Samson is Forgiven

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

Samson is Forgiven

Samson is Forgiven

We previously posted a lesson about the powerful  Nazirite judge of Israel – Samson. (August 2011)  His life has many lessons for us today so I think it would be a good idea to take two weeks to study his life.

A Nazirite vow was a serious commitment between a man or woman and God…a setting apart…a special consecration.  They would be willing to avoid all contact with any dead body…separate  themselves from anything pertaining to the grape or grapevine and as a visible manifestation of their  holy vow…no razor was to take any of the hair on their head all of the days of their consecration.  In Samson’s case ,  he was  called to a lifelong consecration from his mother’s womb!  Sadly, we have read about the poor choices Samson made even though he was mightily blessed by God with supernatural strength and was called to judge Israel for twenty years.

Samson went against the advice of his parents to marry a God-fearing Israelite woman choosing a Philistine woman instead because he liked the way she looked! (Remember…these were the days that everyone did what is right in their own eyes and stopped obeying God?  Sound familiar???)  He did not learn from his mistakes and made other poor associations with those that sought his defeat.  This might be a good time to teach about the bondage that the enemy of our soul wishes to put God’s children under.  As a result of Samson’s disregard of his sacred vows,  he was blinded, bound , and imprisoned with the lowly task of grinding grain.

There is hope for this poor soul, because scripture tells us “…however the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved…”  I’m  sure Samson had a lot of time to reflect on his sinful behavior  and was able to confess and repent because we read about him in Hebrews 11:32 as joining the ranks of the faithful.  When he was called to be brought to the idol temple to be mocked by the pagans gathered, he called on the Lord GOD (Jehovah) to remember him with strength once more.

Samson is forgiven - wkst

Samson is forgiven – wkst

Samson - no text

Samson – no text

Note: Depending on your translation there are two ways to spell Nazirite…or Nazarite!

King Jehoshaphat Prepares his Heart

“…Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4

King Jehoshaphat *

Jehoshaphat inherited the throne of Judah after the death of his father Asa.  We read that the LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the ways of David, obediently…until he made the bad decision to ally himself with the wickedest king Israel had known –  Ahab. Not only did he allow his son to marry Jezabel’s daughter, but Ahab talked the good king of Judah into entering a battle with him, one in which only one king would return home alive!  On his way home to Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat was met by the son of the seer who had rebuked his father and was given this stern reproof…”Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?”( 2 Chronicles 19:2)  Thankfully we read a different outcome as a result of the confrontation…Jehoshaphat prepared his heart to seek God.  He went out among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim and brought them back to the LORD God of their fathers. He set judges throughout the land and commanded them to act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with loyal hearts.  When a large army came to battle against him, he set himself to seek the LORD and proclaimed a fast .  Read the prayer that was lifted up in 2 Chronicles 20: 6-12.  God delivered  Judah in an amazing way after the people had begun to steadfastly believe the Word of the LORD, and lift up His name in praise.  There are so many good points to bring out in this story that you may want to take extra time teaching it… the worksheet for this lesson is  a coloring page that can be divided into two parts.  The typos in the sample above,  have been corrected in the worksheet below!

King Jehoshaphat – coloring page

Remember Lot’s Wife

Remember Lot's wife - b


Sandwiched  in between a very important parable on prayer in which Jesus ends with the haunting words…”When the Son of Man comes shall He find faith on the earth?” and the description of what His coming will be like ; we find this exhortation, “Remember Lot’s wife.”  When was the last time  we asked ourselves…”am I in the habit of remembering Lot’s wife?”   Lot lived in a society that was being judged  for it’s pride, over-abundance of  food, idleness and prosperous ease and they did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Ezekiel writes…”They were haughty and committed abominations before me”.   (hm-m-m, does this sound familiar ?)  It was not enough that Lot’s wife had been given the information from the angels God had sent. She was given the  means of escape as the angels griped her hands and hastened her out of the city.  This infamous, un-named woman was also given a warning to not look back but to flee for her life . Her heart’s desire was back in Sodom and that caused her to lag behind Lot, and gaze longingly at what was being destroyed.  Sadly, the Bible tells us she “became a pillar of salt.”  Let us draw near to our great and awesome God, repent of our worldliness , and cry out to Him “always…and not give up.”

Please use card stock for the worksheet as the kids will be gluing salt on the figure after coloring. Moisture forms on the back of the page so putting a strip of duct tape the length of the figure will add strength. Mix some clear, iridescent glitter with salt and give kids about 2 tablespoons  each, in tiny cups.  Put a thick coating of tacky glue on the figure of Lot’s wife, and then cover completely with the salt mixture.

 Lightly pat salt into glue and throw away residue.  Have  the kids write the verse from Luke 18:8 in the space as shown above in the sample, and make sure you include the parable of the widow and the unjust judge in your lesson.  I would rather emphasize this portion of the Bible for children, teaching the importance of prayer and faithful, godly living  than having to wrestle with a G-rating for Genesis 19

worksheet - Remember Lot's wife!

The Church Prays For Peter

The Apostle James has been killed by Herod and because there was such a favorable response from the Jews, he imprisoned Peter, who was to face a similar fate…but the church was praying without ceasing for him.  Peter was heavily guarded and secured with chains but an angel of the Lord was sent to rescue him.  As he walked out of the prison with the angel, he thought it was all a dream and it wasn’t until he was outside on the street that he realized he was truly free. He came to the home where the church was meeting and still praying for him and knocked on the door.  He had to knock for quite a while as it was hard for them to believe he was freed and their prayers answered!

This is a fun project but very messy. Have the kids choose light, bright crayons and fill a page with color.  It should be a space about 5 inches by 7 inches.  Make sure they apply heavy pressure. The coloring needs to saturate the page.  Now they will cover the area they have just colored with black crayon and then comes the fun part…..they scratch the design….fingernails work great but you might want to provide something to scratch with…experiment with a paper clip edge….somethings work better than others. The verse is from James 5:16b “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” and I have the kids write the verse on another paper and glue their dynamite page to it.

 

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Daniel was one of three governors ruling in the Medio-Persian empire and was distinguished above all of the other officials in the kingdom because an excellent spirit was in him.  This caused great envy among his subordinates,and they sought to find some flaw in his governance, but could find no error or fault in him . These men determined to destroy Daniel and thought they could use his faith in God to trip him up.  They went to their ruler with great flattery, and asked him to establish a royal decree that no one could petition any god or man (except the king) for 30 days.  The penalty for disobeying this decree was a one-way ticket to the lion’s den.  When Daniel knew that the law was in place he boldly went to his house, and before his opened window, got down on his knees  to pray and give thanks to God as was his habit.  Daniel’s conspirator’s hurried to the king to report the infraction and demand that Daniel suffer the penalty.  Since Darius was the one who benefitted from Daniel’s faithful service, he was greatly dismayed that he had signed the decree into law, but he was bound by the protocol for thirty days.  Read the exciting conclusion in Daniel 6.

You will need regular-sized, brown lunch bags for the puppets.  Have kids color the lion’s head, cut out and glue to bottom of bag.  The next worksheet contains the bottom of the mouth, inside mouth piece pattern( make red) and the teeth…which go taped to the red piece.Glue inside mouth piece to what would logically be the inside of the lion’s mouth… if you have used card stock , you should be able to fan out the teeth so they are very ferocious- looking.  Color bottom of head, cut out  and position in place so top and bottom of lion’s head match up. Glue memory verse or write as shown in top photo.  Note to teachers:  Please make one of these ahead of time so you can see how the teeth fit and gauge the skill level of your kids…You may have to do some extra prepping for younger kids.

Queen Esther

Hadassah was being raised in the capital of the the Persian Empire.  She was Jewish, but hid her heritage at her older cousin  Mordecai’s recommendation, and went by the name of Esther.  There was a B-I-G beauty contest being held in the kingdom and all the beautiful, young virgins were being entered to pick a new queen for King Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes.  Esther became the new queen and soon it became apparent why she was chosen.  The Jews had  a mortal enemy named Haman, who sought their destruction.  It was through the admonition of wise Mordecai, the bravery of  Queen Esther, the prayers and fasting of the Jews, and the Mighty Hand of the Lord, that this enemy was defeated.

Esther approaches "unbidden"

Esther approaches “unbidden”

The Jews celebrate Purim today in honor of this deliverance.  The worksheet features “interactive ” arms  that  you can move…  (P.S. If you are teaching the Old Testament in chronological order, this story should really be told after the following lessons in Daniel.)  For further instructions see the blog posted on August 25th, 2011.

Saved by King's scepter

Saved by King’s scepter

Easter, King and arms

Easter, King and arms

Esther - worksheet

Esther – worksheet

A Godly King’s Armor

The Southern Kingdom of Judah had a few God-fearing kings.  You can combine a teaching of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18 with the story of  good King Hezekiah that we find written about in Isaiah 36-39 , 2 Chronicles 29-32 and 2 Kings 18-20 .  Hezekiah began his reign at the age of twenty-five,  and right away started repairing the temple and re-instituting proper worship.  In the fourteenth year of his prosperous reign, Sennacherib, King of Assyria, came up against Judah, mocking their faith in God, even claiming that God had sent him to destroy the land! King Hezekiah covers himself with sackcloth and sends messengers to the prophet Isaiah who comforts them with a message of hope from the LORD. Later, a threatening letter robs King Hezekiah of his composure , and going up to the house of the LORD, he spreads the letter before the LORD and prays for deliverance.  Isaiah sends Hezekiah a promise that God would repay the King of Assyria for reproaching His Name and that He would defend Jerusalem “…For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.  Then the angel of the LORD went out and killed in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000…” 2 Chronicles 37:35-36.  Sennecherib returned home shamefaced and was struck down by his sons while worshiping in the house of his god.If you don’t trace the armor on metallic-colored poster board, use metallic gel pens to color. Template below.  Another option is to use the foil seal from nut cans. Smooth the bumps out with a pencil erasure, trace your pattern, cut and glue.