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!

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.

IMG_7902

IMG_7903
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.

joshuajericho

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!

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.

bronzesnake

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!

Job

Hello again! Before we delve into Exodus, we’re going to add in Job. (Looks like j-ah-b, pronounced like j-oh-b)

There’s an entire book of the Bible for Job, today will just be an overview. Job is about trusting God even through hardships and about God’s sovereignty and faithfulness despite our feelings.

**There is a book called “The Gospel According to Job” by Mike Mason which is a WONDERFUL commentary/devotional which really helps break down the book of Job and I personally found it especially helpful during our years battling infertility.**

Ok, onto the story…

job

 

Job was a man a long long time ago that loved God. He prayed to God, he served God. God had given Job many nice things…a loving wife, 10 children, lots of servants, a big big house, lots of money  and sooooooo many animals.

One day Satan (who used to be one God’s angels but instead became God’s enemy) said to God, “You know…the only reason Job loves you is because you give him so much stuff. If you took all those great things away…I bet he wouldn’t love you anymore.”

“Fine,” God said. “You can take away any of his things…but don’t hurt Job.”

So Satan took away Job’s servants, all his camels and sheep and donkeys and even his children.

Did Job stop loving God? No. Job said, “God gives me things and God can take them away. But I will always praise Him.”

This made Satan angry and again he went to God and said, “Well…if you let me hurt HIM, THEN he won’t love you anymore!”

“Try it, ” answered God.

So Job became sick and his skin was all yucky and very ouchy. But did he stop loving God? No. He STILL worshipped God. Even his wife said, “You should just die! This is too much!” But Job never stopped trusting God. (And even though it seemed like God didn’t care…He still loved Job very VERY much.)

Job had lost EVERYTHING…can you imagine losing all your toys and your house? And even being sick too?

Then Job’s friends came to help him feel better. But they didn’t really help. Instead they said “WOW! You must have been REALLY bad for God to do this to you! What did you do?!”

“I didn’t do anything wrong!” Job said.

“Well God MUST be mad at you. Or maybe you don’t really understand God!” said the friends. ( But THEY didn’t understand what God was doing.)

Job started to wonder if his friends were right…WAS God just mad at him? DOES God care about me?

Then God answered Job from a whirlwind (like a tornado). God said, “Who questions Me? I am God. I have made everything! Every star, every wave in the sea…I am the giver of life…I know where all the stars are…can YOU make lightning? Can YOU  know the farthest parts of space or the deepest parts of the ocean?? I AM God.”

Job stopped. He answered God…”I am nothing. How can I answer you? I will not say anything else.” Job remembered that God is in charge and that it’s ok if we don’t understand God’s plan. God knows. And if we know how much He loves us, then it is easy to trust Him. We know God has good plans for us (Jer 29:11) and that He acts in love towards us. So even if we don’t understand what God does, we can trust in WHO HE IS.

Then God yelled at the 3 friends and made them say sorry. They realized they did NOT know God well.

After that, God gave Job back everything he had lost AND MORE! Job didn’t know God would reward him and give him everything back, but he trusted God anyway. So because of his faithfulness, God gave Job even MORE sheep and camels and cows and donkeys. He had even more money and 10 more children. He lived  a long happy life after that.

 

Sometimes confusing or sad things happen and we think God has forgotten about us. Or maybe we even think God is being mean to us. Maybe we think God is being mean because we have done something bad. Maybe we did do something bad…and we can ask God to forgive us. But sometimes…we won’t know why a sad or scary thing is happening. But we can know that God loves us, wants good things for us, wants to help us be more like Him and that we can always trust Him. And sometimes what we think is good for us is NOT what God knows is good for us. We have to trust HIM. Remember, He made all things and knows all things…we can trust Him.

This song  is from the “what’s in the Bible” series.

This is the story of Job from “The Brick Testament” –a cute website that tells Bible stories using Legos.

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Abraham’s Children

Hello again! As we wrap up the book of Genesis, I decided to add this related (but not chronological) lesson. We did do the story of Ephraim and Manasseh yesterday but didn’t change it from LAST YEAR’S LESSON.

abrahamfaith

Today’s lesson is based on what I heard at church today and I thought it summed up Genesis so well it needed to be added here. This is from Romans 4. See also HERE.

So this month we read about God creating the heavens and the earth. We read about Adam, the first man, and Noah and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. We read about how much God loved His creation….but the people did not always love God. A lot of people disobeyed and didn’t trust God.

But not everyone felt that way. Abraham DID trust God and God made a special promise to Abraham…that he would be the father of many many people. As many as the stars in the sky, as many as the sand on the beach. That’s a lot of people! And Abraham BELIEVED God. He had faith. And not only did he BELIEVE God, he OBEYED God too. When God told Abraham to move, he moved. When He told him to give back his son Isaac, he did. Abraham showed that he had faith in God. God loved Abraham and made a special promise to him…not because he was a great person, or because he always did the right thing…but because he TRUSTED God and when God told him to do something…he did it. He had faith.  (Rom 4:9-13)

Abraham did have children, and those children had children and we know Jacob had a LOT of children and those guys had a LOT LOT LOT of children…and all those people would become Israel. The people of Israel thought THEY were God’s special people because they came from Abraham. BUT…in the book of Romans, God tells us that ANYONE who BELIEVES and OBEYS God is a son of Abraham, a part of Abraham’s family. (Rom 4:16-17, 24-25)

If YOU love AND obey God, then YOU are one of Abraham’s children too. Abraham’s family did get pretty big…but that also includes all the people who choose God and love and obey Him.

When we love and obey God, we get adopted into God’s family. He adds us into the family. We don’t have to be born in Israel to be one of Abraham’s children…to be one of God’s children. We just need to trust God, love Him and obey Him. And some of the people IN Israel choose not to love and obey God…the Bible says they are NOT Abraham’s children. They are NOT God’s children. The real children of Abraham and the real children of God are those that have faith in Him. (Galatians 3:7)

So when we read the Bible, we aren’t just reading about THOSE people a long time ago…it’s about God’s story. His plan for ALL of us. God would send His son Jesus through Abraham’s family…but anyone and everyone who believes in God becomes His child and becomes part of Abraham’s family too. One of the stars in the sky.

We will start the next part of God’s story tomorrow, in the book of Exodus. And as we read through Exodus, let’s remember that WE are also God’s children…like the Israelites…their story is our story.

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Abram Sets Out

Hello again! Today’s story is from Genesis 11:27-12:9.

So 10 generations after Noah (Noah had a son, who had a son, who had a son, who had a son….10 times down the line), was born a man named Abram.

Abram had a wife named Sarai and a nephew (his brother’s son) named Lot. Abram and Sarai didn’t have any children yet but they really wanted to have a baby. We don’t know much else about Abram except that he was pretty old and that he followed God.

One day God spoke to Abram and said “Go! Leave your house, your country, the people you know and head out and later I will show you where you are going.”

Doesn’t that sound crazy? To just start moving but not even know WHERE you are going?

Then God gave Abram a promise, He said, ““I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” A blessing is like approval that helps you. That means people would like Abram and God would be good to him. Anyone who was good to Abram, God would be good to them. Anyone who was mean to Abram…God would not be nice to them. And everyone on earth would be blessed because of Abram.

So Abram obeyed. He went with his wife and his nephew and took their things and some of their helpers and they set out.

Abram didn’t know where he was going…but he knew WHO told him to go. He trusted God. Sometimes we might not understand what God is doing in our lives…but we know we can trust Him. We can always trust God that He has a good plan for us. It might not always be easy (and it wasn’t for Abram either)…but we know we can trust God no matter what.

For our story today we told the story using legos. (So…our caravan was a fire truck and a pumpkin carriage haha, but they enjoyed telling the story themselves).

Thanks for joining us! Come back tomorrow for more of Abram’s story! Love to you all!