David dances

Hi all! Tonight’s story is from 2 Samuel 6.

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Do you remember the ark of the covenant…that special box of God’s power? It was still away from the church where it was supposed to be. The Philistines had taken it a long time ago and brought it back, but it was just at some guy’s house. (His name was Abinadab and he and his family had been taking good care of it, but it was supposed to be in the tabernacle.)

David, now that he was king, decided NOW was the time to bring it back where it belonged.  David and a LOT of helpers went to the man’s house and they very carefully carried the box just the way God wanted. They weren’t supposed to touch the box…only the poles it rested on.

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But along the way, they almost dropped it and one of the guys reached out to help the ark so it wouldn’t fall and he died right then and there! That may seem mean, since he was trying to help…but God had been very clear: the people were NOT to touch the ark. David was so so scared and so so sad that he said “No more. We’ll leave the ark right here.” They were right by another man’s house named Obed-edom. The ark stayed there at that man’s house for 3 months and then someone told King David “God has been very good to Obed-edom since he has been taking care of the ark of the covenant.” So David decided maybe they could try again.

This time, they did carry the ark back into the city to the tabernacle and everyone was SOOOOO happy! The special box that showed all the people God’s power was BACK! They played music and danced and sang songs, some people cried! Oh they were SO happy! (It’s like if you lost your FAVORITE stuffed animal, or if you got lost from your mom or dad and then you FOUND your favorite thing, or your mom or dad and all went back home together…how HAPPY that would be!)

Even King David was so happy HE was dancing. But his wife was not happy. “That’s not very dignified. YOU are the king. You shouldn’t be out there being silly like THOSE people. You are supposed to be important….in charge…you should not be dancing.”

But David said, “Ha! I was dancing for God! I remember all the good things God has done for me. He made me king, He chose ME! I don’t care HOW silly I look!  I want to praise God!”

Do you know there’s no wrong way to praise God? To thank Him for the things He has done for us? Sometimes at church we talk to God to say “thank you” or we sing songs or play music–you can draw a picture, you can write your own songs or dance as silly as you want. You can celebrate God however you want…and it doesn’t matter HOW silly you look! God LOVES a thankful heart–when we praise Him, it makes Him so happy.

What are you thankful for today? What do you want to celebrate about God? Now take some time with your family to praise God–with music, art, prayer, dancing…whichever way you want!

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

The New King

Welcome back. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 31-2 Samuel 5.  Today’s story has a LOT of people making bad, sneaky choices.

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The Philistines attacked Israel (again) and King Saul and his boys were helping to fight. Three of Saul’s boys died and Saul was so sad, he fell on his sword so he could die too. Jonathan (David’s best friend) died that day too.

When David found out, he was very very sad. The man who told David Saul and Jonathan were dead said that HE killed Saul. That man lied. David answered, “Why did you kill the man God put in charge as king? Weren’t you scared to kill the man God chose?” Then David had that man killed too. The man lied…and then he died because of his lie.

Now, if you remember, there were 12 tribes (like big family groups) in Israel. Only one of the groups, Judah, wanted David to be their king. The rest wanted Saul’s son to be king. He has a long, confusing name: Ishbosheth. For a long time the people fought over who they thought should be king. A lot of people died. Which was kind of silly because God already said He wanted DAVID to be king…but the people didn’t listen. The leader of David’s army and the leader of Ishbosheth’s army fought and fought. The leader of Ishbosheth’s army, Abner, killed the brother of the leader of David’s army. So the leader of David’s army, Joab, killed the OTHER leader. See ALL these people making bad choices?? They ALL forgot that you’re not supposed to be mean to people just because they are mean to you. Lots of people kept dying because they were all being sneaky and lying and forgetting to obey God.

David and his army got stronger and stronger and Saul’s son and his army got weaker and weaker. Finally one day two men killed Ishbosheth (which did not make David happy–he was sad Ishbosheth had died). Then all the people decided David would be their new king.

David made a covenant (like a promise) to the people of Israel to be a good king and all the people decided yes, he would be the new king over all the families in Israel. David will make his own bad choices too. When we read the Bible there aren’t just “good” people and “bad” people. EVERYONE except Jesus makes bad choices, disobeys God and sins. And LOTS of people in today’s story made bad choices too.

God still had good plans for His people though and He put David in charge because David had a heart like God’s. He wasn’t happy when people died. David didn’t want the people to fight. But now all of Israel was following him and we’ll learn more about King David next time. 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!

Gideon the warrior

Hello again! Today’s story is from Judges 6-8 in the Bible. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

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image from 
https://kelund.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/stolen-bibles-and-a-restored-marriage/

 
Today’s story is about a man named Gideon. Gideon was just a regular guy, one of the Israelites (God’s chosen people). He was living in the promised land with the other Israelites, taking care of his sheep. Now since they had moved in, the Israelites had a bad habit of following God and then forgetting and making bad choices. Then God would punish them, send them a new leader (a judge) and they would follow Him again. Over and over and over. (God is very very patient!)

After Deborah was gone, they once again started making bad choices and God let the Midianites be in charge of them for seven years. The people were scared and had to hide because the Midianites were so mean to them.

One day, an angel came and told the people to stop disobeying God! Make good choices!

Then the angel appeared to Gideon, and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”

Gideon couldn’t believe the angel was talking to him. He wasn’t a mighty warrior?! “Who ME?!”

But the angel answered, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.  I am sending you! I will be with you.” (God was with Gideon and would help him defeat the Midianites.)

Gideon asked God for THREE different signs before he believed that God had really chosen him. And God was patient enough that He did show Gideon over and over “YES! I want YOU to lead the army!”

Finally Gideon trusted! So he rounded up a big huge army and set out. But God said no. It was too many fighters. So everyone who was scared was allowed to go home. Then Gideon started off again, but God said no again. The army was still too big. He had Gideon send even more men home. God did this so that when the Israelites won, everyone would know it was GOD who had defeated the Midianites and not the army, or Gideon.

So Gideon led his tiny army to the place where the GIANT Midianite army was camped. They had over 135000 men in their army and Gideon was allowed to have 300 men. That’s like if Pluto was going to fight the sun!

So Gideon’s army split into three teams and quietly tiptoed around at night time and surrounded the Midianites. They brought breakable clay jars, trumpets, and torches (fire) with them. Then, when Gideon told them to, everyone blew their trumpets really loudly, smashed the jars and yelled. They waved the firy torches around. The noise and commotion scared the Midianites so much, that started killing each other?! Only a few of them got away but the Israelites got them and defeated every last one.

After Gideon and the men returned, the people wanted Gideon to be their king. But he said, “No. Let GOD be your king.”

 

Gideon was a good leader. Remember, God doesn’t always pick the most important people or the most popular to be the leader…God cares about what’s in your heart. Gideon was a good leader not because he was someone important, or because he was big or strong…he was a good leader because he pointed the people back to God! When you are being a leader for your friends, make sure you a good leader…who trusts and obeys God. We know God’s plan is the BEST plan and that we can always trust Him. A good leader follows God and helps other people trust Him too!

THIS VIDEO is from Teaching Kids About Jesus.

There is also a veggie tales about Gideon.

A cute snack for today’s lesson is to have bugels be the trumpets, cheese for the fire and maybe tortilla scoops to be the clay jars. The kids *could* smash them on the table if you’re really that brave :0)

Thanks again for joining us, love to you all!

 

Deborah and Jael

Hi all! Today’s story is from Judges 4-5. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

deborah

So the Israelites needed a leader. God was giving them judges (people who help make decisions) to help lead the people and remind them of God’s laws. When the people had a judge, they obeyed God. When a judge got old and died…the people would disobey God again until He gave them a new judge.

One of those judges was named Deborah. She was very wise and the Bible says she would give advice and teach the people outside under some palm trees.

The Israelites had been disobeying God so they were now working for the Canaanites (the people who lived in the promised land that they were SUPPOSED to defeat before but hadn’t). The people complained and asked God for help. Deborah told Barak (the leader of the Israelite army) that God said he should lead the army to face the Canaanite army leader. She said God would help them defeat Sisera (the leader) and his army.

And big, strong Barak said….”ummm only if you go with me??” He was too scared to go alone!

Deborah said “Yes, I will go with you…but because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will give Sisera into the hands of a woman.” (A woman will defeat Sisera and not you!)

So off they went. They met Sisera and his army and Deborah was not afraid. “Go! God is with you!” she said. And the Israelites defeated the Canaanites. Only Sisera was still alive and he ran and ran until he came to a tent.

There was a woman there named Jael.

Jael said  to Sisera “Come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

“I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” So she gave him a drink, and covered him up so he could take a nap.

“Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”

But instead, while he fell asleep, Jael killed him.

Just then Barak came by looking for Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera–dead.

Deborah sang a song of praise to God for helping them defeat their enemies.

God used two women, Deborah and Jael in His big plan. Barak was scared to go without Deborah, but we never have to be afraid to follow God. Deborah and Jael were brave and they trusted God to help them.

We can always trust God to help us do the things He asks us to do. And no one can ever tell you that you can not be a leader for others. No one can say “because you are a girl, or a kid, or have brown skin, or white skin, or are too short, or too tall, or have curly hair, or wear glasses you can’t be a leader.” God can use ANYONE He wants to be a great leader! Let’s trust God to use us to do big things and not be afraid to follow Him always!

THIS is the link to the BrickTestament retelling of the story (a LEGO version).

THIS is a video by BimBam (formerly G-dcast).

And THIS video is a song about Deborah posted by sheilahamil. (While admittedly, it’s not the best quality video…it is full of truths that could be adapted to your own home or Sunday school lesson).

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

Judges

Hey all! Today’s brief story is from Judges 1-3:6.

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Joshua was leading the Israelites into the promised land. They were SUPPOSED to defeat everyone and take over the WHOLE land…but they didn’t exactly do that. There were still some of the people that they didn’t defeat.

But Joshua was getting old and all the people who had been mommies and daddies when they got to the promised land were now grandmas and grandpas! And there were new mommies and daddies and new kids and babies. Joshua and the others were getting old and they died.

The new mommies and daddies started to forget all the great things God had done. And they became friends with the people they hadn’t defeated. But those other people didn’t worship God. They had their own pretend gods–statues and idols. They prayed and worshipped to those things….and the Israelites started to too!

God was NOT happy. This was supposed to be the land for His people and they were supposed to worship only Him. So He gave them some judges. A judge is the person who sits in the court and decides if people are following the rules and if they AREN’T…what their consequences will be. If someone steals or kills somebody, they go before a judge. A judge decides if that person really did do those bad things and then they decide what the consequence will be.

So for a long time there were judges who helped Israel make good choices. When God gave the people a judge, that person would help them make good choices and they would follow God…but when there wasn’t a judge…the people would start making bad choices again–and even worse than before!!

Over the next couple of days we will learn about a COUPLE of these judges. The Bible tells us about 15 of these judges. We will be learning about 5 of them.

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!