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.

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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!

I choose God!

Hey all! Today’s lesson is based off of Joshua 24. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

After Moses died, God had Joshua lead His people into the promised land. They divided up all the land so that each tribe (or big family) got their own part.

When Joshua was very very old and about to die, he called the leaders together and reminded them of all God had done for them and all He had taught them.He reminded them of how many times He had saved them and fought for them. (Sometimes we don’t even KNOW God is helping us! Sometimes we forget! Maybe take a minute to think with your family about some of the great things God has done for you, or things He has taught you!)

He told them to be strong and not to be afraid. He reminded them to always love and obey God.

Lastly, in Joshua 24:15, he told the people they had to choose for themselves if they would serve God or not. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” he said.

Your mom and dad can tell you about God and about Jesus’ love and how He died for your sins. You can sing songs and your family can go to church. But YOU, in your heart, have to choose to follow God. You don’t just love God because mommy and daddy do. You have to choose in your heart to love and obey God. As you grow up, you will learn more and more what it means to follow and love God and you’ll also understand more and more how much He loves you!

And we don’t just choose to love God one day and then forget about it. (That’s what happened to the Israelites a LOT!) We choose to love God everyday…we pray…and read our Bibles…and obey what He tells us. We worship God everyday with the choices we make. But just like Joshua told the people they had to have faith of their own, you have to choose too, if you want to follow and obey God.

 

For our craft today, we made hearts and then added the text: “As for MY heart, I choose God!” Then we made a space to write our names and added some heart stickers.

 

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Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

The day the sun stood still

Hello again! Today we continue in Joshua. Today’s story is from Joshua 10. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

As the Israelites (God’s people) were moving into the promised land God was giving them, it was a pretty big place and there were a lot of cities already there. So Joshua and God’s people had to fight a lot of people to get that land. (You may ask why God would have them defeat people for THAT land instead of giving them some place where no one lived? Why all the fighting? Well…God DID give them that land a looooooong time ago. Remember way back when, when God first promised that land to Abraham? Then Isaac and Jacob? That had always been the plan–for God’s people to live there. But now that other people had taken that land, Israel had to take it back.)

Whenever they obeyed God, they would win. If they didn’t obey God, they wouldn’t win. Well, they had taken a lot of cities and made peace with several kings. (They were going to work together). One of those places with Gibeon. Gibeon and Israel were on a team now. But the king of a different city was scared! He said…”Those other people are working WITH the Israelites!” So he called 4 of the other nearby kings and said, “Maybe if we all work together…we can defeat those guys AND the Israelites!”

So the king of Gibeon asked Joshua and Israel to come help! The 5 kings all joined together to defeat Joshua, but God said, “Don’t be afraid. I will make sure you win.” So Joshua and the Israelites went ahead and they surprised the kings and other armies. It took a long time to defeat all those guys, so Joshua said, “Sun! Stand still!” (Because you can’t fight very well in the dark).

And do you know what happened?! The sun STOOD. STILL. It took FAITH (Joshua TRUSTED in God’s power) to ask God to make the sun stand still. And we know God CAN make the sun stand still because God can do…ANYTHING!

The sun stayed in the sky almost a whole extra day, until Israel had defeated all those other guys.

Joshua and his men defeated a LOT of people as they took over the promised land–because GOD fought with them. When God is for us who can stand against us? (Romans 8:31)

God doesn’t always do the things we ask…if you go outside and ask the sun to stop…it probably won’t. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t fighting for you. God has big plans for you, and just like He parted the waters for Moses, or made the sun stand still for Joshua, or even sent His own son to die for my sins and your sins, God will do GREAT things in your life if you trust Him and obey Him.

For our craft today, we made suns. We used paper plates and cut some triangles out of yellow and orange paper and attached the triangles with tape to be the sun’s rays. Then we decorated them. We used stamps and stickers today but you could use anything you want. Then we acted out the story using our suns.

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Eating a snack is an important part of the process 

 

THIS is a cartoon of today’s story posted by SharefaithSolutions.

THIS is another video posted by Kids Bible.

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Joshua at Jericho

Hey all! Today we begin the book of Joshua. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

This story is from Joshua 1-5 in the Bible.

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If you remember, the Israelites had been wandering around the desert for 40 years on their way to the land God had promised them. It shouldn’t have taken that long, but they had disobeyed and as a consequence weren’t allowed to go there for a loooong time. Moses, their leader, had gotten very old and died and now Joshua (one of the people who DIDN’T disobey God) was in charge.

And finally…it was TIME! Time to go into the promised land!

The Israelites were getting closer to Jericho. Jericho was a strong city surrounded by a HUGE wall. So Joshua sent two men to go check out the city. They met a woman in Jericho named Rahab who helped them. She hid them from the soldiers of Jericho and asked that they would keep her and her family safe when the Israelites take over Jericho. They agreed (and they did keep their promise!) The spies returned to Joshua and they said, “YES! God has given us this land! Let’s go!”

To get to Jericho, the Israelites had to cross a river. God dried it up for them so they could cross, and then once they were across, He let the waters flow again. (Just like how they left Egypt with the parting of the red sea, their journey ended with God parting the waters for them again!) If God asks you to do something, you can be sure He will help make a way–even if it seems like a crazy idea. But walking through water wasn’t God’s only crazy idea for His people.

They soon came to Jericho. The Israelites were supposed to take over this land, but they were scared about the big wall and the big people in the city. They talked about going back to Egypt, or finding a different way to go.

But Joshua reminded the people that God had led them here and He would help them. Joshua prayed (talked) to God and God sent an angel who told him what to do.

The angel told Joshua and the people of Israel to march around the city one time for 6 days. The priests (the guys in charge of the church) were to carry trumpets and then, on the 7th day, all the people would march around the city 7 times and the priests would blow the trumpets. Then everyone would shout really loudly and the walls would fall down.

Sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? “Just walk and then yell and blow the trumpets? Doesn’t God want us to smash the wall? Or kick it? Or shoot cannon balls at it?”

No. God wanted the people to OBEY and TRUST Him. HE would knock the wall down.

So the Israelites obeyed. They marched around the city one time for 6 days and on the 7th day, they marched around 7 times. Then Joshua told the people “Shout! God has given us this land!” The people shouted, the trumpets blasted and the walls fell down. The Israelites ran in and took over the city, defeating all the people who lived there. (Saving Rahab and her family though)

GOD is the one who knocked down the wall. He was showing the people of Israel AND of Jericho that HE is God and we know God can do….ANYTHING! Nothing is too hard for God. No matter how hard something may seem, with God all things are possible. (Matt 19:26). When God has a plan, anything is possible. We only need to TRUST Him and OBEY Him.

We watched the Veggie Tales “Josh and the Big Wall” today.

THIS is another cute video of today’s story from Little Heroes Bible Stories posted by Gold Quill. And THIS is a little video about Rahab who helped the Israeli spies.

THIS is an acapella version of “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” posted by Keith Lancaster. THIS is the same song but by Cedarmont Kids.

 

Thanks for joining us again! 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!

 

Our forgiving God

Hey all! Today we talked about the next part of Numbers (chapters 17,20,21). Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

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The Israelites were following God through the desert on their way to the promised land…but no matter how many GREAT things God did…the people just COMPLAINED! It’s easy for us to complain instead of THANKING God for all the great things He has given us and done for us. Let’s take a minute to think about those things and thank God.

In the book of Numbers there are 3 stories about the people complaining and not trusting God. The first time they didn’t trust God’s choices. Aaron (Moses’ brother was the chief priest–the one who would give sacrifices and pray to God to forgive the people for their sins (bad choices). It was important that the people listen to Aaron because God had chosen him to stand between the people and God. But the people had disobeyed and as a consequence, some of them had died. Instead of telling God they were sorry, instead they said “It’s ALL YOUR fault, Aaron!” They wanted a NEW chief priest. They didn’t like the one God had chosen.

But God told them to bring 12 staffs (one from the leader of each tribe/family) into the tabernacle (the church). The next morning, when Moses went to see the staffs, Aaron’s staff (big stick) had grown some flowers! All the people were amazed and reminded that God would choose who He wanted to lead the people. They put Aaron’s staff back in front to remind everyone not to doubt God’s choosing and to be thankful that He is a forgiving God.

But, it didn’t take long before the people forgot about God’s goodness and again started complaining. They were complaining this time about the food and water. God told Moses to talk to a rock to give the people water. But even Moses didn’t always obey God. Instead of talking to the rock, he bonked it with his staff. It did give water to all the people, but God wasn’t happy. So God told Moses even he wouldn’t get to go into the promised land, only his kids and grandchildren. Even though the people had complained and not obeyed God, He still took care of them and gave them the water they needed. The people were reminded that He is a forgiving God.

Then later, many years later, the people were still following God around the desert and again, they started to complain. God was very frustrated with the people for not trusting Him and He sent snakes to bite the people. It hurt a lot and some of the people died. Moses asked God to forgive the people and God told Moses to make a big snake statue and the anyone who got bitten by a snake could look at that and get better. If the people believed God and obeyed Him and looked at the snake statue, they got better. If they didn’t obey God, then they died. Was the statue God? No. Did the statue have any powers? No. Only God has the power to make someone better. He just wanted the people to OBEY and look at the snake. He wanted them to TRUST HIM and obey. Even though the people complained and complained, God still gave them a way to get better. The people were reminded that He is a forgiving God.

Sometimes when we make bad choices, there are bad consequences, but God still forgives us and still loves us. We can always remember that He is a forgiving God. The people did not trust God…instead they complained. When we trust God, we will be thankful. Let’s try to be more thankful and trust God’s plans.

THIS video by Steven Bussell has all three of our mini stories in paper-bag puppet form (very cute and well done).

THIS is a great overview of the book of Numbers from the “What’s in the Bible” series posted by JellyTelly.

THIS is a very thorough overview of Numbers posted by The Bible Project.(Today’s lesson starts at about 3:15 into the video and goes until about 4:35).

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

Do not be afraid

Hello again! So last year we did an overview of Leviticus found HERE and then covered the first part of Numbers HERE.

Today, however we are just going to jump in and continue following the Israelites. This story is from Numbers 13/14. Last year’s lesson and craft on this can be found HERE.

So Moses and the Israelites had been freed from Egypt and had been given God’s rules on Mt Sinai and God was leading them to a special place He had for them. This was the land He had promised Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. God was bringing His people back to this promised land.

As they got closer they realized this place (called Canaan) had people living there. So Moses asked 12 guys (one leader from each tribe/family) to go check it out. They were like secret spies. For 40 days (a little more than a whole month) they watched the place. They wanted to see what kind of people lived there and if food would grow well there. They wanted to know what kind of weapons the people had, or if they had a big army.

Well…when they came back to report to all the Israelites they said “Good news! It has LOTS of great food! It’s beautiful!’

“But the bad news is….those are BIG scary people! And the city walls are BIG….it’s too scary…we shouldn’t go in.”

Two of the men, Caleb and Joshua tried to remind everyone that GOD was leading them. They didn’t have to be afraid with God on their side! God was on THEIR team! God had PROMISED them this land! But the people didn’t want to trust God’s promise. Instead…they trusted their fear. They said “It doesn’t matter what God promised us!? This is too scary! We shouldn’t try to take that land.”

And they all decided to NOT obey God. God was not happy and He said “Only Caleb and Joshua (who wanted to obey) and the children will get to go in someday. The rest of you, who didn’t obey Me will never live in the promised land. The grown ups who were too scared to obey Me will be old and die before it’s time to go in to the promised land.”

And even though their trip from should have taken about two weeks….God kept the Israelites in the desert for 40 YEARS!!!

We NEVER have to be afraid to obey God. God might ask us to do some pretty scary things sometimes…but we can always know that God loves us, and protects us, and the best thing we can do is obey God, no matter what. Like Caleb and Joshua said “Do not disobey the Lord, and don’t be afraid…the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid!” (Nu 14:9)

For our craft today we used paper plates to draw a face. Then we traced our arms in a “strong position”. We cut out the arms and taped them to the face. Then we bent them in half so they could cover the eyes of the face OR be bent out to be like strong, muscle arms.

Our text reads: We never have to be afraid to obey God! Numbers 13/14

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!