Lesson 11: Abraham and Isaac

Primary 6: Old Testament, (1996), 43–46


Purpose

To help the children understand that we should trust Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ completely.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study:

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Jacob 4:5—Abraham’s offering of Isaac was in similitude of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

  3. 3.

    Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible for each child.

    2. b.

      A Book of Mormon and a Pearl of Great Price.

    3. c.

      Pictures 6-11, Abraham Taking Isaac to Be Sacrificed (Gospel Art Picture Kit 105; 62054); 6-12, The Crossing of the Red Sea (62100); 6-13, Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Gospel Art Picture Kit 117; 62096); and 6-14, Three Men in the Fiery Furnace (Gospel Art Picture Kit 116; 62093).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Write on the chalkboard: Is anything too hard for the Lord? Invite the children to discuss this question.

  • How hard do you think it would have been for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to create our beautiful world and everything in it?

  • Do you think they could move a mountain or change the direction of a river if they wanted to?

Show the pictures The Crossing of the Red Sea, Daniel in the Lions’ Den, and Three Men in the Fiery Furnace. Briefly explain that the Lord parted the waters of the Red Sea to let Moses and the Israelites escape from the Egyptian army, he protected Daniel from a den of lions, and he kept three young men from being burned when they were cast into a fiery furnace. (Note: Do not teach these stories in detail. Tell the children that they will learn more about these stories later in the year.) Point out that these people trusted in the Lord and had faith that his will would be done. Their faith was rewarded with miracles.

Refer again to the question on the chalkboard, and tell the children they are going to learn about a time when Abraham and Sarah were asked this question.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah from Genesis 18:1–16 and Genesis 21:1–8. Help the children understand that Isaac’s birth was a miracle because Sarah was too old to have a baby. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading and discussing the scriptures with the children in class will help them gain personal insights.

  • How did Abraham treat the three holy men who visited him? (Genesis 18:3–8.) What did these men tell Abraham? (Genesis 18:10.) Why did Sarah laugh when she heard what they said? (Genesis 18:11–12; laugh in these verses probably means to rejoice.)

  • What important lesson did the Lord teach Abraham? (Genesis 18:14.) What can we learn from this? (Anything is possible if it is the Lord’s will.)

  • What did Abraham and Sarah name their son? (Genesis 21:3.) How old were Abraham and Sarah when Isaac was born? (Genesis 17:17.) How do you think Abraham and Sarah felt when they finally had a baby after so many years? (Genesis 21:6; see the footnote to Genesis 21:6 in the LDS edition of the Bible.)

  • How did Abraham and Sarah learn to have greater trust in the Lord through this experience? How can we develop more trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? How can we show our trust in them? (See enrichment activities 3 and 4.)

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac from Genesis 22:1–14. Display the picture Abraham Taking Isaac to Be Sacrificed at an appropriate time.

Discussion and Application Questions

  • What did God command Abraham to do? (Genesis 22:2.) Why did God ask Abraham to do such a difficult thing? (Genesis 22:1; see the footnote to Genesis 22:1 in the LDS edition of the Bible. Tempt in this case means to test or prove.)

  • What did Abraham do when God told him to take his son to Moriah to sacrifice him? (Genesis 22:3.) Why would it have been difficult for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? (Genesis 17:19.) Remind the children that Abraham was nearly sacrificed himself, and he knew human sacrifice was wrong (see lesson 9 and Abraham 1:7–8, 15). Why do you think Abraham quickly obeyed? How does this show that Abraham trusted Heavenly Father?

  • How do you think Abraham felt when Isaac asked him where the lamb was for the sacrifice? (Genesis 22:7–8.)

  • Why did the Lord send an angel to stop Abraham from killing his son? (Genesis 22:12.) How do you think Abraham felt then?

  • What blessings did the Lord promise Abraham because of his faithfulness? (Genesis 22:16–18.) Explain that seed refers to descendants or children. All those who have been baptized become the “seed” of Abraham.

  • Can you think of another Father who had to sacrifice his Son? Emphasize that one reason Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son was to teach about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (see Jacob 4:5). Why was it necessary that Heavenly Father’s Son not be saved from his sacrifice? Point out the parallels between Heavenly Father sending Jesus Christ to earth to be sacrificed and the near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham (see enrichment activity 1).

  • How does Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac help you better understand Heavenly Father’s love for you in sacrificing his Son? What does the sacrifice that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made mean to you? How does this help you have greater trust in what Heavenly Father and Jesus ask us to do?

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Discuss the following parallels between Heavenly Father sending Jesus Christ to earth to be sacrificed and the near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham:

    1. a.

      Isaac was the only son of Abraham and Sarah.

      Jesus Christ is Heavenly Father’s Only Begotten Son in the flesh (Heavenly Father is the father of Jesus’ spirit and body).

    2. b.

      Abraham loved Isaac.

      Heavenly Father loves Jesus.

    3. c.

      Abraham was obedient to Heavenly Father.

      Isaac was obedient to his father.

      Jesus was obedient to his Father.

    4. d.

      The Lord provided a ram for Abraham’s sacrifice.

      Heavenly Father provided Jesus, the Lamb of God, for a sacrifice for us.

  2. 2.

    Read and discuss Proverbs 3:5–6. Help the children memorize all or part of this scripture. Encourage the children to recite this scripture for their families and discuss its meaning with them.

  3. 3.

    Suggest the following or similar situations when the children need to trust Heavenly Father. Help them decide how to show this trust.

    • When we pray. (Ask that Heavenly Father’s will be done.)

    • When we come to Primary. (Listen and learn.)

    • When we are tempted to do something wrong. (Remember what Jesus taught, and refuse to do the wrong thing.)

    • When someone hurts our feelings. (Be forgiving and show love instead of anger.)

    • When we think we need our tithing money for something else. (Pay tithing.)

    • When our friends want us to play soccer or go to a movie on the Sabbath. (Keep the Sabbath day holy.)

    • When it’s time to get up for family scripture reading and we are still sleepy. (Get up and read.)

  4. 4.

    Write on slips of paper blessings we might receive from trusting in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and doing what they ask. Use the following or similar blessings:

    • Happiness

    • Health

    • Love for others

    • A peaceful home

    • A testimony of the gospel

    • Stronger faith in Jesus Christ

    • Enjoyment when we attend church

    • The Holy Ghost as a companion

    • Place the slips of paper in a bag and ask, “How many of you like to receive good things?”

    Remind the children that we have already received the great blessing of having the gospel of Jesus Christ. Tell them that Heavenly Father and Jesus have promised us many more blessings if we trust in them and live the gospel. Have the children take turns reading a blessing from the bag and discussing how they might gain that blessing. Be sure that ideas such as the following are covered:

    • Participate willingly in family home evening and family prayer

    • Attend church

    • Help family members

    • Obey parents

    • Keep the Word of Wisdom

    • Read the scriptures

    Help the children realize that blessings do not always come immediately. Some blessings may come years later and some may not come while we are on the earth. Have the children each decide on something they can do during the coming week to show their trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus.

  5. 5.

    Sing or read the words to “He Sent His Son” (Children’s Songbook, p. 34).

Conclusion

Testimony

Express your gratitude for the sacrifices Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made for you. Bear testimony that when we trust in them and obey their commandments, we will be blessed.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Genesis 22:1–13 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.