Going Against the Flow and Choosing God – Genesis: 4-9
Opening: Memory Verse from weeks 6 and 7 Genesis 2:18 and Genesis 3:15b
This week’s memory Verse: “For this reason, take up all the armor of God so that you will be able to resist the evil these days and have done everything to stand firm” Ephesians 6:13
Bible Book Challenge: Genesis – Ezra
What do we know:
- We know that God created the Heavens and the Earth, and all that is we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.
- We know that we did not just happen to come into existence by what is called evolution, God created everything.
- We know that God said everything that He created was good and perfect.
- We know that God created human kind in His image and gave us the responsibility to take care of all that He created.
- We know that God created us to have a relationship with Him and that He loves us.
- We know that God designed families to work together, love and care for one another.
- We know that God gave everyone responsibilities within our families and that (mine) yours is to honor, obey and respect your parents.
- We know that the Bible says a serpent tempted Eve, not a snake
- We know that God cursed the serpent to live on its belly forever, so it could have had wings, legs or both
- We know that the Bible says they ate the fruit of the tree, it doesn’t tell us what they fruit was
- We know that because Adam and Eve sinned, we are sinners too and Satan will always be tempting us to do wrong things
- We know that we do have all the answers to solve the problems we will face in our lives
- We know that because God loves us so much that even from the very beginning God promised us Jesus
- We know that we alone are responsible for the things that we do wrong, no one else can take the blame
Last week we learned that we can always trust God to help us through the hard times in our lives. That we are always going to be tempted to do things that we know are wrong. This week we are going to talk about Sin and what are the consequences for being disobedient. We are also going to look at how God can help us be free from sin and why that is so very important.
A few weeks about we talked about Cain and Abel. Do you remember who there are? (allow kids to answer) That’s right, they were Adam and Eve’s sons. They were brothers. Remember what happened between Cain and Abel? (allow kids to answer) That’s right, Adam taught them to give offerings to God and praise Him. The Bible doesn’t tell us and we don’t really know how old they were when this event happened. But we do know that both boys brought an offering to God. Cain’s heart wasn’t really in it and he just brought some of the crops that he had, but Abel he truly believed in God and wanted to give thanks and worship God and he brought the best of what he had. The Bible tells us that God was happy with Abel but not with Cain and because of this Cain killed his brother Abel.
God knew what Cain had done punished him. In Genesis chapters 4 and 5, that Adam and Eve had another son, Seth; who was born after Abel died. Seth grew to love God just like Abel did but Cain continued to only grow in hatred towards God. The Bible tells us that Cain married and began having children and it also tells us that Seth got married and started having children. Cain taught his children to disobey God and to hate Him, but Seth taught his children to love God and obey Him. When we get to Genesis chapter 6 we learn many things about the world God created and how it had become ugly and full of evil. This is where we will begin this week’s lesson.
Chapter 6 tells us that the Earth was full of people. People lived a really, really, really, really, really, long time back then and because of that there was a lot of people on the Earth. Here is where we have the record of Noah. I say record because the Bible is more than just a story, it is also a historical record of what happened.
Genesis chapter 6 tells us that the world was full of evil people. How did that happen? Cain taught his children to hate God, they taught their children, and then their children and so on. Seth taught his children to love God and obey Him, and in turn they taught their children, and them their children. But there was a problem. You see boys/men who were taught to love and obey God starting marrying women who were taught to hate God. Then their children were taught both to love and to hate God, but chose to hate and disobey and it continued until only a small group of people love, believed, worshiped, and obeyed God. They were Noah and his family.
God was very sad and upset that the world was so full of evil and hatred that He wanted to destroy all that He had created, but He didn’t want to punish the people that loved, trusted and worshiped Him. So, he told Noah that because of the evil, He was going to destroy the whole Earth and everything on it. But because Noah truly believed and trusted God, he and his family would be saved. He told Noah exactly what to do and how to build the Ark. He told Noah that He would bring the animals to him to be saved from the flood. Chapter 6 tells us God’s plan to save Noah, his family, and the animals. Noah did as God had asked of him.
Today, we are going to talk about how Sin controls our lives and how it can destroy everything. Today is not much different than it was in Noah’s time. Our world is full of hatred, war, disease, fighting and much more. People aren’t trusting God and turning to Him, in fact more people are turning away from Him.
Now, we know that God will not destroy the Earth again like He did in Noah’s time. How do we know that? (allow kids to Answer) That’s right, God promised us he wouldn’t. What did God give us to remind us of that promise? (allow kids to answer) That’s right a rainbow and we know God keeps His promises.
God has given us many promises. Can you think of any? (Allow kids to answer) Let’s look at these promises for just a moment.
- The first promise was that He would send Jesus
- He promises He would never destroy the Earth Again
- He promises He would always be there for us
- He promises to love us no matter what we do
- He promises to always forgive us
- He promises to be our strength
- He promises to give us peace and joy
There are so many that we could spend all day just naming them. But God promises us He will be coming back to Earth and that we as believers do not have to be slaves to sin. What does being a slave mean?
The dictionary defines a slave as “a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.” We all want freedom. The freedom to go where we want, do what we want, say what we want etc. We don’t want to be forced to do anything, we want to choose.
The Bible tells us that when we choose to disobey God and live without Him, that we are slaves to sin and it controls everything in our lives. When we choose to lie, we must tell another lie, and then another, and another. Being a slave to sin results in more sin. Like lying, have you ever heard the potato chip commercial that says “you can’t eat just one” Let’s face it that potato chips are really good, there crunchy, salty, sometimes sweet, and they are really, really, good. So when we open a bag, we can’t help but eat just one? Sin is the same way, we can’t commit just one sin. One sin leads to another and then another.
Sometimes things become a habit. Do You know a habit is? A habit is define as “a settled or regular action or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”. A habit and sin controls everything that we do. It is something that we must do because our bodies and our minds crave it, want it, and we even believe that sometimes we will die if we don’t get it.
Read story of Joel
You see Joel thought and felt that he couldn’t help it. He just had to play pranks on others and be disruptive. He had to be the center of attention. But he learned that He didn’t. God was willing to help Joel be good and all Joel had to do was ask for His help.
What are some habits that we can think of and how are we a slave to them?
- Someone who can’t say no to sugar and sweets is a slave to sugar
- Someone who can’t turn off the TV or video games to spend time with friends/family/or read God’s word is a slave to the TV and or video games
- Someone who puts work before God and family is a slave to their job
- Someone who works just to make more and more money is a slave to money
- Someone who spends too much money just to have more possessions than someone else is a slave to possessions
- Someone one who drinks too much is a slave to alcohol
- Someone who abuses illegal drugs is a slave to drugs
- Someone who tells stories just to make other like them more is a slave to lies
- Someone who makes fun of and makes jokes about others is a slave to bullying
The truth is that all of this we just names are so easy that they can become habits. Habits can be both bad and good. Let’s name a few good ones (allow kids to give some examples)
- Brushing your teeth
- Taking a bath
- Eating fruits and vegetables
- Obeying your parents/grandparents
- Reading God’s word
- Studying for a test
Those are all really good ones and when you do those things there is something good that comes from them. What are some bad ones? (allow kids to answer but play the all tied up game)
All Tied Up
(Cut a black plastic trash bag into several strips. Ask for a volunteer to sit in a chair and as the kids give some examples of bad habits and sin, use one strip for each sin or habit to tie the volunteer up. Write them down so you can reverse them with good things as you cut the volunteer free. )
Wow, (call person by name) is all tied up because of sin. They can barely move. Sin in our lives is just like that. We get so tied up that we can barely move. Being all tied means, we have no freedom. In Romans 6:15-23, the Bible tells us that we can only serve one master. We can only be a slave to one thing. We have to choose to either be a slave to sin or a slave to the goodness and freedom in Jesus. When we allow God to control our lives we can have absolute freedom. As believers in Christ we get to choose, those who don’t believe they don’t have a choice. We don’t have to let sin control everything in our lives.
Now, what sins did (call the volunteer) commit to get all tied up and how can we allow God to give (him/her) freedom. (name off the sins that were written down and reverse them In action, for example if a child said they told a lie, say then tell the truth. Whatever the opposite is of the sin)
God gives us freedom to choose to follow and obey Him or be a slave to sin and evil. When we choose to follow God that doesn’t mean that we won’t sin or do some bad things, it means that we can seek forgiveness from God and each other. We don’t have to feel guilty or sad when we allow God to fix something that we have done wrong. Sometimes there is a punishment but no punishment is worse than not having a good relationship with Jesus. Just because we are forgiven by God doesn’t mean we can do bad things all the time and just ask forgiveness. It doesn’t work that way. We want others to meet and see Jesus and when we sin, they can’t see Jesus in our lives or our hearts. So it’s very important that when we do something wrong we ask to be forgiven from God and those that we hurt and we try really hard not to do them again. Like Joel in our story. By asking God for help to not play pranks, others can see God helping Joel to do and be better.