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This month's Activities section focuses on I and II Chronicles. Since many newspapers throughout the world use "Chronicle" or "Chronicles" in their name, we want to emphasize the "newsworthiness" of the history listed in these two books. This is a great time to review the cast of characters from the first twelve books of the Bible with your students. This month, we will begin including a parable or healing of Jesus.

Bible Characters covers the lives of Kings Hezekiah and Josiah.

Swap Shop offers a creative exercise for teaching the seventh commandment.

Teachers and Parents

Helping our children forgive is the basis of Caryl Krueger's article, Forgive and Forget?. How often do we listen to the heart's desire of our little ones and offer support?

Margie Eddington's Heart's Desire handles issues of relationships, family, beauty, employment and much more.

Teachers, you might like to suggest to your students' parents that they read and discuss the special Bible stories listed in Kids Korner's Bible Characters. There are stories for all ages.

Below is a sample calendar of activities and ideas to read and discuss each week in June. There is a memorization verse for each week as well. Work with your child and your students to learn each verse. Then, discuss the meaning of the verse and how it can be applied to our everyday life. On Sundays during class, riding in the car, or at dinner, it's fun to share stories of how the children have used the verse in their lives that week.

   
 
Weekly Activities Printable HTML Version Download MS Word File
May 31-June 6 May 31-June 6 May 31-June 6
June 7-13 June 7-13 June 7-13
June 14-20 June 14-20 June 14-20
June 21-27 June 21-27 June 21-27
June 28-July 4 June 28-July 4 June 28-July 4
   
 

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Week of May 31-June 6
Memorization verse: Eccl 4:12 The Message With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • What does it say about friendship?

Sunday, June 6
Ask the students to recite this week's Bible Verse.

  • How could you use this verse?
  • Why is friendship important?
  • How can a friend help you through tough times?
  • Is God your best friend?
  • What does it mean that a three-stranded rope is better?

Younger Classes and Older Classes (pick and choose from a number of activities appropriate for your age group)

   
 

I and II Chronicles are the books we are studying in June. They review everything from Genesis through II Kings. So this is a great time for review and the creation of your own Chronicle records. Check out Chronicle Newspapers and some of the stories. Encourage your students to write their own stories about their favorite characters or events.

Get the parents involved or your whole church membership for creating a Bible history. You can start small and just keep adding.

Decide which character or event in the Bible your class will research and create pictures and stories to include. It is fun to write the stories from the first person, as though you were Abraham or Hagar or Ruth or Moses.

Ask some of the adults from church to play a specific Bible character and let your students interview them for their newspaper. Of course you can always play the characters yourself and let the children interview you.

You can add a perspective piece on how that character might handle our world today.

Some research on what life was like in those days would be helpful to set the story in context.

As always, we welcome any newspaper or magazine you'd like to share with BibleWise.

   
 

Themes in the Bible

Another way to review is through various themes. Select a theme or create one of your own.

Family - create a family tree for the book of Genesis

Obedience - list the names of those who were obedient and the event that highlighted this quality.

  • Moses - when God asks him to deliver the Children of Israel from Egypt.

Siblings - list the names of brothers and sisters and talk about what they might have done differently.

  • Jacob and Esau - that Jacob would not have lied to get the birthright.
  • Leah and Rachel - that Leah would not have cheated her sister out of marrying the man she loved.

Prayer - list those who prayed and what they prayed for.

  • Hezekiah prayed to save his city; he also prayed for his health.
   
 

Commandment Activity

Last week's assignment was to rewrite the Ten Commandments in modern day language. Before discussing their revisions, review each Commandment by number.

Make the statements simple - for example:

#1 - Worship only one God.
#2 - Don't serve other images.
#3 - Don't take God's name in vain.
#4 - Keep the Sabbath holy.
#5 - Honor your Father and Mother.
#6 - Don't kill anyone.
#7 - Don't break promises.
#8 - Don't steal.
#9 - Don't lie about people.
#10 - Don't desire things that belong to someone else.

Create your own list.

Put a single number 1-10 on ten sheets of paper, a page for each one of the commandments. Fold the sheets and place them in a container where students can reach in and pull out one sheet. When they pull out the number, they announce the number and then state that number commandment. They should know the Commandments by their numbers. After they state the Commandment, ask them to share their "modern" translation of that Commandment. If it needs some change for the sake of accuracy, work with it until it truly represents the commandment. Help them write it on the slip of paper and then put it on your bulletin board or wall in your class.

   
 

See Swap Shop for an exercise using the 7th Commandment.

   
 

Use the matching chart - Review of Old Testament Characters and Events from Kids Korner to help you remember.

   
 

Here is another review exercise for children who like to be somewhat dramatic and competitive. You need to prepare this in advance of your class as homework.

"Twenty Questions" with Bible Characters

This activity produces lively discussions. Children love games. This game gives them the opportunity to become an authority on one Bible character.

Each pupil is given a sealed envelope with the name of a Bible character inside. Write on the outside of the envelope:

When class starts, each pupil will ask questions that require only "yes" or "no" responses or one-word answers. No more than twenty questions can be asked about each individual. Whenever someone has enough clues, he or she may guess who you are. Whoever guesses the most characters correctly or in the shortest number of questions, wins.

If you can guess someone's identity with less than 5 questions being asked, you get 15 points; 6-10 questions - 10 points; 11-15 questions - 5 points; 16-20 questions - 3 points.

Sample characters:

Moses
Abraham
Jacob
Esau
Joseph
Noah
Joshua
Isaac
David
Saul
Samuel
Daniel
Jonah
Jesus
Miriam
Rebekah
Rachel
Sarah
Mary
Hannah
Martha
Hagar

Sample questions:

Are you from the Old Testament?
Yes
   
Did you live prior to Moses? Yes
   
Do you interpret dreams? Yes
   
Did you fight with your siblings? Yes
   
Were you a mother? No
   
Did you have any children? Yes or two.
   
Do you believe in God? Absolutely!
   
Did you obey God? Yes
   
Did you get a special gift from your dad? Yes
   
Do you want to guess? Who is this person? JOSEPH - the son of Jacob and Rachel
   
 

Assignments:

Younger Children - read Shep and Lily's description of 7 year-old King Joash and Joash Repairs the Temple. Find the hidden Kings and unscramble men of the Old Testament.

Older Children - read The First Four Kings of Judah, The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King, and Three Kings and a Great Prophet.

Teachers: Read Bible Overview I and II Chronicles and Guest of the Month.

Week of June 7-13
Memorization verse: Ps 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • Why should we start the day praying?

Sunday, June 13

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • Talk about how important it is to pray.

Younger and Older Classes (pick and choose questions and activities appropriate for your age group)

Discuss the stories about King Joash or read. Read II Chronicles 24. Caution about reading all of the Bible version to children.

  • How old was Joash when he became king?
  • Why was he so young?
  • Why was Joash hidden in the Temple?
  • How did people influence Joash's decisions?
  • Do you let people influence what you do?
  • Who influences you the most?
  • Why must we be careful about who influences our thought?
  • What happened to Joash when he didn't listen to God?
  • What happens when you don't listen to your parents?
  • What great thing did Joash do? (Restored the Temple)

Discuss the story about King Amaziah or read II Chronicles 25 . Use discretion when reading all of this story to young children.

  • How old was Amaziah when he became king? (25)
  • How long was he king? (29 years)
  • Did he do everything God asked him to do? (In the beginning)
  • What did Amaziah do that displeased God? (After defeating the Edomites, he treated the people cruelly and brought back idols)
  • Who did he wage war against? (Joash)
  • Did he win? (No)
  • What was his downfall? (He didn't listen to God)
  • What are the benefits of listening and obeying God?

Discuss the story about King Uzziah son of Amaziah or read. Read II Chronicles 26 . Use discretion when reading all of this story to young children.

  • How old was Uzziah when he became King? (16)
  • How long was he King? (52 years)
  • What things did Uzziah accomplish? (Won back most of Judah, built cities and strong walls around them.)
  • Was he a good king? (For the most part, then he became proud and didn't obey God)
  • What is pride?
  • Why is it a bad trait?
  • What did Uzziah do that displeased God? (He entered into the holy of holies in the Temple)
  • What happened to Uzziah for breaking the law? (He became leperous and his son Jotham became king.)

All Pupils:

Have each student make a list of qualities that describe a "great" father.

Ask each child to write a letter of praise for his/her father and give it to him.

Younger Children:
Ask the parents to read the following stories to their children: The Good King Hezekiah, and The Story About a Forgotten Book.

Color the picture of Joash as the seven-year-old king.

Complete the on-line Crossword puzzle about the kings and match Fathers and Sons.

Older Children: Read The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Prophet.

Teachers: Read Bible Characters about Hezekiah and Josiah.

Week of June 14-20
Memorization verse: Prov 3:12 For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • How does God correct us?

Sunday, June 20

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • How do you know God loves you?
  • Do you think about God as your parent? Why or why not?

As this is Father's Day, ask your students to share their list of qualities about what makes a "great" father. Then list all the fathers they can think of in the Bible.

Were these "good" fathers? Explain why or why not!

How will you celebrate your father? Commandment - how will you honor your father today? Everyday?

Younger and Older Classes (pick and choose questions and activities appropriate for your age group)

Discuss the wonderful story of Hezekiah. II Chronicles 29 - Hezekiah was nothing like his father.

  • Describe King Ahaz.
  • Describe Hezekiah.
  • What is the major difference between this father and son? (obedience to God)
  • What was one of the first things Hezekiah did as king? (got rid of the idols in the Temple, he re-established the Passover feast)
  • What one unusual thing were the people worshipping? (the brass serpent)
  • What is the story behind the brass serpent? (Numbers 21:5-9)
  • Why was Hezekiah afraid of King Sennacherib? (he quit paying taxes to Sennacherib and now he wanted to destroy Hezekiah and all of Judah)
  • What did Hezekiah do with the letter he received from Sennacherib? (he spread it out in the Temple and prayed and then asked for the prophet Isaiah's advice)
  • What did Isaiah tell Hezekiah? (that this battle belonged to God)
  • What happened to Sennacherib's troops? (many died of a plague and the rest went back home - they never attacked Judah again)
  • When Hezekiah was sick and about to die, what did he ask Isaiah? (if he would live)
  • After Isaiah told Hezekiah he was going to die, what did Hezekiah do? (He prayed)

God told Isaiah to go back and tell Hezekiah he would live.

  • What did Hezekiah demand of Isaiah? (a sign)
  • What kind of a sign did Hezekiah want? (the sun to go back ten degrees)
  • Do you ever ask God for a sign?
  • What do we learn about Hezekiah? (He obeys God, he turns to God whenever he's in trouble, he prays,…)
  • Why was Hezekiah's tunnel dug? (Judah was under attack, and his enemy was just waiting to cut off the supply of water to the city. Workmen worked underground at one end by the source of the water and the others under the city. They created a tunnel with just a bit of a jog in it that would bring water to the city if they needed it. What precision to work so quickly and only be off a few feet! That's where complete faith and trust in God come in to help us accomplish all good.)
  • What other things do you know about Hezekiah?

Assignment:

Pre-school Children: Read A Man Who Cared

Younger Children: Read The Good Samaritan and A Good Neighbor. [Listen to the story of The Good Samaritan on Story Telling and put together the picture of the Samaritan helping the injured man.]

Older Children: Read The Story About a Forgotten Book and Seventy Other Disciples Sent Out; The Good Samaritan. What is your heart's desire? Read Teen Time's Hot Topic.

Teachers: Read Caryl Krueger's article, Forgive and Forget?

Week of June 21-27
Memorization verse: Ps 18:2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • Why is God our strength?

Sunday, June 27

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • What is a buckler?
  • What does it mean, "the Lord is my rock"?
  • How do you know God as "deliverer"?

Create a Prayer Book - give each pupil a 5x7 notebook or smaller, or ask their parents to purchase one. Talk to your students about the elements of prayer. Ask them to write a prayer in their notebooks. Have each one read his/her prayers and discuss them. Use the Lord 's Prayer as a template for the different elements of prayer.

Chronicles offers some good examples of how to pray. Let's look at the prayer of Jabez.

Open your Bibles to I Chron 4: 10.

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Marjorie Eddington wrote the following for Make A Difference. Click the link to read the whole article in Teen Time.

We know that God answered Jabez's prayer, and his prayer was pretty significant. Look at it again and think about how Jabez's life might have changed once he received his heart's desire. Right away, we can assume that sorrow has left him because he has gained so much good. Now, how might our lives change if our hearts' desires are fulfilled?

Let's ask ourselves some important questions:

  • How often do we get quiet and ask God to do for us what Jabez asked?
  • How often do we ask God to bless us, give us a better life, stay with us all the time, and keep us from evil?
  • If we do ask God, do we believe that He will answer our prayer? Or are we just asking out of habit? Or are we just hoping that God will hear us?
  • Do we ask for what we really need? Or do we just ask for what we think God could possibly give us (and thus, limit our concept of God)? Or do we ask for things that we don't really need and which won't really bless us?

Recently, Jabez has become the subject for the series of books, The Prayer of Jabez, The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, and The Prayer of Jabez for Kids by Bruce Wilkinson. Wilkinson has documented how praying Jabez's prayer has improved the lives of countless individuals. They are thought-provoking books you may want to read.

Every day this month, let's pray for ourselves as Jabez prayed.
Write your prayers in your prayer journal.
Here are a few additional, helpful steps when we pray for ourselves:

  1. Get quiet and listen to God speak to our hearts.
  2. Determine what our real desires are. Start by reading the Hot Topic.
  3. Thank God for all He has already given us. This is important to do. Jesus thanked God before he healed Lazarus.
  4. Ask God to bless us. God's blessings are HUGE, never-ending, always available, always present.
  5. Ask God to "enlarge" our "coasts," however we may see that. We could see it as expanding our horizons, gaining a greater sense of home, obtaining more land, or spreading Christianity (as Wilkinson affirms).
  6. Ask God to grant our hearts' desires. Be careful not to outline or to limit God. Feel free to ask for whatever your heart truly wants, no matter how big it is.
  7. Then trust God to fulfill those desires. Once we have asked, let it go. If God doesn't want us to have something, then we certainly don't want to interfere with God's plan for us.
  8. Ask God to make us feel His presence each moment of every day. God never leaves us. We just sometimes think He's not around. God always has our hands in His. We need to let Him hold our hands.
  9. Ask God to keep us from evil, from even the temptation of evil. That's a lot like the Lord's Prayer: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matt. 6:13).
  10. Expect our request for our hearts' desires to be fulfilled. Expect to feel God's presence. Expect to be stronger than temptation and able to defeat evil of any sort.
  11. Keep a record of how God answers every prayer.

When we listen to God, speak from the heart, and honestly trust God to give us our hearts' desires, we can't help but find that our prayers change our lives. God wants to give us His very best. In fact, He's giving the best of everything He has and is. It's time to let prayer make us feel it.
MFE

Follow up with the different ways Mrs. Eddington discusses our heart's desire on Hot Topic.

As a class, make a list of the different prayers you've read in the Bible.

  • Read Hezekiah's prayers:

    II Kings 19:15-19
    And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.

  • Why is Hezekiah praying? (The King of Assyria has just announced he is going to destroy Judah)
  • How does God answer Hezekiah's prayer? (You might want to read the entire response in II Kings.)

    II Kings 19:20-36
    Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him; For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

  • Did Hezekiah have to fight? (No.)
  • What happened to Sennacherib's troops?

When Hezekiah wasn't feeling well, he prayed to God. Isaiah had just told Hezekiah that he was going to die.

Isa 38:1-9
In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

  • Discuss Hezekiah's prayer.
  • What did he say to God?
  • Did he ask God to make him better?
  • What was God's response to his prayer? (see below)

Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:

  • What is a sign?
  • Have you ever asked God for a sign?

Read II Chron 1:7-12

In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

  • What does God ask Solomon?
  • What is Solomon's heart's desire?
  • Why is this desire more important than riches?
  • How does God answer Solomon's request?
  • What do we learn about prayer from Jabez, Hezekiah, and Solomon?

Starting this month, we will include some of Jesus' parables or healings with our study of the Old Testament.

Read the story of the Good Samaritan from either version on Kids Korner or listen to the story on the story telling section or read Luke 10:25 - 37.

  • Who challenged Jesus?
  • What are the two great commandments?
  • How does Jesus define "neighbor"?
  • Who is our neighbor?
  • What kind of story does he tell the lawyer? (parable)
  • Retell the story.
    • Who might the people be today?
      • What if the injured person were someone from a different ethnic group than you? Would you stop to help?
      • Why do you think the two Jews walked away from him?
      • Describe the Samaritan.
      • Why was it so unusual for him to stop and tend to the man's wounds?
      • What did the lawyer learn from this parable?
      • What lessons did you learn from this parable?
      • How can we all express more compassion and care for one another?

Assignment:

All ages: Talk about freedom. What freedoms do you cherish? What additional freedom would you like? How do you celebrate your freedom?

Week of June 28-July 4
Memorization verse: Ps 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

   
   
  — GAL
   
 
   
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