Monday, June 30, 2014

Lesson - Samson and Delilah

VERSES:  Judges 16:4-31

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 16:28   "...O LORD God, remember me, I pray thee..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   3 John, Write "3 John" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.

PRAYER:   May we choose our friends wisely, making sure they love the LORD like we do. Good friends can help us get to heaven, just like we can help our friends toward their heavenly home.

SPECIAL SONG:   God Raised Up Fifteen Judges (see June - Lesson - Deborah, A Female Prophet on this blog). The Family In God's Plan (see March -Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).

VISUAL AID:  Large Activity (see Activity below)


  • After a while, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The leaders of the Philistines knew that Samson loved Delilah, so they came to Delilah and told her to entice him or to bat her eyelashes at him and wink at him and things like that. They wanted to know what made Samson so strong because they wanted to bind him and hurt Samson, and they thought that Samson might tell Delilah the secret of his strength. They told Delilah that if she could find out what made him strong, then each one of the leaders would give her eleven hundred pieces of silver which was a lot of money!
  • Even though Samson loved Delilah, she must not have loved him because she asked him over and over what made him strong. Delilah was not even Samson's friend! One time he told her that if someone would bind or tie him up with seven green willow cords that had never been dried, then he would be very weak, just like any other man. When Samson told Delilah this, she thought he was serious because she told the leaders of the Philistines and they brought her seven willow cords and she tied Samson up. Then she had Philistines hiding in her house and when she called out, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!", he broke the seven dried willow cords like they were nothing. So, the secret of his strength was not known.
  •  Delilah whined and said, "Samson! You are making fun of me! You lied to me! Now, tell me what can you be bound with." So Samson told her another story. He said that if he was tied up in brand new ropes that no one had ever used, then he would be just like a weak man. So, guess what? Delilah, who wanted money instead of Samson's love and friendship, took brand new ropes, tied Samson up, had Philistines waiting to capture Samson, and shouted to him, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!" Samson broke the ropes just like they were thread. So, the secret of his strength was not known.
  • Another time, Delilah cried to Samson and said, "Samson, you are again making fun of me! Tell me what you can be bound with!" So Samson told Delilah another story. He said that if his hair was woven in seven locks in the web that he would be like any other man. Delilah, again, did as he said. She wove his hair up into seven locks and she fastened it with a pin. She shouted at him again, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!" But Samson woke up out of his sleep and went away with the pin in his hair and was just as strong as he ever was. So, the secret of his strength was not known.
  • Delilah pouted and cried and said, "Samson, how can I say I love you when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me three times and still have not told me what makes you strong." She said this day after day after day after day until Samson was so tired of it that he finally told her all that was in his heart. He said, "I have never had a razor come upon my head because I have been a Nazarite since I was born. If I am shaved, my strength will leave me and I will become weak just like any other man." When Delilah saw that Samson had really told her his secret, she called for the leaders of the Philistines and said, "Come right now! Samson has told me his secret!" So the leaders brought her the money. While Samson was sleeping on Deliliah's knees, she had a man come in and shave off the seven locks on his head. Samson's strength left him because a razor had cut his hair. He told his secret and now he had disobeyed God because God had said that a razor should never touch his head. But Samson did not know he was not strong anymore until Delilah shouted, "Samson! The Philistines are upon you!" When he woke up, he thought he would be just as strong as ever, but the Spirit of the LORD had left him. The Philistines took Samson outside and blinded him, so he couldn't see any more. They chained him up with fetters or chains of brass to the grinder in the prison. We never hear of Delilah again. But...after a while, Samson's hair began to grow.
  • One day all of the leaders of the Philistines had gathered together in a huge temple and were going to sacrifice to Dagon, their god that was an idol. They were happy that their god had delivered Samson their enemy into the Philistines' hand. When the Philistines' hearts were merry, they called for Samson, so they could make fun of him. They called him out of the prison and set him between two pillars of the temple. There was a little boy that held Samson by the hand and Samson said to the boy, "Let me feel the pillars, so that I can lean on them." The temple was full of men and women and all of the leaders of the Philistines were there. Up on the roof there were at least 3,000 men and women, watching Samson. 
  • That's when Samson called to the LORD God, and said, "O LORD God, remember me and strengthen me only this one time, O God, that I might be avenged for my two eyes." Samson put one hand on the left pillar and one hand of the right pillar and said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" Samson bowed himself and pushed with all of his might because the LORD had restored Samson's strength again. The house fell down and all the people that were in the temple, including Samson, died. The Bible says that Samson killed more people at his death than he ever killed when he was alive. 
  • Samson's father and brothers came and took Samson and buried him. Samson judged Israel twenty years.

"Older Student" Tips:

  • Discuss Samson's obsession with getting revenge. Remember the riddle? A consequence of Samson's revenge was that it cost him an early death since he had only judged Israel twenty years.
  • Talk about making friends. Samson had made friends with an ungodly person named Delilah. She did not love the LORD God and Samson made a BIG mistake in trusting her with such a valuable secret. She only pretended to be his friend for money. Read 1 Corinthians 15:33 and talk about how our friends can make us do wrong things sometimes when we normally would not do those things if those friends were not with us. We need to choose our friends wisely and make sure they are not "fair-weathered" friends or only our friends in the good times.

ACTIVITY:   Samson Destroys The Philistine Temple
Materials needed:  9" x 12" red construction paper, two 2" x 11" white construction paper strips, 5" x 7" tan construction paper, glue, crayons, scissors.

  1. Hand out red paper to students. This is the background.
  2. Hand out the white strips.
  3. Coming down about 1.2", snip in a bit, cut down the strip to about 1/2" at the bottom, then snip out. Cut the other side the same way. This is a pillar.
  4. Cut second pillar the same same way as the first.
  5. Draw black lines down the pillars (see picture).
  6. Hand out tan paper.
  7. Student draws Samson with arms outstretched, muscles bulging, and, of course, patches over his two eyes.
  8. Glue both pillars tilted on red paper. (See picture).
  9. Glue Samson in middle of pillars. Nice if his hands touch the pillars.
  10. Write "Samson Destroys The Philistine Temple" and "Judges 16:29, 30."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lesson - Samson's Revenge

VERSES:   Judges 15:1-20

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 15:20  "And (Samson) judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  2 John.  Write "2 John" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class.

PRAYER:   May we try to be as patient and kind to our family and friends and neighbors as we possibly can be.

SPECIAL SONG:   Be Patient And Kind (see  April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see Activity below). Map showing the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah.

  • Later, during the wheat season, Samson went to visit his bride and had brought food with him. Her father would not let Samson in the house because he said that he truly thought that Samson had hated her for telling the Philistines the answer to his riddle. Her father had given her to be the bride of a Philistine friend at the feast. He suggested Samson marry her younger sister.
  • Instead, Samson caught 300 foxes, turned them tail to tail, and tied them with a firebrand, which was something like a torch or a rag with oil on it, in the middle of their tails. He set the firebrands on fire and let the foxes run wild in the middle of the Philistines' grain fields. Not only did it burn up the shocks, but also the standing grain, the vineyards, and the olive trees!
  • When the Philistines saw what had happened, they asked who had done this to them. Others answered, "Samson because Samson's bride was given away." The Philistines were ruthless people and, once again, they showed their ruthlessness by killing Samson's used-to-be-bride and her father. When Samson found out about their deaths, he said that he would not rest until he had avenged their deaths, and he killed a great many of the Philistines that day. Then Samson went and lived in the top of the rock Etam.
  • Pretty soon, the Philistines went up and invaded Judah's land. The men of Judah came out and asked the Philistines, "Why are you camping in our land?" The Philistines said they were trying to find and bind Samson and do to him what he had done to them. So 3,000 men of Judah went to the rock Etam and said to Samson, "Don't you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? Why did you do this to the Philistines?" Samson said, "As they did to me, I have done to them." The men of Judah said they were coming to bind up Samson and take him back to the Philistines. Samson made them promise that they would not hurt him. They bound him in new cords and took him off of the rock.
  • When Samson was taken to the Philistines, they shouted at him. The Bible says that the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on Samson and he shook off the new cords like they were nothing. He looked around and found the jawbone of a dead donkey  He put the jawbone on his hand and started killing Philistines. In the end, he killed 1,000 Philistines with that jawbone. Samson could have only done that with God's help. There was a reason for all of this killing, and we shall see soon what that reason is. Samson judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. God had a plan.
"Older Student" Tips:

  • Read Matthew 7:12. Sometimes people call this the Golden Rule. It is a very good rule to live by. Did Samson live by this rule? Did the Philistines live by this rule? Revenge is never good. Read Romans 12:18, 19. We should always try to live in peace with our neighbors and family because we know that the LORD will be the one to judge and that vengeance is God's. In this case, God was using Samson to get the result that He wanted.

ACTIVITY:   Samson And The New Ropes
Materials needed:  9" x 12" tan construction paper, 6" twine, scissors, crayon or marker.

  1. Hand out tan paper to students.
  2. Student draws a strong Samson (with long hair).
  3. Cut out Samson.
  4. Color Samson.
  5. Write "Samson" on Samson's shirt.
  6. On back of Samson, write "Judges 15."
  7. Unravel twine, so that there are at least two pieces of twine.
  8. Tape one piece of unraveled twine on the back of Samson.
  9. Studen can gently "shake off" Samson's new ropes.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lesson - Samson's Riddle

VERSES:   Judges 14:1-20

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 14:14   "...Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   1 John.  Write "1 John" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of the class.

PRAYER:   May we always stay close to God and His Word, treasuring it in our hearts.

SPECIAL SONG:   God Raised Up Fifteen Judges (see June - Lesson - Deborah, A Female Prophet on this blog). The Family In God's Plan (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4  on this blog).

VISUAL AID:   Honey to taste for older students (toddlers can have trouble digesting honey - google it!)  Large Activity (see Activity below)


  • During the times when Samson lived, the Philistines were the enemy because they ruled over God's people due to the Israelites' disobedience and rebellion to God's Words. The people had cried and prayed to the LORD to deliver them once again from the Philistines' rule and God had listened. Samson was now a grown man and God was going to use Samson to begin to deliver His people (Judges 13:5), but Samson and his family did not know exactly how Samson would fulfill this task.
  • One day Samson went to town and saw a woman of the Philistines and wanted her to be his wife. Samson told his father this and told him to get her for him because she pleased him. His father and mother did not understand why Samson wanted an ungodly Philistine wife. They wanted him to choose a wife from God's people. Let's look in the Bible to see why Samson wanted a wife from the Philistines. Let's turn to Judges 14:4 and read. (Read verse.) Let's put our bookmarks right here. God was going to use this event to deliver His people! 
  • As Samson, his mother, and his father went to town, they came  to a vineyard. While Samson was alone, there was a young lion that roared at him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon Samson and he killed the lion with nothing but his own two hands. He did not tell his mother and father what he had done. Samson went down the road a little farther and talked with the woman and she still pleased him. On the way back, he passed by the carcass of the young lion and there was a swarm of bees and honey inside the carcass of the lion. He stopped and put his hands in the carcass, scooped up some of the honey and ate it as he walked. He met his mother and father, offered them some of the honey, they ate some of the honey, but he did not tell them that he had taken it out of a dead lion's carcass. 
  • After a while, Samson's father went down to talk to the young woman while Samson made a feast or party like it was the custom for young men getting married to do. When the Philistine men saw what Samson was like, they brought thirty friends to stay at the feast with Samson. Samson told the thirty men that the feast was going to last seven days. He said he would tell them a riddle. If at the end of the seven days, they could answer the riddle, then he would give them each thirty sheets and thirty changes of clothing, but if they could not answer, then each of the men would give Samson a sheet and a change of clothing.. The Philistine men agreed and asked Samson to tell them the riddle. Samson said,
"Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
  • For three days, the Philistine men thought about the riddle, but could not come up with an answer. Finally, on the seventh day, the men told Samson's bride that she had better get the answer to the riddle from Samson or they would burn her and her family to death.
  • Samson's bride cried and whined and told Samson that he hated her and that he didn't love her. She said he asked a riddle of her people, but had not told her the answer. Samson answered her and said that he hadn't even told his own mother and father the answer, why should he tell her. She cried all the time the feast lasted and, finally, Samson had had enough, so, on the last day of the feast, he told her the answer to the riddle. She quickly told the answer to the Philistine men.
  • Before the sun went down on the last day of the feast, the men came to Samson and said, 
         "What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion?"
          Samson replied to the men, "If you had not asked my bride, then you would not have                     known the answer."
  •  The Bible says that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Samson again, and he went out and killed thirty men who were of the enemy and took their clothes and gave them to the thirty Philistine men to fulfill their agreement. Samson was VERY angry as we went back to his father's house. Samson did not know it, but his bride was given to one of the Philistine men who had been at the feast and they got married. Trouble was just beginning!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Discuss how "looks aren't everything." Just because someone is beautiful, that is not a good reason to marry. It is never too early to talk about the generic issue of marriage to young ones.
ACTIVITY:   Samson's Riddle
Materials needed:  6" x 8" white construction paper, 4" x 4" brown construction paper, 2" x 3" yellow construction paper, scissors, tape, marker or crayon.
  1. Hand out white paper.
  2. Fold white paper in half, width-wise.
  3. On folded, edge, cut out five strips, being careful not to cut to the edge of the paper.
  4. Unfold white paper. This is the lion's carcass.
  5. Write "Samson's Riddle" and "Judges 14:14, 18" on edge of lion's carcass.
  6. Hand out brown paper.
  7. Roll brown paper into a cone. The is the bee's hive where the swarm of bees were..
  8. Secure with tape.
  9. Round corners off of yellow paper. This is the honey.
  10. Stuff honey into cone. (see picture)
  11. Gently, insert cone in and out of a white strip or two, so the cone will stay in place.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lesson - Samson Promised

VERSES:  Judges 13:1-25

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 13:24   "And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   2 Peter.  Write "2 Peter" on small slips of paper and hand out to students as they leave the classroom.

PRAYER:   May we always obey the LORD and do as He says. Thank God for the Bible that tells us what pleases Him and what does not.

SPECIAL SONG:   God Raised up Fifteen Judges (see Lesson - Deborah, A Female Prophet on this blog). Gideon (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).

VISUAL AID:   A large Activity (see Activity below)

  • The children of Israel had forgotten God again and had been under bondage to the Philistines for forty years when the LORD raised up another judge. 
  • There was a man named Manoah and his wife who did not have any children, but they wanted a baby very badly. One day an angel of the LORD appeared to Manoah's wife and told her that she was going to have a baby, but there three things that she could not do:  1) She could not drink wine or any strong drink, 2) no razor could touch his head, and 3) she could not eat anything 'unclean'. Do you remember what an 'unclean' animal was? That's right! A pig, a lizard, a buzzard, etc. Her sweet little baby was going to be a Nazarite to God from his birth to his death. The baby would not drink any wine or beer or any strong drink and he would not eat any unclean animal his whole life! The angel told her one more thing about her baby: He would deliver the nation of Israel out of slavery from the Philistines.
  • When the wife told her husband about the meeting and how she was told that she was going to have a baby, Manoah prayed to the LORD and asked that the angel be sent back to him again to teach him how to raise the child. God listened and granted the request that the angel appear again.  When the angel came again, the woman was sitting in a field, but Manoah was not with her. She ran to get her husband and Manoah came to talk to what he thought was a man. He did not know that the angel was an angel. Manoah asked how they should train this child. The angel repeated what he had told the woman: 1) She could not drink anything that came off the vine or strong drink, 2) no razor could touch his head, and 3) she could not eat anything unclean. Manoah asked if he would stay and eat with them, but the angel said that he could not, adding that Manoah could offer an offering to the LORD if he wanted. When Manoah asked the angel his name, the angel said that his name was a secret. As Manoah offered a sacrifice on a rock, the angel did something special. As the flame from the offering went up towards heaven, the angel went up into the flame and disappeared. Manoah and his wife saw what happened and knew that he was an angel. 
  • A little later, just like the angel of the LORD said, a baby boy was born and they named him Samson. As the child grew, the LORD blessed him. 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Judges 13:25 says that the Spirit of the LORD stirred within Samson at times. Samson was going to be a judge who would deliver the nation of Israel from the Philistines.
  • Talk about the things a Nazarite could not do.
  • Manoah asked the angel how they should raise a child. Is this a good question to ask? (Manoah shows what a good example of a father he is, asking this question.)
ACTIVITY:  Samson - A Nazarite To The LORD
Materials needed:  9" x 12" orange construction paper, 6" x 6' purple construction paper, 6" x 6" pink construction paper, 1/2" x 4" blue construction paper, 1" x 3" white paper, 3" x 6" red construction paper, scrap of green paper, scrap of brown paper, glue, scissors, black marker or crayon.
  1. Hand out orange paper to each student. Set aside.
  2. Hand out purple paper and cut out 8 or 9 circles.
  3. Glue circles to one side of paper, forming a cluster of grapes.
  4. Cut a leaf out of green paper.
  5. Glue leaf to grapes.
  6. Cut a small branch out of the brown paper.
  7. Glue brown branch to cluster of grapes (see picture).
  8. On other side of orange paper, glue blue paper. This is a razor handle.
  9. Glue white paper to resemble a contemporary razor that the students would recognize.
  10. Cut  one 3" circle, one 1" circle, and one tiny circle out of the pink paper.
  11. Glue largest circle on orange paper.
  12. Glue middle circle INSIDE largest pink circle.
  13. Glue smallest circle INSIDE middle circle.
  14. Draw two "w"s for hooves on pig.
  15. Draw two "v"s on top of middle pink circle for ears.
  16. Draw two dots on middle circle for eyes.
  17. Draw two dots on tiny pink circle for nostrils.
  18. Draw squiggle for tail.
  19. Cut red paper into six skinny strips.
  20. Glue two strips on each picture in an "x." (Symbolic for 'NO").
  21. Write SAMSON - A Nazarite to the LORD" and "Judges 13:5" at the top of the orange paper.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lesson - Gideon And His Brave 300

VERSES:   Judges 7:1-25

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 7:20  "...The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   1 Peter.  Write "1 Peter" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class.

PRAYER:   May we be brave like Gideon, knowing that God is with us.

SPECIAL SONG:   God Raised Up Fifteen Judges (see June - Lesson - Deborah, A Female Judge on this blog).  Gideon (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).

VISUAL AID:   Large Torch and trumpet (see below under Activity), and maybe a nice pitcher from home if you have one (you don't need to break it!).

  •  Early in the morning, Gideon and all the the people who were with him camped by a well, so that the Midianites were camped north of Gideon and his people beside a hill, but down in a valley. God told Gideon that there were too many people with him. If they won the battle against the Midianites, then the people might say that they won all by themselves without any help from God and that would not be true. So Gideon told the people that whoever was afraid or fearful could go back home. 22,000 people left, leaving 10,000 people with Gideon. 
  • Again, God said that there were still too many people! God said to bring the people down to the water and anyone who lapped up the water like a dog or got down on his knees, to set them aside, so the number of men that cupped their hand like this (show students) and put the water up to their mouth and drank was 300. God told Gideon that He would save Gideon and give the Midianites in his hand by using those 300 men who were set aside. God said to let all the others go home.So the people took their food in their hands along with their trumpets and all the other people went home while the Midianites camped below the Israelites in that valley. 
  • On that same night, God told Gideon to get up and go down and fight the Midianites because God was going to give them into Gideon's hand. He said not to be afraid, but to go down the hill with his servant and listen to what the enemy was saying and afterwards Gideon's hands would be strengthened. 
  • Let's turn to Judges 7:12 and see how many Midianites and Amalekites Gideon and his brave 300 men were going to need to fight. (Read verse). Let's put our bookmarks right here. Wow! The enemies were just like a swarm of grasshoppers! Thousands of them! No one could count how many camels they even had! They were just like the sand at the beach! 
  • When Gideon got close to the enemies' camp, he heard a man tell a dream he had to another man. He said that he had dreamed a dream and a cake of barley bread had tumbled into the Midianites' camp and rolled into a tent and struck the tent so that the whole tent collapsed! His friend had said to the dreamer that that was the sword of Gideon! The man said that into Gideon's hand God had given Midian and the whole camp! When Gideon heard that, he worshiped God and went back to the camp and told the 300 men to get ready because the LORD had delivered Midian in to their hand.!
  • Gideon then divided his 300 men into three groups and every one had their own trumpet, an empty pitcher, and a lamp or torch inside each pitcher. Gideon told the men to watch him and to copy him. When Gideon came outside the camp, so should they. When Gideon blew his trumpet, everyone should blow on their trumpets and shout "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
  • So Gideon and his brave 300 men went outside the camp, blew their trumpets,  broke the pitchers, and held their lamps in their left hands and cried out, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!" Then they stood in their place all around the camp and the entire enemy army cried out as they ran away. When the three hundred men blew their trumpets, every Midianite soldier took out their swords and started fighting each other! The Midianites tried to run far away to escape, but Gideon sent messengers throughout Mount Ephraim asking the other Israelite tribes or families to come and help them fight the Midianites by guarding the springs, streams and the Jordan River. Gideon was truly a mighty man of valor with his brave 300 mighty soldiers won the battle that day. God can use a few people to do great things!
"Older Student" Tips:

  • Define "valor."  (Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle)
  • Discuss how numbers have never been important to God. He can use anything to win a battle and the things He uses are simple. What simple things did the Israelite soldiers use to win the battle with the Midianites?
  • Talk about having the LORD on your side and what that means in times of need.

ACTIVITY:  Torches and Trumpets
Materials needed:  12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil, one 12" x 18" piece of brown construction paper, one large sheet of orange tissue paper, tape, marker or crayon.

  1. Hand out brown construction paper.
  2. Write "Gideon And His Brave 300" and "Judges 7" at the smaller top of the paper.
  3. Loosely roll brown paper. Tape to secure.
  4. Squeeze ONLY the lower half of the brown paper to create a "lamp" or "torch."
  5. Hold orange tissue paper by the middle of the paper and shake downward.
  6. Gently and loosely stuff inside the top of the lamp or torch, leaving edges showing to look like a torch.
  7. Set torch aside.
  8. Roll foil loosely.
  9. Carefully squeeze the foil into a long tube EXCEPT for the bottom of the foil.
  10. Flare bottom edges of foil to resemble a trumpet.
  11. Have all the students stand in a circle with their trumpets and torches.
  12. The Bible teacher pretends to break the pitcher, then the students hold their torches or lamps, blow their trumpets, and shout "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!"
  13. Practice again! It's fun...and it's learning!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lesson - Gideon Is Chosen

VERSES:   Judges 6:1-40

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 6:12  "...The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   James.  Write "James" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class.

PRAYER:   God has chosen anyone who obeys Him. May we always be careful in the things we do and say, making sure that we are obeying God all the time.

SPECIAL SONG:   God Raised Up Fifteen Judges (see June - Lesson - Deborah, A Female Judge on this blog).  Gideon (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog).

VISUAL AID:   A fleece of wool (or cotton) and a bowl of water. Wring out the water at the appropriate time. Draw a picture of an oak tree and a rock with the meat and little cakes on it.

  • The children of Israel enjoyed forty years of rest and peace as they obeyed God, but after that, the people again forgot God and disobeyed him. They were doing evil things and the LORD allowed the nation of Midian to rule over the Israelites for seven years. The Midianites were very cruel to the Israelites and the people ran away to the mountains and hid in dens and caves. After the Israelites had planted their crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and a few other nations came into Israel's land. They camped in their tents and let their cattle eat all of the Israelites' crops, so there was none left to grow and everything was destroyed. There were so many invaders in the land that they looked like a swarm of grasshoppers. Israel became very poor and they cried to the LORD because of the Midianites. Why did these bad things happen to the Israelites? Because they disobeyed God and did not listen to Him (Judges 6:10). This teaches us that God will always punish our disobedience.
  • God loved His people and heard their cries and raised up another prophet to help the people. One day, an angel of the LORD went to the town of Ophrah and sat under an oak tree that belonged to a man named Joash who had a son named Gideon. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress. Gideon was trying to hide the wheat from the Midianites in a winepress when the angel spoke to Gideon. The angel said, "The LORD is with you, mighty man of valor." Gideon said to the angel that if God was with him, why were all the bad things happening to the Israelites. "Now the LORD has forsaken us," he said. Do we know why all those bad things were happening to the children of Israel? YES! The people were not obeying God anymore.
  • God told Gideon that he was strong and he was going to rescue Israel from the Midianites. Gideon was a little surprised! He asked God how could he save the people since he was a poor man and he was the youngest in his family. God told Gideon that He would be with him and that he COULD save the people. Gideon was not convinced and asked for a sign or something to show him that he could do this task that the LORD wanted him to do. Gideon told the angel not to go away because he wanted to give a present to him. The angel said he would stay.
  • Gideon went in and killed a goat and started cooking it and made some little unleavened cakes. He brought the meat out in a basket and the broth was put in a small pot. The angel of God told him to take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them on a rock, pouring out the broth. Gideon did what he was commanded to do. The angel of the LORD took the rod that was in his own hand and touched the meat and the cakes and flames jumped up and burned up the meat and the cakes. Then the angel was gone and Gideon built and altar there.
  • That same night, God talked to Gideon again. He told him to take his father's second best young bull and pull down the altar that his father worshiped idols on, then to build an altar to the LORD on top of the rock. Gideon did what God said, but he was afraid of the men of the city and took ten servants with him and waited to do what God said at nighttime. When the men came out the next morning and saw that the idol's altar was torn down, they asked, "Who did this?" Someone finally said that Gideon did it. The men told Gideon's father to tell Gideon to come outside, and they would kill him for tearing down the idol's altar. Gideon's father told the men to let the idol take revenge on Gideon, not the men. From that day forward, Gideon's father called him by a new name, Jerubbaal.
  • The Midianites and Amalekites gathered together and the Bible says that the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet to tell the men to join his army. 
  • Gideon wanted God to tell him again if He really was going to help him like He said He would. Gideon took a piece of fleece of wool and put it on the floor. He said that if the fleece was wet with dew the next morning, but the ground around it was dry, then Gideon would know God was with him. He got up the next morning and there was so much dew only on the fleece that when Gideon wrung out the wool, the water filled a bowl of water! The Gideon asked God not to be mad, but if He truly was with Gideon, to do it the opposite way the next night--dew on the ground, but no water on the fleece of wool. When Gideon got up that next morning, God did just what Gideon had asked, so Gideon knew that the LORD was with him. God had chosen Gideon to deliver His people. We will study more about Gideon next time.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Discuss what 'threshing wheat' means. A picture would be nice.
  • Name other people that we have studied who had their names changed (Abram, Sarai, Jacob).
  • Talk about how God makes life hard for those who do not worship Him today. (Consequences of sin, no money for food and necessities if on drugs, etc.)
ACTIVITY:   Fleece
Materials needed:  9" x 12" yellow construction paper, 5" x 5" orange construction paper, 4" x 12" tan construction paper, 1" x 3" scrap of dark brown paper, scrap of any color paper, scrap of blue paper, two tufts of cotton batting or cotton, black crayon or marker, glue, scissors.

  1. Hand out yellow paper. This is the background.
  2. Fold yellow paper in half.
  3. Glue tan paper to the bottom of yellow paper. This is the ground.
  4. Tear dark brown paper into a mound of dirt.
  5. On the right side of yellow paper, glue dark brown paper. This is the wet ground.
  6. Cut out a small bowl.
  7. Tear out a small piece of blue paper to fit inside bowl to resemble water.
  8. In the middle of each side of yellow paper, glue cotton.
  9. Inside the yellow paper, write "#1," "water from fleece," and "bowl" on the left side of paper. See picture below. Also, draw arrows from words to correct item.
  10. Inside the yellow paper, write "#2," "dry fleece" and "wet ground" on the right side of paper.
  11. Draw a black line down the middle of paper.
  12. Turn paper over to back.
  13. Write "Was God With Gideon?" on the orange paper. (See picture above.)
  14. Fold top edge of orange paper.
  15. Glue top edge ONLY of orange paper and attach to middle of right side of yellow paper.
  16. Lift orange paper carefully and write "YES!" under orange paper. (See picture above.)
  17. Write "Judges 6" below the orange paper.
  18. Fold the paper in half again, making a good crease in the paper.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lesson - Deborah, A Female Prophet (Song)

VERSES:   Judges 4:1-5:31

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 4::4   "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Hebrews.  Write "Hebrews" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.

PRAYER:   May we always be brave enough to stand up for God's Truth and never run away from opposition. 

God Raised Up Fifteen Judges
 God raised up fifteen judges,
God raised up fifteen judges,
God raised fifteen judges,
To judge Israel.

Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah,
Gideon, Abimelech, Tola Jair,
Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon,
Samson, Eli, Samuel.

God raised up fifteen judges,
God raised up fifteen judges,
God raised up fifteen judges,
To judge Israel.

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below under Activity) or draw the mountain, the tent on the plain, and the soldiers on the whiteboard or chalkboard


  • Remember last time when we were talking about the children of Israel and how they were in a 'cycle' during the times of the judges? The people would forget God, God would get angry and not be with them and help them, then the people's lives would become miserable, they would repent and cry out to God, He would raise up a judge to deliver them from their troubles, life would be good again, and then the people would forget God again, and they would go through the cycle all over again?
  • During today's lesson, the people had forgotten God and they were very wicked. God was angry and he allowed the people to be sold to the king of Canaan. The king had 900 iron chariots and Sisera was the captain of the King's army. The Canaanites had been very mean to the children of Israel for twenty years.
  • But there was a prophetess named Deborah who was judging Israel at that time. A prophet or prophetess was one who spoke for God. God would speak to the prophet or prophetess and then they would speak God's words to the people. This is what Deborah did under a palm tree in Mount Ephraim and the people would come to her for judgments from God.
  • One day, Deborah sent for a man named Barak. She told him that the LORD commanded him to take 10,000 men to Mount Tabor and Deborah would lead the captain of the army and his soldiers to the river into the Barak's hand. But Barak was not very brave because he said that if Deborah would go with him, he would go, but if she would not go with him, then he would not go, either. Deborah said that she would definitely go with Barak, but because he would not go alone, then honor would not be Barak's, but the honor would go to a woman. 
  • Barak got his army of 10,000 men ready, along with Deborah at his side, and off they marched to the Mount Tabor. Now living out on the plain in a tent was a man named Heber who was a relative of Moses's father-in-law. 
  • When they told Sisera that Barak had gone to Mount Tabor, Sisera gathered all of his iron chariots and all the people who were with him. Deborah then told Barak, "GO! Today is the day that the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand!" So, Barak went down the mountain with 10,000 men following him. They fought with the army. 
  • The LORD made Sisera nervous and Sisera jumped down from his iron chariot and ran away on foot, but Barak chased him and killed all of his soldiers as they fought. Because Sisera trusted Heber, Sisera ran away to Heber's wife, Jair's, tent. Jair ran out to meet Sisera and said to hide in the tent and she covered him with a coat. After he drank a little milk, he laid down and went to sleep. That's when the woman, Jair, killed him. 
  • Is that what God had told Deborah and what she said would happen? YES! Would the honor of delivering the children of Israel go to a woman and not to Barak? YES! God always knows the future, doesn't He? God listened to the children of Israel's cry of repentance and He raised up a deliverer. Life got better for the Israelites after Sisera died. The land rested for forty years (Judges 5:31). We will see if the people forget God again.
"Older Students" Tips:

  • The Bible teacher might want to read of Sisera's killing more in detail in Judges 4:18-24. God provided deliverance for His people and, for a little while, they remember God and appreciate His protection.

ACTIVITY:   "Deborah" Scene
Materials needed:   9" x 12" blue construction paper, 2" x 9" light brown paper, 2" x 12" brown paper, 9" x 12" green construction paper, a scrap of any color paper, glue, scissors, crayons.

  1. Hand out blue paper to students. This is the background.
  2. Pass out 2" x 12" brown strip of paper.
  3. Glue brown strip to bottom on blue paper. This is the plain.
  4. Pass out 2" x 9" brown paper.
  5. Glue to bottom of brown strip. This is the palm tree's trunk.
  6. Pass out green paper.
  7. Fold paper in half, and in half again, lengthwise.
  8. Cut a half of a small palm leaf on the fold.
  9. Continue to use up all of the green paper in palm leaves.
  10. Glue to top of trunk, resembling a palm tree. It is nice when the leaves are sticking up off the blue paper.
  11. Cut a scrap of any color paper for a robe or dress for Deborah.
  12. With a crayon or marker, finish Deborah, perhaps with her mouth open speaking God's Word.
  13. Write "Deborah, a Judge Of Israel" and "Judges 4" at the top of the paper.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lesson - Judges

VERSES:   Judges 1-3

MEMORY VERSE:   Judges 2:18   "...when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Philemon.  Write "Philemon" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.

PRAYER:   Pray for the church all over the world that she may be strong in knowledge and in zeal. May God be with those in foreign lands, in troubled situations, and are reaching out seeking Truth.

SPECIAL SONG:   On Jordan's Stormy Banks (see June - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog.)

VISUAL AIDS:   Draw a large circle on the white board or chalk board. make a large Activity like the one below.

  • After Joshua died and all the people were in the Land of Canaan, the children of Israel were ruled by a number of judges, but one judge at a time.  The Bible does not say a whole lot about some of these judges, but others have a little more said about them. We can read in the book of Judges about how the children of Israel sinned and disobeyed God. When they did not do as God commanded, they would fall into the hands of their enemies. Then the people would cry out to God and He would raise up a judge who would lead them out of their bad situation. Once out of their enemies' hands, the people would again forget God and sin again. This was called a cycle. The people would sin and forget God, the people would cry out to God for help, God would deliver them, then they would sin again.
  • The children of Israel were faithful to God all the days that Joshua lived and as long as Joshua's friends lived, but as soon as they all died, they did something that God punished them for--they worshiped idols--something they should have NEVER done because they knew that God was the Only Living True God. The people began worshiping other gods because they had not driven all the Canaanites out of the land and they began to marry the Canaanites and--the people forgot God! They did not worship Him, they did not keep His commandments, and they did not serve Him!
  • God was extremely angry! He had brought the people out of Egypt and out of slavery, He had given them a beautiful land that flowed with milk and honey, and the people forgot Him! Bad things began to happen. The children of Israel's neighbors came and robbed them and took their belongings. Some of the people were sold to their enemies. The people had many enemies and every time the Israelites went to fight them, their enemies won.  God was not with them because He was angry that they were worshiping other gods or idols and not worshiping Him. Had God ever said that He was a jealous God? YES! When God gave Moses the commandments written on stone on Mount Sinai, He said that He was a jealous God. God had warned His people. If they would obey Him, He would be with them, but if they did not obey Him, He would not be with the people.
  • When life got so bad, the people would remember God and cry out to Him and repent or be sorry for their actions and God would listen just like He listens to our prayers today. He would listen and He would send someone to help them. He would send a judge to help.
  • There were fifteen judges who ruled over the children of Israel: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel.  
  • The first judge was Caleb's younger brother. We remember Caleb, don't we? He was one of the two faithful spies who spied out the land of Canaan and he was the one who wanted a mountain! Othniel was Caleb's younger brother and he was the first judge. A man named Ehud was the second judge. We don't know a lot about Ehud, but we do know that he delivered God's people from King Eglon by killing him. The third judge's name was Shamgar, and that is about all we know about him.
  • The Book of Judges is all about the cycle that the Children of Israel were in. For a while, the people would serve the LORD God, but whenever the judge died, the people would forget God again. God would get extremely angry again and then the enemies would come back and make the children of Israel's lives miserable. Guess what the people would do? That's right! They would cry out to God and tell Him they were sorry and God would forgive them and send them someone to help them--a judge. This would happen over and over again, many, many years.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Discuss the many good things that God had done for and given to His children,i.e. freedom from slavery, a home in Canaan, protection from their enemies, etc. 
  • Talk about why the people would forget God.
  • Explain in detail what a 'cycle' is, like a water cycle, or maybe what the children do in their day could be drawn on the board as a cycle, i.e., get up, eat breakfast, get ready for school, Math and Science, eat lunch, Reading, Spelling, go home, eat dinner, do homework, take a bath, go to bed, say prayers, sleep.
ACTIVITY:   The Cycle in the Book of Judges
Materials needed:  9" x 12" red piece of construction paper, 5" white piece of paper, six 2" x 3" yellow rectangles, one fastener, scissors, glue, crayons.

  1. Hand out red paper to each child. This is the background.
  2. Hand out white paper to students.
  3. Round corners with scissors to make a circle.
  4. Poke hole in the middle of white and red papers and place fastener. (The Bible Teacher might need to help putting fastener in the middle of the white circle and the red paper if students are young.)
  5. Write "Children Of Israel" and three arrows in circle.
  6. Write "The people forget God." on one yellow paper.
  7. Write "God gets angry and not with the people." on another yellow paper.
  8. Write "The people's lives are miserable." on another yellow paper.
  9. Write "The people repent and cry to God." on another yellow paper.
  10. Write "God listens and sends a judge." on another yellow paper.
  11. Write "Life is good." on the last yellow paper.
  12. At the top of the red paper, write "The Cycle In The Book Of Judges" and "Judges 1:1-3:31."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Memory Verse Thoughts

When is the best time to memorize something? The best time to memorize anything is when you are young! (Proverbs 22:6). Have you ever heard the adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?" The truth behind that saying is that it is usually difficult for an older person to learn new things. Is it impossible for someone of age to learn something new? Definitely not! Perhaps the reason adults have a harder time with memorization is because they have more on their minds and seem to have very little time to focus on one thing at a time. Yes, it is much easier to learn or memorize anything when you are young!

With that in mind, how is the memory work in your Bible classroom coming along? The Old Testament books may be a little difficult for children to learn to pronounce them, but they can manage, especially with a song. The New Testament books may be a little easier with fewer books to remember, but it still may be a job for some of the very young. The Bible verses that are suggested in each lesson are just that--suggestions! If you believe the assigned Bible verse is too difficult for your students, simply choose another verse or shorten the one recommended.

Encouraging young students to memorize Bible books and Bible verses and motivating them to remember can be a hard task without parental support. Here is another adage that you may have heard before, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." All the Bible teacher can do is encourage, encourage, encourage! Occasionally, peer pressure can help in a good way if all the students are excelling in memory work, but a few. The Bible teacher's mission: to encourage, to motivate, and provide a method in memorizing, i.e. songs, an opportunity and the time to learn, Bible verse projects (see June - Lesson - 12 Stones To Remember on this blog), etc. With every student, there is a way to motivate. We, as Bible teachers, just need to be patient and kind--just like we teach the children (see the song in April - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him) (Ephesians 4:32)!

MEMORY VERSE IDEA:  Fishing For A Verse
Materials needed:  Orange construction paper, paper clips, 10" string,  magnet, long stick, large bowl, water-based marker like Crayola brand.
  1. Cut simple fat fish out of the construction paper, 5" long.
  2. Draw an eye and a memory verse on both sides with a water-based marker. If you use a permanent marker like Sharpie, the marker will bleed to the other side of the fish.
  3. Place a paper clip on the tail of each fish.
  4. Tie the string on one end of the stick.
  5. Tie the magnet on the other end of the string.
The student goes 'fishing' for a Bible verse by holding the stick and lowering the magnet into the bowl until a fish is attached to the magnet. If two fish com are 'hooked' at the same time, the student may choose which verse they want to recite.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Extra Helps #2 - Pictures

Pictures always seem to make things more interesting!  Children like books with lots of pictures in them. Magazines make millions of dollars a year printing pictures. Even this blog is more appealing with pictures scattered here and there. So it is with pictures of your students in their Bible classroom. Parents may go overboard with scrapbooking and snapping their children's pictures in sports events, winning academic awards, or at home with Grandma and Grandpa, but do they have any record at all of their child's spiritual growth? "That is hard to capture" you might say and you may be right, but there is still a blank page in the memory book of Bible class.

How can we, as Bible teachers, help our students and their families remember their Bible learning times? We can take pictures! You may enjoy taking pictures of your students on their first day of Bible class and displaying them on their attendance charts or on a bulletin board. Or you might take pleasure in photographing students actually creating their Bible projects. Or perhaps a great photo opportunity might occur as the students finish their Books of the Bible recitations. 

It is nice when a picture is printed with two copies--one for the student to take home and one for the classroom wall. Another idea is to create a class book which might include pictures of the students doing their Bible work, talking with friends after class, or maybe a parent-student picture taken when the parent picks up their young child from Bible class.

It really does not matter when or how often a picture is taken. If a photo is taken only once, that is enough. The student will have a memory of Bible class that they can hold in their hand and remember their 'younger' days in Bible class where the Bible was taught.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bulletin Board - Prayer

Being uncertain exactly how to insert a blog in the middle of already 'blogged' blogs, I am adding a bulletin board into the mix every once in a while. It would be nice to have the Prayer board located near a lesson about prayer, but it looks like everything is entered by dates. Final decision: I am adding a bulletin board just like songs are added...whenever I have a new one!
Unlike previous bulletin boards on this blog, there are no exact dimensions, colors, materials, etc.for this bulletin board on Prayer which was used in a Vacation Bible School a few years back. The message on today's blog is how to create a friendly, inviting, yet biblical environment that is clearly understood by all.

Perhaps, the first step is to choose a theme for your classroom and to think about how many boards it would take to support that theme.  This is a pretty easy task for a Vacation Bible School since a typical Vacation Bible School has five main thoughts, one lesson for each day of the week. In this example, "Prayer" was the chosen as the VBS theme for this classroom. There were five main lessons to support that theme.  For example, the lessons below were selected to enlarge the thought of Prayer:

  • "I can Jesus" 
  • "I can say Thank You"  
  • "I can pray...when I need help" 
  • "I can pray...for others" 
  • "I can pray...and God hears me" 
Dividing the area that you have selected to display your bulletin boards into five lessons can be an extremely helpful tool. Everyone in the class is on the same page and everyone knows where they are headed that week! Huge letters "I CAN PRAY..." are stapled in the middle of the wall, supporting each lesson. (I think I would even use larger letters if I used this type of board again.)

The hard part may be in thinking up a visual aid or 'picture' for an abstract idea. Here, the first lesson was not difficult: Jesus was created on bended knee in the Garden of Gethsemane. Crumpling paper and folding leaves in half can add a nice 3-D effect.

The second board, too, was easier than others by displaying items for which we can be thankful, i.e. flowers, food, rain, home and family,safety, and good health (yes, those are band-aids and Advil sharing space beside a copy of Norman Rockwells' Doctor and the Doll). Here, 'real' items are used to create interest, such as cotton, empty food containers, silk flowers, etc.

The next lesson was a little more abstract. Thinking like a child, thunder and lightning might be a fear they might share with this bulletin board. Again, 'real' items are used, i.e. pajama top, small blanket, cotton for the cloud, and small stuffed animal. By creating interesting bulletin boards, children are drawn into a lesson that could be very plain. 

By using a world map and paper-doll children from different countries, the students understand that praying for others may include people in faraway countries, not only their own family and friends. Others in difficult situations away from home may also need their prayers. On the bulletin board below, the 'children' were purchased at a school supply store and the map was bought at a grocery store.

The last lesson for the last day of Vacation Bible School was perhaps the hardest for this Bible teacher. After much thought, a shiny mylar material was chosen for the children's faces in which different-sized VBS students could see their own reflections and was a good visual aid for this topic. Cotton, cellophane, layered butcher paper grass and store-bought butterflies completed the board.

These ideas can be easily applied to any subject. We have just finished our study on Joshua. We could have chosen five or six main lessons and applied this same thinking to our walls. 

Is it work? Yes! Is it worth it? YES! The environment that you create in your classroom can last in the memories of small children for a lifetime! Don't be afraid to think out of the box...but remember to keep it biblical. Always have book, chapter, and verse for everything in your room.  Keep up the good work!