The People Build a Tower, but God Builds a Family

Updated


Grace and peace to all you teachers of children, professionals and volunteers alike! Here are my 10 children's sermons for Genesis 11-50 that will, hopefully, make your time teaching a little easier.

For children's sermons on the earlier parts of Genesis, please see Genesis Children's Sermons: Creation and Adam and Eve or Genesis Children's Sermons: The Fall and the Flood .

People Build a Tower

You might also be interested in Children's Sermons about the Bible . This collection of 9 children's sermons is all about what the Bible is and why kids can trust it as God's Word to them.

These 10 children's sermons on the Tower of Babel and the patriarchs feature object lessons on the following topics.

  • Towering Pride – giving glory to God instead of seeking it for ourselves
  • Job's Ups and Downs – putting our hope in God in every circumstance
  • Abram Follows the Leader – how to follow God in our daily life
  • Abram Takes Second Pick – God rewards a generous spirit
  • Abraham's Impossible Faith – a relationship with God starts with believing Him
  • God Cares for Hagar – God is present for all people
  • Abraham Puts God First – how we can build our life on the Lord
  • Isaac Practices Peace – living in peace is more important than getting our way
  • Jacob Asks His Brother to Forgive Him – how to ask for and give forgiveness
  • God Turns Things Around for Joseph – God always brings good out of bad situations

Recommended Extras

These resources will help you make more out of your time teaching. They aren't necessary, but I've found them to be helpful.

Paid Resources

The Complete Illustrated Children's Bible – This book will help you tell the Bible stories with beautiful, realistic artwork. It stays close to the Bible and hits the main points children should learn.

The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Stories for Children – This children's Bible has a more animated art style that kids enjoy.

Using either of these resources is a way to show kids the story you're telling them. That visual aspect helps the story seem more real, and gives your students a better understanding. Both of these books are very inexpensive and will give you a lot of use as they cover all the major stories of the Bible.

And, if you'd like to send the kids home with something at the start of or after this series of children's sermons, I always recommend the Discover 4 Your Series by Kay Arthur. Because this is such a large chunk of Genesis, there are three devotional books for you to consider.

Digging Up the Past , of course, covers the life of Joseph. In each of these books, kids read the Scriptures, answer questions, and do puzzles all with the help of a cast of recurring fictional characters.

Free Resources

For another children's sermon on Job, see Heidi York's object lesson on Sermons4Kids. She explores the role of God and Satan in life's tragedies. That's a theme that I didn't hit on below and could be an interesting aspect of the story for you teach on.

I have lots of Sunday School lessons on all of these stories that you can use to draw ideas from. I also recommend using them in your Sunday School or Children's Church before or after the children's sermon to help kids understand the stories even more.

Towering Pride Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on the Tower of Babel to teach kids how to be humble and give glory to God.

Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9

Needed: instruction cards printed in different languages (provided at the end of this children's sermon)

Children's Sermon: Hand out the instruction cards and tell students to form a line based on the number on their card.

When they can't do it, instruct them to sit down instead. Say, It's difficult to work together to do something if you can't understand your instructions, isn't it? God made it difficult for people to work together once.

In the beginning, all the people spoke the same language. Everyone could talk with and understand each other. After Noah's Ark and the Flood, some people wanted to build a city.

(Read Genesis 11:4 , quoted here in the NIV.) "Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

Did you hear why the people wanted to build a city and a tower? (They wanted to make a name for themselves.)

They wanted to be famous for building such a great tower.

Do you think God wants us to want to be famous?

The Bible tells us that God wants us to be humble. He doesn't want us to think about how we're so great. Instead, He wants us to give Him the glory because He's so much greater than we are. No matter what we do, God has done much more. No matter how high of a tower we build, God is higher.

So, because the people were trying to make themselves seem great instead of giving glory to God, He made it so that they all spoke different languages. They were trying to build the tower, but they couldn't understand each other to work together. They had to stop building the tower.

God made them stop working together because they weren't giving Him the glory for giving them the ability to build a tower.

But when we are focusing on God and giving Him the glory, He does help us work together. Can you think of some ways that God helps us work together in church? (You might mention the ministries that your members work together to accomplish or the worship service itself in which the leaders and the congregation work together to glorify God.)

When we are giving God the glory, He helps us to communicate and understand each other better so that we can work together.

Closing Prayer: Father, we thank You for helping us to work together as Your Church. We pray You'll help us not to focus on ourselves and get prideful about what we can do, but remember to give You all the glory. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

For Instruction Cards: These are the numbers 1-30 written out in Latin. If you have more than 30 students, add more Latin numbers .

unus, duo, tres, quattuor, quinque, sex, septem, octo, novem, decem, undecim, duodecim, tredecim, quatuordecim, quindecim, sedecim, septendecim, duodeviginti, undeviginti, viginti, viginti unus, viginti duo, viginti tres, viginti quattuor, viginti quinque, viginti sex, viginiti septem, duodetriginta, unusdetriginta, triginta

Job's Ups and Downs Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on the book of Job to teach kids how to trust God through the good and bad times in life.

Scripture: The Book Job

Needed: picture of a road with mountains and valleys

Children's Sermon: Ask students, How many of you are happy all the time?

How many of you are sad all the time?

How many of you are happy sometimes, sad sometimes, and in the middle sometimes?

Most people have ups and downs in life.

(Show your picture of a road.)

Life is kind of like this road. Sometimes, you feel really happy, like you're on top of a mountain. Sometimes, you feel pretty bad, like you're down in the valley. Other times, you feel sort of in the middle like this road that goes back and forth.

The Bible tells us about a named Job who, at first, was on top of the mountain. He had 10 children and was very rich with many animals on his farm. Job believed in God and everything was going great.

Then, Satan wanted to test Job. He made it so that all of Job's animals were stolen, his children all died, and he even got sick with painful sores all over his body. Job was in the valley. He was so sad and so miserable that he wanted to die.

But through everything that happened, Job kept believing in and trusting God.

The end.

Wait! Do you think that's really the end of the story?

That's not the end of the story! Like I was saying, all of those bad things happened to Job, but Job never stopped trusting God. And, after a while, God turned things around for Job. God gave Job even more children than he had before and made him even richer with more animals for his farm.

God does the same thing for us. When things aren't going well, and we feel as if we're in the valley, we just need to keep trusting God, and He'll eventually make things better for us. We have a God who stays with us in the good times, the bad times, and the in-between times. He never leaves us and He always helps us.

Closing Prayer: Lord, thank You for always being with us no matter what's happening in our life. Help us to remember that you care about us and will help us, just like You helped Job. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Abram Follows the Leader Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on the call of Abram to teach kids how to follow God in their daily life.

Scripture: Genesis 12:1-9

Needed: nothing

Children's Sermon: Tell students that you're going to play a game called Follow the Leader. Instruct them all to line up behind you and do exactly what you do as you lead them around the sanctuary. As you lead them, change up the procession with different hand and foot motions.

Some ideas include hopping, skipping, jumping on one foot, taking two steps forward and one step back, spinning as you walk, walking backwards, throwing your hands up in the air, or rolling your hands and flinging one arm out to the side with each movement.

When you return to the front, ask, Was it difficult to play follow the leader? Did you know everything I was going to do?

There was a man who once played Follow the Leader with God.

(Read Genesis 12:1 , quoted here in the NIV.) "The Lord had said to Abram, 'Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.'"

God told Abram to leave his home, his family, and his country to go to a place God would show him. God didn't even tell Abram where he was supposed to go! He just had to follow God.

Do you think it would be hard to follow God like that? Why would it be hard? (Some ideas might be that it would be hard to leave your family or that it's difficult to follow God because you can't see Him.)

Did you know that we also play Follow the Leader with God every day? He might not be telling us to leave our families or our homes, but God does lead us in our lives. And we don't know exactly what He's leading us toward. We never know exactly what will happen.

One thing we can believe is that if we follow God, He will always lead us to good things in the end. Do you know what God is leading us toward in the very end?

God is leading us toward Heaven. If we follow Him all our lives, He'll take our spirits to Heaven when we die. Then, we'll get to live with Him forever and ever.

But we don't know everything that will happen to us in our lives while God is leading us. We just have to keep trusting that God is a good leader who will lead us to good things, just like he led Abram to a new home and a new country.

Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You for being so good to us and always leading us the right way. We pray that You'll always help us to follow You even when things seem hard or scary because we know that You're leading us to good things. Amen.

Abram Takes Second Pick Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on generosity to teach kids how to put peace first.

Scripture: Genesis 13:5-17

Needed: two gift boxes and a hidden prize (One gift box might have a quarter in it while the other has a cookie or other type of snack. The hidden prize could be a box of cookies or snacks.)

Children's Sermon: Ask for two volunteers. When the volunteers come up, show them two gift boxes. Tell them that they can open and keep whichever one they want, but they have to decide who gets which gift box.

Let them decide. After they've opened their boxes, give the student who took the second pick the hidden prize as well.

Ask the students, Were you surprised that I gave the person who picked second an even bigger prize?

This same sort of thing happened to Abram. He and his nephew Lot had too many animals to keep living in the same place together. The people who were taking care of their animals kept getting into fights about what animals were theirs and what grass each of their animals could eat.

So, Abram told Lot to pick which way he wanted to go. He said, "Lot, if you go this way, I'll go that way. If you go that way, I'll go this way. You get first pick of wherever you want to move to."

Lot picked what seemed to be the best place to live, and Abram went the other direction.

Afterward, God told Abram that he was going to give him the whole country. That's a pretty big prize, isn't it? God said that He would give the whole country to Abram and his children and his grandchildren forever.

I like this story because it shows me that we can generous to other people and let them have first pick if they want it. God will see our generosity and reward us with an even bigger prize.

When you go to school or you go home or you're playing with your friends, remember Abram and how God rewarded him. Don't fight with people, but let them have first pick. God will see it and be happy with you.

Closing Prayer: Lord, thank You for this story about Abram. We pray that You'll help us to be like and give other people first pick. We want to be generous and live in peace with everyone. In Jesus' name, amen.

Abraham's Impossible Faith Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on Abraham's faith to teach kids how to have a right relationship with God.

Scripture: Genesis 15:1-6

Needed: picture of an elderly man and woman

Children's Sermon: Ask students, How many of you have grandmothers?

When is your grandmother going to have her next baby?

Grandmothers don't usually have babies, do they? Their bodies are all done having children. Some women's bodies can never have children.

(Show your picture of the elderly couple.)

Do you think these two people could have a new baby?

This is one of the oldest married couples in the world. The man is 106 years old, and the woman is 102. They've been married for 85 years. Let's give them a hand!

But even though they're doing so well, most people would say that they can't have children anymore. Their bodies are too old.

They remind me of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was a very old man when God told him that he was going to have a son. It seemed impossible. It seemed even more impossible because Sarah was old too. And, in fact, Sarah was one of those women that I said was never able to have children, even when she was young. Her body simply didn't work that way.

But even though Abraham knew that most people would say it was impossible for him and Sarah to have children, he believed that God could do it.

(Read Genesis 15:6 , quoted here in the NIV.) "Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

Does anyone know that word, "righteousness," means? It means to be in a right relationship with God. Abraham was in a right relationship with God because he believed what God said.

That's how we can have a right relationship with God too. If we believe the things that God said in the Bible and do what He says, we'll be in a right relationship with Him.

It might be hard to believe what God says sometimes, just like it was hard for Abraham to believe that God was going to give him a son when he was so old, but we need to keep believing that God will do what He said. God always keeps His promises and He always means what He says.

And we know that God did give Abraham and Sarah a son. His name was Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was 90 years old when God gave them Isaac.

So, even when it seems impossible, we can still believe God like Abraham did.

Closing Prayer: Father, we thank You for always keeping Your promises. Help us to always have faith in You so that we can be in a right relationship with You all our life. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

God Cares for Hagar Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on Hagar to teach kids that God cares for everyone.

Scripture: Genesis 16

Needed: an assortment of fancy or beautiful things with one that's plain-looking (maybe a bouquet of flowers with one that isn't as healthy or a collection of printed pencils with one plain one mixed in)

Children's Sermon: Show your items and ask the students, Which do you like the best? Which seems not as special not as the others?

There was once a woman named Hagar whom others didn't see as very special. In fact, they treated her very poorly. You see, she was the slave of Abraham and Sarah.

(Tell this next part at your own discretion.) When Sarah couldn't have children, she gave Hagar to Abraham so that Abraham could have children with Hagar.

Sarah mistreated Hagar so much that Hagar ran away into the desert. Then, an angel appeared to her and said that God saw how sad she was.

Do you think God sees when we're sad or upset too? (Yes, He does.)

Then, the angel promised that God was going to do good things for Hagar. When the angel left, Hagar made up a new name to call God.

(Read Genesis 16:13 , quoted here in the NIV.) "She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: 'You are the God who sees me,' for she said, 'I have now seen the One who sees me.'"

Hagar knew that even if other people didn't think she was special, God still saw her and cared about her. And we can believe that too. Even if we don't feel special, or if other people make us feel bad sometimes, we can believe that God sees us and cares about us and that He will do good things for us, just like He did for Hagar.

Closing Prayer: Lord, we thank You that You are the God who sees us. You see everything that happens to us. And You care about us. Help us to remember that You're always there for us and that You will do good things for us. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Abraham Puts God First Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on Abraham and Isaac to teach kids how to put God first in their lives.

Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19

Needed: an assortment of differently-sized building blocks or pieces of wood

Children's Sermon: Show students your building materials and tell them that you want their help to build a tower. You'll build it, but you want them to tell you which block to add next.

Most groups choose to put the largest block as the foundation. If you're group doesn't, don't worry; the illustration will still work.

When you're and the students are finished building the tower, ask, Why did you choose to put this one (whichever is block is on the bottom) first? (If it's the largest block, you can talk about how it provides a stable foundation for the rest of the tower.)

Abraham once had to make a very difficult decision not about what he was going to put first in his tower, but about what he was going to put first in his life.

When Abraham finally had a son when he was 100 years old, God told him to take that son, Isaac, up a mountain and kill him as a sacrifice to God.

That sounds like a scary situation, doesn't it? Do you think you would do something like that if God you to?

The Bible tells us that Abraham thought that if he did kill Isaac, God would bring him back from the dead ( Hebrews 11:19 ). But he couldn't be sure. He only knew that he had to do what God told him. He had to put God first in his life.

So, Abraham took Isaac up that mountain and he tied him to a big rock and he raised his knife to kill his son. And then God called to Abraham.

(Read Genesis 22:12 , quoted here in the NIV.) "'Do not lay a hand on the boy,' He said. 'Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son."

Abraham put God first, and it all worked out, didn't it? He didn't have to sacrifice Isaac, after all. It was just a test from God to see if Abraham would listen to Him or not.

Things work out for us, too, when we put God first in our lives. God never tells us to do something wrong and He always helps everything else go right, just like our first block helped us build our tower.

When we listen to God and do what He wants us to, He makes it easier to get along with our family and friends. He makes it easier for us to stay out of trouble. He even makes it easier for us to be happy in our lives.

God told Abraham and He tells us to put God first in our lives because He knows that it's good for us to listen to Him.

Closing Prayer: Father, we thank You that You are a good God who always helps us. We ask You now to help us to put You first in our lives so that You can make everything else go better too. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Isaac Practices Peace Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on Isaac to teach kids how to live at peace with others.

Scripture: Genesis 26:12-22

Needed: Three six-sided dice

Children's Sermon: Call the students up front and ask for three volunteers from the congregation for a game of Bump. Have the volunteers line up in the center in front of you and the children. Give each of the three volunteers a die.

If the first one rolls a 1 or 2, they stand on the left side of the sanctuary. If they roll a 3 or 4, they stand in the middle. If they roll a 5 or 6, they stand on the right side of the sanctuary. They each continue rolling and moving to their new spot.

The trick is that you and the children can't occupy the same space as one of the volunteers, so if one rolls to land on the position where you are, your group moves to an open space. If there is no open space, the volunteers win, and the game is over.

Once your volunteers crowd you out, thank them and then lead the kids back toward the middle to talk about what happened.

Say, Every time someone landed in our spot, we moved, didn't we? We didn't try to keep our spot. We simply let them have it.

That's how Isaac behaved in our story today. He dug a well, and then his enemies said it was theirs. Instead of arguing with them, he moved to a different spot and dug another well. His enemies said it was theirs again. Isaac moved a second time and dug a well. His enemies claimed it was theirs. Isaac moved a third time, dug a well, and… guess what happened? His enemies said it was theirs.

So, Isaac moved a fourth time, dug a well, and… guess what happened? No one said it was theirs. He was able to keep the fourth well he dug.

What I like about this story is that Isaac didn't fight with anyone, even though he was the one who dug the wells. He simply let his enemies have them.

It reminds me of how Jesus didn't fight back when the soldiers arrested Him.

I think God likes it when we don't fight with others, but simply move on. Keeping the peace is more important to God than fighting about who's right and who's wrong. So, let's remember to be peaceful with others and do what we can to avoid getting into fights.

Closing Prayer: God, You gave us this story about Isaac and You gave us Your Son Jesus, to show us how to be peaceful. Help us not to fight with others when they do something wrong to us, but to simply move on like Isaac did. Amen.

Jacob Asks His Brother to Forgive Him Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on Jacob and Esau to teach kids how to ask for forgiveness.

Scripture: Genesis 32-33

Needed: an invoice from home (or make your own ) and a gift box (possibly filled with cookies, coloring pages, or other small prizes)

Children's Sermon: Show students your invoice and say, This is a bill. Do any of you know what a bill is?

A bill is something that you have to pay when you owe someone money. It would be wrong not to pay a bill. You owe someone money, so you have to pay it.

(Show your gift box.) How many of you know what this is?

It's a present. Do you have to give people presents?

Sometimes, we feel as if we have to give people presents because it's the nice thing to do, but there's no rule that says you have to give someone a present. You don't owe someone a present. You give someone a present because you want to, not because you have to.

So, you have to pay a bill because you owe it. You don't have to give a present unless you want to.

Our story today is about two brothers. The first one owed something to the other, and the second one gave the first one a gift.

The story is about Jacob and Esau. They were twin brothers, the sons of Isaac and Rebekah. These brothers were very different from one another, and as they were growing up, Jacob did some very mean things to Esau. One time, Jacob did something so mean to Esau, that Esau wanted to kill Jacob!

Jacob had to run far away from home and go live with his uncle so that Esau wouldn't kill him. And Jacob stayed with his uncle for over 20 years. He didn't see his dad or his mom or his brother in all that time.

Then, one day, God told him to go back home. So, Jacob took his family and started going back to his family's home. But, then, Esau heard that Jacob was coming back and he went to meet him with 400 men who all had swords!

Jacob was very afraid because he remembered all the bad things he did to Esau, and that Esau wanted to kill him.

What do you think Jacob should do? Should he run again?

The best thing for Jacob to do is exactly what he did. He apologized to his brother. He sent him sheep and goats and camels and donkeys and cows to say he was sorry for all the wrong things he did.

You see, he owed it to Esau to say that he was sorry.

Esau saw that his brother was sorry, and then gave him a gift.

(Read Genesis 33:4 , quoted here in the NIV.) "But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept."

Instead of hurting his brother, Esau hugged him and forgave him. He gave Jacob the gift of his forgiveness. He didn't have to forgive Jacob. He did it because he wanted to.

To me, this story shows that when we do something wrong to someone else, we owe it to them to say we're sorry. And when someone tells us that they're sorry for what they did, we should give them the gift of forgiving them.

Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You that You always forgive us when we ask You to. We pray that You'll help us to always ask other people to forgive us when we do something wrong to them too. And help us to be like You and forgive other people when they ask us to. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

(If you placed a gift in your gift box, open it now and give it to the children.)

God Turns Things Around for Joseph Children's Sermon

Purpose: Use this children's sermon on Joseph and his brothers to teach kids how God always works things out for good.

Scripture: Genesis 37-50

Needed: a picture of people helping each during a natural disaster and a picture of people helping each other after a natural disaster

Children's Sermon: Recall any recent or historically significant natural disaster. Talk about how it destroyed homes and caused damage around the community. Talk about how awful it was.

Then, ask, Why do you think God lets things that happen? Does anything good come out of bad situations like that?

(Show your pictures and talk about how people get the opportunity to help others during and after a disaster.) Say, God is very happy when people help each other, and that's one good thing that comes out of bad situations.

Joseph was a man who found himself in a bad situation once. His own brothers got jealous of him when his father, Jacob, gave him a new cloak. In fact, his brothers were so jealous of him that they were going to kill him, but, instead, they sold him as a slave into Egypt.

More bad things happened to Joseph while he was in Egypt, and, even though he didn't do anything wrong, he was thrown into prison.

How would you like for all of those bad things to happen to you?

But years, later, God used Joseph to warn the people of Egypt about a time when there wouldn't be enough food. He made a plan to keep all the people of Egypt from starving and Pharaoh made him the second-in-charge of the whole country.

That's a big change, isn't it? He went from being a slave to being a prisoner to being the second-of-charge of the country of Egypt. But he wouldn't have been in Egypt to save the people and become the second-in-charge if all of those bad things didn't happen to him in the first place.

So, God used Joseph's bad situation for something really good. Joseph himself said the same thing to his brothers many years later.

(Read Genesis 50:20 , quoted here in the NIV.) "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

So, when bad things happen to us, we should have faith that God is going to bring something good out of that bad situation.

Closing Prayer: Lord, you are the all-powerful God who is always working for our good. You can even bring good things out of bad situations. We pray that You'll help us to trust You when bad things happen because we know that You're still working and that You have a plan. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.

Thank you for considering using these resources in your teaching time. You can find an easy printer version of this post on Patreon! . I've also included an invoice from Esau to Jacob to serve as a prop in your children's sermon on forgiveness.

If you'd rather have these children's sermons in book form, they're available in Kindle and paperback formats. Look for Genesis Children's Sermons: The People Build a Tower, but God Builds a Family by Rev. Steve Wilson.

Teach well. Be well. And may God's Spirit continue to be with your spirit in all you do! - Steve


About the Author

Steve and Mindy

Steve has a Master's of Divinity and has served as an associate pastor for about 7 years. Steve is passionate about passing on his devotion and does so in a variety of ways. Check out his Patreon or the About page to find out how you can help support his efforts.


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  • Ministry to Children
    Sunday School Lessons

    How to build your children’s ministry with free resources for your children’s ministry or family time. Includes children’s Sunday School lessons and children’s sermons on the entire Bible!


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