The New King

Welcome back. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 31-2 Samuel 5.  Today’s story has a LOT of people making bad, sneaky choices.

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The Philistines attacked Israel (again) and King Saul and his boys were helping to fight. Three of Saul’s boys died and Saul was so sad, he fell on his sword so he could die too. Jonathan (David’s best friend) died that day too.

When David found out, he was very very sad. The man who told David Saul and Jonathan were dead said that HE killed Saul. That man lied. David answered, “Why did you kill the man God put in charge as king? Weren’t you scared to kill the man God chose?” Then David had that man killed too. The man lied…and then he died because of his lie.

Now, if you remember, there were 12 tribes (like big family groups) in Israel. Only one of the groups, Judah, wanted David to be their king. The rest wanted Saul’s son to be king. He has a long, confusing name: Ishbosheth. For a long time the people fought over who they thought should be king. A lot of people died. Which was kind of silly because God already said He wanted DAVID to be king…but the people didn’t listen. The leader of David’s army and the leader of Ishbosheth’s army fought and fought. The leader of Ishbosheth’s army, Abner, killed the brother of the leader of David’s army. So the leader of David’s army, Joab, killed the OTHER leader. See ALL these people making bad choices?? They ALL forgot that you’re not supposed to be mean to people just because they are mean to you. Lots of people kept dying because they were all being sneaky and lying and forgetting to obey God.

David and his army got stronger and stronger and Saul’s son and his army got weaker and weaker. Finally one day two men killed Ishbosheth (which did not make David happy–he was sad Ishbosheth had died). Then all the people decided David would be their new king.

David made a covenant (like a promise) to the people of Israel to be a good king and all the people decided yes, he would be the new king over all the families in Israel. David will make his own bad choices too. When we read the Bible there aren’t just “good” people and “bad” people. EVERYONE except Jesus makes bad choices, disobeys God and sins. And LOTS of people in today’s story made bad choices too.

God still had good plans for His people though and He put David in charge because David had a heart like God’s. He wasn’t happy when people died. David didn’t want the people to fight. But now all of Israel was following him and we’ll learn more about King David next time. Thanks for joining us, love to you all.

David the Shepherd

Hi all…today’s lesson is a variance on David the shepherd. Today’s lesson is more focused whereas last year’s lesson was more broad. (Found HERE.)

Do you remember what David was doing before God said he would be the new king? He was taking care of the sheep! That’s called being a shepherd. What kinds of things do you think a shepherd has to do? (Feed the sheep, get them water, keep them safe, show them where to go, keep them healthy.) The shepherd loves his sheep.

When David got bigger, he was like a shepherd to the people of Israel. He became king and he took care of the people just like he took care of the sheep! He kept them safe, fighting in battles, and he made sure they had food and water. He led the people to God and he obeyed God which helped remind the people to obey God too! (2 Samuel 5:2, 1 Chronicles 11:2, Ezekiel 34:11-23, Psalm 78:70-72)

David would get married and have a baby boy. And that boy would grow up and have a boy and he would have a boy and on and on for 14 times, until another baby boy was born–Jesus. Jesus is like a shepherd too. He leads us to God and He keeps us safe. David wrote a lot of songs and in those songs, David called God “our Shepherd” a lot. (Psalm 23:1-3, 28:9, 95:7, 79:13, 100:3)

He takes care of us…and even more important than making sure we have the THINGS we need, He takes care of our hearts. Jesus doesn’t just take care of us, He loves us, just like a shepherd loves his sheep. (Isaiah 40:11, 53:6, Micah 7:4, Jeremiah 31:10)

Sometimes if a wolf or other scary animal would come and try to eat one of the sheep, the shepherd would fight the animal–even if he died..he would try to fight to save his sheep. Do you remember Jesus died for us? Sin (anything that disobeys God) wants to have our hearts…which keeps us away from God forever…but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, fought and died to save us. (Isaiah 53:6, John 10:11). But He didn’t stay dead–because unlike a regular shepherd, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is stronger than sin and death. Not EVEN dying can keep Jesus away from us or away from loving us.

God gave His people in Israel a good shepherd, David to lead them and protect them. But later He would give ALL of us Jesus, the Good Shepherd (the best shepherd of all) to love us, protect us, and save our hearts.

 

For today’s craft, we cut out a sheep’s head and then glued some fluffy cotton balls to make a sheep.

 

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Best friends: David and Jonathan

Welcome again! Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 18-21. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

David was now traveling around with King Saul, defeating all their enemies. Saul had a son named Jonathan and Jonathan and David fought together against the other armies and they became best friends. Every time David won a battle, the people liked him more and more. Eventually they liked him MORE than King Saul. This made the king very VERY angry.

Besides being a good fighter and a good shepherd, David was also good at music. Sometimes when the king was feeling sad, he would have David play some music for him. One time, while David was playing music for him, the king started thinking about how everyone liked David more than him…he got so mad he threw his spear (like a really big, really pointy stick) at David to try to kill him! But he missed.

So then he decided to just keep sending David to fight (hoping he would die while fighting). But every time David listened to God, he won (and the people liked him EVEN MORE!)

So again, King Saul tried to kill David by throwing his spear at him…but David got away again.

That night, he ran away. Jonathan found him and they promised to always be friends, no matter what, and they promised to always help each other.

David said, “The king has asked me to join him at a party tomorrow. But I won’t be there. I will be hiding in this field. When he asks where I am, you can tell him I had to go somewhere else. If he’s ok with it, then everything is ok. If he is angry, then I’ll know he’s really trying to kill me and you can warn me or let me know it’s all ok.”

Jonathan went to the feast and king Saul asked where David was. When Jonathan told him David was gone he was very very angry!

So Jonathan ran to the field with a small servant boy. He shot three arrows into the field and told the boy to go! go! go! GO! far into the field to go get the arrows. (He was telling the boy to go get the arrows, but he was REALLY yelling to David to “GO! Run away! because my father Saul wants to kill you!”)

Then Jonathan ran out into the field to David and they said goodbye. They were both very sad that David had to go for now, but they promised again to always be friends and take care of each other.

In this story Jonathan was a good friend to David and later David will be a good friend to Jonathan’s family. Today we talked about how WE can be a good friend.

Some of our ideas were: help reach things, take turns, help clean up, help them laugh if they’re sad, invite EVERYONE to play, give a hug, share toys, and pray for our friends.

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Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

God looks at the heart

Hey everyone! Welcome back! Today’s story comes from 1 Samuel 16. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

 

So God was unhappy with Saul as king and He told Samuel to go pick a new one. God would show him who should be king next.

God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem (that’s the city where Jesus would later be born). There he should find a daddy named Jesse. One of Jesse’s boys would be the new king. So Samuel found Jesse and he found Jesse’s biggest boy. The biggest boy was VERY big..and handsome and strong…everything a king should be.

“This is him, right God?’ asked Samuel.

“No” answered God. “I have not chosen him….don’t just look at how big and strong he is. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

One by one Jesse brought each of his boys before Samuel (just like the step sisters in Cinderella) but every time God said no.

“Are these ALL of your boys?” Samuel asked.

“Well…” Jesse said, “There’s my youngest boy…but he’s out taking care of the sheep.”

Samuel said “Go get him.” So they went to get David, the littlest boy and God said, “THIS is the one!” Samuel poured special oil on David’s head and declared him the new king. (I wonder how his brothers and his dad felt!?)

God knew that David would love him. God doesn’t always pick the biggest, smartest, prettiest, or tallest. God doesn’t care if you have yellow hair or black hair, purple skin or blue skin, if you wear glasses or braces, if you can’t speak very well or if you’re not very good at school work. What matters to God is what is in your heart. Do you love God? Will you obey Him?

God chooses people who will love and obey Him. He chose little David. God had big HUGE plans for David, and He has big plans for you too if you will love and obey Him.

For our craft today, we cut out people shapes and decorated them. Then we took a heart sticker and added it and our text which reads: Man looks at what’s on the outside, but God cares about what’s in our hearts! 1 Samuel 16

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

The Ark Moves

Hello all! Yesterday we did “Samuel hears God” found HERE. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 4-7.

The Israelites were living in the promised land (the land God had promised to them). They had a tabernacle (like a church) where they would worship God. Inside the tabernacle, there was a big curtain and behind the big curtain was the Holy of Holies–the special place where God’s Spirit lived and where the chief priest only went one time a year to be with God. There was a box in this special place called an ark. (Not a boat, like Noah’s ark–this was a box). It was called the ark of the covenant. A covenant is like a promise. God had made a promise to always be with His people and to always love them. (He promises us that too!)

This box had a lot of special rules. Only the Levites (the people in charge of the church) could touch it and only in a special way. It was supposed to stay in the tabernacle and stay covered behind the big curtain. If they had to move it, it was supposed to be covered with three blankets so the people couldn’t see it. (The Bible says we can’t look at God because He is so bright and amazing!) God even told Moses EXACTLY how it was supposed to be built. Inside the box they put the rules God gave Moses for the people to obey, they also put Aaron’s staff (his special stick) and they put some manna (that special bread God gave His people). God’s Spirit, His power was over the box. God was very specific in how He wanted it to look and how the people should treat it. They should be very careful and very worshipful. (Because it wasn’t “just” a box–it was God’s Spirit and power.)

 

Samuel was a grown up now and Eli the priest was now a grandpa. He had two boys who were grown ups too. One day, the Israelites went to fight the Philistines and they decided to take the ark of the covenant with them so they could win. (They did not ask God is they could). They fought and fought…but they lost and the Philistines TOOK the ark with them!

Eli’s two sons died during the fight and when Eli heard they died AND that the special box was gone, he fell over in his chair, bonked his head and he died too.

The Philistines took the special box (the ark) to one of their cities and put it next to one of their pretend gods. The next day, they found the pretend god statue face down on the ground in front of the ark (like it was worshipping the REAL God). They put the statue back up and the next day they found it again on the ground, like it was worshipping God, but this time the statue’s head and hands were broken off. The people in that city were scared and then they got very very sick and they decided to move the ark. “That God must not like us having His ark, we should move it!”

So they moved it to a different Philistine city. And all the people in THAT city got sick. They moved it AGAIN and those people got sick too! So they decided maybe they should just send it back to Israel!

They put the ark on a special truck and had two cows pull it. The cows brought the ark back to Israel. When it got to Israel, the Levites (the people in charge of the church who were allowed to touch the ark) carefully took it off the truck. Some of the Israelites didn’t obey God’s rules though and they peeked into the box and then they died.

Then they took the ark to a man’s house. His name was Abinadab. Abinadab loved and obeyed God. His son was put in charge of watching the ark and taking care of it. And it stayed at his house a looooong time. It SHOULD have gone back to the tabernacle…but it didn’t for a long long time.

 

The people did not take care of God’s special box. They did not respect God’s power or His instructions. The people in this story did not ask God if they could take the box from the tabernacle, the Philistines didn’t care about moving the box away from God’s people…the Israelites didn’t obey God and they looked inside…everyone thought God’s power was something THEY could move around. But no one is bigger, stronger, or smarter than God.

God is WONDERFUL and PERFECT and POWERFUL, He can be everywhere at all times and He is bigger than everything and He loves us and takes care of us….isn’t that amazing?! That’s why we worship Him! We love Him and pray to Him, we trust only Him…but the people in this story did not. They thought they could do whatever they wanted with God’s things…instead of respecting God and asking HIM what they should do.

God tells us what He wants us to know in the Bible–we can read His words and know what He wants. When God tells us to do something (or to not do something) we should always obey because we know God’s way is the BEST way.

 

For our craft today, we drew the ark of the covenant. (Instructions from Exodus 25). This is my 5 year olds’ interpretation of what it looked like.

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

 

Hannah Prays

Hello all! Today’s lesson is from 1 Samuel 1-2. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

During the time of the judges, there lived a woman named Hannah. She was married but she didn’t have any children. More than ANYTHING she wanted to be a mommy. She prayed and prayed and waited and waited…but no baby.

Hannah’s husband loved her very much and wanted her to be happy. But there was another mommy who DID have kids who was very mean to Hannah and said “Ha ha! I have kids and you don’t!”

Sometimes the things people say to us make us feel very bad. These words made Hannah feel worse too.

Each year, Hannah and her husband would travel across Israel to go to the tabernacle (the church) to pray and give their gifts and sacrifices to God.

One year, after a long time praying and waiting, Hannah was so upset, she went outside and prayed. She talked to God and said, “If You will give me a baby, I promise I will teach him about you, and he will serve You his whole life!”

She prayed and cried so much that Eli, the chief priest (the lead caretaker of the tabernacle) came out and said, “Why you are acting so crazy? Have you done something bad?”

“No! I haven’t done anything bad,” answered Hannah. “I was just praying!”

Then God told Eli to say, “May God give you what you have asked of Him.”

Hannah believed the words of God..that she would be given a baby and when she went home, God gave her a baby in her belly! She had a baby boy and named him Samuel. When Samuel was big enough, Hannah taught him all about God, and how God had listened to her and what a wonderful God He is. When Samuel got even a little bigger, Hannah took him back to the tabernacle so he could live with Eli and learn how to serve God.

Hannah promised to raise her baby to love God and to serve in the tabernacle. If God had given her a baby before then, she might not have taken him to the tabernacle to serve God…but God had big plans for Samuel.

God’s plan and His timing is always right. We know God hears us when we pray…but that doesn’t mean we can ask God for everything we want and we will get it right away. Sometimes God says yes, sometimes He says no, and sometimes He has us wait.

Waiting can be hard…but God has a good plan. We can always trust His plan, even if things don’t go our way (like Hannah did). She was a good mommy to teach Samuel about God and she was good woman to trust God, even when it was hard.

 

For our craft today, we just used watercolors to illustrate any part of the story they wanted to.

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“Hannah and the lady that was mean to her”
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“Hannah with a baby in her belly and a polka dot dress”

 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!