Posts Tagged ‘saul’

Saul is knocked to the ground

Our hope is for our kids to know that: No one can resist the calling of God

“No one can come to me, unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person on the last day”
John 6:44

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 9:1-19) Saul was a Pharisee who was persecuting followers of Jesus. He did not believe that Jesus was the son of God. One day, on his way to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him and blinded him. For three days he was blind until God sent Ananias to pray for him and to let him know that he was chosen by God to spread the Word to the Gentiles. It took Ananias awhile to be convinced because he was afraid of Saul, but once he went to Saul and prayed for him Saul’s sight was restored. Saul then became Paul and began preaching in the name of Jesus. God has called all of us to spread his Word and make disciples.

The Jesus Connection:
Saul heard a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). He did not know who was speaking, so he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To his amazement the response was, “I am Jesus.” Saul knew that Jesus had been a teacher, and that he had died on the cross. But Saul did not yet know and believe that Jesus was Lord, the Son of God, raised in power! We, like Saul, are sinners who do not know Jesus. Our experience in coming to know Jesus is similar to Paul’s. While we are sinners God takes the initiative to move us toward himself. Saul was on his way to kill more Christians when Jesus revealed himself to him. Saul immediately realized that the stories of Jesus’ resurrection were true. Jesus was, and is, alive!

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!

David and Goliath

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Salvation belongs to the Lord

“All those gathered 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” 
1 Samuel 17:47

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child 1 Samuel 17) God had left Saul because Saul did not want to follow the plan that God had for him and Israel. He constantly did the opposite of God’s plans, so David, the youngest son of Jesse was chosen by God to eventually become King. In one instance, Saul was terrified of the Philistines and their war hero Goliath. Saul no longer had confidence since he knew he was no longer in God’s favor. David however knew that Goliath was an enemy to God’s people, not just the king. He knew he could win because God was with him. David defeated the large man Goliath and he began to prosper ever since.

The Jesus Connection:
Read 1 Samuel 17:47.
Who are you most like in this story: Goliath, Saul and the men of Israel, or David? We all would like to think we are like David, but when trials come to us, we can struggle to trust God like the men of Israel did. The truth is that we are more like the men of Israel than we realize. We all have a giant in our lives—sin. We can’t conquer that giant by ourselves. Like Israel, we need a Savior who will fight and conquer our giant for us. David was the man God sent to save Israel from the enemy, Goliath; and Jesus is the man God sent to save us from our enemy, sin. David offered to take up Goliath’s challenge to come forward and represent Israel. If he won, Israel would win; if he lost, all of Israel would become servants of the Philistines. Like David, Jesus stood in our place. Now everyone who trusts in him shares in his victory over sin.

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).

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

Saul is Knocked to the Ground

Our hope is for our kids to know that: No one can resist the calling of God

Key Verse:
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the father will give you”
John 15:16

Read:
(Open the bible and read to your child Acts 8:29 – 9:25) Saul (who later became the apostle Paul) started off by arresting Christians. Saul thought he was doing what God wanted him to do, because he didn’t believe Jesus was the messiah. One day, on his way to Damascus he encounters Jesus. A bright light from heaven shone down on Saul, and he heard Jesus ask him, “Why do you persecute me”. It was at that moment Saul knew that Jesus was “the way”, and instead of fighting for God he had been fighting against him. God chose Saul (Paul) to be an apostle, and spread the good news of Christ everywhere he went.

The Jesus Connection:
Saul heard a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). He did not know who was speaking, so he asked, “Who are you, Lord?” To his amazement the response was, “I am Jesus.” Saul knew that Jesus had been a teacher, and that he had died on the cross. But Saul did not yet know and believe that Jesus was Lord, the Son of God, raised in power!
We, like Saul, are sinners who do not know Jesus. Our experience in coming to know Jesus is similar to Paul’s. While we are sinners God takes the initiative to move us toward himself. Saul was on his way to kill more Christians when Jesus revealed himself to him. Saul immediately realized that the stories of Jesus’ resurrection were true. Jesus was, and is, alive!