Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Ask students, If you were God and you saw someone who was doing wrong things all the time, what would you do to that person?
Do you think God ever does punish people when they do wrong things?
How does God punish people? (This may be an opportune time to remind students of such stories as the Fall, the cursing of Cain, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the doctrine of Hell, depending on what you have studied with them thus far.)
Well, we’ve been learning about Abram. Does anyone remember what God told Abram to do? God told Abram to leave his country and his friends and his family and go to a new country.
So Abram went to the country of Canaan. Does anyone remember what promise God made to Abram about the country of Canaan? God promised that he would give the whole country to Abram’s children and grandchildren forever.
But there was a problem with Abram having children, wasn’t there? Does anyone remember why Abram didn’t have any children yet? His wife, Sarai, couldn’t have babies.
So what wrong thing did Abram do to help him have a baby? He married Sarai’s servant, Hagar. Abram had two wives.
Did Hagar have a baby? Yes, she had a son named Ishmael.
But then, a few years later, God talked to Abram and told Abram that Sarai would have a son, even though Sarai was ninety years old. And God named Abram Abraham and He named Sarai Sarah.
Today, we’re going to learn about the time when God told Sarah she will have a son and we’re going to learn about a time when God destroyed two cities.
Summarize Genesis 18-19, asking questions as you go.
A little while later, Abraham was sitting outside his tent – Abraham did live in a tent, by the way, not a house – when he saw three men walking by. When Abraham saw them, he got up and hurried over to them and invited the three men to have dinner with him because Abraham knew that the three men were really God and two of His angels and that they just looked like three men because they were in disguise.
While they were eating outside, the man who was really God asked, “Abraham, where is your wife, Sarah?”
“She is in the tent,” Abraham answered.
Then the man who was really God said, “Sarah will have a son next year.”
Sarah was in the tent, listening to what the man was saying – she didn’t know that He was really God – and when she heard Him say that she would have a son, she started laughing because she didn’t believe it.
Then the man who was really God asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord? She will have a son next year.”
Then Sarah came out of the tent and said, “I did not laugh.”
But the man who was really God said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
Do you think God can make Sarah have a baby, even though Sarah is so old and could never have a baby before? Yes. God can do anything.
And we can believe that if there’s anything in our lives that we need help with, we can believe in God and He can help us with it, no matter what it is. There is nothing too hard for God. There is nothing He can’t fix and make better.
Well, after the three men were finished eating, they got up and started walking toward the city. The man who was really God told Abraham, “The people of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are so sinful – they’ve done so many wrong things – that I’ve decided to totally destroy those two cities and kill everyone who is living there.”
Abraham said, “Will You really kill everyone? What if there are some good people living in Sodom and Gomorrah? Will You kill the good people too?”
God said, “If I find fifty people in those cities who believe in Me and do what is right, I will not destroy the cities.”
Abraham asked, “What if there are only forty good people living there? Will You destroy the cities then?”
God answered, “If I find forty people in those cities who believe in Me and do what is right, I will not destroy the cities.”
Then Abraham asked, “What if there are only twenty good people living there? Will You destroy the cities if only twenty good people are living there?”
God answered, “If I find twenty people in those cities who believe in Me and do what is right, I will not destroy the cities.”
Abraham asked, “What if there are only ten good people living there? Will You destroy the cities if there are only ten good people living there?”
God answered, “If I find ten people in those cities who believe in Me and do what is right, I will not destroy the cities.”
Then Abraham went back home and God went back up to Heaven, while the other two men, who were really angels, walked on to Sodom and Gomorrah.
When the angels entered the city of Sodom, Abraham’s nephew, Lot, saw them and invited them to spend the night in his house. “It’s not safe to sleep outside in this city,” he told them. So the angels went and stayed at Lot’s house.
But in the middle of the night, all of the men of the city came and surrounded Lot’s house. “We know you have two men staying in your house!” they yelled. “Send them out here so we can mistreat them!”
Lot went outside and said, “No, don’t be so wicked. We must treat these men kindly.” But the men of the city pushed Lot out of the way and were about to break down his door to get in his house, when the two men who were really angels opened the door and used their power to make all the men go blind.
Then the angels pulled Lot back inside the house and said, “God has seen how evil the people of this city are. Take your family and run away from here because God has sent us to destroy this city and the city next to it, too. You must run away from here. Don’t stop and don’t look back or you will die along with everyone else.”
Then Lot and his wife and his daughters ran away from the city and fireballs fell from Heaven and completely burned up the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them.
Does anyone remember what the angels told Lot not to do when he was running away? They told him not to stop and not to look back.
But as they were running, Lot’s wife turned around and looked back at the fireballs and the burning cities and immediately she was turned into a pile of salt.
The next morning, Abraham woke up and looked over at the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and saw that God had destroyed them. But Lot and his two daughters were safe.
Why did God destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? Because the people who lived there didn’t believe in God and they were doing wrong things so God had to punish them.
Why did the angels save Lot from being burned up in Sodom? Because Lot believed in God and did the right things that God wanted him to do.
Why did Lot’s wife turn into a pile of salt? Because she disobeyed God’s instructions. The angels told her not to look back and she looked back. We have to be careful to obey God’s instructions so nothing bad happens to us.
Where can we find God’s instructions? God has given His instruction to us in the Bible. If we follow what the Bible says, God will be happy with us.
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