Going Against The Flow and Choosing God

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.

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The First Sin and The First Promise

The First Sin and The First Promise – Genesis 3:15

 

Opening:   Memory Verse from last week Genesis 2:18

                   This weeks memory verse: Genesis 3:15b “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise Him on the heel”

Bible Books 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.

Game:   Answer this answer?

(write the number 4 and the number 2 on the board and ask the children to answer it)   Probable answers are 6, 2, 8,   any answer is wrong because it is unanswerable.  Explain there is no operator between the two numbers telling us how to solve the problem.  Without someone giving us the operator the problem cannot be solved correctly.   

Lesson:

Life is just like the two numbers on the board, we assume we have the knowledge necessary to solve all of our problems.  The truth is without God we don’t.   Just like the equation here (point to board), without God something is missing, we don’t have all the information to solve the problems life brings to us.   Today we are going to talk about the first sin that humans committed.    I know we’ve talked about this before so can anyone tell me what Adam and Eve did?

(Allow kids to answer)

Eve disobeyed God when she let the snake (the devil) convince her to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and when she gave the fruit to Adam, he ate of it.  Now, Adam could have said, Eve where did this fruit come from?  Or Eve, are you sure we should eat this fruit?   But, He didn’t.  He trusted Eve and Eve trusted the snake.  Adam was just as guilty as Eve.    Have you ever heard the phrase “Eat my dust”   well guess who said it first?      God did right here in Genesis chapter 3.

 

Let’s see what God’s word says together… read Genesis 3:1-15 (have children read the verses, one verse to each child from their Children’s Bible)

Let’s act this out this:   Chose one child to play each part Eve, Adam, God and the snake as you retell the story

Eve was standing in the garden and the snake came to her and said “didn’t God tell you that can’t eat from any tree in the garden” (v1)  and she said  “no silly, God said we can eat anything we want from any tree, except from this tree in the middle.  God said do not eat from it or touch it or I will die”(v2-3)   the devil laughed and said “goodness sakes, you wont die, if you eat it, God doesn’t want you to be as smart as He is.  He know that if you eat it you will know that there both good and evil in the world He created, that’s all”   (v4-5).  Well, Eve she saw the fruit and thought well its pretty to look at and I bet it tastes good too, and it will make me smart like God.  So she ate the fruit and then gave Adam some of the fruit to eat”  (v6).    As soon as they ate it they knew they were naked. So they started grabbing leaves from the nearby plants and trees to make coverings for their bodies.    Who wants to be see naked, right?  (v7).   They heard God walking through the garden and hid from Him.  God called out to them “where are you?” and Adam said “here I am, I was hiding from you because I was naked.”   God said “what, who told you, you were naked?  Did you eat the fruit I told you not to eat?”  Now, Adam he looks at Eve and said, well she gave it to me.  I didn’t know where she got the fruit.  Its her fault. “ God said to Eve  “what have you done?”  and she said “it was the snake, he lied to me”.   God turned to the snake and said “you did this, so now you will be cursed more than all the cattle or every other beast of the earth.  Now on your belly you will live and the dust of all the other creatures you will eat”

Neither Adam or Eve wanted to be in trouble with God so they passed the blame off on someone else.   Adam said Eve tricked him and Eve said well the snake lied to me.    The point is they were both guilty of disobeying God.

Lets play a Game:  Adam Says

We’re going to play a game today that you have played many times before (Simon Says). But today we’re going to mix things up a bit and make it more difficult. Give each child one of the following animals, Dog, Cat, Duck.  What does each animal do.  Dogs bark and beg, cats meow and pretend to lick their paws, and ducks quack and waddle. I am going to play the role of Adam, the first person God created. Some of the time I will say, “Adam says,” and then give you an instruction. For example, if I say, “Adam says meow,” you will all meow, no matter which animal you are. However, if I do not say, “Adam says,” then only some of you can do the instruction. For example, if I say, “Meow,” only the cats can meow. If you do not follow the command correctly, you have to sit out the rest of the game. The team with the last remaining player wins.

 

Let’s return to our lesson.   How many of you have ever blamed someone else for something you did?   I know I did.  I had 2 sisters that I could blame.   I remember one time when I was little where I blamed my little sister Ms. Pam for something even though she got hurt and it was really my fault.     You see every year my grandfather would sent my mom a box of homemade chocolate fudge.   His fudge was the best and my mom would only give us a little at a time but it wasn’t enough for me, I wanted more and she wouldn’t share.   I knew my mom hid the box of delicious chocolate on the shelf in her closet.   Of course, I couldn’t  reach it.  So, I went to my sister and I said, I know where mom hides grandpas chocolate if you help me, I will give you some.  So, we went to the kitchen and got a chair from the table and pushed it into our parents room.   Well standing on the seat of the chair, we still couldn’t reach it.  We needed to be higher.   So, I convinced my little sister that I was heavier than she was and I would stand on the rungs under the chair to keep her from falling only if she would stand on the back of it, so she could reach the box of chocolates.   And you know what she did.  I stood on the back with my feet on the rungs, she climbed onto the seat and then up onto the back of it and success, we had the box of chocolates.   I was so excited that I forgot and moved from the back of the chair and Ms. Pam came crashing down to the floor, hitting her head on the corner of mom’s dresser.   If you ever look at her real close you will see a small scar in the eyebrow above her left eye.    She had to go get stitches.   She wasn’t happy with me and neither was our mother.   Later, our mom said what were you doing, because you know MS. Pam was laying on the floor bleeding so that had to be taken care of first.   I said, well she got the chocolates down.  I just stood on the back of the chair so she would fall.  It was all her idea.   I didn’t know she would fall if I moved.   Of course, my mother; she knew I was laying and I got into trouble. OF course, now I can’t remember what my punishment was. But I never again asked my little sister to climb onto the back of a chair either.

My point is I wanted the chocolate, I came up with the plan to get it, and I asked my sister for her help.  MY sister got hurt because of it.   Now she could have said no, mom saves that candy but she didn’t she wanted some too and she trusted me that I could get it and that she wouldn’t get hurt.   But she got into some trouble too because if I hadn’t asked for her help, she would never have tried to get the chocolate from the closet shelf.

Accepting blame is not a very popular thing to do.  When we blame someone else, we save ourselves from any punishment.  It makes us feel better even or a short period of time when we blame someone else.    It gives us freedom from the punishment of what we did to disobey.   The truth is even if no one ever finds out what we did, God knows.  We all pass the blame, its easy to do.  In fact we can all blame Adam and Eve for messing up can’t we.  If they hadn’t disobeyed God then we wouldn’t do any wrong either, would we?

Sin is doing exactly what we are told not to do.  The truth is even if Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed God someone would have.  We all have a choice to either obey and do as God and our parents say or to disobey.  It is a choice.   Anytime you do something that you know you should not do, your disobeying.  Anytime you do not do something that you know you should do, your disobeying.    What are some example that you can think of?

  • What if your dad tells you to take out the garbage and you don’t?
  • What if your mothers tells you to feed the dog and you don’t?
  • What if your find money laying on the sidewalk and you saw who dropped it , what do you do?
  • What if your friend leaves his/her favorite toy at your house and you want it? What should you do?

This part of God’s story is very sad, isn’t it.   The garden was perfect, Adam and Eve were perfect. Everything was beautiful just as God intended it to be.   There was so war, sickness, or even death in the beginning.  But the choice to disobey ruined all of that.     Even though this story is sad, there is good news.  God did something very good.

Now the next verse is very important so let’s read it again.  (read Genesis 3:15) “and I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between her seed and your seed.  He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”

Wow!  That’s kinda hard to understand isn’t it?   Did you know that even here in the Garden of Eden , where Adam and Eve chose to disobey God,  God knew we would need a Redeemer.  Someone who could give us a way to have a relationship with God.  Who do you think God would send?

That’s right, Jesus.   See, even here in the vey beginning God knew that Jesus would have to come and give His life so that we could be forgiven and have a relationship with Him.  God knew right here in the very beginning that Jesus, His son, would be obedient and do as His father had asked of him, no matter how long it took, no matter how much he would have to suffer.  God knew.    This is very first time that God promises to send someone to help us.   Here God gives us HOPE in Jesus.    But, there is no hope for Satan (the devil).   God loves you so much that even from the very beginning He planned to save us.

I can picture the devil laughing, smiling, because he believed that he had won.  He had ruined the perfect creation that God had made.   This first promise from God is easy to miss because, well it doesn’t mention Jesus by name.  But He’s there.    Let us look at this verse and break it down so that you can see Jesus even in the very beginning of the world.    “ And I will put enmity between you and the woman”   Do you know what enmity means?     It means struggle, conflict, fighting,  so God said I will put a war between you.   Here’s what this means…. Adam and Eve believed and trusted God,  they had two sons Cain and Abel.   Now remember from last weeks lesson Cain didn’t really honor God but Abel did.  Cain got so angry at God that he killed his brother Abel.   Now the Bible says that -Abel was not married and didn’t have any children but it does say that Cain did marry and have children in Genesis 4:17-24  and in verses 25-26, it says that Adam and Eve had another son they names Seth.     Let’s look at our Bible timeline so we can see the struggle that God talked about.

You see here in yellow Adam and then Seth and all their descendants and in Blue you see Cain and his.    Now Seth chose to believe and trust in God and his family tree has Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Daniel, all the way here to Jesus.

Now Cain we see all the people mentioned in the Bible that didn’t believe and trust in God including Goliath.   They were all humankind, but chose to either love God or hate Him.  This is the struggle that God is talking about.  The fighting between the goodness of God and the meanness of the devil.

The seed that God mentions here are the children and families that came from Adam and Eve,  now Satan couldn’t have children, but he could have people who follow him and do the things that he says to do.    So you have a choice to either to either follow and love God or not to.    It all began right here in the beginning.

Let’s look at the second part of this verse.   This is where God promises us Jesus.   Despite all the bad things that are happening or have happen since the beginning, we have HOPE and here He is.    The Bible says “and you will bruise him on the heel and he will bruise you on the head”

Have you ever stepped on a toy or something and it hurt the very back of your foot right here (point to your heel).   It hurts doesn’t it.  It can really hurt and be sore for days and even weeks.   But its not a life ending hurt is it?  Eventually it gets better.     I want you to think for a minute when Jesus was being nailed to the cross where did they put the nails?

That’s right his hands and feet.    Right here through the top part of his foot to the back right here on the heel.    This is what God had said would happen from the very beginning.   When Jesus died on the cross it looked as though Satan had won the battle, He was victorious!     But what happened three days after Jesus died?   He rose again that’s right.    Satan will never will the battle between God’s people and his followers.   The Bible tells that in the book of Revelations that Jesus will destroy Satan and lock him away forever.  Never again will he be able to cause conflict or fighting between God’s people.     On the cross Satan bruised the heels of Jesus with the nails but it didn’t kill Jesus forever did it?   All it did was cause Jesus a lot of pain and suffering.

Now the Bible tells us that God wins in the end right?  How do you kill a serpent or snake?      You cut of its head right.   It’s the only sure way to kill it.    One day Jesus is going to return from Heaven to Earth and He will defeat Satan forever.   And that’s very Good News isn’t it?

Here’s what we know.

Life is going to be hard.  We are always going to struggle between doing good and believing and trusting Jesus or following the devil.   We will always struggle with being tempted to do wrong.   Those struggles will hurt sometimes, the choices of others to being tempted will hurt us sometimes.   Every struggle we go through only helps us becoming stronger in our relationship with Jesus.  If we choose to trust Him and let Him help us.  God loves us so much that even in the very beginning He planned to save us.  Even then He was thinking of you and of me.  We can be forgiven when we fail because Jesus came and gave His life for us on the cross. When God forgives you, he no longer holds you responsible for the things you did when you choose to obey God.  Jesus took our place and our punishment when He died on the cross so that we can have a relationship with God.  This is why it is important that we ask Jesus into our hearts, love, trust, and obey God and His word.

PRAY

 

Game:  Trading places

Let’s play another game?  Have all the children form a circle by standing.   Give each child a number from 1-6, ask them to remember their number.    I need 1 of you to volunteer to begin the first round of our game.   Have the child stand in the center of the circle.    Give them the large inflatable die.

The child in the center rolls the die and (for example) is lands on the number 5.   All the children who were given the number 5 must trade places with all the other children of the same number.  The child in the center must scramble to take one open spot.  The child who doesn’t find an open spot takes the next turn in the center and the process repeats.

After a few rounds change the rules.   The child who doesn’t find an open spot has to make an excuse by blaming someone else as to why they didn’t get to the open spot in time.  (For example…. I didn’t make it because Sally tripped me)

Play a few rounds and then have the children return to their seats and reward them for good sportsmanship and behavior.