“February 14–20. Genesis 18–23: ‘Is Any Thing Too Hard for the Lord?’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“February 14–20. Genesis 18–23,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2022
Record Your Impressions
Our tests and trials often become defining moments in our lives. Genesis 18–23 describes several such moments in the lives of Abraham and Lot. Perhaps class members could share a verse they found during their personal study this week that describes a possible defining moment for Abraham. They could then share what they learned from it.
The account in these verses can be inspiring to class members who wonder if God’s promises to them will be fulfilled. To begin a discussion, it may be helpful to invite class members to review with someone else in class the account of God’s promises to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 17:4, 15–22; 18:9–14 and the fulfillment of those promises in Genesis 21:1–7. What in these verses stands out to class members? What truths could we draw from Abraham and Sarah’s experience to share with a friend who is losing hope that God will fulfill His promises? What other scriptures or personal experiences might we share? (see, for example, Romans 8:28; Hebrews 11; Mormon 9:19–21; Doctrine and Covenants 88:64). What experiences could class members share in which God’s promises were fulfilled in their lives? How can we sustain our faith when promised blessings may not be received in this life? (see Hebrews 11:8–13).
What lessons do you feel class members could learn from the account of Lot’s family fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah? One possible lesson is suggested in Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s statement in “Additional Resources.” Perhaps you could share it with the class after summarizing the events described in Genesis 19:15–26. In what ways or in what situations do we sometimes “[look] back” (verse 26) when we ought to be looking forward with faith in the Savior? Perhaps class members could share experiences that illustrate the importance of not looking back. What does Luke 9:62 add to our understanding of this concept?
The account of Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice can teach us about Heavenly Father’s sacrifice of His Son. One way to explore this account is to assign half of the class to ponder Genesis 22:1–14 from the perspectives of Abraham and God the Father, while the other half ponders this account from the perspectives of Isaac and Jesus Christ. Ask class members to share insights they gain. In particular, what do class members learn that deepens their gratitude for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? As part of this discussion, you could display the picture Abraham Taking Isaac to Be Sacrificed (Gospel Art Book, no. 9) or show the video “Akedah (The Binding)” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“It is possible that Lot’s wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. … So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. …
“… I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. …
“… [Lot’s wife] did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently, she thought that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as what she was leaving behind. …
“… Dwelling on past lives, including past mistakes, is just not right! It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ” (“The Best Is Yet to Be,” Ensign, Jan. 2010, 24, 26–27).