Genesis 12 – 23

God called Abram (later to be known as Abraham) to go to Canaan, a beautiful land that God promised to Abram and his descendants. Israel is the name of the land today. His wife, Sarai, and nephew Lot traveled with him. God blessed both men and they prospered (became rich).

Eventually, the men who worked for Lot and Abram fought over property rights. So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left” (Ge 13: 8—9 NIV).

The east looked “well watered” so Lot selfishly chose to go in that direction. However, evil people lived in the east. Lot was captured when war broke out in the land he chose. Abram rescued him. Lot was sure a lot of trouble to Abram!

Even after these terrible things happened to Lot, he continued to live in this evil region of Sodom and Gomorrah. The people there were so wicked, God decided to destroy them. Lot just about lost his life again, but God sent angels to save Lot’s family before the cities were wiped out.

In these chapters of Genesis, God reminds Abram about the promise to make him the father of a great nation. Despite God’s reassurances, on two separate occasions, Sarai and Abram laughed in disbelief. They were too old to have a child – or so they thought!

Abram and Sarai grew impatient waiting for a son, so Sarai gave Abram her maidservant Hagar. During Old Testament (OT) times, it was common for men to have more than one wife. However, Abram knew that God created one man for one woman – just like Adam and Eve, but Abram took Hagar as his wife anyway. Hagar gave Abram a son, and his name was Ishmael.

When Abram was 99 years old, God came to him again and changed his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many.” Abraham’s new name fit his future life: to be the father of countless nations. He also changed Sarai’s name to Sarah meaning “princess of the multitude.”

Eventually, Abraham and Sarah had a son, named Isaac. It would be through Isaac, not Ishmael, that God would keep his promise and send the world our Savior. Jesus was a Jew – a descendant of Abraham and Isaac.

Abraham and Sarah didn’t wait for God’s timing, so when Isaac was born there was dissension (fighting) between Sarah (Isaac’s mother) and Hagar (Ishmael’s mother). Eventually, Abraham sent Ishmael and his mother away.

Abraham asked God to bless Ishmael, so God made Ishmael a father of a great nation too. His descendants are probably the people who live in the Arab countries surrounding Israel.

Even today these countries are at war. So disobedience can have future consequences. Remember Adam and Eve’s sin? It is the reason we don’t live in Paradise today!



(Ex 33:17b NLT).

Names play a significant role in the Bible. You could study for years on the names and characteristics of God.

In OT times, parents chose a name to fit the child and his future life. Sometimes people changed their names to fit their circumstances. There were several instances in the Bible when God changed people’s names, including Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah.

“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham for I have made you a father of many nations….” God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her” (Ge 17: 4, 5, 15, 16 NIV).

God chose the name Isaac for Abraham and Sarah’s son. It means, “he laughs” or “laughter.” Perhaps the reason God chose the name Isaac, was that Abraham and Sarah laughed in disbelief.

Do you know what your name means?

You can find out by looking at a name book or on the Internet.

Do you think your name fits you? Why or why not?

If God were to change your name, what name do you think he would choose to fit your life or how you behave?

Ask your mom and dad why they chose your name?

Look up the following Scriptures and write down some other times God changed people’s names:

Genesis 32: 22—28 God changed Jacob’s name to _______________________, which means he struggles with God. In the Old Testament, Jacob’s descendants are called Israelites, and the land God gave them is called Israel.

John 1:42 Jesus changed Simon’s name to ______________________, which

means rock.


Dear God, I love that you know me by name. Thank you for my name that my parents picked just for me. Guide me throughout my life and let me choose the right names for my children. Thank you for my blessings and praise your Holy Name. Amen.

My name is ____________________________________. I am _________ years old. I

am walking through the Bible with _________________________ on this date_______.


What you need: Letters that spell the child’s name.

Know the meaning of the toddler’s name, or have a book to look it up with the child.


(Ex 33:17b NLT).

Did you know the Bible says God knows you by name?

Another place in the Bible, God says: “I have called you by name” (Isa 43:1b NLT).

Your name is important to God.

Do you know what your name means?

Ask the person helping you today to write the meaning below:


Ask your mom or dad why they chose your name.

Take the letters and spell your name on the floor or table. You may need to ask for help.

What a great name! Remember, God knows you by your name.


God, thank you for caring about me so much you know me by my name. Thank you for my parents who chose my name just for me. Amen.

My name is ____________________________________. I am _________ years old. I

am walking through the Bible with _________________________ on this date_______.