Absalom part 1

Hello again. We’re starting a few days on Absalom, David’s son. For the ages this blog is intended for (preschool/early childhood) i will be adjusting a few things while trying very hard to not alter the words of God. The intent of the story/God’s heart will still be present though i am leaving out/softening a few details.

2-Samuel-14

The first part of this story is from 2 Samuel 13 and 14.

King David had a daughter named Tamar. David had many children, and two of Tamar’s brothers were named Amnon and Absalom. One day, Amnon attacked his sister Tamar. (This was a horrible choice of course. If your kids ask why, i explained because he loved her and was mad he couldn’t marry his sister.) Tamar was very sad and told her brother Absalom who promised to protect her. Absalom was so mad he didn’t speak AT ALL to Amnon again.

Until…one day….it was time to take all the sheep and shear them (like give them a haircut and then they turn the wool into clothes and blankets and things). Absalom took some helpers with him and he also wanted to take Amnon. David said, “He doesn’t need to go?!” But Absalom insisted and while they were gone, he had his helpers kill Amnon.

King David was so sad when he found out Amnon was dead and Absalom got scared of what David or others might do, so he ran away. He was gone a very long time until Joab (King David’s lead soldier) knew the King missed Absalom and he came up with a plan to get Absalom back. Joab found a old woman and told her to go the king and say this:

“Oh your majesty! I need your help! My husband died and i only had two sons left, but one killed the other! Now i only have one son left, but everyone is so mad that he killed his brother that they want to kill him too!? Please make an official ‘King Decree’ to keep him safe so i won’t be ALL ALONE!”

King David agreed.

Then the woman also said “But haven’t you done the same thing with Absalom? He is running for his life! People want to kill him because he killed Amnon. You should forgive him too! God doesn’t want banished people to stay banished! He always makes a way to bring them back home!”

David knew Joab had put the woman up to it, so he sent Joab to get Absalom and bring him back. It took a long time for David and Absalom to speak again. Even though Absalom was allowed back into town, he was not welcomed with a big hug. David, unlike God who is always merciful and ready to forgive, was still pretty upset about the whole thing. (Remember everyone in the Bible except for God and Jesus, even good leaders are not perfect and do not do everything the way God would want them too. David was not very forgiving, but he did understand that God WANTED him to bring Absalom back and that he SHOULD forgive him.)

God DOESN’T want banished people to stay away. When Adam and Eve had to leave the garden because they sinned, He taught them about sacrifices and how the blood of a pure animal could cover their sin so they could be right with God again. And then, we too sin and are supposed to be separated from God forever, but God made a way! (Not us, but our King, God, made the way!) He sent Jesus to die on the cross to take the place of our sin so we could be with Him forever, clean and perfect and without sin because Jesus took all the yucky sin. God, like a good king, makes a way to bring us to back to Him, no matter what ugly things we do. And He welcomes us to Himself right away.

 

This is not the end of the story for David and Absalom. Their story is very up and down, full of bad choices and selfish interest, but we see the love of God through it all. Keep reading the next few days as we learn more. Thanks for joining us!

Psalm 51

Hello again! This Psalm was a song written by David after he killed Uriah and married Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. His heart was not obeying God. God was not happy and He sent His prophet Nathan to tell David to ask God to forgive him.

create

Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.

Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Make me perfectly clean from my sin.

For I recognize my disobedience;
    it haunts me day and night.

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is fair.

For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment i started growing in my mother’s belly.

But you desire honesty,
    teaching me wisdom from the beginning.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.

Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.

13 Then I will teach your ways to others,
    and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
    then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.

15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
    that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

 

Back before Jesus, people would make a sacrifice when they did something bad. They would find the best sheep they could. Then they would kill it and give it to God. (This was partly because that was one of the most important things to the people back then. The best sheep got them the most money. They could eat the animals or sell them. They were very important. To give them to God meant God was the MOST important.) God would see the blood from the best animal and forgive the people for what they had done wrong.

(When Jesus came, He was God’s own perfect son and He died as a sacrifice too on the cross. Instead of an animal, He was the PERFECT sacrifice because He never sinned…He was the “spotless lamb.” Once He died, we never had to sacrifice animals again. God will forever look on Jesus dying and see that He took away our punishment for us. His blood covers us forever as long as we believe in Him.)

David knew what was most important to God, more than the animal sacrifice, was what was in his heart. We can’t just say “oh, i messed up, but Jesus died on the cross so it’s fine.” Just like people in David’s day couldn’t say “oh i messed up, i’ll just kill a sheep and God will forgive me.” God forgives because of the sacrifice AND because we ask His forgiveness and have a heart that WANTS His forgiveness and a heart that WANTS to follow Him. (We are saved by the grace of Jesus’ sacrifice though faith.)

David was very sorry and he wanted God to forgive him and give him a new, clean heart and he asked God to help him obey from now on. He promised to rejoice and sing praises to God for his fair punishment and for God forgiving him.

 

Keith Green song 

Rend Collective song

Thanks for joining us!

David and Bathsheba

Hi all! After a break for a long while :0) we are back with some NEW stories. We have had a pretty good overall cover of Bible stories for littles, but this year we have some bigger kids in the house and some extra time in the year so we’ll be delving in deeper and covering a lot more of the Old Testament.

Today’s story is from 2 Samuel 11 and 12. (Some of it will be glossed over a little. If your kids are old enough you can read through the whole thing. In our house, we’ll be censoring a smidge until they’re a bit older. The details aren’t as necessary as the heart David displayed, his disobedience and repentance.)

uriah

 

David (shepherd, musician, fighter of Goliath and chosen “man after God’s own heart”) was now King. In the spring, David sent Joab (his lead soldier) out with the army. David stayed in Jerusalem while the army was fighting and conquering.

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman taking a bath. (They didn’t have pipes in their houses back then to take a bath in the bathroom.) The woman he saw was VERY beautiful, and David sent someone to find out who she was! The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” (My kids found it very funny that David saw her taking a bath and her name is BATHsheba hehe.) Then David sent messengers to go get her. Now, he was the King so she couldn’t say no or else she’d be in BIG trouble?! So she went to David and he decided HE wanted to marry her. (Even though she was already married!!! NOT a good choice, David.) 

David decided to get rid of Uriah. Uriah was one of the soldiers fighting in the army. So David wrote a letter to Joab and said, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then everyone move back from him so he will be hit and die.” He was going to have Uriah killed so HE could marry Bathsheba!

So Joab did what David requested and when it came time to fight again, Uriah did die.

When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she was very sad and cried for him. After her time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and she became pregnant with a baby boy. But God was NOT happy. 

The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to talk to David. (Remember, a prophet is someone who talks to God and then tells people what God wants them to know.) When Nathan came to David, he told him a story that goes like this, “There were two men in a certain town, one very rich and the other very poor. The rich man had a LOT of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. The little baby sheep was like a daughter to him. One day a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man did not want to take one of his own sheep or cattle to cook into a meal for the traveler. Instead, he took the one little lamb that belonged to the poor man and gave it to the visitor.”

David was angry and said to Nathan, “The man who did this must die! He must pay for that little lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “YOU are that man! You had EVERYTHING and Uriah didn’t have much….just a wife that he LOVED. But you who had EVERYTHING, you killed him and took his wife. God says to you: ‘I made you king over Israel, and I saved you from Saul. I gave you your great house, and all of Israel and Judah. And IF all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you do such an evil thing!? You killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own wife. Now, there will be severe consequences for what you have done.'”

Then David realized what he had done and he said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord!” David was very sorry and wanted God to forgive him.

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. He will forgive you. BUT because you made SUCH a bad choice and had Uriah killed so you could have his wife, the baby boy you have will die.”

After Nathan had gone home, the Lord made the baby boy very sick.  David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and prayed and cried. Everyone tried very hard to get David to feel better but he cried and prayed and cried and prayed, asking God to help his son get better. 

But, on the seventh day the baby died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “He was so upset BEFORE…how can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something CRAZY now.”

David noticed that everyone was whispering, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord (like church) and worshiped God. Then he went to his own palace, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

 His servants asked him, “Um….why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you prayed and cried, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!?”

David answered, “While the child was still alive, I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe God will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? It won’t bring him back. God has punished me.”

Before long, David and Bathsheba had another baby boy, named Solomon. He would grow up to be the king after David and we will learn more about him later.

 

So David, even God’s chosen man David, sinned. Because we ALL disobey God sometimes. And even though God forgave David when he was sorry, David still had consequences for  disobeying God’s rules. It was a really bad thing David did and there was a REALLY hard consequence too! God made some good from it too though, He would raise up Solomon to be the wisest king ever and Solomon would build the temple for God. We must always remember that God’s ways are the best ways and we should always try to obey Him.

Here’s an animated version from LC Lifekids: watch here

See also Veggie Tales: King George and the Ducky

 

 

Thanks for joining us. More to come soon, thanks!

Easter Overview

Hi everyone!

 

It’s the week where we celebrate Easter and although we’ve covered Easter several times already, today I am making a one-time lesson. (The other years we have spread this out over several days), but this year I find myself needing a one-day lesson. So here we go.

Gen 1-3: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He made everything! And His favorite thing He made was people.

bibleadameve

God made a man named Adam and a woman named Eve and they lived with God in a very special place. They were all together and happy and nothing was ever bad.

Until, one day…one of God’s special helpers decided HE wanted to be the biggest and the best–he thought he could even be better than God!? His name is Satan. And one day he came to the garden where they lived and tricked Eve. God had told Adam and Eve they could eat anything they wanted EXCEPT the fruit from one special tree…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate from it, they would die.

Abstract lemon tree

But Satan said, “You won’t REALLY die…God just doesn’t want you to be as smart as Him!” So they disobeyed God. When we disobey God, that’s called sin. There was a consequence for their sin. The consequence was: they couldn’t stay with God in that perfect place and one day they would die.

Sin entered the world. And everyone since Adam and Eve has sinned. When we sin, our consequence is that we too will one day die and we *should* be apart from God forever because of our sin…

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But God had a plan…        (Rom 5:12-21)

 

Gen 11-25: A long time later, Adam and Eve had children, and their children had children and on and on and on and on and on until we get to a man named Abraham.

bibleabraham

Abraham loved God. And even though things were hard now (since people were away from God), Abraham still obeyed God and trusted Him. God taught Abraham about sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving up something you really love for something better. In the old days when Abraham lived, one of the most important things to them was their sheep and other animals. They would use the wool for clothes, and they would eat their animals. They could sell them for money to buy other food. Cows gave them milk to drink and they used animals to ride around (no cars back then!) God taught Abraham that if he (or anyone who sinned) would sacrifice an animal to God (kill it and give it to God) that his or her sins would be forgiven. This was a way for them to show God they loved HIM more than their most favorite thing…that God was FIRST in their lives. God would see the blood from the animal and He would look at their yucky sinful hearts, and He would forgive them and see them as perfect again.

The only problem was…every time they sinned…they had to give another sacrifice. But God still had a plan…

 

Exodus 2-20: After Abraham had a son, his son had children and on and on and on until a boy named Moses was born. The people who loved God were now living in a place called Egypt (far away from the place God had picked for them to live) and the king there, called Pharaoh was very mean to God’s people. When Moses was a old man, God picked him to tell the mean Pharaoh to let God’s people go back home. But the Pharaoh said “NO!” So God gave Pharaoh a bad consequence. Then Moses said again, “Let God’s people go!” and the Pharaoh said “NO!” So there was another bad consequence. This happened nine times!! And on the last time when the Pharaoh said “NO,” God said, “This will be the last consequence. All of the first born baby boys will die. UNLESS, you sacrifice an animal (a lamb) and paint around the door of your house with the blood.”

biblepassover

God’s people listened and obeyed. Each family gave up their best sheep and painted the door with the blood, just like God said. But Pharaoh and his people laughed and said, “No way! We’re not giving up OUR sheep, we won’t listen to YOUR God!?” That night…an angel of God came by each house and if the people had obeyed God, he passed over the house and went to the next one. But if the people had not obeyed God, then the first born boy in that house died….even the Pharaoh’s son died. It was then, that Pharaoh let the people go.

biblepharoah

The people left and headed towards the place God had picked for them. While they were traveling, Moses went up on a mountain and there God spoke to him and gave him the rules the people were supposed to obey. God gave us the rules because He wants us to follow them, but He KNOWS we all sin sometimes (Romans 3:23). The rules SHOW US that we are not perfect like God is, and that we NEED HIM to be perfect and to forgive us when we disobey Him.

biblemoses

 

God’s people eventually made it to the place He had for them but they did not always obey Him. They sinned (just like we do) and had to be forgiven every time with the blood of a sheep.

Luke 1-2 BUT, finally, many many many many many years later, God was ready to show us His big and perfect plan! He sent His only and perfect son Jesus into the world as a little baby.

biblebabyjesus

 

Jesus grew up and learned and went to school and made His bed and helped put away dishes and cleaned His room. He was a regular person and ALSO, He never sinned, because He is God’s son. (2 Cor 5:21, 1 John 3:5, Hebrews 4:15)

When Jesus became a grown up, He taught the people about God and He did a lot of  miracles (those are things only God’s power can do)–like make sick people better, help blind people see, turn water into wine or turn a little food into a LOT of food.

A lot of the people LOVED Jesus, but some people did not. The Bible teachers didn’t like that Jesus talked about forgiveness and love instead of teaching them about FOLLOWING THE RULES and the kings in charge didn’t like that the people liked Jesus more than them. “What is he tries to take over and be king?!!?” they worried. So they came up with a plan to get rid of Him.

Matt 21: It came time for the people to celebrate Passover (a big holiday where they remembered God passing over the houses of the people who obeyed Him and how He led them away from Egypt to the place He had for them). Jesus came to town to also celebrate. Lots of people were excited to see Him. So excited that they waved palm tree branches and laid coats on the ground so the dirt roads wouldn’t make Him all dusty. They shouted “Hosanna! We love you! We praise you!” This just made the leaders even MORE jealous and MORE angry. They HAD to get rid of Jesus.

palm2

Matt 26-27: Jesus had a group of helpers, called disciples. One of them agreed to help the jealous leaders. A couple days later, Jesus was eating with His disciples and He told them He had to leave soon, but He would be back. The disciples were sad and confused. Jesus went to pray and most of His disciples went too, but one of them, Judas, went to get the leaders.

When Judas brought the leaders back, they captured Jesus. His other disciples tried to stop them, but Jesus said, “No. This needs to happen.”

soldier2

 

They took Jesus and decided to kill him. The built a cross out of wood and they put nails in His hands to keep Him stuck on the cross. They called Him names, they hit Him, they beat Him up, and they made fun of Him. They made Him carry that big wooden cross up a hill and then he had to hang on it for a long time until He died.

crosses

They also had two other people who had done bad things on crosses next to Jesus. They had sinned, but Jesus hadn’t…but He was dying anyway. One of the guys next to Jesus made fun of Him…but the other one KNEW Jesus was God’s son and asked Jesus to forgive him. Jesus said, “Yes. And today you will be with me in a perfect place.”

Jesus asked God to forgive ALL the people and then He died. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God’s plan for our sins. Just like the people used to sacrifice their best, God sent HIS best, His son Jesus, to be a PERFECT sacrifice (since an animal can never be perfect it was never good enough). Jesus was a PERFECT sacrifice that would clean away our sin once and for all. (Rom 6:1-11, Heb 10:4, 1 Peter 1:9) His blood is the once and for all sacrifice to take away sin.

When God looks at our hearts now, if we believe in Him and say with our mouths that JESUS IS OUR LORD, then He will only see the sacrifice of Jesus and He will see us as perfect again. (Heb 9:11-15, Rom 3:24, Heb 10:1-18)

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But that’s not even the end of the story!

Matt 28: After He died, they put Jesus’ body in a tomb and they rolled a big, big, BIG rock in front of it so no one could take it. The leaders were so nervous they even had guards watching the tomb.

Three days later, there was an earthquake and the rock rolled away. The guards were so scared they fainted! Some women who loved Jesus were coming to see His body and to put some smelly good things on it, but when they got there, the tomb was open, the rock was moved and an angel was sitting on the rock.

tomb

The women were so afraid!! But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid…I know you’re looking for Jesus….but He’s not here…He’s ALIVE! Go tell the others and go find Him!” They did tell the others and they did find Jesus. Jesus stayed with them a little while longer before He went back to heaven to be with God.

 

 

Jesus died in our place as a sacrifice. But He didn’t STAY dead…He is more powerful than even death. And now when we sin, if we ask Him to forgive us and we believe in His sacrifice, He WILL forgive us. God will look over our sin and see Jesus and He will forgive us and we will get to live forever with Him. (Rom 10:9, John 17:3, Rom 5:6-11, John 3:16)

“6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:6-11)

 

THAT is why we celebrate Easter.

We are all made and loved by God. We are all sinners. Sins have consequences. Only Jesus, the perfect son of God can take the place of our consequences. He died to forgive us and lived again to give us forever life with God in heaven!!!!

Romans 10:9 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

Amen! Thanks for joining us all, hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Jesus heals a deaf man

Hi all! This story today is from Mark 7:31-37. This is another miracle Jesus did. Remember a miracle is something only God can do. (Sometimes He uses people like Jesus or the disciples or maybe even you to do the miracle…but it is ALWAYS God’s power).

One day Jesus was traveling to a new place and some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk (because it’s hard to know how to talk when you can’t hear other people talking), and they begged Jesus to help him get better. “Please please please!” they said.

Jesus took him aside, away from the crowd, then He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Be opened!” Right away the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak! 

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more He told them not to, the more they kept talking about it! People were overwhelmed with amazement. “Everything He does is AMAZING!!” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

The people were supposed to not make a big deal of it…but they couldn’t help it! They were so amazed by what Jesus had done, they just HAD to tell people. The man had his ears and tongue opened so he could hear and speak, but those watching had their minds and hearts opened–they could see now that Jesus was someone special…God’s son, the Messiah, the One who had come to save them not just from being sick or deaf, but Jesus had come to save their hearts.

 

For our craft today, we cut out a face shape and then made an upside down U cut out. (It serves as a flap so you can open and shut the mouth). We cut a strip of red paper and folded it up accordion style and glued in down inside the U.

Our text reads: “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!” Mark 7:31-37

 

I struggled to find decent media for this one, but if I do, i’ll be sure to add it later

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

February intro

Hi all…this month we are studying the miracles of Jesus.

 

CLICK HERE  to find all of the lessons for February. I will add new lessons if/when we get to them and will update the current links with video/new crafts if applicable. Thanks for studying the Bible with us this year!!

 

As always, try to remember a few things:

  1. You preach the Word consistently and it WILL sink into your children’s hearts. (2 Tim 4:2, Proverbs 22:6, Deut 4:9 11:9, Heb 4:12)
  2. Children understand far more than we give them credit for. (Matt 11:25, 18:3)
  3. Even if something IS over their heads, you are setting a precedent for daily (or at least frequent and consistent) study of God’s word. This is holy. (Deut 11:9, Joshua 1:8, 2 Tim 3:14-17, Psalm 1:1-2)
  4. Crafts and videos are a great way to help children visualize and internalize the message, but know nothing has to be perfectly done. The concepts the kids take away and the process of creating while they learn is helping cement those truths in them much more so than having a pinterest-perfect product at the end…so be gracious with them and yourself as you do (or do not do) activities and crafts related to the Bible stories.

 

Thanks again, love to you all!

Continuing on…

This week we are beginning the stories of Jesus’ life (master list found HERE)

We already covered Simeon and Anna.

We are also doing Jesus growing (with a new craft and links)

Jesus in the temple (with new craft and links)

and John baptizing Jesus. (with new media links)

 

Next week we hope to study Jesus calling his disciples, John’s story, and the transfiguration.  Thanks for studying the Bible with us!  Love to you all!