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.

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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.

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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!

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!

Joshua at Jericho

Hey all! Today we begin the book of Joshua. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

This story is from Joshua 1-5 in the Bible.

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If you remember, the Israelites had been wandering around the desert for 40 years on their way to the land God had promised them. It shouldn’t have taken that long, but they had disobeyed and as a consequence weren’t allowed to go there for a loooong time. Moses, their leader, had gotten very old and died and now Joshua (one of the people who DIDN’T disobey God) was in charge.

And finally…it was TIME! Time to go into the promised land!

The Israelites were getting closer to Jericho. Jericho was a strong city surrounded by a HUGE wall. So Joshua sent two men to go check out the city. They met a woman in Jericho named Rahab who helped them. She hid them from the soldiers of Jericho and asked that they would keep her and her family safe when the Israelites take over Jericho. They agreed (and they did keep their promise!) The spies returned to Joshua and they said, “YES! God has given us this land! Let’s go!”

To get to Jericho, the Israelites had to cross a river. God dried it up for them so they could cross, and then once they were across, He let the waters flow again. (Just like how they left Egypt with the parting of the red sea, their journey ended with God parting the waters for them again!) If God asks you to do something, you can be sure He will help make a way–even if it seems like a crazy idea. But walking through water wasn’t God’s only crazy idea for His people.

They soon came to Jericho. The Israelites were supposed to take over this land, but they were scared about the big wall and the big people in the city. They talked about going back to Egypt, or finding a different way to go.

But Joshua reminded the people that God had led them here and He would help them. Joshua prayed (talked) to God and God sent an angel who told him what to do.

The angel told Joshua and the people of Israel to march around the city one time for 6 days. The priests (the guys in charge of the church) were to carry trumpets and then, on the 7th day, all the people would march around the city 7 times and the priests would blow the trumpets. Then everyone would shout really loudly and the walls would fall down.

Sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? “Just walk and then yell and blow the trumpets? Doesn’t God want us to smash the wall? Or kick it? Or shoot cannon balls at it?”

No. God wanted the people to OBEY and TRUST Him. HE would knock the wall down.

So the Israelites obeyed. They marched around the city one time for 6 days and on the 7th day, they marched around 7 times. Then Joshua told the people “Shout! God has given us this land!” The people shouted, the trumpets blasted and the walls fell down. The Israelites ran in and took over the city, defeating all the people who lived there. (Saving Rahab and her family though)

GOD is the one who knocked down the wall. He was showing the people of Israel AND of Jericho that HE is God and we know God can do….ANYTHING! Nothing is too hard for God. No matter how hard something may seem, with God all things are possible. (Matt 19:26). When God has a plan, anything is possible. We only need to TRUST Him and OBEY Him.

We watched the Veggie Tales “Josh and the Big Wall” today.

THIS is another cute video of today’s story from Little Heroes Bible Stories posted by Gold Quill. And THIS is a little video about Rahab who helped the Israeli spies.

THIS is an acapella version of “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” posted by Keith Lancaster. THIS is the same song but by Cedarmont Kids.

 

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

Our forgiving God

Hey all! Today we talked about the next part of Numbers (chapters 17,20,21). Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

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The Israelites were following God through the desert on their way to the promised land…but no matter how many GREAT things God did…the people just COMPLAINED! It’s easy for us to complain instead of THANKING God for all the great things He has given us and done for us. Let’s take a minute to think about those things and thank God.

In the book of Numbers there are 3 stories about the people complaining and not trusting God. The first time they didn’t trust God’s choices. Aaron (Moses’ brother was the chief priest–the one who would give sacrifices and pray to God to forgive the people for their sins (bad choices). It was important that the people listen to Aaron because God had chosen him to stand between the people and God. But the people had disobeyed and as a consequence, some of them had died. Instead of telling God they were sorry, instead they said “It’s ALL YOUR fault, Aaron!” They wanted a NEW chief priest. They didn’t like the one God had chosen.

But God told them to bring 12 staffs (one from the leader of each tribe/family) into the tabernacle (the church). The next morning, when Moses went to see the staffs, Aaron’s staff (big stick) had grown some flowers! All the people were amazed and reminded that God would choose who He wanted to lead the people. They put Aaron’s staff back in front to remind everyone not to doubt God’s choosing and to be thankful that He is a forgiving God.

But, it didn’t take long before the people forgot about God’s goodness and again started complaining. They were complaining this time about the food and water. God told Moses to talk to a rock to give the people water. But even Moses didn’t always obey God. Instead of talking to the rock, he bonked it with his staff. It did give water to all the people, but God wasn’t happy. So God told Moses even he wouldn’t get to go into the promised land, only his kids and grandchildren. Even though the people had complained and not obeyed God, He still took care of them and gave them the water they needed. The people were reminded that He is a forgiving God.

Then later, many years later, the people were still following God around the desert and again, they started to complain. God was very frustrated with the people for not trusting Him and He sent snakes to bite the people. It hurt a lot and some of the people died. Moses asked God to forgive the people and God told Moses to make a big snake statue and the anyone who got bitten by a snake could look at that and get better. If the people believed God and obeyed Him and looked at the snake statue, they got better. If they didn’t obey God, then they died. Was the statue God? No. Did the statue have any powers? No. Only God has the power to make someone better. He just wanted the people to OBEY and look at the snake. He wanted them to TRUST HIM and obey. Even though the people complained and complained, God still gave them a way to get better. The people were reminded that He is a forgiving God.

Sometimes when we make bad choices, there are bad consequences, but God still forgives us and still loves us. We can always remember that He is a forgiving God. The people did not trust God…instead they complained. When we trust God, we will be thankful. Let’s try to be more thankful and trust God’s plans.

THIS video by Steven Bussell has all three of our mini stories in paper-bag puppet form (very cute and well done).

THIS is a great overview of the book of Numbers from the “What’s in the Bible” series posted by JellyTelly.

THIS is a very thorough overview of Numbers posted by The Bible Project.(Today’s lesson starts at about 3:15 into the video and goes until about 4:35).

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

Joseph and the famine

Hello again all!

The next part of Joseph’s story can be found in Genesis 41-46. For last year’s lesson see HERE.

Recap: Joseph had been sold by his brothers (because they were jealous of him, not because he had been bad) and he was living far away in a place called Egypt. He worked for the king’s helper but got thrown in jail (again…he hadn’t done anything wrong). But he was eventually released from jail. He was now in charge of  Egypt… only the king was higher up than he was.

His job now was to collect food. They were going to have 7 years of lots of rain and good food and then 7 years of not much rain and no food (called a famine.) Joseph was very organized and he did a really good job collecting and saving up the food.

Sure enough, the rain stopped and the famine came. And the people were HUUUUNNNGRRRYYY! But the people in Egypt had enough food because of Joseph’s hard work.

All the other countries did not have much food and people came from very far away to buy some of the food Joseph had. Do you know some of the people who came? Some of Joseph’s brothers!

When the brothers met with Joseph, they didn’t even recognize him!

He pretended not to know them either. He tested them to see if their hearts were still yucky. He tried to trick them and said he would keep the youngest, Benjamin for a servant. But the brothers said, “Oh please no! Our father has already lost one son…he can’t lose another one! We are so sad about our brother who is gone and our father Jacob is so sad. Please please don’t let us lose another brother!”

Then Joseph knew they were sorry and that their hearts were no longer so yucky. He told them who he really was and they all stood…mouths wide open….and said, “HUBBA WHAAAAAAAAT?” (not really…but they WERE VERY surprised!)

He told them everything that had happened…and he told them he forgave them. He was not going to stay mad…he was going to love them and asked them to go get Jacob, the daddy. They all hugged and cried happy tears and then the brothers, their families and Jacob all moved to Egypt. Joseph was in charge of them now, just like his dream had showed. And even though his brothers had meant to do bad things to him, God had used it for good!

God had good plans for Joseph all along. It didn’t always seem like it…but even in the sad and hard things, God was putting Joseph just where He wanted him.

For our craft today we made paper dolls. We started by cutting out a man shape. Then we traced him on three smaller pieces of paper. From that, we cut out a coat (with some tabs on top and on the sides), a jumpsuit shape (with tabs) and a skirt and necklace (with tabs). You could edit these to look anyway you want..but below are the shapes we cut out.

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We drew a face on Joseph,  then we started with his coat. We made it a colorful coat as in the story.

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Next, we took the jumpsuit and added stripes to be his jail outfit.

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Lastly, we colored the skirt blue and added glitter to the necklace (to be his “in charge of Egypt” outfit)

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Our finished products:

 

Now they can retell the story–one outfit for each part of the story.

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

Joseph in Egypt

Hey all! Today’s story can be found in Genesis 39-41. Our story from last year can be found HERE.

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At this point Joseph had been sold by his brothers and was living and working in a new place called Egypt. It was far away from his home and his family. But Joseph started working for one of the king’s helpers named Potiphar. And he was a very good worker. Everyone liked him. Even, the worker’s wife. She wanted Joseph to love her and kiss her but he said, “No way! You are married to Potiphar, the king’s helper that I work for! I could never love you or kiss you. That would be wrong. You are supposed to only love HIM!”

That made her MAD so she LIED and told her husband that Joseph had tried to kiss her (when really SHE had tried to get him to kiss her). But Potiphar had Joseph put in jail anyway.

Joseph hadn’t done anything wrong when his brothers got rid of him…and he hadn’t done anything wrong when he got put in jail. This story doesn’t seem fair, does it?!

But Joseph started working in the jail and because he was such a good worker he was soon in charge of the jail! While he was in jail, God gave him a special talent. That’s something you’re really good at like singing or drawing or playing sports. (My kids understand talents because of the Tinkerbell movies–so if you’re familiar with that you can use the fairies’ talents to explain.)

Joseph’s talent was that he could understand dreams. A dream is like a story you think about when you’re asleep. But sometimes dreams can be silly or not make any sense. But Joseph could help people understand their dreams.

While he was in jail, two of the king’s helpers were also put in jail and they each had dreams. Joseph told the helpers what their dreams meant and they both came true! Joseph asked one of the men to remember him and how he had helped him when he got out of jail. He asked the man to tell the king good things about him so he could get out too, but the man forgot to say anything for TWO YEARS!

For two.more.years. Joseph sat in jail. Until one day, the king himself had two tricky dreams. All of his usual helpers didn’t know what they meant…but Joseph did.

Joseph replied, “Your dreams both mean that there will be 7 years of good food and then 7 years of famine (or no food, usually because there’s no rain.) You should find someone very responsible and put them in charge of saving up food, so when the bad years come, you’ll have leftovers and no one will be hungry.”

The king liked this idea very much, so he put Joseph in charge of saving up the food…in fact he put Joseph in charge of all Egypt!

Isn’t that amazing?

Joseph has had a pretty rough road….he hadn’t done anything wrong but bad thing just kept happening?! God had a good plan all along. And now Joseph was the 2nd biggest leader of all of Egypt!

But God is still not done with Joseph. Tomorrow we will see what else happens!

(For media see yesterday’s post.)

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!