Archive for October, 2015

Saul Disobeys the Lord

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart

“5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 16:1-13) King Saul didn’t follow God which caused God to reject him as king. It wasn’t until then that Saul felt remorse for his actions. So God told Samuel that he will anoint a new king. He is instructed to go to the house of Jesse, and it is there that Samuel will find the one that God wanted to appoint as king. Samuel looks at Jesse’s sons one by one, looking for the one that is to be anointed. At first Samuel looks at the outward appearance, much like the Israelite’s did when choosing Saul. However, God tells Samuel that he looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. Eventually Samuel looks at the youngest son David, who was out tending the sheep. He was short, and he was young, but he was the one God had chosen to be king.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Isaiah 53:2b.
God did not choose David because of his outward appearance, but because he had a heart for God. David was a handsome young boy but not tall in stature. Isaiah tells us of another king who “had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). God’s choice of David to replace Saul as king over Israel should make us think of another king, King Jesus. Jesus would have a perfect heart for God and die on the cross so that he could extend to us his righteousness. Through Christ, God takes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. Then God does something truly remarkable, he moves us to obey him by his Spirit (Ezekiel 36:27).

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Saul Disobeys the Lord

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s will is what’s best for us

“…do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
Proverbs 3:1-2

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 13:2-14) Saul is now king of Israel and was given instructions from Samuel. He is to wait at Gilgal seven days for Samuel to arrive because Samuel is God’s prophet, and he is to present the burnt and fellowship offerings to the Lord. While Saul is waiting for Samuel his soldiers begin to fear the Philistines and hide. This is because the Philistines are building their army which consisted of three thousand chariots and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. Because of this, Saul becomes impatient and offered up the burnt and fellowship offerings himself. Right after Saul finished, Samuel shows up. Samuel tells Saul that he did not follow God’s will and instructions, which is best for us. Saul wanted to do things his way and did not trust God.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Luke 22:42.
As a king, Saul failed. One day God would anoint another Man to be king who would not fail. Even when it was difficult, Jesus (the greatest king) obeyed God. The difficult task in front of Jesus was to die on the cross (see Acts 13:22–23). When faced with the cross, Jesus prayed to his Father in heaven saying, “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Saul placed his own will above God’s; Jesus did not. As a result of Jesus’ obedience, we have salvation through his sacrificial death.

Israel Demands a King

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Desiring anything more than God, even if it’s a good thing, is evil

“I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israels Creator, your King”
Isaiah 43:15

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 8) Samuel who was called by God when he was a child is all grown up now. He appoints his sons Joel and Abijah as judges over Israel, however they did not follow God’s ways. As a result the people of Israel cry out for a king. This was not what God had planned at this time for Israel, but he gave them what they wanted. Saul who had a great appearance on the outside was appointed as king. Saul was rich and handsome, however he did not follow in God’s ways. The people of Israel had to learn this the hard way, but God’s grace still showed up! He blessed Saul and Israel even though they desired something other than God’s will for them.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Revelation 19:13–16.
Israel requested a king to rule them like the rest of the nations had (1 Samuel 8:5). So, God answered their desires and gave them a man who was large in stature—a great king from the world’s perspective. But God had another kind of king in mind, a king after God’s own heart. God is not interested in the outward appearance but is interested in the heart. David eventually is selected by God, but ultimately God would send Jesus to be an eternal king. Jesus would perfectly reflect the heart of God by becoming obedient to death, even death on the cross. In Philippians, God the Father promises that he is going to give Jesus the highest place of all and that every knee will bow before him. Why? Because he is the greatest King! It was always God’s desire that his people be ruled, not by an earthly man, but by God as King.

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:13–16 NIV

We are so blessed to have the greatest King of all, Jesus

God Calls Little Samuel  

Our hope is for our kids to know that: In the midst of Israel’s Great Sin, God raises up a prophet

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 3:1-20) Samuel kept hearing someone call his name. At first he thought it was his mentor Eli, until Eli discerned that it was the Lord calling Samuel.  When Samuel meets the Lord he is told about the judgement coming to Eli’s household. Eli’s sons were wicked and needed to be removed from the priesthood, but Eli did not remove them. Samuel heard from the Lord at a time where the Lord rarely gave visions or prophetic messages to Israel. This was because Israel had left the Lord and did not worship Him, Samuel was called to be a prophet for Israel, and he was recognized as such as he grew older.

The Jesus Connection:
Read 1 Samuel 2:26; Luke 2:52.
In the midst of corruption within Eli’s household, God sent a man to prophesy the coming of a faithful priest who would be obedient to the heart and mind of God. The final fulfillment of this promise came in the life of Christ. Jesus did only what his Father commanded him to do (John 14:31). Jesus is a faithful high priest forever (Hebrews 7:21–24). Samuel was also a foreshadowing of Christ. Very similar language is used to describe both Samuel and Jesus (compare 1 Samuel 2:26 and Luke 2:52).

God Hears Hannah’s Prayers

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Through Hannah’s prayers and the promise she kept,
a prophet came to Israel

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
1 John 5:14

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 1:1-20) Hannah was troubled because she did not have any children. While she was praying to God about her troubles Eli a high priest witnessed her praying. He too decided to pray with her, and as a result God answered their prayers. Hannah had a son who she named Samuel, and when Samuel reached the age of about three, he is brought to the temple to be dedicated to the Lord for service. Hannah had promised the Lord that if she were to have a son, she would dedicate him for lifetime service. Because Hannah kept her promise, Israel received a prophet, a prophet who would later anoint King David!

The Jesus Connection:
Read Acts 3:24.
Samuel is specifically mentioned in the book of Acts as a prophet whose life and message pointed to Jesus. In our story, Hannah cried out to the Lord to give her a son and committed him to the Lord for God’s service. Little did she realize her little boy would be used to anoint the first two kings of Israel. Samuel anointed Saul and thus established anointing as God’s
means of indicating his choice. Later Samuel anointed David out of whose household the Savior would be born.