Background: After the taking of their Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, the nation of Israel fell into rebellion and were defeated by their enemies. During that time God sent Judges (leaders) to help them. The very last Judge was a man named Samuel. In rebellion against God the people rejected God as their king and demanded that Samuel appoint a king over them so they could be like the surrounding nations. God mercifully directed Samuel to anoint Saul and reminded them that He still loved them. If only they would remain faithful so they could enjoy His blessings.
Ask the children…
The people were afraid that God would judge them for asking for a king. What warning did Samuel give the people before He reassured them of constant God’s love for them?
“‘Don’t be afraid,’ Samuel reassured them. ‘You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him.’” (1 Samuel 12:20)
What reassurance did God give the people regarding how God cared for them?
“The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.” (1 Samuel 12:22)
God has always been focused on His relationship with His people not the structure of their relationship. Whether the people had a human king or not didn’t matter to God, He just wanted His people to worship and trust Him. It is the same today. God just wants our hearts, He doesn’t care about what songs we sing or what we look like on the outside, etc., it is what’s in our hearts that matters to Him.
Ask your children if if their inside heart love for God matches their outside religious activities? In other words, does their love for God match what they do for God like praying, going to church, reading the Bible, serving others? Ask them to make their heart for God their special project this week. Ask God to remind them of how much He loves them and have them verbalize their love for Him back.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.