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!

Lamentations

Hi all! Today will be our last lesson in the “song books” and then we’ll do a brief study on the nativity to finish out the month.

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Today’s lesson is about the book of Lamentations. The Bible doesn’t say for sure who wrote this book, but most people who study the Bible think Jeremiah the prophet is the author. (For this lesson, we will assume Jeremiah is the writer).

For most of this book, Jeremiah is writing about how sad Jerusalem (the capital city in Israel) has become. After the people disobeyed God, Babylon came in and destroyed Israel and moved most of the people away. Everything was ruined and it was very sad. People were dying, their homes were gone, there was trash and fires, no food, and sadness all around. It was very very sad. Jeremiah was also so sad because the people had disobeyed God. He wasn’t just sad about the consequences, but he was sad that the people had disobeyed.

BUT…Jeremiah remembered that God is loving and forgiving. Let’s read some of what he said…

3:19-33: I remember my suffering and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is sad within me. Yet this I remember and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not done for, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
I say to myself, “The Lord is all I need; therefore I will wait for Him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LordIt is good for a man to be disciplined while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust for all the wrong things he has done—there may yet be hope.

Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace.

For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy bring sadness or grief to anyone.

40-42: 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LordLet us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven us.”

55-57: I called on Your name, Lordfrom the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

Jeremiah said it’s important for God to teach us right from wrong. And it is important for us to be really sorry when we disobey God. But when we pray and call out to God, He is there. He forgives us, He loves us…He loves us enough to sometimes give us consequences and teach us how to be more like Him. When we are scared, He says, “Do not fear.” God does not forget us, even when we disobey Him…He listens to us because He is good…everyday He loves us and cares for us. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, He is there and we don’t ever have to be afraid, because we know WHO God is and HOW God is and that He will help us through any sad or hard thing. It is OUR job to obey Him, and when we DO disobey, to make it right with God–to take the consequences and to tell Him sorry and ask Him to forgive us and the Bible says He will. Even when we are not faithful and disobey God, He is ALWAYS faithful and stays with us and loves us.

Lamentations is a good place to end our old testament study because of the reminder that God is with us. After the Israelites came back, they were still being ruled by other people, but they were back in Israel. They continued to only half-way obey God and they let other people tell them who to worship or who to put in charge…for 400 years….but God was there. And He was about to send His son Jesus (Immanuel-which means “God with us”) to make things right once and for all. He was with His people, ready to forgive them and love them every day.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

Wisdom-being a good friend

Hello again! Today we are continuing in Proverbs and learning about wisdom. (Knowing what God wants us to know so we can make good choices).

friendship

One of the things Proverbs teaches us, is how to be a good friend and how to choose good friends.

First of all, being wise means choosing good friends.

“The righteous choose their friends carefully” Proverbs 12:26. 18:24 says, “There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Real friends will be like your family…always with you, loving you and supporting you…they don’t leave when there’s trouble.

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” A long time ago, when people had swords, they would sharpen them on other pieces of iron and that would make them even stronger. The Bible says good friends are like that too–they work together to make each other better and stronger. 

So how do we BE a good friend?

Proverbs 27:5-6 says one way is to be honest with our friends.

“Open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy!” This Bible verse says it is better for a friend to say something you don’t like than for someone who doesn’t care about you to give you kisses. If someone REALLY cares about you they will want you to make good choices. And if you really care about your friends, you will tell them the truth and help them make good choices too…not just tell them “Sure! you can lie! Or Sure! you can say that bad thing!”

Another way to be a good friend is to be there when your friends are sad. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” It can be hard sometimes when our friends are sad and we just want them to be happy again! But a real friend will stay with you when you are sad and will be there when you need them.

The last way to be a good friend is to practice forgiveness. Do you know what forgiveness is? It’s when you don’t stay angry at someone, but you love them and move on instead. “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends.” Proverbs 17:9. When we mess up, a good friend will forgive us and still be our friend. And when our friends say something that hurts our feelings or hurts us, we can forgive them..not stay angry at them. Just like Jesus forgives us for our bad choices, we can be a good friend and forgive others.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all.

The rewards of wisdom

Hello again! Today we are learning about the rewards of wisdom. Do you remember what wisdom is? Wisdom is knowing what God wants you to know and then making good choices.

choices

The Bible says when we have wisdom and when we make wise choices, that there will be rewards. A reward is like a prize. There will be GOOD things when we make good choices.

Some of the rewards Proverbs talks about are:

1:33 “but whoever listens to me will live in safety
    and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

2:7-8 “He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
  for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.”

That means when we make good choices that obey God, we stay safe. If we don’t make good choices, we could do something dangerous.

**older kids you can talk about how God sometimes has us do “unsafe” things, but that our ETERNAL safety is with Him and that our real safety is in honoring God.**

2:21-22 “For the upright will live in the land,
    and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”

Do you remember the land God promised His people? When they made wise choices and obeyed God, they got to live in that special place…but when they disobeyed Him, they had to leave and it was very sad. God has a special place for us to be too and when we obey Him and make good choices, He sets us right where we need to be.

3:24-26 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.”

Sometimes when you make a bad choice, you can feel bad about it…so bad you can’t sleep. Or you might be worried about the consequences…but when we make wise choices, we can have a good night’s sleep because we know we did the right thing.

 

We don’t have to worry when we make wise choices, because we know God’s way is the BEST way. If we learn all God wants us to know and we obey Him, then we can know we are making the BEST choices and that leads to life and peace.

We found THIS VIDEO posted by AnswersVBS which is the song “Words of Wisdom.”

 

Next time we’ll start learning some of HOW Proverbs says to make good choices!

Thanks again for joining us! Love to you all!

Psalm 105

Hi all! This psalm is a song that remembers all the great things God had done for His people. It’s a history of a lot of the things the Israelites had been through. As you read through this song, see which Bible stories YOU remember about God and His people!

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.

He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
    the oath he swore to Isaac.

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10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion you will inherit.”

12 When they were but few in number,
    few indeed, and strangers in it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
    from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
    for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
    do my prophets no harm.”

16 He called down famine on the land
    and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave.

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18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
    his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
    till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
    the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
    ruler over all he possessed,
22 to instruct his princes as he pleased
    and teach his elders wisdom.

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23 Then Israel entered Egypt;
    Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord made his people very fruitful;
    he made them too numerous for their foes,
25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people,
    to conspire against his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant,
    and Aaron, whom he had chosen.

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27 They performed his signs among them,
    his wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness and made the land dark—
    for had they not rebelled against his words?
29 He turned their waters into blood,
    causing their fish to die.
30 Their land teemed with frogs,
    which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
    and gnats throughout their country.
32 He turned their rain into hail,
    with lightning throughout their land;
33 he struck down their vines and fig trees
    and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came,
    grasshoppers without number;
35 they ate up every green thing in their land,
    ate up the produce of their soil.
36 Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land,
    the firstfruits of all their manhood.
37 He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold,
    and from among their tribes no one faltered.

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38 Egypt was glad when they left,
    because dread of Israel had fallen on them.

39 He spread out a cloud as a covering,
    and a fire to give light at night.

cloudfire
40 They asked, and he brought them quail;
    he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
    it flowed like a river in the desert.

waterrock

42 For he remembered his holy promise
    given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
    his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
    and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45 that they might keep his precepts
    and observe his laws.

Praise the Lord.

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David was remembering all the great things God had done for His people. If YOUR family wrote a song about what God had done, what kind of song would it be? Would you remember when each child was born? When you moved? When someone was sick and God made them better? What kinds of things do YOU remember God doing?

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

Psalm 56

Hello all! Today’s lesson is from Psalm 56. This is a song about trusting God. David wrote it when the Philistines captured him.

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1 Be merciful to me, my God,
    for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
    all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
    in their pride many are attacking me.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

All day long they twist my words;
    all their schemes are for my ruin.
They conspire, they lurk,
    they watch my steps,
    hoping to take my life.
Because of their wickedness do not[c] let them escape;
    in your anger, God, bring the nations down.

Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll—
    are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
    when I call for help.
    By this I will know that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?

12 I am under vows to you, my God;
    I will present my thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered me from death
    and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

The preschool version goes:

Have mercy on me, God,
because my enemies are chasing me;
all day long they try to attack me.
My enemies chase me all day long;
many are attacking me.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
If God takes care of me, what can people do to me?

All day long they twist my words;
they are trying to ruin me.
They think up bad plans, they lurk,
they watch my steps, hoping to kill me.
Do not let them escape;
God, bring them down.

Remember how sad i am;
write down every tear i cry.
Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help.
I will know that God is for me.

In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?

I promise you God;
I will give you thanks.
For you have saved me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk with you forever. 

What does David say he will do when he is afraid? He will TRUST in God. When we are afraid we can trust in God too and He will be with us. What kinds of things make you afraid? How can you remember to trust in God when you are afraid?
One of our favorite modern song-versions of this song is by Steve Green  posted Kendall Sauer.
Thanks for joining us today! Love to you all!

Psalm 23

Hello again! Today’s psalm is about trusting God. This is very popular song and it tells us God is like a shepherd that takes care of us, His sheep.

This is a song that David wrote…and since HE was a shepherd…he knew a lot about what it takes to keep sheep healthy and safe.

shepherd-with-sheep-clip-art-p9sjih-clipart

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

For preschool understanding:

The Lord is like a shepherd, He takes care of everything I need.
He keeps me safe….like a shepherd has his sheep sleep in green pastures,
He shows me a good, peaceful way to live…like a shepherd leads his sheep by calm waters,
he refreshes my soul and makes my heart happy.
He guides me along the right paths and helps me make good choices, because that makes Him happy.
Even when sad or hard things happen, like walking through a dark, scary, valley,
I will not be afraid, for You, God, are with me;
your strength comforts me…like a shepherd’s big staff (stick) protects the sheep.

You give me everything I need AND MORE….like a whole feast of food and nothing can stop how good You are to me. 
You give me all the best things to comfort me, my cup overflows…I have more than enough.
Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will live close to the Lord in His house forever.

Like a shepherd that loves his sheep, God loves us and takes good care of us. He gives us everything we need AND more!

We did not do a craft today, but of course any kind of sheep craft would work.

I also found THIS super cute marshmallow sheep cupcake.

THIS VIDEO from Sami Cone teaches sign language along with the verses.

THIS VIDEO from zondervan retells the Jesus Storybook Bible version of Psalm 23.

And this cute video from spaz1amy is just a super cute recitation.

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!