The Story of Abraham Holds Promise For Us
Abraham was a just man who trusted in God’s promises. And it is God’s threefold promise to him — for land, a great name, and worldwide blessing — that sets the stage for the rest of the Old Testament and sees its fulfillment in the New Testament, through Jesus Christ himself.
From The Word
THE LORD SAID TO ABRAM: Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will find blessing in you” (Genesis 12:1–3).
■ What three things did God promise Abraham?
◗ Land — the Promised Land; later heaven
◗Name — a dynasty through King David; later through Jesus Christ
◗Worldwide blessing — the Chosen People of Israel; later the global Church
■ Were God’s promises to Abraham fulfilled immediately?
■ Why did Abraham say yes to God? (He was faithful, obedient, and trusted in God’s promises.)
■ In what ways might God be asking you to trust and say yes to him?
1. TRUSTING IN GOD’S CALL. Blindfold a student and hide an object in the room for them to find. First have everyone shout directions about where to find the object. Chaos will ensue. Then have the student choose a single person they trust to give them instructions. Which worked better? If we trust in and follow only the call of God in our lives, he will lead us where we need to be.
2. PROMISES. Ask students to write down times when someone made a promise to them and either broke it or kept it. How did each make them feel? Remind them that God always keeps his promises.
3. COUNTLESS BLESSINGS. God promises Abraham “descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore” (Genesis 22:17). Drive home the magnitude of that concept with three “estimation jars.” First, bring out a jar with several large objects in it and have the class count them. Easy. Do it again with a jar of slightly smaller objects. Still not a challenge. Then do it a final time with a big jar of sand. Impossible! God blessed Abraham with so many descendants that they could not even be counted!
New Testament Connection
In the very first line of the New Testament (Matthew 1:1), we read: “An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Is this one of those genealogies that we gloss over — or are we paying attention?
It was Abraham’s faithfulness to God’s covenant with him that led the people of God to the new covenant, Jesus Christ. Always remember that God’s promises are trustworthy!
LYNN WEHNER is a Catholic writer, editor, speaker, and catechist who lives with her husband and their children in Connecticut.
PHOTO: ZVONIMIR ATLETIC/SHUTTERSTOCK
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, October 2017.