Much has happened ...
... since Noah and his family left the ark. There was a scary moment on a mountain top, jealous brothers, too many frogs, and a million people walked through a sea on dry land. Pretty amazing stuff.
But those stories will have to wait until later.
Right now we are going to skip ahead to the story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den.
But first, we need to know a few things.
Noah and his family left the ark and made their homes in a fresh, new land. Noah’s sons had children, their children had children, and their children’s children had children. People started filling the earth again.
One night, many years later, God spoke to a man named Abram.
“Abram,” God said, “Look up at the stars in the sky and try to count them all. That is how big your family will be. You will be the father of a great nation, and because of you all people will be blessed.”
Sarai laughed when she heard this. She was Abram’s wife, and she knew she was too old to have any children.
Still, Abram believed God.
And that was all God needed.
God kept his promise, and he gave Abram and Sarai a son. They named him Isaac, which means “laughter.” God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, and he changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “the father of many nations.”
Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob was also called Israel, and he had 12 sons. Israel’s 12 sons had children, and their children had children, and their children’s children had children, until there were so many people, that altogether they were called the people Israel. Sometimes you will hear them called the Israelites. Sometimes they are also called the Jews, and sometimes the are called the Hebrews.
The people of Israel are even here today. All these people are the children of Abraham. They are as many as the stars in the sky. And they were born because of God’s promise to Abraham a long, long time ago.
The children of Abraham are called God’s “Chosen People.”
But it’s not that they are better than anyone else. No, God chose Abraham because Abraham believed in him. God wanted to show everyone in the world what happens when you believe in the one true God.
When we see how God blesses the ones who believe in him, that’s how we can believe in God, and we can become God’s chosen people too.
God wants us all to know that he loves us.
And that really is what these stories are all about.