and He cares about what you have to say?

What does patience mean?

What does mercy mean?

God showed us mercy by sending His son Jesus to die in our place. He shows us mercy every time we make bad choices. If we ask for His help, He will lead us away  from sin, like He led Lot and his family away.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

Abram (Genesis 12, 15)

Hello all.

Today’s study is an introduction to Abram from, Genesis 12 and 15.

After Noah’s sons had kids, and they had kids and they had kids and THEY had kids…eventually a man was born whose name was Abram. God knew Abram, and one day, when Abram was already old, God came to him and told him to pack up and move.

God promised to make Abram and his people into a great nation, a great country. God said He would bless Abram (which means give him great things). So Abram took his wife, some of his family and his things and off they went. God hadn’t told them where they were headed, but Abram trusted God.

After traveling a while, Abram’s nephew Lot settled in one place, and Abram and his family settled in another. God told Abram He would bless that land and that THAT would be the place where God’s people would live.

One time, Abram had a vision (like a dream) and he asked God how he could be the father of a great country since he didn’t have any kids yet? “There’s no one else after me?!”

God told Abram to look up at all the stars in the sky and to count them. (Do you know how many stars there are!? I don’t either…there’s TOO MANY to count!) That’s how many children and grandchildren God told Abram he would have.

Abram wanted to believe God, but asked God for some assurance.

God told Abram to bring a cow, a goat and a male sheep called a ram, and also a dove and a pigeon. Abram cut the cow, the goat and ram in two parts and lined them up across from each other. This was a gift to God, called an offering. Before Jesus came, people would kill animals as an offering to God. Once Jesus came, HE became the offering for all of us.

Abram watched over the animals (so the present would not be all yucky when he showed it to God.)

And when it was night time, God put Abram to sleep. He told Abram that his people would be stuck working and living in a different, mean place for 400 years, but then they would be returned to this land.

Then God used a glowing pot and fire to go between the animals. God passed between the offering and made a covenant (a strong and forever promise) that all these things WOULD happen.

Abram would have as many children and grandchildren as the number of stars in the sky.

Abram’s descendants would have to live in a terrible place for a long time.

Then they would come back and live in the land God promised them.

Abram trusted God when God told him to move. He believed God when God told him these things would happen, but it was GOD who made the covenant with Abram. God loves His people and He promises His people good things.

We can already see God making His plan to bring His people back to Him.

For our craft, we cut out the animals described in the story, then i let the kids cut them in half. We glued them in two lines and then cut a slit in the middle of the paper. We used a glue stick and colored it like fire (you could also use tissue paper for the fire). Then we made the fire pass between the offering.       IMG_5965       IMG_5969

We did find this video posted by dandysinger. It’s definitely an amateur home video, but our kids wanted to watch it twice; they thought it was silly…but it does reinforce the story.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!