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!

Ecclesiastes

Hi all! Today’s lesson is from a book called Ecclesiastes. Eh-klee-see-as-tees.

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King Solomon wrote this book and it’s about how the only thing that matters is God.

King Solomon asked God for wisdom…but even still…Solomon was always looking for what would make him happy. “I said to myself, “Look, I am wiser than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. I have greater wisdom and knowledge than any of them.” 17 So I set out to learn everything from wisdom to madness and folly. But I learned firsthand that pursuing all this is like chasing the wind.” 1: 16-17

2:1-11: “I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.

I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves.I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful wives and companions. I had everything a man could desire!

So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. 10 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors.11 But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.”

Solomon looked around at all the world..the people who were doing great, and the people who were working hard, the people who were having a hard time and the people who were hungry or hurt…and he tried to understand it. He knew that sometimes sad things happen to good people…and that sometimes mean people get more money or more praise. Life is not fair sometimes. He found out that money, THINGS, being smart, being in charge like a president or king, or having everything you ever wanted is NOT what makes a person truly happy.

Solomon reminds us that we may never understand ALL the things God is doing or WHY things are happening. 8:16-17: “In my search for wisdom and in my observation of people’s burdens here on earth, I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. 17 I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” 3:11 “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

So life is not always fair, and we may not understand it…but GOD does. We can trust Him. He provides us with food, drink and work (2:24) and He wants us to enjoy all He’s given us in life. (5:19) Even when life is scary or unfair…we can trust God. 12:13 “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”

The more King Solomon tried to find happiness with lots of wives, with money, with being smart, being in charge…the more he learned that NONE of that matters. All that matters is obeying God and enjoying what He gives us.

Let’s be thankful today for what God has given us and try to remember that having lots of things is nice, but what really matters is obeying God and following Him.

Thanks again for joining us. Love to you all.

Wisdom comes from parents

Hi all! So we are continuing our study of Proverbs.

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Last time we learned about wisdom coming from trusting and obeying God. Today we are going to learn about wisdom from our parents (and grandparents and aunts and uncles!) and that making wise choices means obeying our parents.

Your parents are probably pretty smart people. They know a lot about keeping you safe and healthy. The Bible tells us one of the best ways to be wise and make good choices, is by listening to and obeying our parents.

Proverbs 23:22-25 says, “Listen to your father’s advice and don’t hate your mother’s experience. Get the facts, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get. The father of a Godly man has cause for joy—what pleasure a wise son is! So give your parents joy!”

Proverbs 13:1 says, “A wise son listens to his father’s instructions.”

And in the book of Ephesians 6:1-3 it says, “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,[a] for this is the right thing to do. ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, ‘things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.'”

What kind of wise things do your parents always tell you? Look both ways before you cross the street? Don’t run around with food in your mouth? Be polite and kind to others? Make sure you have clean underwear on everyday?

The Bible also tells us in Proverbs that parents have to teach and discipline (that means teaching you how to be a good grown up) their children…and sometimes that means consequences when we make a bad choice. Consequences help us remember next time so we make a good choice.

Proverbs 19:18 says, “Discipline your son in his early years while there is hope. If you don’t, you will ruin his life.”

“To discipline a child produces wisdom,  but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.” Proverbs 29:15

And God is our heavenly Father and He teaches us too!

“Young man, do not resent it when God corrects you, for His punishment is proof of his love. Just as a father punishes a son he delights in to make him better, so the Lord corrects you.” Prov. 3:11-12

******And parents here is some encouragement for you: Proverbs 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

Deuteronomy 6:

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules[a]—that the Lordyour God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[b] You shall love the Lordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lordyour God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers 19 by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.

20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’”

“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.” Proverbs 29:17

Romans 10:13-15, “‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” 

We get to be the teachers and disciplers for our children…leading them to God daily. We share our wisdom, experiences and example every day. God reminds us that we MUST do this, but also that when we we are faithful to Him in doing so, our children will not depart from this truth.*********

When we listen to the things our parents want to teach us and when we obey them, it helps us make good, wise choices!

Thanks again for joining us! Love to you all!

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!

Amos/Hosea

Welcome back all! Yesterday at our house, we did Jonah found HERE.

hosea

Today’s lesson is about two prophets. If you remember, a prophet is someone who talks to God and then tells the people what God wants them to know.

After King Solomon, God’s people (remember those 12 families?) they split up and wanted two different kings. So there was the family of Judah and then everyone else (called Israel). The kings of Judah sometimes obeyed God, but the kings of Israel did not. And the people in Israel were not obeying God very well either.

Two of the prophets (men God told to talk to His people) were named Amos and Hosea.

Amos was a man from Judah. It wasn’t his job to be a prophet….his job was to take care of trees. He was just a regular guy that God used to tell the people of Israel to “KNOCK IT OFF!” They were not being nice to the people who were poor or helpless. The people were not making good choices. (Amos 2:6-8, 3:10, 5:11-12, 8:4-6). Most of the people had a LOT of money and they thought they were HOT STUFF. They forgot God’s words about helping other people and showing God’s love…..they only loved themselves and spent all their time thinking about themselves and all their money buying things ONLY for themselves. So Amos was from Judah and when he came to tell the people to remember what God wanted them to do, they said, “He’s from Judah….he’s not one of us.” And they didn’t listen to him. God warned the people if they didn’t stop that there would be consequences. (And later there would be, when Israel gets taken over and the people have to LEAVE God’s promised land).

Hosea lived at the same time as Amos and he ALSO told the people to knock it off. But when HE talked to the people he also said if they would come back to God and obey Him, that God would forgive them and save them from the consequences. Even though God gives us consequences for our sins (our bad choices against Him), He will forgive us and always love us.

These prophets told the people to stop being mean to other people…stop thinking only about YOU. You can’t just pray and read the Bible…you have to DO what the Bible says…and that means loving other people. God tells His people in Hosea 6:6 that it is more important for us to KNOW Him and to SHOW His love to other people, than to go to church or do “church things” the right way.

The people of Israel did not listen though and they would be taken away from God’s promised land. But when they would later ask God to forgive them, He would.

When we mess up, God forgives us too, but we should also try to not only pray or read the Bible but DO what it says–to love others like God loves us.

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!

Elijah and the widow

Hello all! Today’s story is from 1 Kings 17.

If you remember, Israel was now divided into two parts-the family of Judah and the rest of Israel…they each had a king. Israel’s new king was named Ahab. And he was a STINKER! The Bible says he was worse than every king before him! He even worshipped pretend gods.

Now there was a prophet named Elijah…a prophet is someone who talks to God and then tells the people what God wants them to know. Elijah told the king that because he was making such bad choices, that there would be consequences. The consequence would be that there would be no rain for several years. (If there’s no rain, then no plants can grow and if no plants can grow, then the animals have nothing to eat and nothing to drink and they die, and if there is no water, plants or animals, then the people have nothing to eat or drink and every person could die!) This is called a drought.

Then God told Elijah to go to a river and he drank water from the river and the birds brought him food. But just like God had said…it stopped raining and the river dried up. Elijah was getting very thirsty and very hungry.

So God told Elijah to go to a town and find a widow (that means a lady whose husband died.) Elijah found her and asked her for some water and some bread.

But she answered, “I promise to God, I don’t have any bread—I only have a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home to build a fire and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” (After they used up this last bit of food she had, they would have no more food and would probably starve.)

But Elijah told her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. This is what God says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

The woman TRUSTED God and she went home and made some bread for Elijah and the jug never ran out of oil and the jar never ran out of flour until it rained again years later…just like God said!

This is a miracle…something that shouldn’t be able to happen, but God can make it happen–something ONLY God can do.

Because the woman trusted God and OBEYED Him, He took care of her and her son and always made sure they had enough.

God promises us in lots of places in the Bible that He will take care of us too! (Matt 6:31-32, 7:11, Phil 4:19, Luke 12:24, Job 38:41, Genesis 9:3, Psalm 34:10, 36:6, 81:10, 84:11-12, 146:7, 107:9)

 

For today’s craft we drew the jug of oil and a container for flour. Then we tried something new: we painted on the jug with actual oil and glued and sprinkled on actual flour. (Disclaimer: these don’t really show up very well when they dry..but they do smell good. So it’s more for the experience than the end result.) You could also make some simple bread using flour and oil like THIS RECIPE.

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Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!