Posts Tagged ‘Israelites’

Jacob’s Wrestling Match

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God protects, disciplines, and blesses his chosen ones

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Genesis 32:1-32) Jacob was heading back home to face his brother Esau. This made him very fearful because he had stolen Esau’s birthright and blessing. One night while he was still on his journey, he met a man who began to wrestle with him. They wrestled all night until Jacob realized that he was wrestling God. With one touch God threw Jacob’s hip out of joint, but Jacob would not let go until he was blessed. We all struggle and wrestle with God because of sin, but when we keep holding on we are blessed with the gift that God gave us when he sent down his son in the form of man. After this Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, which means “one who wrestles with God”

The Jesus Connection:
Read John 12:13. Can you imagine what Jacob must have thought when in the middle of the night a stranger appeared and began to wrestle with him? Jacob may have thought it was a robber or one of Esau’s men. They wrestled all night, but Jacob did not give in. Then, toward morning, the man put Jacob’s hip out of joint with one small touch. Suddenly Jacob realized he had been wrestling with God. Despite the pain, Jacob held on and refused to let go until God blessed him. So God blessed Jacob and gave him a very special name: Israel. From that time on, God’s people would be known as the people of Israel. When Jesus came riding into Jerusalem just before going to the cross, the crowds waved palm branches and shouted, “Blessed is … the King of Israel.”

The Ark of God

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God is Holy  

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
Revelation 4:8b

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Samuel 6) In this portion of scripture Saul has passed away and David is now King. David was moving the ark of God to Jerusalem, but took the holiness of God for granted. They forgot how to transport the ark properly which resulted in Uzzah reaching out to touch the ark. Since God is holy and we were separated from Him because of sin, the touching of the ark resulted in death. Afterwards, David and the Israelites looked at the Law of Moses and learned how to transport the ark properly. God is a holy loving God and created the law in order for us to be saved from death. Eventually, God would send his own son to pay the price of death and fulfill the law, in order for us to be saved.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Exodus 25:16–22.
David celebrated the return of the ark because it represented the presence of the Lord. In fact, the cover of the ark is called the atonement cover (Exodus 25:17 NIV).This pointed forward to Jesus who died to atone or pay for our sins. Now that Jesus
has come, he has made the final atonement for the sins of men. Now there is a new dwelling place for God—in the hearts of men. In a sense, every Christian is a living ark. The presence of God is in us!

God Parts the Red Sea

Our hope is for our kids to know that: There is no obstacle big enough to hinder the advance of God’s plan of salvation

Key Verse: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” 
Philippians 4:19

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Exodus 13:1 – 14:31) Moses had been before Pharaoh several times already, and the Passover would be the last. Pharaoh was so upset after losing his son that he told Moses to take the Israelites and go. Unknown to Pharaoh, Moses had prepared the Israelites to leave quickly, so once they were free they wasted little time in departing Egypt. This is a good thing, because after they left Pharaoh changed his mind and chased after them. Once the Israelites saw the Egyptians coming they were frightened. However, God was with them, and He instructed Moses to lead them through the Red Sea. This was made possible because God used Moses and his staff to part the sea which allowed the Israelites to pass on dry ground. God’s plan was fulfilled even when several obstacles stood in the way of that promise. The promise to the Israelites that they would be free.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Exodus 14:8–9; Romans 9:17.
In these passages, we learn something more about God’s purposes. Paul tells us in Romans that it was God who put Pharaoh on the throne of Egypt. He also tells us why. He did it to show his power through the life of Pharaoh, so that God’s name would be proclaimed in all the earth. The story of the parting of the Red Sea has been told millions of times, but often the most important part of the story is not mentioned. Because the Israelites escaped from Pharaoh’s army, one day a child named Jesus was born in Bethlehem to the nation of Israel. To this day, God’s name is proclaimed through the life of Pharaoh and the story of how God parted the Red Sea.

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 help us be loyal friends even when it’s hard

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 18:1-4; 19:1-7; 20:1-42) David had became really good friends with Saul’s son Jonathan. At the time they became friends Jonathan did not know that Samuel had anointed David king. The throne was something that Jonathan would expect, since his father was King. Even after Jonathan found out David was chosen, they remained good loyal friends. Saul however was becoming increasingly jealous of David. People began to honor David above Saul, so Saul planned to kill him. Twice Saul had hurled a spear at David, but it missed him. Jonathan was so upset that he couldn’t even eat. Jonathan warned David about his father’s plans and remained a very loyal friend.

Share:
(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Gather family members together and ask them three or four questions about loyalty. Questions might include: What does it take to be loyal? Who’s the most loyal person you know? What makes him or her loyal? Then have family members ask several friends the same questions. Afterward, get together and discuss what you learned about loyalty.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Place three to five buckets in your driveway. Place the name of a different family friend in each of these buckets. Try to shoot as many rubber bands as possible into the buckets. When you’ve run out of rubber bands, count how many are in each bucket. Pull the name of the family friend out of the bucket with the most rubber bands in it. Think of a way your family can show their friendship to that person this week.

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

Read:
(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.

Share:
(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.