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.

Best friends: David and Jonathan

Welcome again! Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 18-21. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

David was now traveling around with King Saul, defeating all their enemies. Saul had a son named Jonathan and Jonathan and David fought together against the other armies and they became best friends. Every time David won a battle, the people liked him more and more. Eventually they liked him MORE than King Saul. This made the king very VERY angry.

Besides being a good fighter and a good shepherd, David was also good at music. Sometimes when the king was feeling sad, he would have David play some music for him. One time, while David was playing music for him, the king started thinking about how everyone liked David more than him…he got so mad he threw his spear (like a really big, really pointy stick) at David to try to kill him! But he missed.

So then he decided to just keep sending David to fight (hoping he would die while fighting). But every time David listened to God, he won (and the people liked him EVEN MORE!)

So again, King Saul tried to kill David by throwing his spear at him…but David got away again.

That night, he ran away. Jonathan found him and they promised to always be friends, no matter what, and they promised to always help each other.

David said, “The king has asked me to join him at a party tomorrow. But I won’t be there. I will be hiding in this field. When he asks where I am, you can tell him I had to go somewhere else. If he’s ok with it, then everything is ok. If he is angry, then I’ll know he’s really trying to kill me and you can warn me or let me know it’s all ok.”

Jonathan went to the feast and king Saul asked where David was. When Jonathan told him David was gone he was very very angry!

So Jonathan ran to the field with a small servant boy. He shot three arrows into the field and told the boy to go! go! go! GO! far into the field to go get the arrows. (He was telling the boy to go get the arrows, but he was REALLY yelling to David to “GO! Run away! because my father Saul wants to kill you!”)

Then Jonathan ran out into the field to David and they said goodbye. They were both very sad that David had to go for now, but they promised again to always be friends and take care of each other.

In this story Jonathan was a good friend to David and later David will be a good friend to Jonathan’s family. Today we talked about how WE can be a good friend.

Some of our ideas were: help reach things, take turns, help clean up, help them laugh if they’re sad, invite EVERYONE to play, give a hug, share toys, and pray for our friends.

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Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

David vs Goliath

Welcome! Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 17. Last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

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The Philistines again went to war with Israel. Saul, the king, and the Israelite army went to meet them. There was a valley and each army was on either side.

The Philistines had a champion named Goliath. He was REALLLLLY tall (like a big basketball player). He had scary armor, a big sword and a BIG shield.

Kind of like this guy:

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Everyday Goliath stood and shouted to Israel, “Choose one of your men and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your servants; but if I kill him, you will become OUR servants!” Saul and all the Israelites were very sad and very scared.

But do you remember David? He was the littlest son of Jesse from Bethlehem. Samuel had said that one day he would king!  Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war and David went back and forth from Saul to taking care of his father’s sheep back home.

For forty days Goliath the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and said mean things about God and asked the Israelites to send out a champion to fight him.

Jesse told David to go to Saul and check on his brothers and give them some food (because they had been gone a long time by now.)

So early in the morning, David left the sheep, loaded up and set out. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions. Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. David left his things, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. As he was talking with them, Goliath stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual words “Who will fight me?!” But whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all ran away from him very afraid.

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine? Who does this guy think he is that he should defy God and His people?”

“He will be given great honor, get to marry the king’s daughter and get to work for the king!”

 

David went to find Saul and said to him, “I, your servant, will go and fight Goliath.”

Saul answered, “You can’t go out to fight this Philistine!? You are only a young man, and he has been a warrior his whole life.”

But David said to Saul, “When a lion or a bear came and carried off one of my sheep, I went after it, killed it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. Your servant has killed both a lion and a bear; this guy will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.  The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of Goliath.”

Saul said to David, “Ok, go, and may the Lord be with you.”

Then Saul dressed David in his own armor and put a heavy helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I can’t go in these,” he said to Saul, “I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then David took his staff (his big stick) and he chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his slingshot in his hand, went up to Goliath.

Goliath looked David over and saw that he was just a boy and he hated him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And Goliath said bad words to David. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll kill you and feed you to the birds and the wild animals!”

David said to him, “You come against me with sword and spear, but I come against you in the Name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel. This day the Lord will give you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day the whole world will know that there IS a God in Israel. Everyone here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (God would defeat Goliath, not any army or staff or slingshot).

Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, David put it in his sling and slung it around and around and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. Goliath died. Then David ran over and chopped off his head (ew).

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they all turned and ran.

From that day on, David stayed with Saul and fought with him against all of Israel’s enemies. God had big plans for little David. He would one day become king of all Israel.

Even though he was young and small, God still used him to do big things. Even though YOU might be young or small God can do big things with you right now too! We just have to trust Him. David knew when he fought Goliath he wouldn’t be alone. Every battle (every hard thing) we have to do, belongs to God. He will help us.

For this story we enjoy the veggie tales “Dave and the Giant Pickle.” (Currently 2.99 to rent on Amazon).

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all.

God changes Saul’s heart

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Acts 9. (You can read our lesson/see our craft from last year HERE.)

 

If you remember from our last story about Stephen, when all the people were throwing rocks at Stephen to kill him (because he was teaching about Jesus), they all put down their coats by a man named Saul who was happy to see Stephen die.

Saul wanted to kill all of Jesus’ disciples. He went to the high priest and got permission to go to a city called Damascus where he could find any of Jesus’ followers and take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled to Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you being mean to me and my people?”

“Who are you?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting (being mean to),” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and then you will be told what to do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone?! What was going on!? Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him into Damascus. For three days he was blind (couldn’t see), and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. (This is not the same Ananias who tried to lie to God. Do you have any friends that have the same name? Well sometimes people in the Bible had the same name too. So this is a different Ananias.)

God said to him, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

God told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul…he is praying. In a dream he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

“Lord!” Ananias answered, “I have heard lots of bad things about this man and all the terrible things he has done to Your people in Jerusalem. Now he has come here with permission from the chief priests to arrest anyone who calls on your name!”

But God said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen this man to tell EVERYONE about me…to the Israelites and even people who are not Israelites (gentiles).”

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. He put his hands on Saul, and said, “Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Immediately, Saul could see again. He got up and was baptized, then he ate some food.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. He started to preach in the churches that Jesus is the Son of God. All the people who heard him were SO surprised and said, “Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

Whoa.

Isn’t this the same guy who was being SO mean in Jerusalem to those who love Jesus? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners?” They couldn’t believe it! Saul confused everyone living in Damascus by teaching and proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

Soon the people in Damascus who didn’t like Jesus started to plan to kill Saul. (Isn’t it funny that Saul used to kill people who loved Jesus and now he was about to be killed for loving Jesus!?) But some of his friends helped him escape the city and he went back to Jerusalem.

The disciples there were all afraid of him, and didn’t believe that he really had a changed heart. But one them, named Barnabas, took Saul and brought him to the disciples. He told them how Saul had seen God and that Jesus had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had taught without any fear in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and began teaching in the name of Jesus. And he even got a new name, Paul.

Then the church grew and grew and lots of people came to know Jesus.

 

Isn’t it AMAZING that God can take someone so set against Him and change their heart? There is no one that God does not love and no one that God can not reach. If you can think of the grumpiest, grouchiest, worst person you know…remember that God loves even them and He wants them to know Him! And because God can do anything…He can change their heart. Why don’t you pray for that person right now that God would help change their heart.

God used Saul…an average person who didn’t even like Him. He changed Saul’s heart and used Saul to tell SO SO many people about Him and to share His love with other people. God’s love changes an angry heart to a loving heart.

 

For our craft today we started with a brown piece of construction paper and drew a basic man shape like this one:IMG_3521

Then we took 1/2 piece of black and 1/2 piece of white paper and folded them in half. (I tape them together when i need my kids to cut out two papers at once). Then I drew a heart and they cut it out.

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Next we cut a box out of the middle of the man’s tummy. To do this, we folded him in half and cut out a 1/2 box (big enough to fit the heart from step 2).

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Then we opened the paper up and turned it over the back. On the back we taped a string in between the two hearts and taped the string top and bottom to the man (as pictured below).

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(Above: Being silly)

Then we drew on a face and wrote on the white side of our heart “God changed Saul’s heart! Acts 9”

(You can now spin the heart from the black side to the white side as you remember that God can change an angry, sad heart to a heart full of His love.)

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This is a cute video version of the story posted by Teaching Kids About Jesus.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all.

Stephen

Hi again. Today’s story is form Acts 6 and 7.

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Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to help make sure everyone had enough food. He had God’s Holy Spirit in his heart and he did great wonders and miracles. Some people didn’t like him though and started arguing with him, trying to trick him. But they could not stand up against the words the Spirit gave him as he spoke.

So they secretly told some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak bad words about Moses and about God.”

They got everyone to believe Stephen was a bad guy, saying bad things about God. They took Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin (the court). They had fake witnesses, who said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. We heard him say that this Jesus will destroy this place and change everything Moses told us.”

All who were sitting in the court looked at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Is what these people say true? Do you speak against Moses and against God?”

Stephen had God’s Spirit and he was filled with courage and and he answered. He told everyone the story from Abraham to King Solomon and reminded them that even though they had been given the law from Moses, they didn’t really follow it. They knew everything God wanted them to do, but they didn’t do it! He told them they were always mean to people who reminded them what God said and they were especially mean to people who talked about Jesus, they even killed Jesus. Do you think the leaders liked Stephen saying these things? (They WERE true…the people DIDN’T obey God and they WERE mean to people who talked about Jesus…but they didn’t like Stephen telling them they were wrong!)

*****Elongated version: Stephen replied: “Listen to me! Remember God told Abraham ‘Leave your country and your people and go to the land I will show you.’ So he left and God sent him to this land where you are now living. God promised him that he and his descendants (children and grandchildren and great grandchildren) would own this land, even though at that time Abraham had no children. God said: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be salves and be treated badly. But afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ Then Abraham became the father of Isaac and later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of twelve boys, the tribes of Israel.

Because 11 of the brothers were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. Then a famine struck and our ancestors could not find food.  Joseph sent for his whole family and they all lived in Egypt together.

After that, the number of our people in Egypt was growing and growing. Then a new king came to power in Egypt.  He was mean to our people and killed all the baby boys. That’s when Moses was born. Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son so Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and he was very powerful.

When Moses was a grown up, God came to him in the flames of a burning bush in the desert. Through the burning bush God said, ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I have seen the way my people suffer in Egypt. I will send you to set them free. The people at first did not accept Moses, but God used him in amazing ways and he led them out of Egypt and performed miracles and signs in Egypt and in the wilderness. Moses was with God in the wilderness, he was with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and God gave him words to pass on to us. But our people did not obey him. So God turned away from them for a while.

Our people were given the tabernacle and the ark which held God’s covenant law. (God’s promise to always be with them and love them.) Joshua led the people and they brought it with them when they took back this land. It stayed in the tabernacle until the time of King David, who wanted to build a real church for God, but it was Solomon who built a house for him.
You people! You always resist the Holy Spirit!  Was there ever a leader you weren’t mean to? Your ancestors (grandparents and great grandparents) even killed those who talked about the coming of the Righteous One, Jesus. And now you have betrayed and murdered Him! You have been given the law but have not obeyed it.”****
When the people in the court heard this, they were furious. They didn’t want Stephen to tell them the bad things they were doing. They covered their ears and, yelled at the top of their voices, then they all ran toward him, dragged him out of the city and started throwing rocks at him. They took off their coats and put them down in front of a man named Saul who was happy Stephen was being hurt.

While they were throwing rocks at him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, forgive them.” Then he died.

The people had so forgotten God’s words. They knew all about God, but they didn’t love Him and they didn’t love other people.

This seems like a very sad story, but God will use it for Good. One of the people that day would come to love God and do great things for Him. Sometimes when we tell people about God, they won’t want to hear it and that’s very sad. But we still need to try. We can still tell God’s story and we can show God’s love. Even though the people weren’t being nice to Stephen, he trusted God and he even asked God to forgive the people.

 

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!