Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1. Think back on your school days. How good were you at taking tests? How would you prepare for a test?
2. As an adult, what are some specific ways you feel you have been tested? What events in your life have tested your courage, your abilities, or your trust in others?
Read Genesis 12:1, 4-6.
1. God tested Abram’s faith by telling him to “go.” What three things was he told to leave behind (v. 1)? Look at these and think why it would be difficult to leave each one.
2. Leaving the familiar is difficult enough. But what other challenges would have made Abram’s trip a tough move (vv. 4-6; Hebrews 11:8, 9)?
Read Genesis 12:2, 3, 7.
3. Put the definition of faith given in Hebrews 11:1 into your own words. Try not to use any words longer than six letters in your paraphrase!
4. List the unrealized blessings in these verses that Abram trusted God to fulfill. (See also Hebrews 11:10.) How did this type of faith allow Abram to weather the challenges he and his family faced?
Read Genesis 22:15-19.
5. Notice the mention of “only son” in Genesis 22:2 and 22:16. Why do you think that the first mention of love in the Bible in the context of an “only son” is significant? Refer to 1 John 4:9, 10 to explain.
6. How would you feel if you received something for which you prayed many years, only to have it taken away? Read the commentary on Abraham’s testing found in Hebrews 11:17-19. How does it explain how Abraham’s past experiences with God allowed him to survive this test?
7. Romans 4:16 tells us that Abraham is the father of all who share his type of obedient faith. Give yourself a quick “spiritual paternity test.” On a scale of one to 10 rate yourself on these faith traits: willingness to leave my comfort zone, trust that God will fulfill his promises to me, ability to sacrifice that which is nearest to me if called to do so.