Sabbath School Lesson for April 24-30, 2021

For videos about the lesson on Tue, Wed, and Thu, see

Livestreaming on those days at 3 p.m. CST from the Facebook group “The Teacher’s Notes on the Sabbath School Lesson”

Overview of Lesson 5

As children of the promise, we are shown…

  • that God is our “Shield” (Sunday)
  • who benefits from the Messianic promise (Monday)
  • what it means to have the Messianic promise (Tuesday)
  • what kind of nation will welcome the Messiah when He comes (Wednesday)
  • how does God make our name great (Thursday)

After looking at Abraham last week, as an individual, we now focus on his children. God has several tasks for children of the Promise. Most of them are rather difficult to achieve in such a sin-filled world, but God has promised to be with us and make our burdens light (Matthew 11:30)

Memory Text: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20

How comforting it is to remember that Jesus’ Spirit is always with us. No matter what trials we face, God will give us the strength to overcome our difficulties, when we allow Him to take charge of our lives.

Remembering that this promise holds true even at the end of the world is especially meaningful. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24 how very trying it would be in those last days. Whenever we feel we are at the end of our rope, Jesus is still holding that rope. Our rescue from this dying world is guaranteed, no matter how desperate our present situation.

Abraham was promised a land of inheritance, Canaan. But we are promised an even better inheritance, New Canaan. The New Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God, is the city we now long for. Just like Abraham, we are no more than wandering pilgrims here on earth. Our true home is in heaven with our Creator God. See Hebrews 11:8-10, 13.

Sunday: Thy Shield

Although different Bible writers recognize God as a shield that protects them, this is the only time God refers to Himself as “thy shield” (Genesis 15:1). Paul mentions a shield of faith that protects us from Satan. This shield repels the “fiery darts”, or arrows, of  our enemy, the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16).

God is offering to Abram this shield of protection. Abram’s faith activates God’s engagement in providing the help we desperately need in this world of sin. We must trust in His loving care. Psalm 18:30 says He is a shield to all who trust Him.

1 Corinthians 10:13 explains one way this shield protects us from sin. It says when we are tempted, God will provide a way of escape. He actively helps us overcome sin. As our faith grows, so does our ability to find and use that way of escape.

Genesis 15:1 also says that God is our “exceeding great reward”. Even though harm may come temporarily to God’s faithful ones, we have our reward in heaven to look forward to. This knowledge helps shield us from the difficult trials that come our way. Knowing this, we look to God as our deliverer, refuge, and fortress (Psalm 144:2).

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Genesis 15:1-3

  • Why was Abram fearful at this time of his life?

Psalm 18:30 and Psalm 144:2

  • How do we take refuge in our shield?
  • How does God’s lovingkindness become our fortress? Why are both mercy (something soft) and justice (something hard) needed to protect us?

Monday: The Messianic Promise: Part 1

Notice that although Abram and his children would enjoy blessings, the real promise was that through them all the families of the earth would be blessed. This would happen on two levels…

  1. Their knowledge of God would be used to teach the rest of the world about the God they served. This would prepare them for the coming Messiah.
  2. Jesus, one of Abram’s descendants, would be the complete fulfillment of the messianic promise. His sacrifice on the cross would pay for the sins of all people, the real blessing we all need.

The coming of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, would satisfy all the obligations of the covenant agreement. We must look to Him as the greatest of all God’s promises. Only through Christ, do we have the promise of eternal life. And without eternal life, our original state before sin, the promise would be lacking. The relationship would not be as attractive to us or to God if it didn’t last forever.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Genesis 28:14

  • In what ways has the world been blessed by God’s covenant with Abram?

Galatians 3:8, 9, 27-29

  • Who are included in this promise to Abram?

Tuesday: The Messianic Promise: Part 2

Even beyond having eternal life, the promise is even sweeter when we are shown what that life would consist of.

  • We would be with our loved ones again (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
  • We would have face-to-face communion with our Savior (Revelation 22:4, 5).
  • There would be no more tears, suffering, pain, or death (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 21:4).

These are promises we can all appreciate. Those who trust God can know that He will deliver these promises. God’s abiding love will sustain us while still on this sinful planet, but there will come a time when the fulfillment is complete. Jesus will return, just as He promised, and our eternal, perfectly new bodies will be called forth on that Resurrection Morning to be forever with Him in glory (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Revelation 22:4, 5, 21:4

  • What Messianic promise are you most looking forward to, and why?

Wednesday: A Great and Mighty Nation…

Abraham was shown how God was to be worshipped. He built altars and sacrificed animals on them morning and night throughout his nomadic life in Canaan, showing symbolically the sacrifice God would make on their behalf.

Later, even more of the sacrificial system of worship would be revealed to Moses, as they built a tabernacle to worship Him in the wilderness. God’s desire was for their place of worship to be a house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7). The nation of Israel that grew from the descendants of Abraham had opportunities to instruct the surrounding nations about the plan of salvation. Their faith and obedience was designed to make them a happy, healthy, and holy nation that would attract and draw idolaters away from their pagan worship practices, that had copied and twisted the true worship of their Creator.

Just like any loving parent, God had far-reaching plans for this new nation. He envisioned those who welcomed Christ’s birth to be a special people, a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). What a lofty purpose God had for Abraham. His covenant with him was vital to the plan of salvation that would take away the sin of the world.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Exodus 19:5, 6, Isaiah 60:1-3, and Deuteronomy 4:6-8

  • What purpose did God have for Abraham’s descendants?
  • What was their part in making God’s plan work?

Isaiah 56:7 and 1 Peter 2:9

  • Who would be blessed by God’s plan for Israel?

Thursday: “Make Your Name Great”

God told Abram right from the start that his name would be great. Not from anything Abraham did; God said HE would make it great. God would bless him, and Abraham would pass it on and be a blessing (Genesis 12:2).

In contrast were those who built the Tower of Babel. Genesis 11:4 says that they were trying to make a name for themselves. And, of course, we know the result of that endeavor.

The reason God would make Abraham’s name great was so God’s name would be seen as great. The world desperately needed to know God at that time. They were slipping away into wickedness through idolatry, just as it became so evil before the Flood.

The things that made Abraham’s name great in God’s eyes were his character, faith, obedience, humility, and love for others. If Abraham had been obedient without first having faith and love for God in his heart, he would just have been paying a debt to God. But God is not satisfied by our righteousness by good works.

Faith, in combination, with works becomes righteousness by grace. It was this kind of righteousness that made Abraham’s name great and made his righteousness a blessing to the world.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Genesis 11:4 and 12:2

  • What was the difference here in how we can  make our name great?

1 Corinthians 4:9

  • Besides this world, who else is noticing our actions here on earth?

Romans 4:1-5

  • How are our works counted as righteousness before God?

James 2:21-24

  • How are we justified?

Friday: Final Thoughts

It was promised that Abraham’s children would be as many as the stars in the sky–innumerable as the sand on the seashore (Hebrews 11:12). But there are many other promises of God that His children can trust.

  • The meek (humble) ones will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
  • Our afflictions won’t last and will end in a glorious reward that lasts throughout eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17).
  • God’s bride (His church) will enjoy their life with Him in New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:9, 10).

These are just a few of the promises in the Bible about the future. But, God’s children of promise also enjoy promises about our past (such as wiping away our past sins and forgiving our worst actions against Him). And, of course, the present isn’t ignored. God has promised to be with us, despite our unpleasant current situation (Matthew 28:20).

God’s children of the promise are covered with a multitude of promises. Whatever God asks of us will be worth any temporary sacrifice He calls us to make.

Next Week: Sabbath: Abraham’s Seed

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