Friday, November 1, 2013

God is with Us: When There Is Danger - Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)

Theme: God is with Us: When There Is Danger
Scripture Reference: Genesis 6-9
Memory Verse: Genesis 6:9
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

During the months of January and February, children will explore the theme: God Is with Us. Each week, a familiar story from the Old Testament will be studied and a particular lesson examined. This week, children will learn how they can trust God to be with them when they face danger. 

For eight weeks, we will talk about the theme “God Is with Us.” We will learn eight different stories from the Old Testament—some of which you might already know, that will show us different occasions when we can be assured God is with us. Jesus promises never to leave or forsake his children, and these stories will teach us how God didn’t with men and women who lived a long time ago. Today’s story is about an Old Testament man who saved his family from a world-wide flood. Does anyone know who that man was?

(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. Noah was a good man…Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9 (The Message)

Icebreaker Questions: 
Can you tell about one time you or your family was in danger?

What are some dangers that people face? 

What is it about dangerous people or situations that make us afraid? (We’ve already studied about how God is with us when we’re afraid when we studied the story of Moses and the burning bush.)

Activity Time:
When we are in dangerous situations, God promises to protect us. Here is a simple experiment that will illustrate this to the children. 

Here is a simple, but intriguing object lesson that can be used to illustrate any story involving God’s protection. Today, we will apply it to “Noah and the Flood.”

Take an empty narrow-necked bottle. Place a small model of a man (representing Noah) into the bottle. Draw a picture of water on a small piece of paper. Screw the paper up into a small ball. 

Hold your bottle in a horizontal position, and place the paper into its neck. Invite as many children as you wish to try and blow the paper into the bottle, thus representing the flood’s attempt to get to Noah. (Make sure you have antibacterial wipes to wipe the mouth of the bottle after each child’s attempt.)

You will find that the children will be unable to blow the paper from the neck into the main body of the bottle! In fact the opposite will happen, and the paper will be propelled backwards right out of the bottle. The harder someone blows, the faster and further the paper will be propelled away from Noah and the bottle.

Explanation. There is already air in your empty bottle. When someone blows more air into the bottle (whilst attempting to blow the paper in), this results in the air pressure inside the bottle becoming higher than that on the outside with the result that the paper is forced away from the bottle rather than into it.

Bible Story Time: 

Reflection: How would you feel if you were the only person on earth who loved and served God?  

God had created Adam and Eve, and their family was increasing rapidly. They had many descendants, and the human population was growing. But they were also growing more wicked. In fact, people were so bad that God decided he was going to punish them for being so sinful and for not worshiping him. 

Reflection: Do your parents punish you when you do or say something wrong? Why do you think they do? Why do you think God does the same when his children do or say things they shouldn’t?

As God looked over all the people who were living on earth, he could only find one person who loved him. His name was Noah. God decided he was going to destroy the earth with a flood. He would save some animals and any person who loved him. Noah was that person. God came to Noah and told him, “Noah, I’m going to send a great flood that will destroy everything on the earth.” Floods are dangerous. 

Reflection: Have you ever seen pictures on television or the internet that show the damage floods can do? What are some of the things that can happen in a flood?

Even though God was going to send a dangerous flood, he promised to keep Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their three wives safe if they would do what God instructed them to do. 

Reflection: Do you know what God told Noah to do?

Noah was probably confused when God told him it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights. Noah had never seen rain before, and he lived a long way from a body of water. God told Noah to build a boat where his family and the animals God would choose would be safe. The boat God told him to build was not just an ordinary boat. Noah’s ark was as long as one and a half football fields and as high as a four story building. It was six times longer than it was wide which is the same ratio used by modern shipbuilders. When God instructed him to build such a large boat, Noah must have imagined that he and his family were in for a dangerous ride. 

Noah was also to bring pairs of animals onto the boat. God told him to get seven pairs of the animals that would be eaten or used in sacrifices and two pair of all the others. Noah may have been given 120 years to get all this done, but God was also giving the wicked people 120 years to change their minds about loving and serving him. But no one else believed—only Noah and his family. 

Reflection: How would you feel if you knew a huge flood was coming? What would you do?

Noah knew the flood would be dangerous, so he got busy doing what God told him to do. Even though he knew the flood would be dangerous, he believed God could protect him and his family. For 120 years, Noah worked and preached, telling the people of the danger that was coming because they were so wicked. He encouraged them to believe in God, but no one did. 

Reflection: Is it dangerous not to believe in God? Why? Where does the Bible say people who don’t believe in God will go after they die? What about those who do believe in God?

Finally, the day arrived when God told Noah to enter the boat. So he took his family and gathered all the animals and went inside. Then God shut the door of the ark. Imagine how afraid Noah and his family and the animals must have been as they heard the thunder and lighting and felt the boat swaying from side to side. And this didn’t just happen for one day or a few hours like most of our storms do. Rain fell for 40 days and nights. 

Noah and his family were on the ark for more than a year. Though it only rained for 40 days and nights, it took many months for the water to dry up enough so they could leave the boat. When the day came that the ground was dry enough for Noah, his family, and the animals to leave, Noah offered a sacrifice to God, thanking him for keeping him and his family safe through the flood. 

What are some ways God protects you from danger? He gives you parents to protect you and teach you such things as, “Don’t talk to strangers,” or “Never get in the car with a stranger.” He gives you teachers to protect you at school from those who might try to harm you. He gives you a mind so you can know when you are in dangerous situations so you can avoid them. And we also have God’s angels looking over us each day to protect us from danger. 

Noah trusted God to protect him from dangerous situations. We can too. 


Activity Time: 
Let children complete the Noah’s Ark Anagram and color the picture of Noah and the Ark.  

Wrap Up:
Let each child tell one thing they learned from the story of Noah about how God protects us when we are in dangerous situations.  


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