Here are a few questions that we might want to consider before, or in, class:
Genesis 10:2, 11:10, and 11:27 introduce sections of genealogical material. What makes a genealogy meaningful to us? (For instance, knowing the people, or something about the people; knowing how they connect to someone else we know; … ) Which of those things are operating in these genealogies? Which are not? How meaningful do these genealogies seem to us?
The genealogy in Genesis 11:10-11:27 gives us enough information to add up the years from the flood to the birth of Abraham. What thoughts or impressions do we get from doing this exercise? Are there things we would like to know about these people? What are they? Why? Are there things we feel we do know? What are they? Again, why?
Genesis 11:31 tells us Terah and his family set out for the land of Canaan from Ur, and settled in Haran. We might want to look at a map, and give some thought to why the family might have traveled by way of Haran. Why, do we think? Do we have ideas about why the family does not move on from Haran to Canaan? What are they? Why those? Are there any other possibilities?
In Genesis 12:1, YHWH says to Abram “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” If we were in Abram’s position, which of these instructions would be most difficult? Which would be least difficult? Why is that? Can we tell whether following the instruction was difficult for Abram? How? Why, do we think?
Genesis 12:2 & 3 describe YHWH’s plans to bless Abram. How appealing is this blessing? Why? What part is most appealing? Why? What do we learn about ourselves from our reaction here? Why?
In Genesis 12:4, Abram follows YHWH’s instructions. The text is silent about Abram’s mental and emotional response at this point. What does that tell us, do we think? Why do we think that? What mental and emotional responses might someone have at this point in the text? What makes us think that? Do any of those seem more, or less, appropriate for Abram to have? Why do we think that? Have we ever been in situation that was similar to Abram’s, in any way? In what way(s)? How was God at work in that situation, do we think?
Our curriculum encourages us to notice that the genealogical record from Noah to Abraham is significant for the Biblical writer; to appreciate the generations-long process by which God intended to work in human history; and to appreciate and celebrate the way God has worked in our own families over time, to bring blessings to others.
Here are a few links to recent news stories that might be relevant to this lesson in some way: