Praise Jesus!

Abraham Lies to Abimelech • Lesson 6

Bible Point God forgives us when
we do wrong.
Bible Verse
“But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love”
(Nehemiah 9:17b).

Growing Closer to Jesus
Students will n experience making mistakes and being affected by others’ mistakes,
n explore the effects sins have on relationships with other people and with God, and
n participate in praying for forgiveness.

Teacher Enrichment
Bible Basis
n Abraham lies to Abimelech.
Genesis Sarah, Abraham’s wife, must have been a very beautiful woman. Abraham, as
20:1-17 faithful to God as he was, seemed to have been afraid that someone powerful
would kill him to take Sarah as his own wife. Scripture tells of two times (the
first is in Genesis 12:11-13) that Abraham moved to a new area and told
people that Sarah was his sister. He figured he would be safer that way. And he
was apparently right in assuming that other men would want Sarah as a wife.
Unfortunately, he apparently didn’t think about what his lie meant for Sarah or how it betrayed a lack
of obedience and faith that God could take care of him.
The way Abraham saw it, he was telling a half-truth—Sarah was actually his half sister. But God
was not pleased, and when Abimelech took Sarah into his household, his wives and daughters became
unable to conceive children. God confronted Abimelech in a dream, and Abraham’s lie was discovered.
Fortunately, our God is a forgiving God. God forgave Abimelech and restored his family’s health, and
God forgave Abraham, too.
If Abraham could stumble and sin, we certainly must know that we’re vulnerable too. But it’s great
to know that God will forgive us no matter what we do wrong!
Other Scriptures used in this lesson are Psalm 51:1-10 and Romans 7:19-25.

• Read Genesis 12:11-13.
• What do you think made Abraham pull the same trick a second time?
• Pray: God, help me to stay faithful to you in all my actions. Thanks for forgiving me when I mess up.
Help me show the kids I teach what a loving and forgiving God you are.

Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 65

n Make photocopies of the “Hands-On Fun at Home” handout (at the end of this lesson) to send home with your students. listen to Nehemiah 9:17b. pencils. wastebasket. and discuss Romans 7:19-25. Exploration & with objects in their shoes. This Lesson at a Glance What Students Will Do Classroom Supplies Learning Lab Supplies Attention Oops!—Play a game in which the Grabber teacher makes a mistake. Will We Ever Learn?—Listen Bibles. referring to the Classroom Supplies and Learning Lab Supplies listed on the chart. n Pray for your students and for God’s direction as you teach the lesson. and markers Application discuss Psalm 51:1-10. player 66 Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 . Lesson 6 Before the Lesson n Collect the necessary items for the activities you plan to use. paper clips. Closing Confession Cards—Give their Paper. pray for God’s forgiveness. Abraham’s Drama—Act out Bible and discuss Genesis 20:1-17. CD player to two people talk about their sins. Bible That Hurts!—Do a relay race Bibles. and praise God in prayer. CD sins to God. newsprint.

Abraham Lies to Abimelech Welcome As kids arrive. and declare a winner. step in to play a turn for one team. Add up the points. Drop the pick-up sticks again. Say: I guess to make this fair. As they get involved in the first activity. Ask questions such as. Maybe we can play it again when we have more time. and then put their shoes back on. your team gets a point. being especially careful not to move any other sticks. They may not take them out themselves. I should play a turn for the other team. I just wanted to help. Reach to the bottom of the pile and carelessly pick up a stick. If team to even the score. Then say: Let’s give the other team a chance to win by playing one more game. Let the kids play one complete game. points and a Referee to watch closely to see if any other sticks move. put the hearts and stars inside near the front of the shoe. Before you start the following activity. the other team bottom of the pile so you’ll move gets to try. kids will probably forget about the objects in their shoes. give each student two of the linking hearts and stars. just as it’s written in each activity. Explain that kids must leave the hearts and stars in their shoes until you say it’s time to take them out. Each team needs to appoint a Scorekeeper to keep track of its all the sticks. Explain that it’s important to respond to this signal quickly so the class can do as many fun It’s important to say the Bible Point activities as possible. On your you don’t move any of the other sticks. ask them how they applied last week’s lesson to their lives. Have kids take off their left shoes. After several turns. Drop the pick-up sticks on the table or floor. it’s your turn. When the kids complain. simply apologize and keep playing. but this time deliberately move as many other sticks as you can. n Oops! SUPPLIES: none Have kids form two teams. say: I’m really sorry. they are to stop talking. and another second turn. but I guess I’ve ruined the game. Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 67 . try to pick up one stick without Offer to take a turn for the other moving any of the other sticks in the pile. and let the kids begin playing. This is for the “That Hurts” activity later in the lesson. If you have more than 10 students. and focus on you. and If you move the other sticks say: We’re going to play Pick-up Sticks. take a stick from the team member may take a turn. just tell them they’ll find out later. Repeating the Bible Point over and over throughout the lesson will help kids remember it and apply it Attention Grabber to their lives. When slightly on your first turn. Have teams stand on opposite sides of a table or sit facing each other on the floor. Hold the pick-up sticks in your hand. give each student one link. If kids ask why. “How did God protect your family last week?” and “How did you show God you trusted him to be in control last week?” Remind kids that whenever you honk the Harpo horn twice. Take a turn for the other team. If you move the other sticks. clap twice.

Ask: • What was it like to have things in your shoes? (OK at first. Today we’re going to learn more about how our sins affect God and others around us.) flop may provide a wonderful opportunity for learning if you • Have you ever made a mistake like the one I just made? Explain. I was sad my team lost. Bible Exploration & Application n That Hurts! SUPPLIES: Bibles. I forgot my lines in the school play. Other times we do wrong things on purpose and hope we won’t get caught.) development than getting through Say: We all make mistakes every day. I wouldn’t be that stupid. they’ll probably remember them as they begin hopping on their left feet.” Give each student a paper clip. markers Have kids form teams of no more than five people. sometimes I don’t notice the consequences of my sins. Then sit down at the end of the line. I was embarrassed because you played so bad. embarrassed. If they didn’t remember the objects in their shoes as you explained the relay. and concern yourself • How do you feel when you make mistakes? (Silly. team and take the hearts and stars out of each other’s shoes. Remind any Ask a helper to wash the linking kid who complain that they aren’t allowed to remove the hearts and stars. paper clips. this work out?” Be sensitive to no. and hop back to your team using your left foot. hearts and stars after kids remove After all teams have completed the relay. Set the rainbow spring in the center of the “spokes. Sometimes we make mistakes without thinking about them. no. Place them out of sight for use in future lessons. and place them out of sight for use later in the lesson. (Yes.) Look for teachable moments! • Did you feel different after I apologized? Why or why not? (Yes. I wanted to take them out. they started to hurt when we did the relay.) your kids. Have teams face each other in single-file lines about 10 feet apart. have kids each find a partner from another them from their shoes. When you get back to your team. “Why didn’t struck out in the last inning of my softball game. Demonstrate the relay.) • How is that like the way your sins affect your life? (They hurt me. Say: We’re going to have a relay race. because An activity that seems to be a you didn’t do it on purpose. Have kids discuss the following questions with their partners. I was still mad that we couldn’t finish the game. stupid. But if we are sorry and ask for forgiveness. human. Collect the linking hearts and stars and rainbow spring. drop your paper clip into the rainbow spring. newsprint. Pause for a minute or so after each question to give partners time to discuss their answers. bad. Ask: • How did you react when I moved all the sticks on my second turn? (I was angry. forming a pattern like spokes in a wheel. Hop on your right foot to the rainbow spring. like I should have known more with their growth and faith better. I’ll demonstrate how easy it is. I ask questions such as. and then honk the Harpo horn as a signal for students to begin. God forgives us when we do wrong. Making mistakes is part of being the stuff you have planned. Lesson 6 Have kids help you collect the pick-up sticks. tag the next person.) 68 Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 .

When that happens. because we want teachers. Abraham Lies to Abimelech • How did you react when your partner took the hearts and stars out of your shoe? (I felt much better. and then invite them to share insights they gained from their partners.) Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 69 .) information. We may have to live with the hurt for a little while. Choose one person in your group to graders. one person to be the Artist who following aspects of their mental draws your ideas. and then have Reporters present their • They need to feel independent groups’ drawings. As you read the verses that talk about God making us clean. You might think of soap bubbles As you teach third. but if we ask God. Make sure kids have their Hands-On Bibles. just as we need God to forgive us. just like we feel when God forgives us.) Say: God forgives us when we do wrong. we need to ask for their forgiveness. my foot didn’t hurt anymore. After all kids have responded. Once you’ve formed a trio. • How is that like the way you feel when you’ve been forgiven for something you did that was wrong? (I feel like I can start again.) • They understand cause and effect • How do you feel when you’re clean? (Good. I don’t feel guilty or bad anymore. too. Then say: We’re going to read several Bible verses about God’s forgiveness. Wait for kids to respond. sit down. ideas to the class. everyone together. ready to get dressed and and like to arrange and organize go out. keep in mind the be the Reader who reads the Bible verses. the pennies can’t clean themselves—they needed us to clean them. squeaky. have them show off their clean pennies. our sins hurt us. Then honk the Harpo horn to bring don’t like to fail. give each trio a sheet of newsprint and a marker.and fourth- or a clean. As soon as all kids have joined a trio. I can’t take away my sins without help. HANDS-ON BIBLE Give each student a few old. ask: and don’t always want help from • Why do we have to clean things? (Because they get dirty. he’ll take our sins away. Distribute Bibles.) Honk the Harpo horn twice to get kids’ attention. Wait for kids to respond. • They can read well. dirty pennies and a paper towel. God cleans us up even better than we can clean these pennies. Also have some hot sauce available for kids to share. Ask: • How was cleaning these pennies like the way God cleans us from our sins? How is it different? (Our pennies look shiny and new. say: Just as the hearts and stars in our shoes hurt our feet.) • How is that like having your sins forgiven? (I feel better knowing I’m forgiven. and one person to be the Reporter who presents your development. Give kids about five minutes • They like to be challenged but to read the verses and come up with “clean” ideas. After all groups have presented. and help trios find Psalm 51:1-10. I feel good. them to look nice. Join a group with people you haven’t worked with yet today. shiny bike you just washed. When kids are finished. imagine as many clean things as you can. Quickly form trios with the people around you. But sometimes our sins hurt other people. Have students turn to Psalm 51 in their Hands-On Bibles and complete the “Deep Cleaning” activity found there.

not his wife. It was a plan. Read the following script aloud. Sarah was beautiful. just look at her smile. which meant killing Abraham. We’re going to act it out. See him waving his arms and smiling? Abraham thought it was a great plan. he wouldn’t have to kill Abraham first. She’s radiant! She’s classy! When she smiles she has big dimples in her cheeks! You might not think that being beautiful is a problem. Sarah didn’t smile when she heard it.” and position “King Abimelech” to one side of your “stage” area. and here’s why: Abraham wanted to lie about who Sarah was. and King Abimelech. They gave a “thumbs up” sign. so he needed to come up with a plan. It’s in the book of Genesis. He smiles. See how Abraham holds up his compass so he can see where they are? Eventually they decided to settle down in a new country known as Gerar. in chapter 20. Why. but don’t worry: There are no lines to memorize! In fact. They looked around at the land and nodded in approval. This is an everyone-involved drama production. They were happy to live there. Abraham and Sarah were traveling. Look at the dirty look she’s giving Abraham! 70 Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 . The best way for someone to take Sarah away was to be sure she was a widow. Give Abraham the plastic spin-top to carry as if it’s a compass. The officials can position themselves anywhere. Sarah. He has a plan! Abraham called Sarah to join him. That way if someone wanted to marry her. He explained his plan. and your job is to listen carefully so you know how to act out your character. He’s walking right…then left…then right…then left… then left some more. but Abraham knew that Sarah was so pretty that other men might want to take her away from him. Look at him pacing as he thinks. Give Sarah the fishnet to drape over her head and shoulders. Position “Abraham” and “Sarah” near you at “center stage. Lesson 6 n Abraham’s Drama SUPPLIES: Bible Ask kids to act out the following Biblical narrative as you read it aloud. Sarah wasn’t happy. Nobody sits on the sidelines as an audience! Say: This story is found in the Bible. I’ll read what happened. Allow actors time to respond. Unfortunately. Look at her cross her arms. Give Abimelech the inflatable microphone to carry as a scepter. Look at her scrunch up her face. you won’t say anything. there was a problem. Give volunteers these roles: Abraham. Tell the rest of the children they’ll play the part of officials. Suddenly he stops. Abraham planned to tell everyone in the new country that Sarah was his sister. Just listen for your instructions. but it meant lying. Abraham didn’t want to die.

along with some new servants. the king called for all the officials—his servants— to come to him. He was so angry he began to turn purple! The king called for Abraham. but he’s sitting up. The name he and Sarah were half brother and half sister.” I don’t think she’s happy about saying that. God told the king that because he was trying to marry a woman who was already married. The king pointed to Sarah. The king waved goodbye. Abraham and Sarah left together. All the officials pointed at Abraham and made fists. and Abraham went to the king. as it The king gave Abraham some servants and a thousand pieces of silver. and the inflatable microphone. Even his family would die! Look: The king is asleep. Abraham said. The king decided to go bed. Abraham Lies to Abimelech But wait! Here comes King Abimelech. Abraham looks scared! The king waved a finger in Abraham’s face. King. (Psalm 34) and to the son of See how the king is just dumping the money on Abraham to save time? Gideon (Judges 9). Ask: • What was Abraham’s sin? (He lied. God told him that Sarah was already married. He jumped up and down. He looked at Sarah. In his dream. He decided it was too late to get married. Early the next morning. the fishnet. he thought he could trick the king. and put them out of sight to use in a later lesson. It looks like Sarah and the king are going to get married! But wait…the king was tired. All the officials waved goodbye. See how the king is lying down and sleeping? Hear him snoring? That night the king had a dream. The king said. They were glad to see Abraham and Sarah go! Let’s give our actors a round of applause! Collect the spin-top. He stretched as high as he could reach and gave a huge yawn. You don’t have to kill me!” The king went to Sarah to talk to her. was probably a royal title and not a personal name.) Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 71 . “She’s my sister. he thought the people would kill him. so it was only a little lie. See how she’s sticking her tongue out at Abraham? Abraham waved goodbye as Sarah and the king walked away. He explained that because in that country people Abimelech means “My father didn’t know and worship God. “Why did you do this to me?” Bible Insight Abraham shrugged. he would die. In fact. Besides. carrying his kingly scepter. She pointed to Abraham. God told the king to get Sarah back to Abraham right away—or else. this is going to take forever. “I’m his sister. The king was not happy! He waved his fist. though. They were on their way to settle in a new place. Ask kids to form pairs and discuss the following questions with their partners. The king was in big trouble. is king” in Hebrew. He saw how pretty she was. She said. They both said Sarah was Abraham’s sister. The king explained to God that Abraham lied to him. Pause for a minute or so after each question to give them time to discuss their responses. Sarah lied to him. appears later in the Bible with See how the king is counting out the coins? One…two…three…four…five…oh reference to the king of Gath man. See how his heart is beating? See how he’s swooning? He’s very impressed! The king went to Abraham to talk to him.

and read aloud Nehemiah 9:17b: “But you are a God of forgiveness. Lesson 6 • How did Abraham’s sin affect Sarah? (She probably felt sad. and take one for yourself.) • How did Abraham’s sin affect the king? (It gave the king a scare. she was scared. Sin is like that. we hold our streamers before us. But we can bring it to God. Please pray with me. it cost the king lots of money and land. And here’s good news: God will forgive us if we ask! Give each student one of the linking hearts and stars to hold. Say: What a wonderful promise! God forgives us when we do wrong! When we do wrong things. Pray: God. We want to receive what you have for us. we need to ask the people we’ve hurt for forgiveness. praising God for his love and willingness to forgive us. and then invite them to share insights they gained from their partners. slow to become angry. Let’s close our eyes and ask God to forgive us for our sins. After you’ve prayed silently. bring your 50-pound heart or star and lay it in the rainbow spring—as if you’re bringing that sin to God so you can be forgiven. Dear God. God forgave Abraham. because you’re worthy of our praise. lay your own heart or star in the rainbow spring. King Abimelech was going to be punished. Place the rainbow spring on the floor somewhere in the room where it’s easy to see. Please feel free to pray out loud. she had to leave her husband and go with the king. Say: I’m going to share some prayer prompts—quick suggestions to guide us in prayer. We can’t get rid of it on our own—we can’t put it down. How would that feel? Show me. with our palms up. and he apologized. Abraham even prayed for the king. gracious and merciful. If you don’t have enough streamers. Please bless us in these ways… 72 Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 . Say: Our sins often hurt the people around us. Distribute the streamers so everyone has one. When we do wrong. How would that feel? Show me.) • Why do you think God didn’t strike Abraham down when Abraham came up with a plan that involved lying? (God loved Abraham. We also need to ask God for forgiveness. God was patient with Abraham. we hold our streamers high before you. Hold up your Bible. When we do wrong.) Honk the Harpo horn twice to bring kids together. After a minute. Pretend that your heart or star weighs 10 pounds. and rich in unfailing love. as I share them. or in your own hearts. it’s as if we’re carrying around a weight we can’t put down. ask children to share them by having each child hold one end of a streamer. Say: Let’s continue to pray. and he’ll take it from us and forgive us if we ask for forgiveness.” Have kids repeat the verse with you until they can say it by themselves. Wait for them to respond. we can do what Abraham did: He explained to the king what he had done. or whenever you feel it’s appropriate. You’re worthy because of these reasons… Pause so anyone who wishes to pray aloud can do so. Sometimes they hurt others more than they hurt us. Now pretend it weighs 50 pounds and you have to carry it around all day.

When everyone is seated. Pray: God. We love you because of that. sometimes we do bad things even if we don’t really mean to. Distribute Bibles. interesting answers.) • What do you think the verse means when it says sin makes us its slave? (We’re not free to do what we want. Abraham Lies to Abimelech Pause so anyone who wishes to pray aloud can do so. you may sit down.) • Do you think the two people interviewed on the CD will tell any more lies? Why or why not? (No. n Will We Ever Learn? SUPPLIES: Bibles. they might if there’s no other way out of a situation. my friends made fun of me because I said I could ride my bike without using my hands when I really couldn’t. God. we wave our streamers high. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about our sins. I’d like to hear lots of different. Pray: Finally. and help kids look up Romans 7:19-25. and we love you for these reasons… Pause so anyone who wishes to pray aloud can do so. Have kids stand. they’ve learned their lessons.) • What do you think of when you think of a slave? (Slaves aren’t free. because we forget to do good things. they’ll forget what happened the last time they lied. God! Pause so anyone who wishes to pray aloud can do so. we hold our streamers low because we are humble before you. After everyone has found the passage. amen. Raise your hands when you think of an answer to each question. Then ask: • What did the young person and the adult in this interview have in common? (They both told lies.) • How would you feel if you were a slave? Why? (I’d be mad that I couldn’t do what I wanted. because we’re human. Grown-ups commit some of the same sins that kids do.) Say: Even though we try to be good. I’ll ask you to stand again for the next question. slaves have to obey orders and do what they’re told. Ask: • Why do we do bad things we don’t really want to do? (Because of sin. yes. praising your name! We love you.) Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 73 . You’re so mighty and forgiving. Say: I’m going to ask you some questions about what we just read. we all sin. Pray: In Jesus’ name. CD player Say: Abraham’s lie was a sin that could have caused track 7 King Abimelech a lot of trouble. When someone gives an answer you thought of and you don’t have anything more to add. they both learned something from their mistakes.) • Have you ever lied? What happened? (I got grounded for lying to my mom about doing my chores. Sometimes we even commit the same sins over and over again. ask several volunteers to read the verses aloud. I wouldn’t like to follow orders all the time and be forced to do things I didn’t want to do. Play “Will We Ever Learn?” (track 7) on the CD. Let’s listen to some other people’s experiences with lying.

But God forgives us when we do wrong. scoop up the net. carry the net to the wastebasket and dump the crumpled papers in the trash. he won’t remember our sins anymore. we give you our sins. Some of our sins hurt our friendships with others. Think about the things you’ve done that you’d like God to forgive. Find a partner. We’re sorry we have done things that hurt you and others. Closing n Confession Cards SUPPLIES: paper. wastebasket. stretch out the fishnet and lay it on the floor. only Jesus can set us free. we can try to be good. Let’s practice that now. Please forgive us. pencils.” As kids are crumpling their papers. In front of the students. Encourage kids to sing along as they prepare to leave. Save the fishnet for use in future lessons. He proved that by sending Jesus! God forgives us when we do wrong. 74 Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 . Just as we do when we hurt a friend or family member. Have kids deposit their partners’ papers in the net. And our sins always hurt our friendship with God. Give kids a minute to write or draw their wrongdoings. but you don’t have to. That’s why Jesus came to earth. If you want to tell your partner about your wrongdoings you can. and came back to life again! Even though we sometimes sin and do bad things. CD player Give each person a half-sheet of paper and a pencil. we have to say we’re sorry and ask God to forgive us when we do something that hurts our relationship with God. Lyrics are at the back of this book. Fold your paper in half. God will always love us. Say: Let’s pray. and then say: If we ask God for forgiveness. But God sent Jesus to free us from being slaves to sin. we can ask God to help us. Lesson 6 • How can we keep from being sin’s slave? (We can’t. “God forgives you when you do wrong. Close by playing “And We Know” (Romans 8:28) (track 6).) Say: On our own. Pray: God. Then crumple your partner’s paper into a little ball. In Jesus’ name. died on the cross. Say: track 6 Everyone sins. we can’t keep from being slaves to sin. When all the papers have been deposited. and tell your partner. and give it to your partner. Write or draw those things on your paper. amen.

Abraham Lies to Abimelech Growing closer to Jesus extends beyond the classroom. Encourage kids and parents to use the handout to spark meaningful discussion on this week’s topic. and send it home with your kids. Photocopy the “Hands-On Fun at Home” handout (at the end of this lesson) for this week. Hands-On Bible Curriculum—Grades 3 & 4 75 .

. Why does God want us to confess our sins? Cut out the coupons below. Permission to photocopy this handout from Group’s Hands-On Bible Curriculum®. Ask family I’m sorry for _______________ members to share how they __________________________________________________________________. Inc. granted for local church use. Grades 3 & 4. Leave the note in that person’s room with a special forgiving to one another this treat. _________________ Gather your whole Dear ____________________. Loveland. and rich in unfailing love” (Nehemiah 9:17b). write • Read Ephesians 4:31-32. 1515 Cascade Ave. family together. CO 80538. an apology to someone in your family whom How can you be kind and you may have hurt. Please forgive me. • Read 1 John 1:7-9. Dear ____________________. group. they feel when they’ve Love.. week? • Read Matthew 18:21-35. slow to become . Please forgive me. How do you feel when you’ve I’m sorry for _______________ been forgiven? How do you __________________________________________________________________. 76 Copyright © Group Publishing. feel when you’ve forgiven someone else? I love you. On each one. _________________ made things right with others. Love. ”But you are a God of forgiveness. Read Psalm 51:10-12 together as a closing prayer. gracious and merciful. LLesson esson 13 6 God forgives us when we do wrong. feel when they’ve done something wrong and how I love you.