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!

Abraham’s Children

Hello again! As we wrap up the book of Genesis, I decided to add this related (but not chronological) lesson. We did do the story of Ephraim and Manasseh yesterday but didn’t change it from LAST YEAR’S LESSON.

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Today’s lesson is based on what I heard at church today and I thought it summed up Genesis so well it needed to be added here. This is from Romans 4. See also HERE.

So this month we read about God creating the heavens and the earth. We read about Adam, the first man, and Noah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. We read about how much God loved His creation….but the people did not always love God. A lot of people disobeyed and didn’t trust God.

But not everyone felt that way. Abraham DID trust God and God made a special promise to Abraham…that he would be the father of many many people. As many as the stars in the sky, as many as the sand on the beach. That’s a lot of people! And Abraham BELIEVED God. He had faith. And not only did he BELIEVE God, he OBEYED God too. When God told Abraham to move, he moved. When He told him to give back his son Isaac, he did. Abraham showed that he had faith in God. God loved Abraham and made a special promise to him…not because he was a great person, or because he always did the right thing…but because he TRUSTED God and when God told him to do something…he did it. He had faith.  (Rom 4:9-13)

Abraham did have children, and those children had children and we know Jacob had a LOT of children and those guys had a LOT LOT LOT of children…and all those people would become Israel. The people of Israel thought THEY were God’s special people because they came from Abraham. BUT…in the book of Romans, God tells us that ANYONE who BELIEVES and OBEYS God is a son of Abraham, a part of Abraham’s family. (Rom 4:16-17, 24-25)

If YOU love AND obey God, then YOU are one of Abraham’s children too. Abraham’s family did get pretty big…but that also includes all the people who choose God and love and obey Him.

When we love and obey God, we get adopted into God’s family. He adds us into the family. We don’t have to be born in Israel to be one of Abraham’s children…to be one of God’s children. We just need to trust God, love Him and obey Him. And some of the people IN Israel choose not to love and obey God…the Bible says they are NOT Abraham’s children. They are NOT God’s children. The real children of Abraham and the real children of God are those that have faith in Him. (Galatians 3:7)

So when we read the Bible, we aren’t just reading about THOSE people a long time ago…it’s about God’s story. His plan for ALL of us. God would send His son Jesus through Abraham’s family…but anyone and everyone who believes in God becomes His child and becomes part of Abraham’s family too. One of the stars in the sky.

We will start the next part of God’s story tomorrow, in the book of Exodus. And as we read through Exodus, let’s remember that WE are also God’s children…like the Israelites…their story is our story.

Thanks for joining us. 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’s Coat, God’s Plan

Hello all. So yesterday we did the story of Jacob returning to meet his brother Esau which can be found HERE (no new one this year–we just read last year’s).

Today’s story can be found in Genesis 37 and last year’s story and craft can be found HERE.

Jacob had had a LOT of kids. He had 12 boys and 1 girl. Joseph was not the oldest boy…but he was Jacob’s favorite. Mommies and Daddies should love all their kids the same…but Jacob had a favorite…and that was Joseph.

One day Jacob gave Joseph a very fancy coat. (Most people draw it look like a rainbow, but the Bible just says it was REALLY colorful.) Back then if a coat was going to have lots of colors it cost a LOT of money. Usually only really rich important people could have a colorful coat. All the other brothers had boring brown coats. The other brothers did not like Joseph being the favorite so they were mean to him.

Joseph also had a dream that he would one day rule over and be in charge of his brothers. This made his brothers EVEN madder and they decided to get rid of him. They wanted to kill him.

At first they were going to throw him into a well. (A well is a big hole in the ground with water. People could pull a bucket up and down to fill it up with water. They didn’t have water in their houses…they had go outside to these wells to get water. But the wells were deep and hard to get out of.) So they decided to put him in the well and he could die there, but then they saw some other people coming and came up with a new plan.

Instead of letting Joseph die in the well, they decided to SELL him to the other people. They would get money, Joseph would be gone and the other people would have a new servant who could do all their hard work for them. Didn’t the brothers have yucky sad hearts? It does NOT make God happy that the brothers were being so mean to Joseph. But God had a plan. A GOOD, BIG plan for Joseph.

Only one of Joseph’s brothers, Reuben, the biggest brother, was sad that he was gone. And Jacob, the daddy was very VERY sad that Joseph was gone. The brothers told the daddy that  Joseph was dead. (That was a lie, but he believed them that Joseph WAS dead.)

Instead of Joseph dying, those other people DID buy Joseph and took him to a place called Egypt. It was very far away…but Joseph started working for one of the king’s helpers. Next time we will see what happens to Joseph while he is in Egypt.

This sounds like a sad story doesn’t it? But don’t worry…God has big plans for Joseph and God will take this very sad, very hard thing for Joseph and turn it into something good.

 

For our craft today we made our own colored coats. We used some of dad’s old undershirts, but you could buy some cheap shirts at walmart–or use paper grocery bags. Tutorial here (Tutorial posted by ExpertHowTos with demonstrator Sherie Tengbergen).

We just cut a slit up the middle of our shirts and then decorated. The wonderful thing about this project is: you can use anything you have! Today we used markers and stickers–but you could use paint, fabric, feathers, gems, glitter if you’re brave :0) anything you’d like.

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If you’re looking for media, Veggie Tales has a title called “The Ballad of Little Joe.”

The Beginner’s Bible has THIS VIDEO on youtube.

THIS SONG posted by GodsKidsWorship is about trusting God’s plans for us.

 

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Jacob’s Children

Hello again! Today’s story is from Genesis 29, 30, and 35.

Have you ever wanted something that your friend has? Maybe he has a cool bike, or maybe she has the BEST doll. God wants us to be thankful for the things we have…and not be jealous of what other people have.

If you remember, Jacob was running away. He had been tricky and taken his brother’s stuff AND his special blessing.

He traveled a long time and finally came to his uncle’s house. They were happy to see him and told him he could stay with them. Jacob started helping and working for his uncle. One day, his uncle said, “I should pay you! How much money do you want for all this work you’ve been doing?”

Jacob didn’t want money. He wanted to marry his cousin Rachel. She was BEAUTIFUL and he loved her! Rachel had a big sister named Leah…but Jacob loved Rachel. Jacob promised to work for SEVEN years for his uncle if he could marry Rachel when he was done.

His uncle agreed…and Jacob worked for 7 years. Then it was time to get married. After the wedding, the uncle brought LEAH in a disguise and gave her to Jacob. When he woke up the next day he knew he had been tricked. Just like he tricked his brother, he had been tricked too and had married Leah instead of Rachel. He was NOT happy.

His uncle said the oldest girl had to get married first, but if he would wait one week, he could have Rachel too…but he would have to work ANOTHER 7 years. Jacob agreed.

Now this part is a little crazy. You are only supposed to get married one time and love and take care of that person your whole life. But because everyone kept being tricky, Jacob now had two wives. He loved Rachel…but not so much Leah.

This made Leah sad and so God gave her lots of babies. Then Rachel got jealous that Leah had a baby and she didn’t! She was so upset she made a bad choice. She said “Jacob, here is my servant, you can have a baby with her!” And Jacob did…also not a good choice.

Rachel said, “Haha! Now I am winning! I will have more babies than HER!”

Well…all of this fighting over who had more babies led to more bad choices. Leah told Jacob to have a baby with HER servant…and SHE had a baby! Leah and Rachel each had more babies after that and altogether Jacob had 12 boys and 1 girl.

These boys would grow up to be the leaders of the 12 tribes (families) of Israel. Their names are:

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Isaachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. These boys would fulfill the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…and even Jesus would be come from Judah’s family!

 

Leah and Rachel spent most of their lives being jealous of each other (wanting what the other one had.) Leah wanted to be loved by Jacob and Rachel wanted children like Leah had. When we want what other people have, we can sometimes forget to be thankful for what we DO have. Leah and Rachel’s jealousy led them to make bad choices. When we worry about what other people have, it only makes our hearts sad and can sometimes lead us to make bad choices–choices that might hurt more than they help. Let’s be thankful today for what God has given us and not worry about what our friends have.

 

For our craft today, we made a picture of Jacob’s 12 sons…and talked about how they would be the 12 tribes (families) of Israel. They would fulfill the promise God made to Abraham and Jacob about their grandchildren being as many as the stars in the sky.

For this project, we used some orange paint (you could also use brown or any color you’d like) and we used the lid of the paint to be a stamp and made 12 circles. After that dried, we drew two eyes on each one and some decorations (hair, beards etc). Then we practiced writing letters by writing the initial of each boy. Our text says “Jacob’s Sons, Genesis 29/30/35)

 

THIS VIDEO is posted by CityLifeMedia and is based on the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all.

God gives Jacob a dream

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Genesis 28 and last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

If you remember from last time, Jacob tricked his older brother Esau into giving him all his stuff AND his father’s special blessing. And his brother was MAAAADDDD! So mad he wanted to KILL Jacob. So Jacob ran away.

One night he laid down outside on a rock, fell sleep, and had a dream.

In his dream he saw some stairs. The bottom of the stairs was earth and the top of the stairs was in heaven. Angels were going up and down the stairs, going back and forth up and down the stairs to and from heaven.

Jacob saw stairs going to up to heaven to connect us to God, but now we have Jesus who we can talk to all the time. HE connects us to God. Jesus is like the stairs between heaven and earth. We can trust in Him and know that He is caring for us and that He loves us.

Jacob was still dreaming and he heard God from the top of the stairs say, “I am God. I promised your grandpa Abraham, and your dad Isaac and now YOU, that you will get to keep this land where you are sleeping. This is your promised land. You will have SO MANY children and grandchildren and great grandchildren…more than all the sand by the ocean. And everyone on earth will be blessed by you” (because Jesus would come from their family later on.) I will watch over you and take care of you. I will bring you back here. I will keep my promises.”

When Jacob woke up, he yelled “AH! I found God’s house! He lives HERE!” He gave God an offering (like a special present) and promised to always give back to God part of everything God had given him. Today, we give part of our money, time and things back to God by giving to others and supporting our church, our pastors and missionaries (people who go all over the world to tell people about Jesus.)

We know God ALWAYS keeps His promises. He kept His promises to Noah, Abraham, all the way down to Jesus and to US!

 

For our craft today we took black construction paper and some wavy brown paper. We glued the wavy brown to the bottom of the black and then used oil pastels (you could crayons or markers too) to draw a sleeping Jacob. Then we cut out a blue cloud shape–his dreaming bubble. (My kids recognized this from Daniel Tiger when he does his make believe.) In the dream cloud we drew some steps and angels going up and down. Our text reads: Jacob’s dream Genesis 28

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Jacob and Esau

Hello again! Today’s lesson is from Genesis 25 and 27. Our lesson from last year can be found HERE.

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Isaac and Rebekah had twin boys (born on the same day). Esau was born first and then Jacob was born holding onto Esau’s foot.

God had told Rebekah that the younger boy (Jacob) would be in charge of the older boy some day…even though that’s not how it was supposed to go. Back then, the oldest kid would get most of the dad’s money and stuff when he died. He would also get a special blessing (his dad would say some important words from God about him).

As the boys grew up, Esau, the oldest brother was big and hairy and liked hunting and being outside. Jacob was not so big or hairy and he liked being inside. One day Esau came home from working very hard and he was sooooooo hungry. He probably hadn’t eaten for days. And Jacob, the young brother had just made a big pot of stew.

“Please! Give me some of that!” said Esau.

“Ok,” said Jacob…”IF you give me dad’s stuff when he dies, then you can have some soup.”

Does that seem like a very good trade? It doesn’t. But Esau was so hungry he didn’t care. He traded. He traded all the money and servants and animals and cool toys….for one bowl of soup.

When Isaac, their dad, got very very old he couldn’t see very well anymore and he knew he was about to die…so he was ready to give Esau his special blessing.

Rebekah (the mommy) and Jacob thought up a sneaky plan. Now this wasn’t a very nice plan…but remember God knew all along this was going to happen. Jacob already had all his dad’s STUFF, but now he was going to sneak the blessing too!

He dressed up in a very hairy coat and pretended to be Esau…Isaac thought it really was Esau because he felt so hairy (remember he couldn’t see very well anymore) and he gave Jacob the blessing. He said, “God will give you all the food and drinks you need and even more than you need. He will make it rain so all your food grows well. Other people in all the other countries will work for you and you will be in charge of all your brothers. Anyone who says bad things about you will also have bad things come to them and anyone who says good things about you will have good things happen to them.”

Sounds pretty great huh?

Just then, Jacob left and Esau came in…ready to get his blessing. But…his father had already given it to Jacob. Esau was MAAAAAADDDDD. Jacob decided to run away because Esau was so mad he was probably going to try to kill Jacob. (Next time we’ll learn what happens as Jacob ran away.)

Stealing those words might not seem like a big deal, but the blessing Isaac gave Jacob was from God. Jacob WOULD always have good food and lots of rain to help the food grow. He would be in charge of all the people.

Jacob took all of the money and things and servants and animals AND the good things from God…he took all of that from Esau.

Does this sound like another story we learned? Like Cain and Abel? Abel the younger brother was accepted by God when Cain wasn’t. This time God chose Jacob instead of Esau. Sometimes God chooses unexpected people–not the fanciest, or richest or most important people. Sometimes God choose just regular people.

One day Jesus would be one of Jacob’s descendants (great great great etc grandchildren) and God always planned it that way. BUT Jacob got there by being sneaky and because he did it his own way, he had to run away and hide for a LONG time.

When we trust in God, He will lead us where we should go. God loves you and has big plans for you and you can trust that He knows what is best. When we do things God’s way, it is always the best way.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all.