Posts Tagged ‘israel’

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

(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

(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

(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 Promises to Restore Israel After the Exile

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We seek God no matter what happens

Key verse: 
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”  
Jeremiah 29:11

(Open the bible and read to your child Jeremiah 29:4-14) The people of Israel were in exile in the land of Babylon, and Jeremiah was a prophet who had the tough task of telling Israel that if they didn’t follow God the immediate future wouldn’t be so bright. This was a message that the Israelites didn’t want to hear. In this passage we see Jeremiah telling the exiles to settle in and get comfortable, because they were going to be there for awhile, 70 years in fact. This taught the Israelites to trust God and realize he has a plan for them. This plan was in the future and not necessarily and immediate plan. In spite of that fact, we all can rest in the fact that God has our futures planned for us.

Talk about a time you asked God for answers (for example, by providing wisdom for an important decision, or direction for the future). Then help your kids invite God into any decisions they’ll make this week. Encourage your children to keep asking for God’s guidance in prayer and through reading the Bible, no matter what happens.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, play a game of “Hot and Cold.” One family member closes his or her eyes while the others hide an object in the living room. The seeker then moves around the room while the other family members indicate whether he or she is getting closer (warmer) or getting farther away (colder). Take turns being the seeker. After  everyone’s had an opportunity to be the seeker, talk about how this experience is like or unlike seeking God no matter what happens.

Hot August Sundays

Key Verse: “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
(Matthew 5:44)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God can help us all do great things

(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 17:1-50) David was already anointed as king, but it was likely kept a secret for awhile. Here we see David being trained by King Saul, even though Saul had no idea he was training his replacement! The Philistines and the Israelites were on opposing hills waiting for the other to attack first. The warrior representative for the Philistines was Goliath, a man nearly ten feet tall that everyone was afraid of. However, David knew that with God would use him to do something great, so he took a sling and a rock and hurled it at Goliath. The rock was not a pebble, but likely the size of a baseball traveling nearly 100mph. The force is definitely strong enough to take of the Philistine Goliath, giving David the victory. David was a teen at the time.

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk about someone who’s doing great things for God. What is that person doing? What great things can you do for God in your own life? Do yard work for a neighbor who can’t get out of the house? Move to foreign country to be a missionary? Ask your kids to think about the kinds of people God uses to do great things. Encourage your kids with the fact that God used a young boy to save the Israelites from their enemies. Talk with your kids about the kind of great things they can do for God.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
This week, take time together as a family to discuss “giants” in one another’s lives. Then build a giant out of paper cups. Write one of you “giants” on each of the cups, and then build a giant tower with the cups. When you’ve finished building your tower, take turns shooting rubber bands at it to knock it down.

Celebrate July

Key Verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Our hope is for our kids to:Our hearts are what matter to God


(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 16:1-13) Saul and his son Jonathan had many victories over the Philistines and other enemies. However, Saul had once again disobeyed the Lord when they defeated the Amalekites and took valuables from them, some of which were idols. As a result God wanted to rise up a new King, and used Samuel for the task once again. Samuel was directed to go to the house of Jesse. Once there everyone, including Samuel, was expecting God’s choice to be someone tall and strong. When all the sons were passed up, they sent for the youngest who was out tending sheep. David, who was likely twelve at the time, was chosen to be the next king of Israel.

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share with your kids about an ethical dilemma you’ve faced in the past, maybe at work or in one of your relationships. Talk about the circumstances and how you decided what the right thing to do was. Then present an ethical dilemma to your kids, such as having to choose between lying to protect a friend or being honest knowing the friend will feel betrayed. Talk about how you would decide what to do, and then ask your kids what they think God would say to do. Remind your kids that God knows where their hearts are when they have to make tough decisions and that God can help them make those decisions.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, tell one another, “I love you, and God loves you. One reason I love you so much is because you have a heart full of ______.” Make a heart for each member of the family, and list the things your family thought were great about each person’s heart. Maybe someone has a heart full of love for other people, and someone else has a heart full of kindness and honesty. In the middle of each heart, put a picture of the family member. When you’ve finished making the hearts, spend a few minutes thanking God for each person. Place the hearts on the refrigerator as reminders of all the wonderful qualities every family member has.


Joyful June

Key Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We can trust God with the future.

(Open the bible and read to your child Judges 6:1-16; 7:1-24) After Joshua died Israel was left without a clear leader to lead them. Because of this God had raised Judges, who were more or less military leaders rather than the kind of judge we think of today. Gideon was one such Judge who God appointed at a time the Midianites were fighting with Israel. God instructed Gideon to go from an army of many thousands to just three hundred! God wanted the people to see that they were saved by God’s power rather than their own military might.

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Share with your children about a time you were afraid of the future and trusting—or not trusting—God was a big issue. If you did trust God, what happened? If you didn’t, what happened? Encourage your family members to come up with day-to-day situations in which you might need to trust God. For example, you might have to trust God when dealing with someone mean at school, facing the loss of a job, or making a major decision about college. Then discuss ways you can encourage each other to trust God during each of these situations this week.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Create your own family timeline, and include what each family member would like to see happen in the future. On a sheet of newsprint or butcher paper, first write Mom and Dad’s wedding date. Then on the timeline, place the day each child in the family was born, and other important events. When you’ve completed the current and future timeline, pray together as a family, committing to trust God with the future events.