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The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

(Back to OT Junior Seminary Overview)

Old Testament Lesson 13: We will be combining Genesis 18 and Genesis 19.

To Prepare: Read Genesis 18 and Genesis 19 (don’t worry, we are going to be omitting a lot of material about sexual sins that is inappropriate for Primary children); print a copy of the activity below for each child participating.

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To Teach: Begin with a prayer. Remind the children that Abraham had been promised many descendants, and explain that he and his wife Sarai had grown old. God told Abraham that Sarai would have a son and that her name should be changed to Sarah. Abraham was a little skeptical, since Sarah was 90 years old and too old to have children, but God told him to have faith in his promises. (Genesis 17:15-19)

Later, three angels (they were men, angels are messengers sent from God) came to visit Abraham and Sarah, and repeated the promise that Sarah would have a son. They also told Abraham that God was going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the terrible wickedness of the people who lived there. After they left, Abraham was very worried. He prayed, and asked the Lord if he would spare the city if fifty righteous people lived there. Explain how Abraham asked for mercy on the people of Sodom, eventually getting a promise that if even ten righteous people were found there, he would spare the city from destruction. (Genesis 18:24-32)

Read or summarize Genesis 19:12-29. Tell the children that the angels who visited Abraham came to see Lot. For some reason, Lot was living in Sodom with his wife and daughters. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to live in the same city whose wicked king I was captured by, a city full of wicked people! That seems like it might have been a bad decision on Lot’s part. The angels warned Lot that the city was going to be destroyed, and told him that he should warn anyone he cared about to leave the city. Lot tried to warn his daughter’s husbands, but they just laughed at him.

The next morning, the angels repeated their warning to leave, but Lot was dragging his feet. The angels actually grabbed his hand, and the hand of his wife, and his two daughters, and pulled them with them out of the city. They warned Lot and his family not to look back, and told them to run to the mountains. Lot was afraid that the mountains were too dangerous, and asked if he could take his family to a small city that was separated a ways from Sodom. They told him he could, and that’s where he took his family.

Read verses 24-26. Explain that probably, Lot’s wife didn’t just look behind her, but instead wanted in her heart to go back to wicked Sodom, and possibly even went back, where she would have been destroyed with everyone else. I drew parallels between her and Laman and Lemuel, who continually “looked back” to Jerusalem and their possessions. I asked the kids what we should do when we needed to be obedient and stop doing something we weren’t supposed to, or go somewhere we didn’t want to. (Don’t look back in your heart!)

Have kids draw their interpretation of the destruction of Sodom. Several of my kids also included a pile or pillar of salt (one helpfully labeled it ‘Mom.’ That’s attention to detail!) You did it again! Great job!

(Go to Lesson 14)

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