Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lesson - Saul's First Battle

VERSES:  1 Samuel 11:1-12:25

MEMORY VERSE:   1 Samuel 12:24   "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review the sixty-six books of the whole Bible. Profusely praise whose who can recite the books!

PRAYER:   May we all serve the LORD and love Him with our whole heart.

SPECIAL SONG:   The B-I-B-L-E  (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class on this blog).

VISUAL AID:   Make a HUGE heart like the one in the Activity below.

  • In Old Testament times, there was a lot of fighting and battles and wars and killing. Sometimes God approved of the killing and fighting and sometimes He did not. It all depended on why they were fighting and who was doing the fighting. God was never afraid to defend His people and was always with them when they were obedient and served Him only. But when the people were disobedient and served other gods or idols, He was not with them and let them endure the consequences of their sin.
  • At this time, we find that there was an Ammonite named Nahash and he was not a good man. He fought against a city called Jabesh and was winning the battle when the men of Jabesh said they wanted to make covenant with the Ammonites. Nahash said that he would make a covenant if he could make them blind in their right eyes, so they would put the Israelites in a bad light. The men of Jabesh asked if they could have seven days to see if they could find someone to save them. If they could not, then they would be his servants.
  • The messengers came and told the people in the town where Saul lived everything that had happened between Nahash and the people of Jabesh. All of the people lifted up their voices and cried out loud. When Saul came in from the field, he found that everyone was crying. Saul asked, "Why are all of these people crying?" Saul listened carefully while the people told him of the sad news. Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul when he heard these things and his anger grew and grew.
  • Saul sent messengers throughout the coasts of Israel with convincing reasons why all of the people should come and help Saul and Samuel. Fear came upon the people and everyone agreed to come and help. The messengers returned with news that everyone would help and the people in the city of Jabesh were very glad.
  • The next day, Saul organized everyone into three groups and, early in the morning, they headed out to fight the battle with the Ammonites. They fought and fought until the middle of the day when it was hot and found that there were not many Ammonites left. That day, they defeated the Ammonites with Saul, the people of Israel, but, most of all, with God's help.
  • After the battle was over, Saul was a hero. At Samuel's request, everyone went to Gilgal and made Saul their king. They sacrificed offerings to the LORD and Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced or were extremely happy!
  • However, a little while later, Samuel stood before all the people and said that he was getting old and reminded them that the LORD was good to those who did His will and served Him only and not idols. He told the people that he had listened to their voice and made a king to rule over the people. He told them to love the LORD. 
  • Samuel said that God was going to perform a miracle by making it make it thunder and rain on their wheat crop (which was not a good thing) that they might see that they had done wrong in asking for a king. The people were sorry for their sins and asking for a king and asked for Samuel to ask the LORD to forgive them. Samuel told the people that he would teach them the good way, but they would need to respect and honor God and serve Him with their whole heart. But, if the people behaved wickedly, then the LORD would destroy the people and their king.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Just like in the days of Samuel and Saul, God still wants His children serve Him only and to love Him with their whole hearts. Discuss what "whole heart" means.
ACTIVITY:  The Whole Heart 
Materials needed:   9" x 12" red construction paper, 18" yarn or ribbon, heart stickers,back crayon, hole punch.
  1. Hand out red paper.
  2. Fold red paper in half.
  3. With fold on left side, draw a half of a heart.
  4. Cut out a half of a heart.
  5. Open heart.
  6. Write "...serve Him in truth with all of your heart..."  and "1 Samuel 12:24" in the middle of the heart.
  7. Place stickers in empty places on heart.
  8. Fold heart in half again.
  9. Punch one hole through two thicknesses of paper. Bible teacher may need to help with hole punch.
  10. Open heart.
  11. Feed one end of ribbon through each hole and tie a knot in the back of each hold.
  12. Place carefully around the student's neck.