Start the challenge by finding and reading a Bible verse from Genesis 15:5.
Have you been outside late at night and looked up at the stars? Was it a clear night or a cloudy one? Did you see many stars? Have you seen a shooting star or a comet?
When you look at a star and a planet, do you know how to tell the difference between them? The light of a star will twinkle, but a planet shines steadily.
Did you know that no one knows how many stars there are? Astrophysicists at NASA estimate there to be around 1021 stars in the universe. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000!
The story so far…
Abram had obeyed God, and God looked after Abram, giving him everything he needed. But there was something missing: Abram didn’t have any children. Abram needed a son to carry on the family after him, if God’s promise to him that he would be the father of a new nation was going to come true.
Now read Genesis 15:1–7 together.
What happened next…
Not only did God promise Abram and Sarai a son, he told them that they would have many descendants: their son would have children who would have children and so on. There would be difficult times ahead: God even hinted at the far-off time when the Israelites would be slaves in Egypt. But for now, Abram and his family were safely settled in Canaan. Would God keep his promise? Would Abram have a son?
Explore the Bible
Answer the questions from Big Bible Challenge page 18 together.
Did you know…?
God speaks How did God communicate with Abram? We don’t know: it could have been in an audible voice, through a messenger, or in a vision. The important thing is that God wants to communicate with his people. He still does.
A son for Abram God promised Abram and Sarai a son. They waited a long time and began to doubt what God had said. Abram had a son called Ishmael with Sarai’s servant Hagar. But God told Abram again that the promise would be kept and that the promised child would be Sarai’s.
Abram to Abraham The second time God promised Abram a son, he changed his name to Abraham. The name means “father of nations”.
God “choosing” a family The Bible does not say that God chose Abraham because he was a good, or godly, person or even that he was a strong follower of God. We read about Abraham’s faith in the biblical book of Hebrews but this faith came after God called Abraham and made these wonderful promises to him. God’s action was first: Abraham’s faith was in response to God’s action. Throughout the Bible, God chooses unlikely and undeserving people – this is good news for all of us!
Try it out
God promised that Abram would have many descendants and that they would “bless” (do good things for) the world. In the Big Bible Challenge, you will be meeting some of those children and children’s-children (and children’s-children’s-children…)
Have a look at Matthew 1:1–17. This is a list of people who were descendants of Abram (God changes his name, later, to Abraham). You will be finding out about Abram’s son and grandsons in this challenge. You will be hearing stories about David who became a great king – and about his great-grandparents Ruth and Boaz. Find their names in the list.
Read on and see who else comes from Abram’s family. When God told Abram he would have as many people in his family as there are stars in the sky, one of those descendants was Jesus!
Do you agree that Jesus does good things? How much do you know about him? Are you one of his friends? Talk with your Bible Coach about him.
Talk to God
Thank God for each member of your family and for all of your friends.