Advent-Day 14-Samuel

Welcome again!

This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ earthly family tree.

The next person we will learn about is Samuel. (This will be an abbreviated story). Our full lessons can be found herehere and here. Or you can read about Samuel in the first 10 chapters of the book called 1 Samuel in the Bible.

Hannah was a woman who really REALLY wanted to be a mommy. She prayed and prayed and asked God to let her be a mommy. She promised if she had a baby, she would give him back to God to love God and serve Him. One day, when Hannah and her husband were visiting the temple (church), the High Priest Eli saw Hannah praying. She was praying and crying so much that he thought she was crazy! He asked her what was going on and she said, “I’m not crazy, sir, and I haven’t done anything wrong, I’m just REALLY REALLY praying that God will let me have a baby!”  (She was afraid she might be in trouble!)

God told Eli to tell the woman that she would be given what she had asked for. And she DID have a baby, named Samuel. When he was big enough, she brought him back to the temple to learn about God and to serve God.

Samuel grew up to be a judge over the people and help make important decisions. The Bible tells us that the High Priest would talk to God for the people. He would ask God to forgive them or to help them. Samuel talked to God a lot too, and God even told him who Israel’s first king would be!

 

In Hebrews 3-4, the Bible says that Jesus is our High Priest. He leads us, teaches us about God, and intercedes (that means talks to God) for us. He is a good and nice leader and we can talk to him about anything. We don’t have to be scared to talk to God. Hannah might have been worried to tell Eli what was wrong, but we don’t have to worry about telling God anything. Jesus talks to God about us too! And He asks God to forgive us and love us and take care of us.

 

Now, when we remember about Jesus being born…remember Mary and Joseph were sleeping the barn?! And do you know what happened in that stinky barn? Baby Jesus was born!!! Our Lord, God, the best in the whole world, our High Priest…was born in a stinky barn. (But you can be sure God has a reason for that!!) Baby Jesus was here!!

 

Bible story: Samuel

Attribute of God: High Priest

Jesus’ birth story: Jesus is born!

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is an ephod (the fancy apron the High Priest wore). We cut out and glued on some fabric in an apron shape and then added some shiny jewels.

Our text reads: Baby Samuel was a gift from God. Jesus is our High Priest. 1 Sam 2-3, Heb 4

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Side two of our ornament is baby Jesus! We used the same fabric from side one and made His blanket then gave Him a happy face.

Our text reads: Baby Jesus is born! Luke 2

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Our current tree front and back:

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

David, Israel’s Shepherd

Hi all!

Welcome back! Today’s story will cover several chapters from 1 Samuel 29-2 Samuel 7 as we move into the next part of Israel’s history. This is a brief overview intended for small kids aged 2-7ish.

God had appointed King Saul as the first king over His people Israel. (They didn’t want God to be their only king and begged and whined for a king, and God was nice to them and gave them a king.) But, King Saul did not always make great choices and God was sad He ever made Saul king. God chose David (from David and Goliath) to replace Saul as king…but David respected Saul and didn’t become king until after king Saul died several years later.

David was best friends with Saul’s son Jonathan. They fought together and won many times and had promised to always take care of each other and each others’ families.

Saul was jealous of David and tried to kill him several times, but David was nice to Saul even though he was being mean, and eventually Saul left David alone. Because Saul disobeyed God, one day when he and his sons went to fight their enemies, Jonathan died and Saul died.

Some of the people thought David would be happy that Saul was dead. But he was not. He cried and cried for his friend Jonathan and for Saul, the first king of Israel.

The people of the tribe (big family) of Judah were ready to make David their king…but the rest of Israel was not.

The rest of Israel and the fighters from Judah ended up fighting and David’s men won. So then all the people of Israel made David their king. He moved to the city of Jerusalem and had a big palace (like a castle).

David had the ark of the covenant (a holy box where God’s spirit lived) brought to Jerusalem. When David and his men brought the ark in, they were dancing and laughing and rejoicing! They were SO happy to have a place to bring the most special things of God!

But David was still sad because God’s house had been a tent. All the time God had led His people from Egypt, through the wilderness and now in the promised land, the only church they had was a big tent. David said, “Why should i get a big fancy palace when God has a tent?”

God was pleased that David wanted to make him a real tabernacle (church). But God said that David’s son, not David would be the one to make it. God reminded David how He had chosen him when he was only a young shepherd, taking care of the sheep, to fight the Philistines and to be king. Now David would be like shepherd to the people of Israel…watching over them, caring for them and protecting them, just like a shepherd does for his sheep.

God also promised that David’s family would be kings and that someone great would come from David’s family. Do you know who that is?

It’s Jesus. Many years later, Jesus would be born, as part of David’s family and He would be the forever king of our hearts. He would be the Good Shepherd, the one who saves us, loves us and cares for us.

Our craft today is making sheep. You can use a paper plate or cut out a sheep shape from construction paper. Then glue eyes and cotton balls on fluff.

(I couldn't get our photos to load tonight, so i did borrow this one from a google image search)
(I couldn’t get our photos to load tonight, so i did borrow this one from a google image search)

David was Israel’s shepherd, like Jesus is our shepherd!

Thanks for joining us today, love to you all!

David Spares Saul’s Life

Hi all. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 21-27.

Review: last time we learned about king Saul being angry and jealous because the people liked David more than him. He started to chase David and tried to kill him.

David ran away and his with some of his helpers in a big cave. One day, Saul and his army came and they slept in that same cave…but David was hiding in the back.

He snuck up on Saul and cut off a piece of his coat. Then he felt bad because he knew he shouldn’t be mean to other people, even if they are mean to you. He showed Saul what he had done.

Saul was surprised. “I have been trying to kill you and you could have killed me because I didn’t see you! But you didn’t…thank you! I won’t chase after you any more.”

But…Saul didn’t keep his promise very long. Again he became very jealous and angry with David and chased after him.

One night Saul and his men were sleeping and David and one his best fighters snuck into the camp. David’s friend said “look! Saul is asleep! You should let me kill him!”

But David said no. Instead, he took Saul’s spear and his jug of water and they snuck out.

The next day David called to Saul and showed him the things he had taken. Again Saul was surprised that David had spared his life.

“Why are you chasing me?!” David said. “Have I done anything wrong?”

Saul answered, “No. You are right and you are a better man than me because you were good to me even though I was mean to you. Surely God WILL make you a great king!”

And God did. As David grew, he became more famous and respected and because he had treated Saul the way God wanted him to (with respect and kindness), God made David into a great king.

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:17, 21 “Do not repay evil with evil…do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

and in 1 Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessings.”

For our craft today, we cut out a piece of fabric, and a water jug. We also made a spear from a straw and part of a paper towel tube. We glued these to our paper as a reminder of David’s good choice, to be nice to others even when they are not nice to you.

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Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

David and Jonathan

Hello all!

Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 18-21.

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So David had been chosen by God to replace Saul as king one day. He had also defeated the giant Goliath and so defeated the whole Philistine army by the power of God.

The people were so amazed by what David had done that they started to like David more than king Saul and that made Saul jealous and angry! He wanted the people to like HIM best!

King Saul had a son named Jonathan. Jonathan and David became best friends and whenever there was a fight, they would fight together and because they followed God, He would help them win. Then the people liked David even more.

Sometimes when king Saul was feeling sad or was bored, he would have David come and play some music for him. David loved to write and sing songs.

One day while David was playing for Saul, king Saul got so mad thinking about how much the people liked David that he threw his spear (kind of like a really big arrow) at David to kill him. But he missed.

He then decided to just keep sending David to fight (hoping he would die while fighting), but God always helped David win.

When David came back from defeating all of Israel’s enemies, Saul again tried to throw his spear and kill David, but David once again escaped.

That night he ran away. Saul sent some of his men to find David, but he was gone. David found Jonathan and said, “Why is your dad trying to kill me? Have I done anything wrong?”

“No! And I promise to help you!” said Jonathan.

David and Jonathan promised to always be best friends and help each other’s families.

David asked Jonathan to help him.

“The king has asked me to join him at a feast tomorrow. I will not 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.”

When Jonathan went to the feast and king Saul asked where David was, he was very very angry!

Jonathan ran to field with a small boy. He shot three arrows into the field and told the boy to go! go! go! far into the field to go get the arrows. This was a sign to David that HE needed to go! far away because king Saul was planning to kill David.

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.

This is not the end of the story for David, but it’s where we’ll end for today. Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

David and Goliath

Hi again!

Welcome back. This month we are learning stories from the Bible, from the books of 1 Samuel-Esther. These stories are aimed at small children 2-6ish years old.

Today’s story comes from 1 Samuel 17.

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Once again the Philistines and the Israelites (God’s chosen people) were fighting.

Many of the Israelites went to fight (including some brothers from Bethlehem.) Their younger brother stayed home to care for the sheep and their dad Jesse would send David to check on the boys and bring them food sometimes.

The Philistines had a big fighter, named Goliath. He was very tall and very strong. Every day he would come out and say “Bring me your best warrior. I will fight him and whoever wins, their whole country wins.”

But all of the Israelites were too scared to fight that big Goliath.

One day, when David was bringing food to his brothers, he heard Goliath making fun of God and his people and he wondered why no one stood up to fight.

“Have you SEEN him?!” they all answered.

“But we have GOD! We can do anything with God’s help! I will go fight Goliath!”

David went to king Saul and said HE would fight Goliath. “I have to protect my father’s sheep from lions and bears and i know God will help me.”

So King Saul put David in his best armor…but it was too big and David said, “no thank you. I’d rather just fight in what fits me.”

Next David went to a nearby stream and he gather 5 smooth rocks. He put them into his bag and went to meet Goliath.”

Goliath laughed at David. He was so little?! How could he possibly defeat the great Goliath?!

David answered, “You come at me with big weapons, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel. Everybody here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.”

David took one of the rocks and put it into his slingshot. He whipped it around, threw it at Goliath and the great big man fell down with his face in the ground. Then David killed Goliath and so the Israelites won.

David wasn’t the biggest or strongest, but he trusted God and God helped him defeat the Philistines.

Even though you might be small, God can help you do big things too, if you trust in Him.

We watched the veggie tales “Dave and the Giant Pickle” (free instant video with amazon prime)

Craft ideas: For this one you can make a slingshot from a toilet paper roll and a rubber band and shoot soft pom pons to re-enact the story. You could also just cut out a slingshot from paper and glue on some beans to be the rocks.

This is a fun story for kids to act out though, so take turns being David or Goliath. Remember it was God who gave David the victory.

Posted by Praise in Motion Music this is the David and Goliath song. (The cheesy factor is great with this one, but it’s a cute song that helps tell the story.)

This video posted by Teaching Kids About Jesus is a nice short summary of yesterday and today’s stories. (I don’t love HOW gigantic they made Goliath in this video…but…overall it does tell the story fairly well).

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

God Chooses David

Hi all. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 16.

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God was not pleased with how the first king of Israel (Saul) had disobeyed Him. So, He told Samuel that He was going to choose a new king. So God sent Samuel (a respected priest and prophet who spoke God’s words to the people) to the city of Bethlehem.

God told Samuel to find a man named Jesse and that one of his sons would be the new king.

When Samuel got to Bethlehem, he found Jesse and his oldest son. The oldest son was big and strong. “THIS must be the man God has chosen to be king.”

But God said no. “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God wasn’t impressed by the oldest boy’s strength or good looks. God wants people who love Him and will follow and serve Him.

Jesse had 7 boys come forward before Samuel, but none of them (even though they were all strong and handsome) were the one God wanted.

“Well…there’s one left. My littlest son, David. But he’s out taking care of the sheep,” Jesse said.

They sent for David and when he came in, God said, “THAT’S the one! Make him king.”

God’s spirit came to David and helped him be strong and courageous for God.

A lot of times, we think the people God wants are the most important. The biggest, the strongest, the loudest, the prettiest…God just wants people who love Him and who will obey Him.

For our activity today, we looked in the mirror and talked about what we saw. Then we talked about what’s in our hearts. (Like the things we love and how we feel. We discussed being a good friend, loving God, wanting to help others.)

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

God Rejects Saul (The Importance of Obedience)

Hi again! Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 15.

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God had made Saul king over the Israelites. He ruled over them and led them into many battles. BUT, Saul kind of forgot about God and made some statues to celebrate how wonderful he was and what a good job he had done defeating their enemies.

Finally, one time, God told Saul to go fight the Amalekites and to destroy every person and every thing. So Saul took his army and they went and defeated the Amalekites and they destroyed *most* of the people and *most* of the things. But is that what God told them to do?

Nope.

God sent Samuel to talk to Saul.

When Samuel got there, Saul said, “Look! We defeated the Amalekites, just like God said!”

But Samuel said, “You didn’t obey God?! You didn’t defeat every person and you kept some of their animals and money and things!”

Saul said, “Well…we were going to make sacrifices and offerings to God with all the stuff!” (That means they were going to give the stuff to God).

But Samuel said, “Does God want gifts as much as He wants you to obey? You disobeyed God, so you rejected Him and so now God has rejected you as king.”

God was going to bring someone else to be king now, because Saul didn’t listen to God.

What matters most to God isn’t that we go to church, pray, read the Bible, or tell other people about Him. Those are all really good things…but what God really wants is for us to obey all He’s told us. To obey God we need to love Him and love others. In the book of Luke 11:28, Jesus told some listeners, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

And in James 1:22 of the Bible it says, “Don’t just listen to the God’s word. You have to do what it says or else you’re just pretending.” If we really love God, we will do what He says.

God told Saul exactly what He wanted him to do, but Saul only half-way obeyed. When we really trust God, we can always obey Him all the way, because we know He knows what is best for us.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

Saul Becomes King

Welcome back!

We took a few days off for illness, but we’re back to the kings of the old testament. This story comes from the book of 1 Samuel, in chapters 8-11.

Remember little Samuel who was living with Eli and learning all about God and how to serve Him?

As Samuel grew up, the people in Israel started complaining (again). This time they wanted a king. Samuel told them that was not a good idea. But the people didn’t want to follow God anymore, they wanted a king who was a man.

God told Samuel that He would let him know which man should be king.

Meanwhile, a man from the family of Benjamin (remember there were 12 big families in Israel) was out looking for some lost donkeys. His dad had lost some donkeys, so Saul, his son and Saul’s servant went out looking for the donkeys. They looked and looked and looked, but they couldn’t find them. Then they remembered that God sometimes talked to people through Samuel…so they decided to ask Samuel.

When they got to Samuel he said, “The donkeys are already back home. But you should come eat with me.”

Samuel told Saul that God had picked HIM to be king.

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“Me?! I’m just a regular guy, from the smallest tribe (family) of Benjamin?!”

Saul went home and Samuel announced that a king had been chosen. He called all the families together and they picked the family of Benjamin. Then from all the people in Benjamin he called for Saul. And do you know what Saul was doing?! He was hiding!

They brought Saul out and Samuel said he would be king. (But a lot of the people didn’t like that idea so they didn’t really call him king yet.)

Saul went back to his regular life until one day the Philistines came to attack the Israelites (AGAIN!).

God’s spirit came to Saul and he led the people against the Philistines and they won! THEN everyone really decided to follow Saul and make him king.

Once again, God didn’t pick the most important person to be in charge. And Saul didn’t become king by his own power or strength…it was all God.

We’ll learn more about Saul next time.

For our craft today, we cut out crowns and decorated them. (Today we used do-a-dot markers, but your could decorate them any way you want.)

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Samuel Listens to God

Hi friends.

Today we are learning more about little Samuel. This story comes from the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 3.

Remember when Samuel was big enough, his mommy Hannah took him to the tabernacle to live with Eli the priest to learn about God and to serve God. Samuel was getting bigger, and one night he was asleep in the tabernacle when a voice woke him up.

“Samuel!”

“Eli?” said Samuel. He got up and went to Eli. “You called for me?”

“What?! No I didn’t!” replied Eli. “Go back to bed.”

Again, Samuel went to bed, but again he heard “Samuel!”

He got up and went to Eli. “Yes, Eli?”

“I didn’t call you!? Go back to bed.”

So a third time, Samuel laid down to sleep and again, he heard the voice. “Samuel! Samuel!”

This time when Samuel went to Eli, Eli knew it must be God trying to talk to young Samuel. “Go back and listen to what God has to tell you.”

So Samuel went back and laid down. When he heard his name, he said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

God told Samuel that Eli’s sons had bad some bad choices, and Eli didn’t stop them. Because they had disobeyed God, they would have some bad consequences.

When Samuel got up the next morning, Eli demanded that Samuel tell him what God said. Even though the news wasn’t good for Eli, he knew if God said it, then it would happen.

God talked to Samuel a lot as he got older. The people in Israel believed and they listened to the words of God from Samuel. God gave him a lot of important jobs, because he was willing to serve God and to listen.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that God wants to talk to kids? Just like you! And He has big plans for you. When you pray (talk to God), be sure to listen too. God probably won’t talk out loud to you…but maybe. Sometimes God also uses His spirit to talk to our hearts, and He uses the Bible to tell us what He wants us to know.

*This lesson is also an important one for parents. Eli was punished for not stopping the evil of his sons. It wasn’t his choices, but rather his passive allowance of evil choices by his sons that brought destruction upon Eli. And it is worthy to note, that it took Eli three times to recognize it was God speaking to Samuel. It is easy to miss God, or to assume His voice from others. Spending time with God in prayer and in His word allows us to know His heart and to truly discern the words of God. (A quote I thoroughly enjoy is: Real discernment is not knowing right from wrong, but right from almost-right.) This will also help us lead our children to God. God chose the lesser, the small boy to be His servant and to speak His messages. We can not underestimate God’s love and plan for our children.*

For our craft today, we drew with white crayon on black paper, a sleeping Samuel.

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Thanks for joining us today! Love to you all!

Hannah

Hello again! Welcome to September…this month we’ll be learning stories from the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

Today’s story comes from 1 Samuel, chapters 1-2.

There was once a woman named Hannah. Hannah wanted to be a mommy more than anything. Her husband loved her and he wished she could be happy, but Hannah was sad a lot, because she just wanted a baby.

Every year, Hannah and her husband would go to the tabernacle (the church where God was) and pray and worship. Hannah would ask God every year for a baby.

There was another mommy who was mean to Hannah and always laughed at her because she didn’t have any children. That made Hannah EVEN sadder!

One year, Hannah and her husband went to the tabernacle to give God their offerings (gifts) and to pray to God. There was a big feast and her husband gave Hannah an extra portion to help her feel better. But even though he was trying to help, what Hannah REALLY needed was to talk to God.

She prayed (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 and prayed and cried so much, that Eli the priest (like a pastor or preacher) came over and said “Is she crazy?! Lady, what are you up to?!”

Hannah quickly said, “I haven’t been doing anything bad, only praying to God.”

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

Hannah believed the words of God 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 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.

(God had big plans for Samuel, and God used his mommy, Hannah to prepare him for how God would use him.)

Because Hannah trusted God, God gave her even more babies after Samuel.

When we pray, we can always know that God is listening to us. He wants us to talk to Him. God talks to us in our hearts and through His words in the Bible. If you want to know what God has to say to you, you can read your Bible.

Also, God has big plans for you. Sometimes, we don’t understand God’s plan. Why He makes us wait for something, or why He doesn’t give us something we want. But we can always trust that God has GOOD plans for us and that He wants what is best for us. Hannah trusted God. We can trust God too.

For our craft today, we cut out 2 circles (one big, one small) and one oval. We drew faces on the circles. Then, we took a regular piece of construction paper and wrapped it around into a cone shape. We taped the big head onto the cone and taped the small head and oval (swaddling blanket) onto the mommy’s cone body.

Hannah and Baby Samuel
Hannah and Baby Samuel

We also found this video posted by “Teaching Kids about Jesus.”

Thanks for joining us, more tomorrow! Love to you all!