God looks at the heart

Hey everyone! Welcome back! Today’s story comes from 1 Samuel 16. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

 

So God was unhappy with Saul as king and He told Samuel to go pick a new one. God would show him who should be king next.

God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem (that’s the city where Jesus would later be born). There he should find a daddy named Jesse. One of Jesse’s boys would be the new king. So Samuel found Jesse and he found Jesse’s biggest boy. The biggest boy was VERY big..and handsome and strong…everything a king should be.

“This is him, right God?’ asked Samuel.

“No” answered God. “I have not chosen him….don’t just look at how big and strong he is. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

One by one Jesse brought each of his boys before Samuel (just like the step sisters in Cinderella) but every time God said no.

“Are these ALL of your boys?” Samuel asked.

“Well…” Jesse said, “There’s my youngest boy…but he’s out taking care of the sheep.”

Samuel said “Go get him.” So they went to get David, the littlest boy and God said, “THIS is the one!” Samuel poured special oil on David’s head and declared him the new king. (I wonder how his brothers and his dad felt!?)

God knew that David would love him. God doesn’t always pick the biggest, smartest, prettiest, or tallest. God doesn’t care if you have yellow hair or black hair, purple skin or blue skin, if you wear glasses or braces, if you can’t speak very well or if you’re not very good at school work. What matters to God is what is in your heart. Do you love God? Will you obey Him?

God chooses people who will love and obey Him. He chose little David. God had big HUGE plans for David, and He has big plans for you too if you will love and obey Him.

For our craft today, we cut out people shapes and decorated them. Then we took a heart sticker and added it and our text which reads: Man looks at what’s on the outside, but God cares about what’s in our hearts! 1 Samuel 16

 

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!

 

Hannah Prays

Hello all! Today’s lesson is from 1 Samuel 1-2. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

During the time of the judges, there lived a woman named Hannah. She was married but she didn’t have any children. More than ANYTHING she wanted to be a mommy. She prayed and prayed and waited and waited…but no baby.

Hannah’s husband loved her very much and wanted her to be happy. But there was another mommy who DID have kids who was very mean to Hannah and said “Ha ha! I have kids and you don’t!”

Sometimes the things people say to us make us feel very bad. These words made Hannah feel worse too.

Each year, Hannah and her husband would travel across Israel to go to the tabernacle (the church) to pray and give their gifts and sacrifices to God.

One year, after a long time praying and waiting, Hannah was so upset, she went outside and prayed. She talked to God and said, “If You will give me a baby, I promise I will teach him about you, and he will serve You his whole life!”

She prayed and cried so much that Eli, the chief priest (the lead caretaker of the tabernacle) came out and said, “Why you are acting so crazy? Have you done something bad?”

“No! I haven’t done anything bad,” answered Hannah. “I was just praying!”

Then God told Eli to say, “May God give you what you have asked of Him.”

Hannah believed the words of God..that she would be given a baby and when she went home, God gave her a baby in her belly! She had a baby boy and named him Samuel. When Samuel was big enough, Hannah taught him all about God, and how God had listened to her and what a wonderful God He is. When Samuel got even a little bigger, Hannah took him back to the tabernacle so he could live with Eli and learn how to serve God.

Hannah promised to raise her baby to love God and to serve in the tabernacle. If God had given her a baby before then, she might not have taken him to the tabernacle to serve God…but God had big plans for Samuel.

God’s plan and His timing is always right. We know God hears us when we pray…but that doesn’t mean we can ask God for everything we want and we will get it right away. Sometimes God says yes, sometimes He says no, and sometimes He has us wait.

Waiting can be hard…but God has a good plan. We can always trust His plan, even if things don’t go our way (like Hannah did). She was a good mommy to teach Samuel about God and she was good woman to trust God, even when it was hard.

 

For our craft today, we just used watercolors to illustrate any part of the story they wanted to.

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“Hannah and the lady that was mean to her”
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“Hannah with a baby in her belly and a polka dot dress”

 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

Advent-Day 14-Samuel

Welcome again!

This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ earthly family tree.

The next person we will learn about is Samuel. (This will be an abbreviated story). Our full lessons can be found herehere and here. Or you can read about Samuel in the first 10 chapters of the book called 1 Samuel in the Bible.

Hannah was a woman who really REALLY wanted to be a mommy. She prayed and prayed and asked God to let her be a mommy. She promised if she had a baby, she would give him back to God to love God and serve Him. One day, when Hannah and her husband were visiting the temple (church), the High Priest Eli saw Hannah praying. She was praying and crying so much that he thought she was crazy! He asked her what was going on and she said, “I’m not crazy, sir, and I haven’t done anything wrong, I’m just REALLY REALLY praying that God will let me have a baby!”  (She was afraid she might be in trouble!)

God told Eli to tell the woman that she would be given what she had asked for. And she DID have a baby, named Samuel. When he was big enough, she brought him back to the temple to learn about God and to serve God.

Samuel grew up to be a judge over the people and help make important decisions. The Bible tells us that the High Priest would talk to God for the people. He would ask God to forgive them or to help them. Samuel talked to God a lot too, and God even told him who Israel’s first king would be!

 

In Hebrews 3-4, the Bible says that Jesus is our High Priest. He leads us, teaches us about God, and intercedes (that means talks to God) for us. He is a good and nice leader and we can talk to him about anything. We don’t have to be scared to talk to God. Hannah might have been worried to tell Eli what was wrong, but we don’t have to worry about telling God anything. Jesus talks to God about us too! And He asks God to forgive us and love us and take care of us.

 

Now, when we remember about Jesus being born…remember Mary and Joseph were sleeping the barn?! And do you know what happened in that stinky barn? Baby Jesus was born!!! Our Lord, God, the best in the whole world, our High Priest…was born in a stinky barn. (But you can be sure God has a reason for that!!) Baby Jesus was here!!

 

Bible story: Samuel

Attribute of God: High Priest

Jesus’ birth story: Jesus is born!

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is an ephod (the fancy apron the High Priest wore). We cut out and glued on some fabric in an apron shape and then added some shiny jewels.

Our text reads: Baby Samuel was a gift from God. Jesus is our High Priest. 1 Sam 2-3, Heb 4

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Side two of our ornament is baby Jesus! We used the same fabric from side one and made His blanket then gave Him a happy face.

Our text reads: Baby Jesus is born! Luke 2

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Our current tree front and back:

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

God Chooses David

Hi all. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 16.

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God was not pleased with how the first king of Israel (Saul) had disobeyed Him. So, He told Samuel that He was going to choose a new king. So God sent Samuel (a respected priest and prophet who spoke God’s words to the people) to the city of Bethlehem.

God told Samuel to find a man named Jesse and that one of his sons would be the new king.

When Samuel got to Bethlehem, he found Jesse and his oldest son. The oldest son was big and strong. “THIS must be the man God has chosen to be king.”

But God said no. “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God wasn’t impressed by the oldest boy’s strength or good looks. God wants people who love Him and will follow and serve Him.

Jesse had 7 boys come forward before Samuel, but none of them (even though they were all strong and handsome) were the one God wanted.

“Well…there’s one left. My littlest son, David. But he’s out taking care of the sheep,” Jesse said.

They sent for David and when he came in, God said, “THAT’S the one! Make him king.”

God’s spirit came to David and helped him be strong and courageous for God.

A lot of times, we think the people God wants are the most important. The biggest, the strongest, the loudest, the prettiest…God just wants people who love Him and who will obey Him.

For our activity today, we looked in the mirror and talked about what we saw. Then we talked about what’s in our hearts. (Like the things we love and how we feel. We discussed being a good friend, loving God, wanting to help others.)

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

God Rejects Saul (The Importance of Obedience)

Hi again! Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 15.

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God had made Saul king over the Israelites. He ruled over them and led them into many battles. BUT, Saul kind of forgot about God and made some statues to celebrate how wonderful he was and what a good job he had done defeating their enemies.

Finally, one time, God told Saul to go fight the Amalekites and to destroy every person and every thing. So Saul took his army and they went and defeated the Amalekites and they destroyed *most* of the people and *most* of the things. But is that what God told them to do?

Nope.

God sent Samuel to talk to Saul.

When Samuel got there, Saul said, “Look! We defeated the Amalekites, just like God said!”

But Samuel said, “You didn’t obey God?! You didn’t defeat every person and you kept some of their animals and money and things!”

Saul said, “Well…we were going to make sacrifices and offerings to God with all the stuff!” (That means they were going to give the stuff to God).

But Samuel said, “Does God want gifts as much as He wants you to obey? You disobeyed God, so you rejected Him and so now God has rejected you as king.”

God was going to bring someone else to be king now, because Saul didn’t listen to God.

What matters most to God isn’t that we go to church, pray, read the Bible, or tell other people about Him. Those are all really good things…but what God really wants is for us to obey all He’s told us. To obey God we need to love Him and love others. In the book of Luke 11:28, Jesus told some listeners, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

And in James 1:22 of the Bible it says, “Don’t just listen to the God’s word. You have to do what it says or else you’re just pretending.” If we really love God, we will do what He says.

God told Saul exactly what He wanted him to do, but Saul only half-way obeyed. When we really trust God, we can always obey Him all the way, because we know He knows what is best for us.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

Saul Becomes King

Welcome back!

We took a few days off for illness, but we’re back to the kings of the old testament. This story comes from the book of 1 Samuel, in chapters 8-11.

Remember little Samuel who was living with Eli and learning all about God and how to serve Him?

As Samuel grew up, the people in Israel started complaining (again). This time they wanted a king. Samuel told them that was not a good idea. But the people didn’t want to follow God anymore, they wanted a king who was a man.

God told Samuel that He would let him know which man should be king.

Meanwhile, a man from the family of Benjamin (remember there were 12 big families in Israel) was out looking for some lost donkeys. His dad had lost some donkeys, so Saul, his son and Saul’s servant went out looking for the donkeys. They looked and looked and looked, but they couldn’t find them. Then they remembered that God sometimes talked to people through Samuel…so they decided to ask Samuel.

When they got to Samuel he said, “The donkeys are already back home. But you should come eat with me.”

Samuel told Saul that God had picked HIM to be king.

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“Me?! I’m just a regular guy, from the smallest tribe (family) of Benjamin?!”

Saul went home and Samuel announced that a king had been chosen. He called all the families together and they picked the family of Benjamin. Then from all the people in Benjamin he called for Saul. And do you know what Saul was doing?! He was hiding!

They brought Saul out and Samuel said he would be king. (But a lot of the people didn’t like that idea so they didn’t really call him king yet.)

Saul went back to his regular life until one day the Philistines came to attack the Israelites (AGAIN!).

God’s spirit came to Saul and he led the people against the Philistines and they won! THEN everyone really decided to follow Saul and make him king.

Once again, God didn’t pick the most important person to be in charge. And Saul didn’t become king by his own power or strength…it was all God.

We’ll learn more about Saul next time.

For our craft today, we cut out crowns and decorated them. (Today we used do-a-dot markers, but your could decorate them any way you want.)

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!