A victory for Abijah

Hello again! Today’s story is from 2 Chronicles 13.

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Abijah, Rehoboam’s son began to rule over Judah after Rehoboam died. If you remember, God took most of Israel away from King David’s family because Solomon had disobeyed God. Now only the family (tribe) of Judah stayed with David/Solomon/Rehoboam/Abijah. 

Then war broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam. Jeroboam was king over the rest of Israel. Judah, led by King Abijah, had 400,000 warriors, and Jeroboam had 800,000 warriors.

When the army of Judah arrived in a place called Ephraim, Abijah stood on a mountain  and shouted to Jeroboam and all the soldiers of Israel: “Listen to me! Don’t you realize that the Lord, the God of Israel, made a lasting covenant (promise) with David, giving him and his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren the throne of Israel forever? But Jeroboam is the son of one of the servants of Solomon, who rebelled against his master. Then a whole bunch of people joined him, defying Solomon’s son Rehoboam when he was young and inexperienced and could not stand up to them. Do you really think you can stand against the kingdom of the Lord that is led by the children of David? You may have a great big army, and you have pretend golden gods. But you have chased away the priests of the Lord and you let anyone be a priest for your pretend gods! But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forgotten Him. We obey God and worship Him as He told us to. We are following the instructions of the Lord our God, but you have abandoned Him. So you see, God is with us. He is our leader. His priests will blow their trumpets and lead us into battle against you. O people of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, for you will not succeed!”

While he was talking though, Jeroboam had secretly sent part of his army around behind the men of Judah. When the warriors of Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the back, they cried out to God for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and scared them away.

The Israelite army fled from Judah, and God handed them over to Judah in defeat. Jeroboam never regained his power during Abijah’s lifetime, and finally he died.  Meanwhile, Abijah of Judah grew more and more powerful.

Judah was small, but they trusted God and served Him like He told them to and the consequence was a good one for them. God protected them and gave them victory.

 

Here is a song posted by Cedarmont Kids to help us remember that victory lies with God.

 

Thanks again for joining us!

Isaiah

Welcome back! Today’s lesson is about another prophet named Isaiah. A prophet is someone who talks with God and then tells the people what God wants them to know.

Isaiah has a whole book of the Bible for the things God wanted the people of Israel to know.

In this book, God tells His people (the people living in Judah and the rest of Israel) that they have disobeyed Him. Do you remember what it’s called when we disobey God? That’s called sin. And God tells them there will be consequences for their sins. BUT, if they will obey God again, and love only Him, then He will forgive them (1: 18-31).

Isaiah spends a lot of his book reminding the people of all the ways they have disobeyed God and how if they don’t ask Him to forgive them that there will be sad consequences–they will be taken away from the promised land. (And they were!)

We all sin too and when we sin, we can no longer live in heaven with God. We get taken away from the “forever promised land” with God (heaven).

BUT, in this book, God was telling His people, “I have a plan.” Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation,  I will trust and not be afraid.” Isaiah told the people that GOD Himself would make a way to save His people and to forgive them. Do you know what that way is?

It’s Jesus! God would send His own son, Jesus to die on the cross for us take our consequences so we could be perfect in God’s eyes. (Isaiah 53)

Isaiah told the people about Jesus who would be coming. In chapter 9, he tells the people that a baby will be born “For to us a child is born (Jesus), to us a son is given (God’s OWN son!), and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor (like a teacher and helper), Mighty God, Everlasting Father (we are God’s children!), Prince of Peace.” Most of the people then didn’t understand what Isaiah was saying…but we know he was talking about Jesus and that we don’t have to be afraid of the consequences of our sins if we believe in Jesus and that He came to die for us–we can just be thankful! 

God let Isaiah see some of heaven. In chapter 6 he says. “I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were creatures, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Holy means special and not like anyone or anything else.)

And at the end of Isaiah, God promises a GREAT future to those who trust in Him. In chapters 65 and 66, He says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes. I will make new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create…I will take delight in my people; there will be no more weeping or crying.” He says all the people and animals will get along. Everyone will have enough food and not have to worry about anything! The people will be healthy and happy. They will worship God together forever. 

Isn’t it wonderful that even though WE disobey God, HE makes a way for us to be forgiven? There is nothing WE can do to get God to forgive us, it’s like a present He gives us, because He loves us. We just have to say “Yes! I want that present! Thank you, God!”

For our craft today we drew pictures of Isaiah’s vision of heaven and talked about how thankful we are for God sending His son Jesus to forgive our sins and all the things we are looking forward to about heaven.

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THIS VIDEO is a version of the song “I see the Lord” performed by Chris Falson.

THIS VIDEO is an overview of Isaiah by ShareFaithSolutions.

THIS VIDEO is from Saddleback Kids and focuses on the necessity of Jesus’ coming.

THIS VIDEO is from JellyTelly and is also a nice overview.

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

King Josiah

Hi all! Welcome back! Yesterday we did the story of Israel’s Exile and Hezekiah’s Trust. Todays lesson is from 2 Kings 22-23. Last year’s story and craft can be found HERE.

God’s people had forgotten to obey Him. They disobeyed God and worshipped pretend gods called idols. They did what the wanted and didn’t take care of the temple (the church.) The church was falling apart because no one cared enough about God to fix it.

The kings of God’s people had mostly not been very good kings. They did not remember God’s words and did not care to obey Him. But then, a young boy named Josiah became king. His father had been king and now he would be the new king. Even though he was young, God was about to use him to do GREAT things.

Josiah obeyed God and tried to always do the right thing. As he got a bit, he had his helpers fix up the church. As they were fixing and cleaning, they found some old parts of the Bible. Josiah had his helpers read it to him and when he heard what it said, he cried and cried. Do you know why? Because the people were NOT doing what the Bible said and he felt so sorry to God. We don’t know what God wants us to do unless we read the Bible! When we know what His word says, then when we have decisions to make, we can know if it’s something that God would want us to do or not. But we can forget God’s words if we don’t read our Bible…so it’s important to read the Bible a lot…and reading with your mom or dad can help you understand it!

King Josiah called all the people together and told them the words of God. He and all the people made a new covenant (promise) to follow God and obey Him.

The people took down their pretend gods and did what was right.

You don’t have to be a big grown up to do the right thing. Josiah was a good example to all the people in Judah for how to love God…worshipping ONLY Him, helping keep the church nice, praying to God, and obeying Him.

In 1 Timothy 4:12 it says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Even little guys can do the right thing for God and sometimes you can even show grown ups how to love God.

For our craft today we wrote out 1 Timothy 4:12 and then drew pictures of each of the ways we can show other people how to love and obey God.

 

Speech: a face with a big, open mouth

Life: we traced our hands–loving God with our life means doing what He wants us to do

Love: a heart

Faith: a cross

Purity: a star–purity means perfect, nothing yucky in it–like a bright, shining star

 

We found THIS VIDEO from KidMo.

SabbathSchool has a two part video on today’s lesson found HERE and HERE.

 

Thanks for joining us! 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!

 

Samson (reboot)

Hi all! Today we studied Judges 13-16 about Samson. We used last year’s lesson found HERE.

What I tried to emphasize today is that Samson did not always obey God. But God used him anyway. Sometimes we disobey God too…but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have big plans for us!

God gives you special things YOU are good at. He wants you to use those things to worship Him and to love others. Samson gave his power to Delilah instead of keeping it and using it for God. If you sing, sing songs of praise to God. If you draw, draw pictures to give to others. If you play sports, show the love of God while you play…be a good sport. Work hard in whatever you do. But don’t let anything become more important than God and always see how God can use your gifts to help others.

The Bible says Samson was more useful when he died (because he also killed those mean Philistines)…but that wasn’t God’s plan for Samson. God WANTED Samson to do great things with his strength while he was alive! (Like that time he defeated the 1000 men all on his own!) Let’s think about the things WE are good at…the things God has given US and see how we can serve God with those things NOW.

 

For today’s craft, we made “Samson knocking down the pillars” pictures. We drew our Samson (long hair and arms extended). Then we took toilet paper and paper towel tubes and taped them on each side to be the pillars. You could paint or marker these as well to look even more “pillar-y.”

Our text says: Samson-Judges 13-16.

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Balaam’s Talking Donkey

Hello all! Today’s story is from Numbers 22-24. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

The Israelites were spending  40 years wandering around the desert because they had disobeyed God. During that time, they had to fight a lot of other countries. One of them was Moab. Now the king of Moab was scared of the Israelites so he called for one of his prophets (someone who tells people what God says) Balaam, and said, “I need you to curse the Israelites. Say bad things about them and say that WE will win!”

But Balaam said, “I can’t come to curse them….I can only say what God tells me to say?”

“What if i give you a lot of money? THEN will say what I want?” asked the king.

Balaam talked to God and God didn’t want him to go. Eventually though, God said he could.

And you know what? Balaam was going to go and curse the Israelites and take the money. He was riding his donkey back to the king to curse the Israelites when suddenly,  in the rode, his donkey stopped. Balaam was mad. “Move it!” he yelled to the donkey. “Why aren’t you moving?!” He even hit the donkey.

Then the donkey turned around and said, “Why are you hitting me?!”

Balaam answered “Because you won’t move!” (He talked to a donkey!)

Just then Balaam saw an angel of God. He was blocking the road. The donkey had seen the angel and stopped, but Balaam did not see the angel until just then. God did not want Balaam to go to the king and say bad things about the Israelites. God had told him that in prayer, with a donkey and with an angel!

Balaam went anyway, but when he got there, three times he spoke the words of God and he said that the Israelites would be strong and brave and that THEY would win. He also said that anyone who went against God’s people would lose.

It took a LOT for God to get’s Balaam’s attention. He even made an animal TALK to get Balaam to listen to Him. We need take time to pray and to LISTEN to God. We can know what God wants by reading the Bible, listening to grown ups who know God and by praying and listening to God in our own hearts. Maybe you can pray right now and take some time to give God your attention.

Today’s craft is made from a gift bag (or a paper lunch bag). We cut out a donkey head shape and drew on some nostrils and then glued on some googly eyes. Then we cut another strip of brown paper and fringed it. This we glued to the back of the bag.

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THIS is a video from SabbathSchool about today’s lesson.

Thanks for joining us! 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!