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!

Advent-Day 15-Saul

Hi all!

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

The man we will learn about it today is named Saul. His story can be found in 1 Samuel (chapters 9/10 for today) and our full lesson can be found here.

The people of Israel were now living in the land God promised them and they wanted a king! They wanted somebody to be in charge (they had forgotten that GOD was really in charge). So they asked for a king and Samuel said God had picked a man named Saul.

Saul wasn’t super strong, or important…but God picked Him. He ended up doing some great things as king…and some not-so-good things. Did you know that even KINGS make mistakes sometimes?!

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians that God doesn’t always choose the “fanciest” or “best.” If He chose the most important people, then everyone would think THEY had done great things, not God.

Everyone thinks a king should have fancy clothes and a fancy throne and be very very big and important. God is in charge of ALL things. He can do ALL things and He is over ALL things, but He also loves us, takes care of us and is more like a helper than a very fancy sit-on-his throne-and-yell-at-people-all-day-King. (Zecariah 9:9, Phil 2:6-7, Matt 20:28).

So when baby Jesus (God’s son…He was a man but still God too), came to us, He wasn’t born in a fancy castle. All the people thought an earthly king was coming and that He would be strong and fancy and important. And instead, God came as a tiny baby, in a barn. He was and is the BEST King we could ever hope for. (But we’ll learn more about that in the winter months and through Easter.)

His mommy wrapped him up and there was no crib in the barn, so she put him in a manger. (Which is a feeder where the animals would get their food). The animals would eat from the manger and the Bible tells us that the words of Jesus are like food for us! They help us grow and be strong!

It wasn’t what everyone thought would happen, but it was just the way God wanted it to happen. Little baby Jesus came to love.

 

Bible story: King Saul

Attribute of God: our King

Jesus’ birth story: Manger

 

Craft:

Side one of our ornament is a crown. (You can decorate it anyway you’d like).

Our text reads: King Saul was Israel’s first king. 1 Sam 9/10, God is our King. Zec 9:9

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Side two of our ornament is a manger made from cutting out a manger shape and gluing on some cereal to look like hay.

Our text reads: King Jesus slept in a manger. Luke 2

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

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.

David and Jonathan

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!