4 - Fourth

20 Jesus Blesses the children

UNIT #: 
IV
Lesson Theme: 
Let the Children Come to Jesus
Aim: 

Jesus cares about children

Bible Passage: 

Matthew 19:13-15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

You can read other accounts of this story in Mark 10:13-16 and Luke 18:15-17. 

Parents (Mothers) want what is best for their children.  They had seen Jesus do wonderful miracles such as healing people and bringing comfort to those in need.  It was the Jewish custom for parents to bring their children to the synagogue leader before their first birthday.  They regarded Jesus as a Rabbi.  

In Matthew 18:4-6 (NRSV) Jesus says, "Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea."  Jesus wanted His followers to be like children.  Their innocence and sense of humility and hope were attributes that Jesus wanted His disciples to notice.

Main Ideas: 

This same story is in Mark 10:13-16 and Luke 18:15-17.

One day, after Jesus had been teaching people about God, some mothers started bringing their little babies and their children to Jesus to be blessed.  But the disciples thought they were bothering Jesus and started sending the mothers and children away.

When Jesus saw this and He rebuked the disciples.  Rebuked means to show sharp disapproval because of their behavior or actions. 

Jesus wanted little children to come because He loves them and they have the kind of attitude needed to approach God.  Everyone needs childlike faith in God.  The openness of little children was a great contrast to the stubbornness of the religious leaders, who let their education stand in the way of the simple faith needed to believe in Jesus.

After Jesus blessed them, He went on from there.

Activities: 

"JESUS LOVES THE CHILDREN" BULLETIN BOARD

Place a picture of Jesus in the center of the board and then put children’s pictures all around. These could be photos of  the children in your class as well as the entire parish. Title the board “Jesus Loves the Children”.

Lesson Review: 

Review Time:

1.  What did the mothers want Jesus to give their children?

2.  What did the disciples do when mothers brought their children to Jesus?

3.  When Jesus saw the disciples keeping the children away, what did he say?

Values for Life: 

God knows us by name.  He knew us even before He formed us in our mother's womb (Jeremiah 1:5).  God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for all of our sins.  Jesus is waiting with His arms open for you and I. 

Jesus loves us, but He especially loves the little children.  Jesus loves the little children because of their humbleness, kind and loving nature. 

 

Life Response/My Decision: 

Jesus loves you, do you love Jesus?  How do you show Jesus that you love Him?  Do you spend time in prayer?  Morning and evening?  Do you spend time in God's Word?

Memory Verse: 

Matthew 19:14

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending your son to die on the cross for our sins.  Forgive us Father, for we are sinners.  We have sinned against you knowing and unknowingly.  Help us to live a life pleasing in your sight.  Help us to be like little children, with humbleness, loving and kind.

In Jesus Name we pray,

Amen

status: 
scope and sequence

19 Jesus Healed a man with a shrivelled hand on Sabbath

UNIT #: 
IV
Lesson Theme: 
God is Love and the laws given by God were with the spirit of love
Aim: 

To understand that the laws given by God were given with the spirit of love; we are to follow it with love and justice in mind and in action, and not just blindly following it by the word.

Bible Passage: 

Mark 3:1-5

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Man with a Withered Hand

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark, believed to be a close associate of Simon Peter.  Chronologically this is the first Gospel ever written.  Mark's Gospel is also believed to be the account of the life and work of Jesus Christ through the eyes of Simon Peter.  Mark presents Jesus as the servant of God who is ready and willing to do God's will anytime, because a faithful servant always knows the intentions of  his master.  

In Chapter 2: 23-27,  we see Jesus justifying his disciples in front of the Pharisees for picking and eating grain while they were going through a grain field on  a Sabbath, and Jesus quoted the scripture and told them about David and his companions eating the consecrated bread which only the priests can eat.  Jesus then told them that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Jesus then completed this conversation quoting that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath and this angered the pharisees even more.

It is after the above incident, on a Sabbath Jesus and his disciples were going into the synagogue and there Jesus saw the man with the withered hand.  The pharisees and other religious leaders were waiting to find fault with Jesus and Jesus immediately knew there intention and was angered by their insensitivity to the needs of the people and asked them whether which is lawful to do good or evil or to save or kill  on the Sabbath? they did not respond and Jesus was angered by their stubborn heart and healed the man in front of them.  Jesus knew the consequence of his action.  The Pharisees and other religious leaders went out in anger and began to plot to kill Jesus.

 

Main Ideas: 

Todays lesson is taken from the Gospel of Mark.  Let us learn some interesting facts about Mark's Gospel.  Gospel means 'good news'.  The author of this Gospel is John Mark, however he was not one of the twelve disciples.  John Mark's uncle was Barnabas, who was Paul's companion.  John Mark accompanied Paul in his first missionary journey for a short time.  Simon Peter was a close associate of John Mark.  Mark's Gospel is the first Gospel ever written and the shortest of the four Gospel's.  

 

In today's lesson we learn about how Jesus reveals the heart of his father the God almighty.  God is love.  The Laws given by God through Moses were given in love for His creation, so that the people will know the one true God and live a peaceful and satisfying life among themselves, if they kept and obeyed the laws. However the religious leaders over the time added more and more to the laws given by God to have control over the people and completely ignored the intention of God when He gave the law.  In todays lesson we learn how Jesus questions the religious leaders as to their way of keeping Sabbath holy.  

In the earlier chapter (Chapter 2:23-27), we see the Pharisees accusing Jesus's disciples for breaking the laws of Sabbath when the disciples while passing through a grain field started picking grain heads and began to eat them.  Jesus immediately reminded the Pharisees the story of David and his companions going into the temple and eating the consecrated bread which only the priests can eat.  God did not punish David or his companions for eating it, as they were hungry and there was no other bread available and David was hiding from Saul who was trying to kill him.  Jesus reminded the Pharisees that the  laws were given by God for the welfare of the people.  In the same way the 4th commandment was given to keep the seventh day holy so that the people will rest from their labor of six days and spend time for worship and rest.  Then Jesus told the Pharisees that the Sabbath was created by God for man and not man for Sabbath.

In the Bible portion for today we see Jesus entering the synagogue and seeing a man with a withered or disfigured hand and saw the same Pharisees and religious readers who were watching Jesus whether he would heal that man on that Sabbath day.   Jesus immediately knew there intentions (you might ask how? the answer is - because he is the Son of God) and boldly asked the man with the withered hand to stand in front of everyone.  Then Jesus asked the Pharisees and the religious leaders, which is the right thing to do on Sabbath, do good or do evil?  They did not answer, because there is only one answer and that was to do good.  If they said that, they will be justifying what Jesus is going to do anyway.  Jesus caught them in their own trick.  So they kept quiet, and Jesus was deeply troubled by their hard heartedness.  So Jesus asked the man to stretch his hand and he stretched it out  and his hand was completely restored and became just like his other good hand.  The Pharisees and other religious leaders were angry as Jesus caught them in their own trick and walked out of the synagogue in anger and began to plot to kill Jesus.  

From the bible portion for today we learn again from Jesus the importance of keeping the Sabbath as well as doing the right thing on Sabbath.  Jesus by his word and action showed us that it is better to be merciful and kind rather than following the law by the word. 

You might ask, how did Jesus do this? The answer is,  Jesus is the Son of God, who is part of the Trinitarian God (God the Father, the Son and the Holly Spirit) who created everything in the universe, including you and me and have the power to do it.   When you learn about the other miracles Jesus did, you will understand this clearly.

 

 

 

Activities: 

Read through the four Gospels to find out the miracles Jesus did.  All the miracles Jesus did shows us that he had the power and authority over God's creation.  This is a long term project for you.  List out the one you liked the most and tell it in class by the end of the Sunday School year.

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. What is the meaning of the word Gospel?

a. Go and spell it b. an account of what happened c. good news d. Biblical word (Answer c. good news)

2. What does Jesus reveal to us through the gospel portion and the lesson today?

a. God is love and we have to love each other b. God is a strict and angry God c. God does not care d. God want us to be punished for our sins  (Answer a. God is love and we have to love each other)

3. Why did God give the Laws to the people?

a. People asked for it b. So that the people will know the real God and live peacefully among themselves c. God wanted to control them d. God can punish them if they disobey (Answer b. So that the people will know the real God and live peacefully among themselves)

4. Sabbath was created by God for who?

a. For God b. For the priests c. For the Judges d. For the people. (Answer d. For the people)

5. Why did God gave the 4th Commandment or why did God asked the 7th day to be kept holly?

a. Because it is a holiday b. So that the people can rest from their labor of six days and find time to worship God c. People can do other things than work d. To sleep till mid day. (Answer b. So than the people can rest from their labor of six days and find time to worship God)

6.  Why did Jesus and his disciples went to the synagogue?

a. To heal the sick b. To have conference with the religious leaders c. It was a Sabbath day and they went to worship God d. To take rest. (Answer c. It was a Sabbath day and they went to worship God)

7. Why did the Pharisees and the religious leaders think that Jesus was breaking the law of Sabbath by healing the man with a withered hand on Sabbath?

a. They considered Jesus healing the man as a form of work  b. They did not like the miracles Jesus did c. Jesus's miracles made them look bad as they couldn't do anything even closer to it d. During Sabbath everybody is supposed to go to the synagogue and sit there and do nothing. (Answer a. They considered Jesus healing the man as a form of work)

8. Why was Jesus grieved as the Pharisees and religious leaders kept silent and did not reply ?

a. Jesus was saddened by their hard heartedness a. 

8. What does Jesus teach us by healing the man with the withered hand?

a. Working on Sabbath is ok b. Sick people need doctor's c. Showing mercy towards another human being is more important than just following the law by the word. d. Healing the sick is God's business (Answer c. Showing mercy towards another human being is more important than just following the law by the word.

9. 

Memory Verse: 

James 4:17

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

17 Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.

status: 
scope and sequence

18 Lost Coin

UNIT #: 
IV
Aim: 

All of heaven rejoices when we repent

Bible Passage: 

Luke 15:8-10

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The word “parable” in Greek literally means, “to set beside,” as in the English word “comparison” or “similitude.” In the Jewish culture, things were explained not in terms of statistics or definitions as they are in English-speaking cultures. In the Jewish culture of biblical times, things were explained in word pictures.

Matthew 13:35

This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”

Main Ideas: 

Context of the Parable

In Luke 15, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law are expressing their concern over Jesus on his friendship with tax collectors and sinners. "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them." (Luke 15:2). As an explanation to why he eats with sinners, Jesus tells the parable of the Lost Sheep, this parable of the Lost Coin and subsequently the parable of Lost Son (Prodigal son).

In these parables the lost sheep or coin metaphorically symbolizes a sinner ie a person lost in sin (sinner).

Importance of lost coin, sheep or son

In all the 3 parables, the loss represents incomplete set. The shepherd lost just a sheep among the 100 he owned, yet he was concerned and put all his effort to retrieve it. A coin is just a physical object, yet without the 10th coin, the lady doesn’t feel the completeness. Regardless of how insignificant the loss seems to us, it is viewed as an important loss in the eyes of God. He wants all His creation to be sustained and complete. That is why all 3 parables ends with the celebration of the owner with their friends and neighbors and recalls rejoicing in heaven over the sinner who repents.

Duty of a Christian

God created human as a social being and hence our duty is to be in communion with fellow human.  God has gifted the community and you have a responsibility to maintain it. As good evangelist, you should be concerned for a lost (sinner) neighbor or a friend and seriously seek their return.

John 3:20-21 says “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God”. And John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Hence our responsibility lies in spreading the gospel among the sinners and show them the light towards Jesus.

Jesus deliberately chooses the words like “light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it” that indicates it was not a causal glance around the house. The woman did extra effort in using tools and meticulously (detailed) searched for the coin. This signifies her duty to retain control on what was given by God. Hence all Christians have the duty to seek sinners with extra effort.

Lesson Review: 

Fill in the blanks

  1. _____________   told the parable of lost coin
  2. Lost coin or sheep symbolically represents a  ________________
  3. “Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who ___________.”

Answer the Questions

  1. What is the common theme in the parables of lost coin, sheep or son?
     
  2. Explain your duty as a Christian towards a sinner
    1. Put extra effort to seek sinners in the community
    2. Offer companionship & understand their background
    3. Covey the good news to them that Jesus is our savior who has served punishment for all our sins. To benefit from the punishment of Jesus has served, all we have to do is to repent and ask for pardon in our prayers.
    4. Take them around your friends and neighbors to rejoice in the repentance
    5. Intercessory prayer for the return to God’s way
Values for Life: 

Luke 5:31, 32 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” A righteous man will be well accepted in the society, however a sinner will most likely be isolated and it will be hard for him to be accepted. Your willingness to seek them and offering companionship maybe all it takes to return sinner back to God. Jesus’s companionship at a dinner was enough for Zacchaeus to repent and offer to pay back the money unfairly collected from poor citizen.

When you successfully accomplish your duty as a Christian, rejoicing and celebration is guaranteed in the presence of the angels of God.

Memory Verse: 

Luke 5:32

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

32 I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Closing Prayer: 

Dear heavenly Father, Thank you for the practical lessons that you are teaching us through the parables in the Bible.  Thank you for giving us a good community to live in. Please strengthen us and give us willingness to seek for lost sinners and provide companionship to show them the light and return to God’s way. We understand that you are concerned on loss of even the least important person and there will be rejoicing in the heavens on the repentance of each sinner. Amen

status: 
scope and sequence

17 John Prepares the Way

UNIT #: 
IV
Aim: 

Repent and Believe - Be Fruitful

Bible Passage: 

Matthew 3:1-12

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Main Ideas: 

Prophesies

God has a purpose for all prophets sent to inform and prepare his people of His upcoming actions. John was a prophet sent to set the stage for Jesus' mission on earth. Jesus grew up in a normal family in normal circumstances and no one considered Jesus as special until His glory was reveled by John the Baptist. However John had a unique life and led his life as a Nazarite and was thought of highly by the people as a God’s messenger. Hence John's revelation of Jesus was easily accepted by the Israelites as the Messiah.  Here are some of the most relevant prophesies about John the Baptist.

Isaiah prophesized hundreds of years before the arrival of John as the person to prepare the way for the arrival of Jesus. Isaiah 40:3: A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare  the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert  a highway for our God..."

Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

Malachi 4: 5-6 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” This is a reference  to John who had spirit and power of Elijah.

John's Ministry: Preparation for Jesus

John's ministry included the following;

  1. preaching about the "arrival of time" and the need for baptism of repentance with water
  2. reveling himself as the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophesy (John 1:23) as the preparer of way
  3. reveling the light (Jesus) unknown to world even when it existed before John (John 1: 9-11)
  4. introducing Jesus as the Sacrificial Lamb to the world(John 1: 29-30)
  5. bear witness that Jesus as "God's Chosen One" who will baptize by Holy Spirit (John 1:32-34)

In Mark 1:4, it says "  And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River

in Bethany, when Jewish Priests questioned John if he himself is the Messiah or Elijah or a Prophet, (John 1:23) John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord' "

John 1: 9-11 is revealing Jesus as a light who was already in the world, however the world neither received nor recognized His glory. "The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

in John 1: 29-30, John is introducing Jesus to the world as the Lamb who will bear the sins of the whole world. 'The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Finally he is bearing the witness that Jesus is "God's Chosen One" who will baptize by Holy Spirit. John 1:32-34 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

John's Role

John clearly knew his role prescribed in God’s Word. He understood that Jesus is well above his status  and says "He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not even fit to remove His sandals". John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less”.

9 months before his birth, Gabriel, the angel of God appeared to John’s father, Zacharias (Luke 1:16-17), and said about John “He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Comparison to Elijah.

Prophet Elijah is considered as a strong personality who had the courage to challenge a mighty king Ahab (who worshiped pagan gods to please his wife Jezebel) and the 450 prophets of Baal  in Mount Carmel and slaughtered them (1 King 18:18-40). Malachi prophesied about John bearing the spirit of Elijah. In a similar way,  John also can be seen rebelling against the Pharisees and Sadducees as calling them by names "brood of vipers" in Mathew 3:7 and in Luke 3:19 John rebuked  King Herod because of his marriage to Herodias

Lesson Review: 

Fill in the blanks

  1. Jewish Priests questioned John if he himself is the Messiah or Elijah or a Prophet in __________
  2. ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the _________  ____________.’ 
  3. John 3:30 “He must become _______________; I must become _____________”.

Answer the Questions

  1. Explain 2 of the prophesies about John as the preparer of the way for Jesus
  2. Explanation how John introduced Jesus to the world
  3. Explain why John the Baptist is compared to Prophet Elijah
Values for Life: 

Response of Believers

John created a favorable environment by Baptism by repentance for remission of sins for Jesus to enter and operate in.  Matthew 3:6 tells us, "People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River."

In Luke 3: 10-14, we can see the people, tax collectors, soldiers etc genuinely touched by the warnings of John and seeking advice on what to do. John’s answer was simple;

  1. Share what you have with the poor and needy
  2. Do not be greedy and be happy with what you get paid
  3. Do not accuse others falsely

Hence, we need to set the stage ourselves for the second coming of Jesus. Hebrews 12:14 says “without holiness no one will see the Lord”. We need holy spirit in us for repentance.  1 John1:8-9 says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. Proverbs 28:13 says “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” 1 John 1:7-10

Memory Verse: 

Matthew 3:2

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

status: 
scope and sequence

16 Birth of John the Baptist

UNIT #: 
IV
Lesson Theme: 
God answers prayers of the faithul at the right time
Aim: 

To understand that God always answer the prayer of the faithful at His time or at the right time.  

Bible Passage: 

  Luke 1:5-23

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” 19 The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23 When his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Gospel of Luke was written by a gentile Physician named Luke. Luke was also a close companion to Paul.  According to tradition Luke wrote the Gospel from the view point of Mary, mother of Jesus.  Luke might have got first hand information from Mary, mother of Jesus and brothers and sisters of Jesus, including James.  Only Luke  gives the detailed information about the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus himself and he also gave us more miracles performed by Jesus and more parables Jesus said than in any other Gospel.   

God gave a promise to David in Psalms 89:34-37(NRSV).  "I will not violate my covenant, or alter the word that went forth from my lips.  Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness I will not lie to David.  His line shall continue forever, and his throne endure before me like the sun.  It shall be established forever like the moon, an enduring witness in the skies." Selah.

This promise of God starts its fulfillment process when God answers the prayer of Zechariah and Elizabeth and gives them a son named Yohanan (John).  The name Zechariah means "God remembers" and that of the name Elizabeth means "His oath".  The son born to them was Yohannan, the name means "Jehovah has been gracious", we know him as John the Baptist, the holy man God send to earth to prepare the way for Jesus His only begotten Son. 

In our human years it took four hundred years to full fill this covenant, but to God it is only a very little time and He brought together everything needed to full fill the covenant at His time, the right time. 

 

 

34 

Main Ideas: 

In todays lesson we learn about prayer and how God answers them.  God answers prayer mainly in three ways.  First, immediately, Second, wait a while, then God answers, thirdly, no answer meaning God thinks you do not need it or it is better for you not to have it, because He loves you.  But there is also a fourth way, that is for the faithful and obedient, and that is at God's time.  The best examples are, God promised Abraham a son, but Abraham had to wait till he got to the age of ninety nine.  The next best example, we are going to learn today,  is the faithful couple who had to wait till they were old, but not to the age of ninety nine.  That faithful couple is Zechariah and Elizabeth.  This Story is fully told only in the Gospel of Luke.

Gospel of Luke was written by a gentile Physician or a Doctor named Luke.  Only in the Gospel of Luke we see the detailed information regarding birth of John the Baptist and Jesus himself.

During the time Herod ruled Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah.  Zechariah's wife was Elizabeth, she was a descendant of Aaron.  The name Zechariah means "God remembers" and the name Elizabeth means "His oath".  Zechariah and Elizabeth lived a life pleasing to God, however they did not have any children.  They always prayed to God for a son.  They were getting old and both of them were sad that they had no children.  

Priests served in the Temple according to their turn.  As there were many priests, they were given certain number of days to serve in the Temple.  When Zechariah's time came to serve, he went to the Temple to serve.  Priestly duties to be performed in the Temple were decided by lot.  According to this custom, Zechariah was chosen to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense.  

The day he was chosen, there were a great many people praying outside and Zechariah entered the sanctuary of the Lord with the incense offering.  Then an Angel of the Lord appeared to him on the right hand side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw the Angel he got afraid and confused.  

The Angel of the Lord told Zechariah not to be afraid and then told Zechariah that his prayer has been heard by God and his wife Elizabeth will give birth to a son and he should name him Yohanan (John).

  Then the Angel told him that he will be very happy because of the birth of his son and many people will be happy because of his birth, John will be a great man of the Lord and he will never drink wine or liquor, from his birth he will be filled with Holy Spirit.  He will help many people of Israel return to the Lord their God.  He himself will go first before the Lord and he will be powerful in spirit like Elijah.  He will make peace between fathers and their children, he will bring those who are not obeying God back to the right way and he will make people ready for the coming of the Lord. 

Zechariah was confused and he said to the Angel "How cam I know that  what you say is true? I am an old man and my wife is old too".  The Angel answered then that he is Gabriel who stand in the presence of God.  God sent me to tell you the good news, now as you did not believe what I said, you will not be able to speak till this happen. Zechariah became mute and was unable to speak.

The people were waiting outside and they wondered why it is taking so much time for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary.  When Zechariah came out and he couldn't speak to them and make only signs to them, they realized that Zechariah had seen a vision in the sanctuary of God.  When Zechariah's time of service was over he went back home. 

Later Zechariah's wife Elizabeth became pregnant and when it was time for Elizabeth to give birth, she gave birth to a boy. When the neighbors and relatives heard about this they rejoiced how good the Lord was to Elizabeth.  When it was time to name the baby, the neighbors and relatives came together and they wanted to name him Zechariah after his father, but Elizabeth told the name will be John (Yohannan - meaning "Jehovah has been gracious"). Then the people reminded Elizabeth that no one in her family has this name and so they asked Zechariah by making signs as to what would he like to name the baby.  Zechariah then asked something to write on and he wrote that the name will be John (Yohannan) and everybody was surprised.  After Zechariah did that, he was able to speak again and he began to praise God and everyone was really surprised and thought in their minds "What will this child be?".  That child was John the Baptist, God send him to this world to prepare the way for his only begotten son Jesus Christ. 

From todays lesson we learn that God answers the prayer of the faithful at the right time or at His own time.  The birth of John the baptist is foretold in Malachi 4:5-6. (NRSV) "Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.  He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse".  

Reference:Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee Vol-IV

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Zechariah belonged to the priestly order of .................. (Answer: Abijah)

​2. Elizabeth was a decendant of ..................... (Answer: Aaron)

3. The name Zechariah means ..................... ( Answer: God remembers)

4. The name Elizabeth means ..................... ( Answer: His oath)

5. The name Yohanan (John) means .........................(Jehovah is gracious)  

6. Who appeared to Zecariah in the Temple at the altar of incense? 

(Answer: Gabriel the Angel)

7. What good news did Gabriel tell Zechariah? (Answer: That God heard his prayer and his wife Elizabeth will give birth to a son)

8. What was the name given by Gabriel to Zechariah to name the son when he was born? (Answer: Yohanan (John))

9. Why did Zechariah became mute and couldn't speak? (Answer: As he did not believe what Gabriel told him)

10. When did Zechariah regain his speech back? (Answer: After he wrote the name of his son and it will be Yohanan (John). 

Values for Life: 

Faith in God is the most important part of our life on this earth.  Our heavenly Father is a loving God who cares about us.  We can always approach him through prayer at any time and anywhere.

Life Response/My Decision: 

I will make it a habit to pray to God everyday.  I will call up on Him in prayer for not only my needs and other peoples needs, but to thank him for sending Jesus Christ to be our savior. 

Memory Verse: 

Luke 1:13

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your love towards us.  You sent John the baptist to prepare the way for your son.  You showed your love to us by sending us your only begotten son Jesus Christ.  Lord help us to understand the love and care you have for us.  Help us to show the same loving spirit to others.  Help us daily to live a life pleasing to you.  In Jesus precious name we pray.  Amen.

 

status: 
scope and sequence

15 Obadiah - A true believer during the time of Elijah

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
Serving God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind
Aim: 

To understand the importance of serving the Lord wholeheartedly. 

Bible Passage: 

1 Kings 18:1-15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Elijah’s Message to Ahab

18 After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year of the drought, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain on the earth.” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. The famine was severe in Samaria. Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Now Obadiah revered the Lord greatly; when Jezebel was killing off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets, hid them fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water.) Then Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the wadis; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.” So they divided the land between them to pass through it; Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadiah went in another direction by himself.

As Obadiah was on the way, Elijah met him; Obadiah recognized him, fell on his face, and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” He answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord that Elijah is here.” And he said, “How have I sinned, that you would hand your servant over to Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom to which my lord has not sent to seek you; and when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would require an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11 But now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord that Elijah is here.’ 12 As soon as I have gone from you, the spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where; so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have revered the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets fifty to a cave, and provided them with bread and water? 14 Yet now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord that Elijah is here’; he will surely kill me.” 15 Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

After King David, Solomon became the king, he was a firm believer in the God of Israel, however during his older years he began to move away from the true God and began to worship the idols and gods of his wives, he fell from the wisest man ever lived to the foolish man who lamented about his wrong doings later on.  God of Israel punished him many ways including dividing his kingdom after he died, but God kept his faithfulness to David  and his house, where Christ the savior will be born later on.

Israel was divided into Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Judah.  Solomon’s son Rehoboam became the King of Judah and Jeroboam became the King of Israel or Northern Kingdom.  Today’s lesson is taken from the history of the Northern Kingdom or Israel.  

The Kings of Israel also became idol worshipers and a chain of Kings starting with NadabBaasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri became the Kings one after the other and all of them did what was wrong in the eye of the true and  living God, and they all perished in their wickedness.  Omri also followed the same path and he also died and his son Ahab became the King.   Ahab married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians who worshipped Baal.  After the marriage Jezebel brought Baal worship into full force in the Kingdom of Israel.  At this time God send his servant Elijah to Israel to warn Ahab and his people about their evil ways.   Elijah confronted Ahab and told that there will be neither dew nor rain in the next three years except at Elijah’s word.  There was famine in the land and Ahab and his queen began to kill God’s prophets and they were looking for to capture Elijah.  At this time a palace official named Obadiah comes into picture.  

According to Talmud (Hebrew Bible) Obadiah is said to have been an Edomite.   He was a servant of Ahab and he converted to Judaism when he was young.  It is believed that he was very rich and he used his position to protect hundred of the Prophets of the God in Israel.  This was a very dangerous situation, as both Ahab and his queen Jezebel wanted to kill all the prophets of the true God, including Elijah, and Obadiah’s decision to protect the Prophets, put his life in peril, however the good Lord protected him.  According to tradition as he took the risk of protecting hundred of God's prophets, later on Obadiah was chosen by God to prophecy against Edom as he himself was an Edomite.  

Main Ideas: 

Israel was divided into Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah) after the death of Solomon.  

Todays lesson is taken from the history of the Northern Kingdom (Israel). The Kings of Israel became idol worshipers and a chain of Kings starting with Jeroboam, NadabBaashaElahZimri, and Omri became the Kings one after the other and all of them did what was wrong in the eye of the true and  living God, and they all perished in their wickedness.  After Omri's death his son Ahab became the King.  Ahab married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians who worshipped Baal.  After the marriage Jezebel brought Baal worship into the Kingdom of Israel.  Ahab became a worshiper of Baal and he built temples and altars for Baal.  During his reign he permitted human sacrifices.  Ahab provoked the God of Israel into anger than any of the kings of Israel before him.  God of Israel send his servant, the Prophet Elijah to confront Ahab and Jezebel about their wicked ways.  

Elijah told Ahab that the Lord God had decreed that there will be neither dew nor rain for the next few years except at the word of Elijah.  

God then told Elijah to leave the palace and go and hide in Kerith Ravine.  There God ordered the ravens to feed Elijah (the ravens got the food from Ahab's palace) and he drank from the brook of Kerith.  The drought became severe in the land and Ahab send his men to find Elijah and they couldn't and in retaliation Jezebel ordered to kill all the prophets of the God of Israel.  

At this time one of Ahab's palace official was an Edomite named Obadiah.  Edomites are people who originated from Esau, brother of Jacob.  They did not worship the God of Israel.  However, Obadiah converted to Judaism (those worshiped the God of Israel) at a young age and was a firm believer in the God of Israel.  Even though he served king Ahab and Jezebel, he took the bold decision to protect as many prophets of the God of Israel. He protected hundred prophets hiding fifty each in two caves.  At this very trying times he provided the prophets with food and water.  He put his life in danger to protect God's prophets.  

The brook at Kerith also dried out and God send Elijah to hide in  Zarephath (this was a place in Sidonia, the kingdom of Jezebel'f father) at the house of a widow.  Elijah stayed with the widow and God did miracles to provide food for Elijah and the widow and her son.  The drought continued and on the third year God told Elijah to go and meet with Ahab and that God will send rain on the land.  

Elijah went to meet Ahab and on the way met Obadiah who was going out to find fodder for palace animals at Ahab's command.  Elijah asked Obadiah to go and tell Ahab that Elijah has come to meet him.  Obadiah was afraid first to go and tell Ahab about Elijah's message because all the kings men were looking for Elijah and nobody could find him and if he went and told Ahab that Elijah is here and if Ahab came to meet Elijah and didn't find him as the Lord's spirit took him somewhere then his life will be in danger.  Elijah assured obadiah that he will surely meet with Ahab. Obadiah then went and told Ahab that Elijah has come to see him and Ahab came and met with Elijah. 

From todays lesson we learned how Obadiah a Jewish convert, believed in the God of Israel and obeyed the commandment God gave through Moses. In Deuteronomy 10:12, it says" So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?  Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul".  Obadiah believed in the God's commandment and loved God's people and saved them risking his own life and the good Lord protected him and later on God gave him the gift of prophecy.  

 

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Israel was divided into two kingdoms after the death of whom?

a. Omri b. David c. Solomon d. Rehoboam Answer: c. Solomon

2. The Southern kingdom was called Judah, What was the Northern kingdom called?

a. Israel b. Jerusalem c. Canaan  d. Samariah Answer: a. Israel

3. Who was the first king of the Northern kingdom?

a. Rehoboam b. Nadab c. Elah d. Jeroboam Answer: d. Jeroboam

​4. King Ahab was the son of ...............

a. Jeroboam b. Omri c. Nadab d. Zimri Answer: b. Omri

​5. Who was Jezebel before she got married to King Ahab?

a. She was a princess of Sidonia b. She was a princess of Babylon c. She was princess of Samriah d. She was an ordinary girl. Answer: a. She was a princess of Sidonia.

6. Of all the King's of the Northern Kingdom, who angered the God of Israel the most? and why?

a. Omri, he brought Baal worship into Israel b. Ahab, he brought Baal worship into Israel and allowed human sacrifice c. Jeroboam, he built an altar for the golden calves d. Baasha, he killed Nadab.  Answer: b. Ahab, he brought Baal worship into Israel and allowed human sacrifice.

7. Whom did God of Israel send to confront Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness? 

a. Obadiah b. Elisha c. Elijah d. a priest Answer: c. Elijah

8. What was the punishment God gave to Ahab and Jezebel for their wickedness?

a. The Kingship of Ahab was taken away b. The kingdom will not have any dew or rain till Elijah says so. c. Ahab will have to confess all his sins d. Ahab and Jezebel will be exiled Answer: b. The kingdom will not have any dew or rain till Elijah says so.

9. How did God feed Elijah when he was hiding in the ravine of Kerith?

​a. God send him bread baskets b. Obadiah took bread and meat to him c. A servant fetched him food d. God appointed ravens to feed Elijah from the palace of Ahab Answer: d. God appointed ravens to feed Elijah from the palace of Ahab.

10. Who was Obadiah?

a. An Edomite who converted to Judaism at an early age and who feared  and loved the God of Israel and served him. b. An Israelite c. A Sidonite d. A resident of Zarephath Answer: a. An Edomite who converted to Judaism at an early age and who feared and loved the God of Israel and served him. 

Values for Life: 

Acts: 10:35 “but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him".

Life Response/My Decision: 

I believe in the one true God and will learn to obey and serve him.

Memory Verse: 

Luke 10:27

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

27 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”​

Closing Prayer: 

Our heavenly father you taught us through the story of Obadiah that you accepts anybody who fears you and obey your commandments and will be their savior and protector and how your mercy surrounds them.  You also taught us how you prepares a table for the faithful in front of their enemies from the story of Elijah and the hundred prophets Obadiah saved.  Help us to put our trust in you and do what is right.

In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen

 

status: 
scope and sequence

14 Fall of Solomon

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
Be obedient to God's commandments
Aim: 

Focus on whom we develop our relationships. Life without God will be meaningless, regardless of education, fame, the greatest of pleasures, and abundance of wealth

Bible Passage: 

1 Kings 11:1-13

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Solomon’s Errors

11 King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the Israelites, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you; for they will surely incline your heart to follow their gods”; Solomon clung to these in love. Among his wives were seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not completely follow the Lord, as his father David had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Then the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord commanded. 11 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

Main Ideas: 

God's Abundant Blessings

Solomon was the son of David born to Bathsheba. David picked Solomon as his successor as a teenager to rule Israel with no leadership experience. In 1King 2: 3-4, David advices Solomon to “observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me”.

In 1 King 3:4-1 it says King Solomon went to Gibeon that was the most important high place, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. Lord appeared to Solomon in his dream in Gibeon and said “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon replied “give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong”. Lord was pleased with what Solomon asked for and gave wise and discerning heart for administering justice, so that there will never be anyone like Solomon, nor will there ever be. Moreover, he also blessed Solomon with wealth and honor, so that in his lifetime he will have no equal among kings

Power and Supremacy

Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt and had peace on all sides. He was wiser than anyone else to interpret complex situations and had great knowledge of science, and his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. People came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom. The neighboring kings accepted his supremacy primarily because of his divine blessings and God’s help in defeating enemies of Israelites.

Temptations and Distractions

However with that power came temptations of life and distractions from his relationship with God. He ignored the advices given by his father David to be obedient to God’s commands and laws. Regardless of all the blessings and being the wisest person, Solomon made wrong choices that lead to his downfall.  Solomon thought he could get away with sins since God has given him all the wealth and supremacy of power among all the neighboring kings.

           Focusing on wealth and use of forced labor

By relying on wisdom and power, Solomon amassed wealth beyond anyone’s imagination through his diplomatic and trade relations with neighboring countries. He undertook huge building projects that took 7 years to build Temple, 13 years to build his palace that used forced labor of his citizens. In 1 Kings 12:4, you can see the Israelites revolting against Solomon’s son Rehoboam due to the hardships they had to go through during Solomon’s time. This eventually resulted in splitting of the Israel into two.

           Marriage to foreign women

Israelites were forbidden to marry foreign woman since they will persuade Israelites to worship pagan gods. Yet Solomon married women from other religion against God’ command. Indeed, Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord by building high places for worshiping the pagan gods and offering sacrifices.

God’s punishment

1 Kings 12:11-13 Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

God raised many enemies against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, Rezon son of Eliada and Jeroboam (son of Nebat) who served as In-charge of labor force of the tribes of Joseph. After 40 years of rule by Solomon, his Son Rehoboam took over as the king of Israel. Based on God’s verdict to Solomon, God split 10 out of the 12 tribes of Israel and gave to Solomon’s servant Jeroboam. Rehoboam only had control over the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

Throughout biblical history, God warned Israelites to refrain from forbidden things through prophets and religious leaders, yet their kings foolishly institutionalized and worshiped pagan gods. God’s wrath and punishments were consistent and yet human struggle to be obedient to His commandments & maintain relationship with Him.

Lesson Review: 

Fill in the blanks

  1. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon at Gihon
  2. Lord appeared to Solomon in his dream the first time after he offered 1000 burnt offerings in __________ and then appeared a second time after he dedicated the Temple to God
  3. Solomon built Temple and palaces using __________  _________ of his citizens
  4. Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord by building high places for __________________  ___________  __________ and offering sacrifices

Answer the Questions

  1. Explain the advice that David gave Solomon when he handed over the power.
  2. What did Solomon ask God as a blessing?  Explain blessings he received in return.
  3. Why was God angry at Solomon?
  4. Explain the God’s punishment for Solomon
Values for Life: 

Your parents are blessed and you are born as privileged children. Being at high risk to getting distracted in life with all the choices around you, remember the life of King Solomon 3000 years ago. Solomon didn’t use his wisdom, wealth and power wisely, but did evil on God’s eyes. In Ecclesiastes 2, he is confessing that he sinned while his mind was sill guided by the wisdom since he didn’t know how to say NO to evil desires. His life is a great lesson for us to be obedient to the teachings from parents and God’s commandments.

In the end, even being wealthy, Solomon was not happy in his life, for he says in Ecclesiastes 2:11 “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

So don’t get carried away by your wisdom or abilities compared to your friends, for that means nothing unless you live a righteous life and God blesses you a good life. If you focus on materializing the talents given to you, the wealth amassed will not give you satisfaction. Invest your talents to build the Kingdom of God rather than building for yourself.

Memory Verse: 

2 Chronicles 7:14

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for teaching us the lesson on Solomon. Help us to live wisely by being righteous and obeying to elders. Please remind our conscious that sin is lurking at our doors and we should win over it. Give us strength and wisdom to say NO to evil desires. Let our thoughts and actions be pleasing to you Lord.

Amen

status: 
scope and sequence

13 Boaz and Ruth

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
Faithfullness and God's promise of redemption.
Aim: 

To understand that God's redemptive work start with faith and the reward for faithfulness is redemption.

Bible Passage: 

Ruth 4:1-22

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down. Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11    Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12 and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

The Genealogy of David

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17 The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

18 Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, 21 Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22 Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The Book of Ruth plays an important part in the redemptive process God started after the failure of man kind through Adam and Eve.  So it is amazing how a gentile woman's love and faith leads her to become a link in the chain of events that leads to the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ.  This beautiful little book links the Old Testament with the New Testament in a special way.

The story starts with the introduction that the events happened when the Judges ruled the chosen people and they were far away from the God who called them, there was the darkness of idolatry and because of their faithlessness to the true God of Israel, even the land was not producing enough to sustain the people. Even in Bethlehem, the word Bethlehem means "house of bread", there was famine and Elimelech and Naomi with their two sons had to move from Bethlehem to Moab.  

The faithlessness of the chosen ones and the faithful embrace of the same faith and the same God by a gentile woman and her devotion to her mother-in-law leads to God's blessing. 

This book also bring about the doctrine of Kinsman Redeemer from the Mosaic law to the New Testament Redeemer and Mediator Jesus Christ.  If we look faithfully we see God's plan of redemption starting to take shape in this book. 

Main Ideas: 

 The word of God gives importance as to how we treat our parents, elderly relatives and elders in the church and the society as a whole.  

In Proverbs 23:22, it says "Listen to your father who begot you and do not despise your mother when she is old".  In Leviticus 19:32, it says "You shall rise before the aged and defer to the old(meaning - honor elderly people); and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord".  In Ephesians 6:1-3, it says "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  "Honor your father and mother" - this is the first commandment with a promise: so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth".

Today we learn about how God rewarded a young woman for her love and devotion to her elderly widowed mother-in-law and accepted the God of Israel as her God .  The young widowed woman who went beyond her grief and limitations and accepted her husbands mother as her mother and accepted the God of Israel as her God was Ruth, a gentile Moabite woman.  Today we also learn about the kinsman redeemer of the old testament and our kinsman redeemer Jesus Christ.

The story begins when the Judges were ruling the people of Israel, the people were disobedient and they were not following the commandments God had given them.  Disobedience leads to God's punishment and there was famine in the land.  The family of Elimelech consisting of his wife Naomi, sons Mahlon and Kilion who were living in Bethlehem (the word Bethlehem means "house of bread) decided to move to Moab where there was no famine.  While living there for some time Elimelech suddenly died and Naomi was left with her two sons.  While living in Moab, Mahlon and Kilion married Moabite women Ruth and Orpah.  After the family lived there for ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died.  Now Naomi was left with her daughter-in-laws Ruth and Orpah.  Naomi without her husband and two sons wanted to go back to Judah and then heard that God has shown mercy to the people in Judah and that the famine has ended and there was food.  Naomi decided to go back to Judah and to Bethlehem where she had her husbands property.  Before leaving to Bethlehem Naomi asked Ruth and Orpah to return to their homes and get remarried and live a life with their families.  As Naomi insisted Orpah went back to her people, however Ruth took a completely different stand and told Naomi that she will not leave her.  Ruth told Naomi wherever she goes she will go with her and Naomi's people will be her people and Naomi's God will be her God.  

Naomi and Ruth went to Bethlehem and the people there welcomed them back and they heard Naomi's sad story and also how one of her daughters-in-law, in love and devotion to her had accompanied her to Bethlehem.  They came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest time.  

Naomi and Ruth being widows had no one to provide for them, they had to find work or somehow find food to live by.  Ruth undertook that responsibility and was willing to work to get food.  Then Naomi told Ruth about a wealthy man, Boaz, who was a relative of Elimelech and was also a Kinsman to Naomi.  In the Levite law, a relative also known as kinsman can redeem the property of a dead man who died without any children by marrying the widow.  This law was to save the widow from poverty and widowhood.  

Ruth went to the field of Boaz to glean after the reapers of the barley harvest.  (Gleaning means gathering leftover grain after a harvest).  Boaz saw Ruth at the field and enquired about her and met her and told his servants to show kindness to her as Ruth showed love and kindness to Naomi.  Ruth gleaned in the field of Boaz the whole day and in the evening she got an ephah or a bushel of barley and she took that to Naomi.  Naomi was very pleased about what Ruth had done and where she went for gleaning.  Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz for the barley and wheat harvest.  Naomi then told Ruth that Boaz can redeem her and asked Ruth to go and meet Boaz at the threshing floor and ask Boaz to redeem her.  Ruth did as Naomi told her and Boaz was very kind and told Ruth that he will redeem her, however there was another kinsman who was closer in relationship to Naomi than him and if only the other person does nor redeem her he can redeem her.  Ruth went back to Naomi and told her what had happened.

Boaz went to the village gate early next morning to meet with the kinsman who was closer in relationship to Naomi and find out whether he was willing to redeem Ruth or not.

In those days things were decided and transactions were finalized at the gate of the village or town.  Elders will gather at a particular time, mostly in the morning, and if there is anything to be decided upon all parties will gather and things will be discussed and it will be decided up on that day.

As expected by Boaz the other kinsman of Naomi also came to village gate and Boaz asked him to sit down with him. Boaz then asked the other kinsman whether he is willing to redeem the property of Elimelech their kinsman, the other kinsman then told Boaz that he was willing to buy the property but did not want to marry Ruth the moabite woman, because it will affect his and his children's inheritance.  The other kinsman then asked Boaz to redeem Elimelech's property and Ruth the moabite woman and as a sign of his acceptance of the redemption by Boaz he took his sandal and gave it to Boaz.

Boaz then called the elders of the village together and told them that he has acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon and also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be his wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place and they were all witness for this.  The elders and the people of the gate accepted it and then blessed Boaz the blessing of Israel.

Boaz took Ruth as his wife and Ruth later bore a son for Boaz and Naomi the grand mother and her people named the boy Obed.  Obed grew up and became a man and he married and he begot a son named Jesse and Jesse later on became the father of David.  

Jesus Christ our Lord and savior was born in the house of David and in the tribe of Judah.  See how God in his mercy blessed a gentile moabite woman for her love and faithfulness and her acceptance of the God of Israel as her God and  rewarded her to became a part of God's plan for the salvation of all mankind.  

Jesus Christ is our kinsman redeemer and the reason is, Jesus is the son of God; he came down to earth and became a human being just like us and he suffered the worst kind of suffering a man can endure and shed his blood and died on the cross for all our sins and by his blood redeemed us.   Just like the other kinsman, Jesus didn't have do it, but in his love for all of us he did it, So Jesus is our redeemer, our kinsman redeemer. 

 

 

 

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Out of the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses, which commandment is the one with a promise?

a. 1st b. 3rd c.5th d. 7th (Answer - 5th - Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you).

2. The word Bethlehem means .........................................

a. David's city b. House of barley c.House of grains d. House of bread(Answer d - House of bread)

3. Why did Elimelech and his family move to Moab?

a. Eleimelech got a job in Moab b.His wife told him c. Because of famine in Judah d. He liked the weather there. (Answer - c Because of famine in Judah)

4. Why did Naomi wanted to go back to Bethlehem her husbands native place?

a. She lost her husband and children b. She heard that the famine in Judea has ended c. Her daughter-in-law's asked her to d. She felt alone in Moab (Answer b. famine in Judea has ended)

5. Why did Orpah leave Naomi and go back to her people?

a. Naomi asked her to go and have a new life b. She didn't like Naomi c. She didn't want to stay with Naomi and Ruth d. Her parents asked her to come back (Answer a. Naomi asked her to go and have a new life)

6. Why did Ruth decided to accompany Naomi to Bethlehem?

a. She wanted to see Bethlehem b. She loved Naomi and believed in the God of Israel c. She wanted to leave Moab d. She did not want Naomi to go alone (Answer b. She loved Naomi and believed in the God of Israel)

7. Who was Boaz?

a. An Israelite b. a village councilor c. a cousin of Elemelech d. a farmer (Answer a & c  a. An Israelite & c. cousin of Elemelech)

​8. Who is a kinsman redeemer?

a. A knight b. A hero c. A close relative of a widows husband d. A Priest (Answer c. close relative of a widows husband)

9. Why is Jesus called our kinsman redeemer?

a. Jesus redeems us from poverty b. Jesus redeems us from this world c. Jesus the Son of God became a human being to save us d. Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross for us (Answer c & d c. Jesus the Son of God became a human being to save us d.Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross for us)

Values for Life: 

Honoring God in all circumstance of life and honoring your parents, elders and the law of the land leads to a blessed life in this world and in the world to come. 

Life Response/My Decision: 

I will honor God in everything I do.  I will honor and obey my parents,  and will honor my teachers and elders in the church and the leaders in the community. 

Memory Verse: 

Ruth 1:16

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 But Ruth said,

“Do not press me to leave you
    or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
    where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
    and your God my God.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord in your love for mankind you send your only Son to this world to redeem us from this world, Jesus became a human being just like us so that he became the kinsman redeemer for us, even when he had to suffer much and die on the cross for us.  We understand your deep love for us and we pray together to help and strengthen us to live a live pleasing to you just as Jesus did in this world.  We are sinners but your grace is sufficient to lead us in this world. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen. 

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12 Floating axe head

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
God cares about the faithful.
Aim: 

God is  graceful enough to meet even our little needs.

Bible Passage: 

2 Kings 6:1-7

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Miracle of the Ax Head

Now the company of prophets said to Elisha, “As you see, the place where we live under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a place there for us to live.” He answered, “Do so.” Then one of them said, “Please come with your servants.” And he answered, “I will.” So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his ax head fell into the water; he cried out, “Alas, master! It was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. He said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Books of the Kings (1 and 2) record the history of Israel and the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel(Northern Kingdom) under the reign of David in his latter years to the end of the kingdom of Judah and the fall of Jerusalem.  After David, the people of Israel slowly began to worship other god's with Solomon sowing the seeds in this process.  God of Israel warned the Kings and the people their mistake, but they did not listen and slowly went deeper and deeper into idol worship and away from the God who brought them to the promised land and gave it to them. God warned them through the Prophets He chose.  Elijah was the greatest of those Prophets.

Elisha was the successor to the great prophet Elijah.  Elisha did more miracles than any other prophet in the Bible.  All these miracles were signs God acting through Elisha to the people of Israel that He is the real God who called them and mad them His people.  These miracles were also God's way of showing His power, His compassion and love to reach out and touch the people involved and through them the people of Israel.  In the miracles Elisha performed we see God's caring and loving nature and also His power over the elements of His creation.

Late in the ministry of Elijah, Elijah gave a big blow to the Baal worshippers of Judah at Mount Carmel when he challenged the prophets of Baal and killed all 450 prophets of Baal and then ended the three and half years of famine with abundance of rain.  Still the King or the people did not fully turn back to the God of Israel.  At this point of time God asks Elijah to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat as his successor.  Before Elijah was taken to heaven Elisha asked for double portion of the spirit of Elijah and God granted it to him.  Elisha started his ministry with this empowerment from God and the miracles he did in his ministry were signs to the people of Israel about the power of God, his compassion and love for them.

Main Ideas: 

Elisha was the successor to the great prophet Elijah. Late in the ministry of Elijah, Elijah gave a big blow to the Baal worshippers of Judah at Mount Carmel when he challenged the prophets of Baal and showed to the people of Israel that the God of Israel was the real God and not Baal or any of the idols they worshipped. Elijah then killed all 450 prophets of Baal and then prayed for rain and ended the three and half years of famine with abundance of rain.  Still the King or the people did not fully turn back to the God of Israel.  At this point of time God asked Elijah to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat as his successor.  Before Elijah was taken to heaven Elisha asked for double portion of the spirit of Elijah and God granted it to him.  Elisha started his ministry with this empowerment from God.

God acted through Elisha and he performed so many miracles, people came to realize that he was a man of God and the number of his disciples increased and their meeting place became too small for them.  The disciples suggested to Elisha that they go to the Jordan and cut trees and build a bigger meeting place for them there.  Elisha agreed to this and the disciples invited him to accompany them.  They went to the Jordan and began to cut down the trees.  As one of them was cutting down a tree his ax head fell into the water.  He went to Elisha and cried out that his ax head fell into the water and that it was borrowed. To the disciple who borrowed the ax head, it was a great loss and he could not even think of going to the owner of the ax head and tell that he lost the ax head. 

In those days iron implements were very scarce and those who had them, put a great value on them and took utmost care in keeping and using it.  Now a days, iron implements or any kind of tools are readily available and are cheap to purchase or even rent.  

  This is the reason why he went to Elisha and cried out that he lost the ax head and that it was borrowed.  The disciple was that upset.  Elisha immediately knew the disciples predicament from his voice and asked where did it fall? and was shown where the ax head fell.  Elisha cut a stick and threw where the ax head fell and made the iron ax head float and asked the disciple to pick up the ax head and the disciple obeyed and picked up the floating ax head.

This simple miracle, in which God acted through the prophet Elisha , tells us that God, our Heavenly Father,  cares about us and all our problems whether small or big, which affects us are a concern for Him too and He will act on it. This is the reason why Peter in his Epistle to the Hebrew Christians wrote "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).

 

 

Activities: 

Open up your Bible and go to 2 Kings, read the miracles Elisha did from Chapter 2 through Chapter 13 and find out the miracle you like the most.  Tell it in the class and why you liked it.  Read the surprising story about what happened after Elisha's death in Chapter 13: 20-21.

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Who was Elijah?

a. Elisha's father b. Greatest of the Old Testament prophets c. Trouble maker d. Who foretold Jesus's second coming. (Answer - Greatest of the Old Testament prophets)

2. Elisha was the son of .......

a. Ahab b. Elijah c. Elkanah d. Shaphat  (Answer - Shaphat)

3. What did Elisha ask for from Elijah before God took Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind?

a. Double portion of Elijah's spirit b. A magic wand c. Power to do miracles d. Power to interpret dreams. (Answer - Double portion of Elijah's spirit)

4. Why did Elisha and the disciples go to the Jordan?

a. To swim b. To cut wood and build a bigger meeting place c. To hunt and catch fish d. To trek on foot for exercise. (Answer - To cut wood and build a bigger meeting place)

5. Why was the disciple so upset when he lost the ax head into the river Jordan?

a. It was made of gold b. He feared his father's scolding c. Iron tools were scarce and he borrowed it d. Elisha will scold him. (Answer - Iron tools were scarce and he borrowed it)

6. What does this lesson teach us?

a. God cares even for our little problems b. Elisha's magic stick c. Be careful when you cut wood d. Don't use ax to cut wood. (Answer - God cares even for our little problems)

 

Values for Life: 

When you are happy praise the Lord.

When you are sad think about the smiling face of Jesus who loves you.

When you have problems, bring it to God through Jesus Christ in prayer.

Life Response/My Decision: 

Prayer to God is my answer to my needs and problems, Why? Because God cares about me. 

Memory Verse: 

1 Peter 5: 7

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

 

 

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord thank you for bringing us all together to learn about you and the prophets who served you.  Help us to understand your love for us and how you care about our needs.  Help us to apply this in our daily life and depend only on you when we are faced with a need or a problem and raise that to you in our prayers.  Start in us a desire to be in touch with you every day through our prayers and live a life pleasing to you.

In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

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11 God our refuge

UNIT #: 
III
Lesson Theme: 
In God's supermacy we have sufficiency and security.
Aim: 

To understand that God is sufficient in every circumstance of the life. 

Bible Passage: 

Psalm 46

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 46

God’s Defense of His City and People

To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.Selah

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The Book of Psalms are praises of a people who God "Yahweh" chose and entered into a covenant relationship.  The title Psalms is derived from the Greek word psalmos, meaning a poem sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments.  In the Hebrew Bible the title for this book is 'Sepher Tehillim' which means "Book of Praises'; Tehillim means praises.

Korahites are members of the Hebrew tribe of Levi or the Levite's.  The Levite's were either priests in the Temple or played music in the Temple.  Some of them were also guards in the Temple. In the Book of Numbers Chapter 16 we read about one of the Levite Korah, who lead a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. The Lord God punished Korah and his followers for the rebellion and the earth opened up and swallowed them. God spared some members of the Korah family and their successors were later known as the Korahites. Sons of Korah or the Korahites  knew firsthand that the Lord God dwells in the midst of His people and that Korah and his followers were swallowed by earth for their rebellion.

Psalm 46 is one of the twelve attributed to the sons of Korah, a family of Levitical singers. The word Alamoth means - with virgins; which denotes that the psalm is to be sung by Soprano or female voices.

Psalms 46 is part of a group of Psalms called 'Zion Psalms'.  These Psalms are based on the conviction that Zion, the City of Jerusalem, which enshrines the temple is the place of "Yahweh's" presence in the midst of His people.  This is one of the best known Psalms in this group.  The hymn 'A Mighty Fortress is our God' written by Church reformation leader Martin Luther is based on this Psalm. 

The Psalm is divided into three strophes (structural division of a poem) and each concludes with a choral refrain and two of them on the theme of 'God is with us' (Immanuel) and God of Jacob is our refuge.

The term 'Selah' - is a signal for musical interlude and the singing of refrain; it can also mean 'stop and listen' to what you heard and an instruction to measure carefully and reflect upon what you heard. 

 The hosts of heaven are the multitude of angels God has under his command and they are often referred as the hosts of heaven or heavenly hosts (Isaiah 45:12).  God Himself is the commander of this mighty host or army of angels and thus referred in the Psalm as the Lord of hosts.    

The Psalm announces that the confidence of the believer or faithful is based on the divine sovereignty of the creator of the universe and King whose rule on the earth is made known and celebrated in Zion.  

Another notable feature of this Psalm is that two of the strophe's end with the verse "the God of Jacob is our refuge".  God in his wisdom chose Jacob, an ordinary person who was a scheming self made man and changed his heart to trust God fully and blessed him and used him to bring salvation to mankind through Jesus Christ.  Jacob's story shows the nature of man and also the loving and forgiving nature of God and the Psalmist is reminding us that the God of Jacob is a loving, trustworthy and faithful God.

 

 

Main Ideas: 

The Book of Psalms are praises of a people who God chose and entered into a covenant relationship.  The people God so chose were the Israelites.  The word Psalms is derived from the Greek word 'psalmos', meaning a poem sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments.  The Psalms are believed to be written by Moses, David, Asaph, Solomon, Ethan and the sons of Korah.  

Korah was a Levite who lead a rebellion against Moses and Aaron and God punished them and the earth opened up and swallowed them(Numbers Chapter 16).  Some members of the Korah family were spared and their successors were later known as Sons of Korah or the Korahites.

Korahites are a family of Levitical singers.  Psalms 46 is part of a group of Psalms called 'Zion Psalms'. These Psalms are based on the belief that God's presence is in Zion or the City of Jerusalem and its temple and among His people.  Psalms 46 is one of the best known Psalm in the group.

The Psalm is divided into three parts (strophes). The term 'Selah' is a signal for musical interlude and the singing of a chorus (refrain) and it can also mean 'to stop and listen' to what you heard and also an instruction to measure carefully and reflect upon what you heard.  

The hosts of heaven are the multitude of angels God has under his command and they are often referred as the hosts of heaven or heavenly hosts.  God Himself is the commander of this mighty host or army of angels and thus referred in the Psalm as the Lord of hosts.    

The Psalm announces that, the confidence of the believer or faithful is based on the divine power and sovereignty of God who is the creator of the universe and who reigns over it, yet still is ever present with the believers when they are in need to protect and take care of them. 

The psalmist in the first part announces that what ever happens around the believer, natural calamities or other wise the psalmist has the confidence that God will be our refuge and he will sustain us through it or he will be there to help us through it.  In other words God is always a present help, a help we will always find when we need and seek and God is sufficient for all the circumstances in life.

In the second part, the Psalmist mentions about the presence of God in the city He has chosen, it is the City of Jerusalem, and God dwells in the midst of the city and among His people.  The city and the people who live in the city are glad that God dwells among them.  The Psalmist then mentions about the river whose gentle streams make the city dwellers glad even when nations upraise and uproar around them.  The river means, the presence of God and God's words and ordinances which are streams of life for the believers and they are confident that when morning comes God is going to use his word or power to subdue their enemies.  Their confidence is in the presence of the God of Jacob in their midst and His sufficiency. 

In the third part, the Psalmist shows that, by the power of God He can defeat the enemies of His people and destroy all enemy weapons and cease all wars and His people will have to realize that.  Because of God's power and the way He defeated the enemies, God's name will be exalted among nations and all over the earth.  The God of Jacob is in the midst of His people and He is the refuge of His people and He is sufficient for everything in their life.

The Psalmist by mentioning God as the God of Jacob, is reminding us that the God of Jacob is a loving, trustworthy and faithful God.  God in His wisdom chose Jacob a scheming self made man and changed his heart to trust God fully and blessed him to bring salvation to mankind  through Jesus Christ.  Jacob's story shows the nature of man and also the loving and forgiving nature of God.  

 

 

References:

Understanding The Old Testament (Fourth Edition)- Bernhard W. Anderson 

Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee- Vol. II

Activities: 

Make a Poster with one or more of the verses from Psalms 46.  Draw, sketch or cut out and paste on a paper, color it if needed, with the verse you like most.  You can draw, cut out pictures from magazines, download from internet.  Use your imagination to make it beautiful and outstanding.  Show and tell your class why you liked the verse(s) you chose.  Post it in your bedroom. 

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

1. Why is the Psalm writer not afraid?

a. He depends on God b.He depends on his power and strength c.He depends on his brain power d. He depends on his friends and family.

2. One word for 'God is with us'.

a. Amen b. Immanuel  c. Selah d. Haleluiah

3. Which is the City of God?

a. London b. Tel Aviv c. Jerusalem d. Washington

4. What make the people of the City of God glad or happy?

a. The word of God b. Weather c. Food d. Theme park

5. Why does the Psalm writer call God, God of Jacob?

To show the loving and forgiving nature of God and the nature of man.  

Values for Life: 

God is sufficient in all circumstances of life and God is a present help.  

 

Life Response/My Decision: 

In God I find safety and strength.

Memory Verse: 

Psalm 46:1

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 46

God’s Defense of His City and People

To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord thank you for letting us know through your word that you are present with us all the time.  As you are with us all the time we are safe and secure.  Help us to realize this when we are faced with problems and help us to seek you in our good times and bad times.  Thank you for sending us Jesus to show your love to us and your willingness to shed His blood for our salvation.  Help us to realize this everyday of our life.  In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

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