Those who teach
children should read
children’s study #30.
You may do this study all at once or study one or two patriarchs each week for several weeks.
Prayer: “Lord, help us to learn from the patriarchs how people can understand eternal truth.”
a. Adam sinned when Satan tempted him, in the newly created world. Read Genesis chapters 1 through 3.
· Basic truth: everybody sins, because Adam brought sin and death into the world when he sinned. Read Romans 5:12-21.
these questions: What did Satan promise to Eve, when he
tempted her? Why was sin so alluring? [Answer: Satan lied
saying she would
become wise like God and not die.]
b. Noah obeyed God and built the huge floating box called the ‘ark’ in which his family and all kinds of animals were saved from the great flood, Genesis chapters 6–9.
· Basic Truth: God punishes sinful men, but saves a remnant that obeys Him. Jesus compares the final judgment on earth to God’s punishment in the time of Noah, Matthew 24:37–42.
· Discussion question: In what ways was Noah’s ark like Jesus’ coming back to life to give us life?
[Answer: Christ gives to us
new life. We are His body. We are in him, much as Noah and his family
death and punishment by being in the ark.]
c. Abraham believed God’s promises, and God made a serious covenant with him, Genesis chapters 12–26. Like Abraham, people of all nations are blessed when they believe God’s promises.
Find in 12:1-7 God’s promise to bless all nations through Abraham’s descendant.
Find in chapter 14 how Abraham defeated five pagan kings who had taken captive his nephew Lot.
Find in chapter 15 how God confirmed His covenant with a surprising ritual.
Find in chapter 18 how Abraham interceded with the Lord for Lot and his family.
Find in chapter 19 how God destroyed the wicked city of Sodom.
· Basic truth: God accepts us because of our faith, as he did Abraham our spiritual father, Galatians. 3:6-3.
· Discuss this question: Are people saved because they believe, or are they saved because they do good works that merit salvation?
[Answer: Ephesians 2:8-10 explains that God saves us because of his kindness and our faith, not because of our good works. Good works will come from our faith.]
d. Isaac was the promised son who was born miraculously to Abraham and Sarah, who had passed childbearing age, Genesis chapters 21-28. In chapter 22, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. God was testing Abraham’s faith. God had promised Abraham that Isaac would be his heir through whom God would someday fulfil His promise.
Find in chapter 24 how Abraham’s servant went looking for a wife for Isaac, a woman who believed in the One God.
· Basic truth: God always fulfils His promises, even through some people doubt it. When Abraham got tired of waiting for his promised heir, he tried to fulfil God’s promise by his own efforts. This resulted in the birth of Ishmael, a patriarch of the Arab nation which later introduced Islam and the false belief that people can be saved by our own efforts (Galatians 4:21-31)
· Discuss these questions:
How did God test Abraham’s faith?
[Answer: God told Abraham to slay his son. When he saw that Abraham was willing to obey him, God provided a ram to die in Isaac’s place. Hebrews 11:17-19 explains that Abraham trusted God to raise Isaac from the dead.]
In what way did the ram (a male sheep) serve as a picture, or prophetic type, of Christ?
[Answer: The ram was an
innocent victim whose blood was shed to save another. This, like many
Testament people and events, served as a picture of Christ, long before
to earth. These examples were to prepare people to receive Jesus when
e. Jacob sought God’s blessing. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. His twelve sons’ descendants became the twelve tribes of Israel, Genesis chapters 25–49.
Find in 25:21–34 and chapter 27 how Jacob deceived his older brother Esau to get his birthright, which guaranteed a double portion of the inheritance, as Deuteronomy 21:15–17 required.
· Basic truth: God’s grace and loving forgiveness does not depend on our good works. Jacob received God’s blessing in spite of his telling lies, as Rom. 9:1–16 explains.
· Discuss this question: What bad things did Jacob do, and what good things?
· [Answer: Jacob took advantage of Esau’s hunger to rob his birthright, which belonged to the oldest son and guaranteed a double portion of the inheritance. He did good things, too; he worshipped God devoutly and worked many years to get his beloved bride, Rachel.]
f. Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him as a slave. Genesis chapters 37–50. His brothers, after selling him, told their father Jacob that wild animals had killed Joseph. Others falsely accused Joseph and they imprisoned him. Genesis chapter 39. Later, God made Joseph to rise to great power in Egypt because of his walk with God. Genesis chapters 40–41. After that, Joseph saved his brothers and their families from famine. Genesis chapters 42–45.
· Basic truth: God saved his people through a kinsman of theirs, a relative who was in a position to do so. Christ is our kinsman, a sinless man who died to save us. Heb. 2:10–18.
· Discuss this question: In what ways was Joseph’s life like that of Christ?
was one of the original “children of Israel (Jacob)” who rejected Him
envy. His father loved him greatly. He was obedient. His own people
(like Judas sold Jesus). He was taken to Egypt. He was falsely accused
in prison. He rose to a position of power at the right hand of the
that position of power, he saved his brothers who had rejected Him. He
Himself in a glorious way at a great banquet.]
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Make plans for your people to go out in groups of two or three and visit their friends and relatives who do not yet know Jesus. Help them to tell the stories about the patriarchs.
Tell to the congregation the history of the patriarchs. Select one or more of the patriarchs whose stories are summarized above, and tell them to the congregation.
Explain the ‘Basic Truths.’ about the patriarchs (above).
Ask the Discussion Questions (above). Do not give the answer until people have said what they think.
Memorize Genesis 15:6.
Let the children present what they have prepared.
To introduce the Lord’s Supper, explain that Joseph gave a banquet for his brothers who had sold him as a slave. They did not recognize him. He forgave them and then revealed who he was. We, too, will feast with Jesus in glory and see Him face-to-face.