Lamentations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

David the Shepherd

Hi all…today’s lesson is a variance on David the shepherd. Today’s lesson is more focused whereas last year’s lesson was more broad. (Found HERE.)

Do you remember what David was doing before God said he would be the new king? He was taking care of the sheep! That’s called being a shepherd. What kinds of things do you think a shepherd has to do? (Feed the sheep, get them water, keep them safe, show them where to go, keep them healthy.) The shepherd loves his sheep.

When David got bigger, he was like a shepherd to the people of Israel. He became king and he took care of the people just like he took care of the sheep! He kept them safe, fighting in battles, and he made sure they had food and water. He led the people to God and he obeyed God which helped remind the people to obey God too! (2 Samuel 5:2, 1 Chronicles 11:2, Ezekiel 34:11-23, Psalm 78:70-72)

David would get married and have a baby boy. And that boy would grow up and have a boy and he would have a boy and on and on for 14 times, until another baby boy was born–Jesus. Jesus is like a shepherd too. He leads us to God and He keeps us safe. David wrote a lot of songs and in those songs, David called God “our Shepherd” a lot. (Psalm 23:1-3, 28:9, 95:7, 79:13, 100:3)

He takes care of us…and even more important than making sure we have the THINGS we need, He takes care of our hearts. Jesus doesn’t just take care of us, He loves us, just like a shepherd loves his sheep. (Isaiah 40:11, 53:6, Micah 7:4, Jeremiah 31:10)

Sometimes if a wolf or other scary animal would come and try to eat one of the sheep, the shepherd would fight the animal–even if he died..he would try to fight to save his sheep. Do you remember Jesus died for us? Sin (anything that disobeys God) wants to have our hearts…which keeps us away from God forever…but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, fought and died to save us. (Isaiah 53:6, John 10:11). But He didn’t stay dead–because unlike a regular shepherd, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is stronger than sin and death. Not EVEN dying can keep Jesus away from us or away from loving us.

God gave His people in Israel a good shepherd, David to lead them and protect them. But later He would give ALL of us Jesus, the Good Shepherd (the best shepherd of all) to love us, protect us, and save our hearts.

 

For today’s craft, we cut out a sheep’s head and then glued some fluffy cotton balls to make a sheep.

 

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all!

The Prophets

Hi all.

Bit of a different lesson today. Sometimes there are stories that have a clear beginning, middle and and even a nice lesson for kids to take away. Sometimes, in order to give them a picture of the whole story and what all the Bible entails, we have to do one of these what i call “A to B” lessons. No real story or nicely packaged lesson, but it gets us from where we were in the Bible to where we’re going.

So, today we’ll be talking about some of the prophets.

There is a big part of the Bible that has books written by the prophets. Remember, a prophet is someone who talks to God and then the tells the people what God said. Sometimes it’s good news, sometimes it’s bad news. Sometimes it’s directions for the people and sometimes it’s about something that will happen later.

Most of the books of prophecy in the Bible were written around the time we’ve been studying…when Israel was taken captive (and Judah was about to be). Which means a lot of these guys lived at the same time and God was telling them all the same things.

Some of the things God was telling them was:

  1. Israel has disobeyed and worshipped other pretend gods and will now be have bad consequences (being taken captive into Assyria and then Babylon)

Isaiah 10:5-6, 7:17-20, 8:1-10, Amos 2:6-8, 3:10, 5:11-12, 5:21-24, Micah 1:6-3:12,

2. Judah has also made bad choices and will be taken away

Jeremiah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:2, 1:4, 2:10, Joel 1:13-14, 3:16-21

3. When His people come back to Him, God will later forgive them and bring them back to the promised land

Isaiah 44:28, Jeremiah 29:10, Obadiah 1:17-18, Zephaniah 3:17

4. God will then punish the people who took Israel and Judah captive

Zephaniah 2:13-15, 10:11, Isaiah 31:8-9, Jeremiah 25:12, Obadiah 1:3, Nahum,

5. A messiah (a savior) would come to be with and to save and forgive God’s people once and for all (this would be Jesus).

Isaiah 2:3-4, 7:14,  9:6-7, 28:16, 35:4-6, 42:1-7, 49:6-7, 53:1-12, Jeremiah 23:5-6, 31:31-34, Ezekiel 34:23-24, Daniel 9:26, Joel 2:32, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9, 11:4-13, 13:7, Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6

And ALL of these things came true. In the book of Proverbs 30:5, it says, “Every word of God proves true.”

There are still some things in the Bible, some prophecies that have not happened yet. But we know they will, because we know EVERY word of God proves true.

Every thing God said would happen did. Israel and Judah disobeyed, they were taken away, they were later restored (returned to their homes and made right with God), their enemies were punished and God brought them a savior, who would be with them, love them, die for them and forgive them.

**There is of course SO much more we could do with these books (and i hope to add some more lessons in later) but this is an introductory lesson for preschoolers**

We made a little Bible today with the names of the books of prophecy. (You may note there are several not included in this list and that’s because we’ll be covering more from them later: Jonah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Hosea, Habakkuk, Haggai, and Malachi)

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Thanks for joining us today, love to you all!