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Creative Bible Lessons from the Old Testament: 12 Character Studies of Surprisingly Modern Men and Women

(Paperback - 1998)
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Overview

Okay, so they used mule mail instead of e-mail -- but they were still surprisingly modern men and women. With emotions, decisions, and dilemmas as raw and real as the students sitting in front of you every week. David and Rahab, Daniel and Ruth--even with their rough edges, they passionately loved Jehovah in a way today's adolescents can understand and emulate. Here are 12 Old Testament character studies, including-- Believe it or not -Abraham: Living by faith is not for wimps - Faith overcomes a fast past -Rahab: What you live is what you believe. Everything else is just talk. - The waiting game -Joseph: Trials and temptations can make us strong. - Benchwarmer to first string -Moses: Often God uses the least likely person to do great things. - Right woman, right place, right time -Esther: God has created each one of us for a purpose. - Keeping promises -Ruth: Commitment means more than saying the right words. - Bad days for good people -Job: Suffering may be the condition from which humans benefit the most. - The long way home -Jonah: Sometimes we simply say no to God. -- And to help you teach the lesson are clips from easy-to-get videos . . . games for mixing and games that teach . . . in-depth, ready-to-use questions guaranteed to spark small-group discussion . . . original role plays, scripts, dilemmas faced by these ancient but very human believers in their Yahweh. For youth workers, Sunday school teachers, and CE directors, Creative Bible Lessons from the Old Testament will help your students understand that the God who offered hope and courage to ancient history-makers still does the same for teenagers today.12 lessons.

Details

  • SKU: 9780310224419
  • UPC: 025986224417
  • SKU10: 0310224411
  • Title: Creative Bible Lessons from the Old Testament: 12 Character Studies of Surprisingly Modern Men and Women
  • Series: Creative Bible Lessons
  • Qty Remaining Online: 13
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Date Published: Apr 1998
  • Pages: 112
  • Weight lbs: 0.49
  • Dimensions: 9.10" L x 7.32" W x 0.35" H
  • Features: Price on Product, Index
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: YOUTH MINISTRY
  • Subject: Christian Education - Children & Youth

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

ABRAHAM BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Genesis 12:1-7 Genesis 21:1-7 15:1-6 22:1-12 17:1-9

INTRO

I don't believe it .

You'll need .

the video Father of the Bride, Part 2

You'll need .

3 signs as described below

Could it happen?statements on page 12

Show the humorous video clip from Father of the Bride, Part 2, where Steve Martin's and Diane Keaton's characters find out they are going to be middle-aged parents (start tape at 42:35; end tape at 45:27).

Then segue into your game by saying-

When Steve Martin and Diane Keaton find out they're going to be parents, they're surprised because they think they're too old. I'm going to test your expertise in sex education by playing a game.

(The "S" word gets everyone's undivided attention. Trust me, it works every time.)

GAME

Could it happen?

Place these three signs around your room:

Could definitely happen Could possibly happen Could never happen

Request students to stand up and move their chairs (if they need to) so they can move freely across the room. Ask them to listen as you read aloud the following seven statements. Tell them they must respond by moving to stand by the sign that expresses their opinion about whether the statement could definitely happen, could possibly happen, or could never happen.

Keep your students listening carefully and responding rapidly by reading quickly through the statements.

1. It's possible for a 70-year-old man to have a child. (Be ready for some kids to reply: "Men don't have children.")

2. It's possible for a 60-year-old woman to have a child.

3. It's possible for a 80-year-old man to have a child with a woman who is 25 years younger than he is.

4. It's possible for an 70-year-old woman to have a child with a man who is 15 years younger than she is.

5. It's possible for a 90-year-old man to have a child.

6. It's possible for a 90-year-old man to have a child with a barren woman.

7. It's possible for a 100-year-old man to have a child with a barren woman who is 10 years younger.

Periodically stop and ask students to explain their responses. (Their answers will let you know what you need to teach in your love, sex, and dating series.) When you get to statement seven, your kids should all be standing by theCOULD NEVER HAPPEN sign. Tell them that statement describes Abraham and Sarah when they gave birth to Isaac.

Segue into your Bible lesson by saying-

Most of you (with good reason) said there was no chance for that last couple to have a baby. It was hard enough for Steve Martin and Diane Keaton to believe they could have a baby in their 50s! Yet Abraham was 100, Sarah was 90, and they had never been able to have children. But God had promised Abraham that, in spite of his circumstances, he and Sarah would have a son.

Why did God wait so long to fulfill his promise? It seems God was as interested in building Abraham's faith as he was in answering his desires. Therefore, God took Abraham through a series of challenges to build him into a great man of faith. He does the same in our lives, too-if we let him.

As we look at Abraham's journey, think about your own faith journey . and how much you are able to trust God.

BIBLE LESSON

Abraham's journey of faith

Although Abraham's story occupies 12 chapters in Genesis, your lesson will focus only on his lessons in faith. If you are giving a talk, here's a suggested outline:

THE MOVE

* Genesis 12:1-7 * Describe Abraham's first test of faith and reflect on how it must have felt for him to move after years of living in Ur. (Use an illustration from your own experiences of moving to another town.)

THE PROMISE

* Genesis 15:1-6 * Describe the circumstances surrounding God's promise to Abraham.

* Genesis 17:1-9 * Explain why (as time passed) it was so difficult for Abraham and Sarah to believe they would actually have a son. (Refer back to the video clip, or add an appropriate personal illustration.)

* Genesis 21:1-7 * Ultimately, God honored his promise: Abraham and Sarah did finally have a son.

THE SACRIFICE

* Genesis 22:1-12 * Tell the story of when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.

* It seems crazy to us that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac after all it took to bring him into the world. Yet God wants us to hold things loosely, always putting him first. (Talk about how hard it is to do that with some things).

* Abraham knew he could trust God because of all the things he had seen God do. Even when we don't understand what God is doing, God calls us to trust and obey. In the long run, we'll often understand why.

SMALL-GROUP DISCUSSION

Abraham's journey of faith

You'll need .

copies ofAbraham's Journey of Faith-Small Group Q's 1.1

pencils

extra Bibles

In the real world, there's seldom time for both a complete talk and a full-blown small-group discussion. Let your small-group facilitators pick and choose from among the Small-Group Q's, or save the discussion for another time.

GET UP & GET MOVING

Help your kids experience the lesson of faith and trust by using one of the options explained below. Option 1 can be done right in the youth room. Option 2 requires a climbing wall and equipment.

Option 1: Backward leaps of faith

You'll need .

1 folding chair

a table

at least 8 people (recruit adults for smaller groups)

Set the chair and table facing the group. Choose a fairly small student to come to the front. Blindfold the volunteer. Stand six to eight kids as close together as possible in two parallel lines in front of the volunteer. Gripping each other's forearms, the group members form a sturdy platform.

Face the volunteer away from the group and ask him to fall backwards onto the arms of the group. Instruct the group to catch the student. Next, help the student onto the chair that's facing the group. Once more ask the student to turn his back to the group and fall onto their arms. Finally, help the student onto the table. In the same way the student turns around and falls back onto the group one last time. (Make sure this begins and ends as an object lesson, not a lawsuit.)

Debrief your group by asking these questions:

What did you observe about what we just did?

What (if anything) does this exercise illustrate about faith? (By staging three increasingly more risky falls, the volunteer learns by experience to trust the group. The parallel, of course, is that God builds our faith by taking us through bigger and bigger challenges as we learn to trust him more and more.)

Option 2: Rock climbing

You'll need .

a beginner's rock-climbing site (5.5 and 5.6 routes are good for this lesson) or an indoor climbing gym

climbing equipment-harnesses,ropes, shoes, helmets (in climbing gyms, available to rent)

a certified or highly experienced instructor or coach

For a concrete experience of what faith is all about, take students rock climbing outdoors or at a gym. Climbing while they're on belay (that is, harnessed to a rope with an anchored partner at the other end) or rappelling (lowering oneself backward off a rock) is a lesson in trust. The only way they learn to trust the rope, the belayer, and themselves is by resting their weight on the harness.

It's the same with trusting God-you won't know whether you can really trust him until you take a step of faith. Rock climbing can anchor that truth in a student's mind for a long time. (For information on group rock climbing, call Christian Wilderness Adventures at 800-884-8483.)

APPLICATION

Faith detector

You'll need .

copies of Faith Detector-Making Connections 1.2

Pass out copies of the Faith Detector on which students can graph their faith journey over the next week. Ask them to bring their worksheet back to youth group next week and share with their small group what their graph looks like. (Optional: For kids who would like to track their spiritual growth over a longer time, provide additional copies of the chart.)

Abraham's Journey of Faith

Read aloud or skim the following Scriptures. Use what you learn to discuss the related questions.

Genesis 12:2,3

1 The first time God speaks to Abraham, he tells him to move (v.1) and then gives him a list of promises. List the promises God makes to Abraham if he chooses to obey God.

2 Look at the kinds of moves listed below. Rate them from least difficult to most difficult.

_______ Moving to a different school _______ Moving to a different room in your house _______ Moving to a different country _______ Moving to a different grade _______ Moving to a different neighborhood _______ Moving to a different state _______ Moving to a different group of friends

3 Which of these moves have you experienced?

4 Which did Abraham experience?

5 How do you think Abraham's move affected his relationship with God?

Genesis 15:1-6

6 What was Abraham's second test of faith?

7 Why was this promise hard to believe?

Genesis 15:6

8 According to this verse, is it our actions or our belief that makes us righteous before God?

9 How do we become righteous?

Skim Genesis 16

10 What did Abraham and Sarah do to try to help God fulfill his promise?

11 Do you think their intentions were good or bad?

12 List the positive and negative results of their actions.

Genesis 21:1-7

13 Why do you think God waited so long to fulfill his promise?

14 How do you think the delay affected Abraham's and Sarah's faith?

Genesis 22:1,2

15 After all that Abraham had been through, how do you think he was feeling when he heard what God said?

Genesis 22:3-8

16 Despite what Abraham was feeling, he obeyed God. Why do you think he did?

Genesis 22:10-12

17 How did God respond to Abraham when he saw his obedience?

18 After looking at Abraham's faith journey, think about where you are in your faith. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being no faith and 10 being a lot of faith), where would you put yourself ? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

19 What would help you increase your faith?

(Continues.)

Excerpt


Chapter One

ABRAHAM BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Genesis 12:1-7 Genesis 21:1-7 15:1-6 22:1-12 17:1-9

INTRO

I don't believe it .

You'll need .

the video Father of the Bride, Part 2

You'll need .

3 signs as described below

Could it happen? statements on page 12

Show the humorous video clip from Father of the Bride, Part 2 , where Steve Martin's and Diane Keaton's characters find out they are going to be middle-aged parents (start tape at 42:35; end tape at 45:27).

Then segue into your game by saying-

When Steve Martin and Diane Keaton find out they're going to be parents, they're surprised because they think they're too old. I'm going to test your expertise in sex education by playing a game.

(The "S" word gets everyone's undivided attention. Trust me, it works every time.)

GAME

Could it happen?

Place these three signs around your room:

Could definitely happen Could possibly happen Could never happen

Request students to stand up and move their chairs (if they need to) so they can move freely across the room. Ask them to listen as you read aloud the following seven statements. Tell them they must respond by moving to stand by the sign that expresses their opinion about whether the statement could definitely happen, could possibly happen, or could never happen.

Keep your students listening carefully and responding rapidly by reading quickly through the statements.

1. It's possible for a 70-year-old man to have a child. (Be ready for some kids to reply: "Men don't have children.")

2. It's possible for a 60-year-old woman to have a child.

3. It's possible for a 80-year-old man to have a child with a woman who is 25 years younger than he is.

4. It's possible for an 70-year-old woman to have a child with a man who is 15 years younger than she is.

5. It's possible for a 90-year-old man to have a child.

6. It's possible for a 90-year-old man to have a child with a barren woman.

7. It's possible for a 100-year-old man to have a child with a barren woman who is 10 years younger.

Periodically stop and ask students to explain their responses. (Their answers will let you know what you need to teach in your love, sex, and dating series.) When you get to statement seven, your kids should all be standing by the COULD NEVER HAPPENsign. Tell them that statement describes Abraham and Sarah when they gave birth to Isaac.

Segue into your Bible lesson by saying-

Most of you (with good reason) said there was no chance for that last couple to have a baby. It was hard enough for Steve Martin and Diane Keaton to believe they could have a baby in their 50s! Yet Abraham was 100, Sarah was 90, and they had never been able to have children. But God had promised Abraham that, in spite of his circumstances, he and Sarah would have a son.

Why did God wait so long to fulfill his promise? It seems God was as interested in building Abraham's faith as he was in answering his desires. Therefore, God took Abraham through a series of challenges to build him into a great man of faith. He does the same in our lives, too-if we let him.

As we look at Abraham's journey, think about your own faith journey . and how much you are able to trust God.

BIBLE LESSON

Abraham's journey of faith

Although Abraham's story occupies 12 chapters in Genesis, your lesson will focus only on his lessons in faith. If you are giving a talk, here's a suggested outline:

THE MOVE

* Genesis 12:1-7 * Describe Abraham's first test of faith and reflect on how it must have felt for him to move after years of living in Ur. (Use an illustration from your own experiences of moving to another town.)

THE PROMISE

* Genesis 15:1-6 * Describe the circumstances surrounding God's promise to Abraham.

* Genesis 17:1-9 * Explain why (as time passed) it was so difficult for Abraham and Sarah to believe they would actually have a son. (Refer back to the video clip, or add an appropriate personal illustration.)

* Genesis 21:1-7 * Ultimately, God honored his promise: Abraham and Sarah did finally have a son.

THE SACRIFICE

* Genesis 22:1-12 * Tell the story of when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.

* It seems crazy to us that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac after all it took to bring him into the world. Yet God wants us to hold things loosely, always putting him first. (Talk about how hard it is to do that with some things).

* Abraham knew he could trust God because of all the things he had seen God do. Even when we don't understand what God is doing, God calls us to trust and obey. In the long run, we'll often understand why.

SMALL-GROUP DISCUSSION

Abraham's journey of faith

You'll need .

copies of Abraham's Journey of Faith-Small Group Q's 1.1

pencils

extra Bibles

In the real world, there's seldom time for both a complete talk and a full-blown small-group discussion. Let your small-group facilitators pick and choose from among the Small-Group Q's , or save the discussion for another time.

GET UP & GET MOVING

Help your kids experience the lesson of faith and trust by using one of the options explained below. Option 1 can be done right in the youth room. Option 2 requires a climbing wall and equipment.

Option 1: Backward leaps of faith

You'll need .

1 folding chair

a table

at least 8 people (recruit adults for smaller groups)

Set the chair and table facing the group. Choose a fairly small student to come to the front. Blindfold the volunteer. Stand six to eight kids as close together as possible in two parallel lines in front of the volunteer. Gripping each other's forearms, the group members form a sturdy platform.

Face the volunteer away from the group and ask him to fall backwards onto the arms of the group. Instruct the group to catch the student. Next, help the student onto the chair that's facing the group. Once more ask the student to turn his back to the group and fall onto their arms. Finally, help the student onto the table. In the same way the student turns around and falls back onto the group one last time. (Make sure this begins and ends as an object lesson, not a lawsuit.)

Debrief your group by asking these questions:

What did you observe about what we just did?

What (if anything) does this exercise illustrate about faith? (By staging three increasingly more risky falls, the volunteer learns by experience to trust the group. The parallel, of course, is that God builds our faith by taking us through bigger and bigger challenges as we learn to trust him more and more.)

Option 2: Rock climbing

You'll need .

a beginner's rock-climbing site (5.5 and 5.6 routes are good for this lesson) or an indoor climbing gym

climbing equipment-harnesses,ropes, shoes, helmets (in climbing gyms, available to rent)

a certified or highly experienced instructor or coach

For a concrete experience of what faith is all about, take students rock climbing outdoors or at a gym. Climbing while they're on belay (that is, harnessed to a rope with an anchored partner at the other end) or rappelling (lowering oneself backward off a rock) is a lesson in trust. The only way they learn to trust the rope, the belayer, and themselves is by resting their weight on the harness.

It's the same with trusting God-you won't know whether you can really trust him until you take a step of faith. Rock climbing can anchor that truth in a student's mind for a long time. (For information on group rock climbing, call Christian Wilderness Adventures at 800-884-8483.)

APPLICATION

Faith detector

You'll need .

copies of Faith Detector -Making Connections 1.2

Pass out copies of the Faith Detectoron which students can graph their faith journey over the next week. Ask them to bring their worksheet back to youth group next week and share with their small group what their graph looks like. (Optional: For kids who would like to track their spiritual growth over a longer time, provide additional copies of the chart.)

Abraham's Journey of Faith

Read aloud or skim the following Scriptures. Use what you learn to discuss the related questions.

Genesis 12:2,3

1 The first time God speaks to Abraham, he tells him to move (v.1) and then gives him a list of promises. List the promises God makes to Abraham if he chooses to obey God.

2 Look at the kinds of moves listed below. Rate them from least difficult to most difficult.

_______ Moving to a different school _______ Moving to a different room in your house _______ Moving to a different country _______ Moving to a different grade _______ Moving to a different neighborhood _______ Moving to a different state _______ Moving to a different group of friends

3 Which of these moves have you experienced?

4 Which did Abraham experience?

5 How do you think Abraham's move affected his relationship with God?

Genesis 15:1-6

6 What was Abraham's second test of faith?

7 Why was this promise hard to believe?

Genesis 15:6

8 According to this verse, is it our actions or our belief that makes us righteous before God?

9 How do we become righteous?

Skim Genesis 16

10 What did Abraham and Sarah do to try to help God fulfill his promise?

11 Do you think their intentions were good or bad?

12 List the positive and negative results of their actions.

Genesis 21:1-7

13 Why do you think God waited so long to fulfill his promise?

14 How do you think the delay affected Abraham's and Sarah's faith?

Genesis 22:1,2

15 After all that Abraham had been through, how do you think he was feeling when he heard what God said?

Genesis 22:3-8

16 Despite what Abraham was feeling, he obeyed God. Why do you think he did?

Genesis 22:10-12

17 How did God respond to Abraham when he saw his obedience?

18 After looking at Abraham's faith journey, think about where you are in your faith. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being no faith and 10 being a lot of faith), where would you put yourself ? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

19 What would help you increase your faith?

(Continues.)

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