...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
ISAIAH 40:31

A Blog for Kids and Everyone.

This is a journey through God's word. The Bible is so amazing! There are a lot of great stories. Some that we know well and some will surprise us. We will have a lot of fun as we color, watch short cartoons and tell funny stories.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The death of Absalom (2 Samuel 18-20)

  David and his men traveled through the wilderness to escape from his son Absalom. They finally arrived in the town of Mahanaim, where they were warmly greeted. The people of the town brought sleeping mats, bowls, barley, flour, grain, beans honey, butter sheep and cheese for David and his men. "You must be hungry thirsty and tired from your long trek through the wilderness." They said.

  Then David split his troops into three groups and appointed three generals to lead his men as they set up camp in Mahanaim. David wanted to go with them into battle, but his men talked him into staying back because they knew that he was the one that Absalom wanted to kill. So David stood by the city gate as the troops headed out to battle. He gave these orders to all the men as they passed by. "Please deal gently with my son Absalom. Spare his life for my sake."

  So the troops went out and the battle began. The Israelite army was beaten back by David's army and 20,000 men lost their lives that day. During the battle, Absalom unexpectedly came upon some of David's men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the branches of an oak tree, his hair got tangled in the branches. His mule kept on going  but Absalom was left hanging there defenseless. One of David's men saw what happened and he went back to report what he saw to Joab, one of David's generals.

 "What?" Joab demanded. "You saw him hanging there and you didn't kill him? I would have given you 10 pieces of silver if you had."
  "You heard king David say, 'For my sake do not harm young Absalom.' I would not have killed him for a thousand pieces of silver!"
  "Enough of this nonsense!" Joab shouted as he grabbed three daggers and headed toward the oak tree where Absalom was still dangling. Joab stabbed Absalom. Then Joab's men took Absalom down from the tree, threw him in a pit and buried him with stones.

  David was waiting for news of the battle at the city gate. He saw a man in the distance running toward him. The man finally approached David. "All is well my lord. The Lord your God has handed over the rebels who dared to stand against you." But David was more worried about his son.
  "And what of young Absalom?" David inquired. "Is he alive and well?" The man was afraid to tell David that his son was dead, so he lied and told him that he didn't know. Just then another man showed up with news, and David asked him about Absalom. David was completely heartbroken when he found out that Absalom had been killed. He walked slowly back to his room, weeping the entire time.

Word soon reached general Joab that David was very upset about Absalom's death and that there was no joy among the men for his victory over the Israelites. Joab was very angry and went to see David. "It seems to me that you would have been happier if we had all died and lost the battle and Absalom had lived. You are making me and all your men feel as if we had done something wrong." Joab said.
  David realized that the troops needed to be recognized for their victory, so he went out to the city gate and congratulated them. In the meantime, all the people all over Israel were in a huge discussion about reinstating David as the king over all of Israel. The people finally agreed that it shall be done, but not without a few revolutionists who continued to plot against David.

  Did you even notice that in life.....it is never all good or all bad. We have to be thankful for the good things in the midst of trouble. And celebrate with our eyes open and hearts receptive to people around us who may be struggling. Don't let our emotions (joyful or downcast) blind us to loving others so that God may be glorified.

Monday, October 10, 2016

David's own son rebels against him (2 Samuel 13-17)

 Two years later, David's two sons, Amnon and Absalom, got in a terrible fight. Finally Absalom ended up killing Amnon. When David found out about it, he was heartbroken. Absalom left Israel
and went to stay with his grandfather Talmai, in the territory of Geshur. He stayed there for three years. Finally David stopped mourning for his son Amnon and longed to be reunited with Absalom.
David called in his right hand man, Joab, and asked him to go to Geshur to bring back Absalom. But David was still unsure about seeing Absalom. So even though Absalom was staying at a house in Jerusalem for two years, David never sent for him. Absalom was getting tired of waiting and he confronted Joab. "Why did the king summon me to Jerusalem if he never intended to even see me? I was better off staying in Gershun!"
 "I will tell the king how upset you are." Joab replied. "Perhaps he will finally request your presence."
Then at last David summoned his estranged son and Absalom bowed down before the king and David kissed him. But Absalom held contempt in his heart for his father.

After that, Absalom began hanging out at the city gate and greeting the people. Many of them were on the way to see the king with their problems. Absalom intercepted them. "Too bad the king is so busy and won't be able to hear your concerns, however, I as his son, would be glad to act as an advisor in any situation you have."
 The people were very grateful and started to bow down before him, but Absalom stopped them and instead, he gave them a big hug. So in this way, Absalom began to steal the hearts of the people in David's kingdom. He did this for four years until he felt like he had the loyalty of enough people to take over Israel!

 One day Absalom came before the king and asked for permission to go back to Geshur to make a sacrifice there. David granted the request and while Absalom was there, he sent word to all of Israel that he was starting a rebellion against the king.  The rebellion soon gained momentum and Absalom had many, many people on his side.
  Of course the news about the rebellion reached David quickly, but it was too late. Absalom was being crowned king of Hebron and he was getting ready to take over Jerusalem. David urged his men, "Hurry! If we leave the city quickly, Jerusalem will be spared a horrible disaster."
There was great sadness as David and his men crossed the city and headed toward the Valley of Kidron and then into the wilderness.

Imagine how David must have felt. He forgave his son for the horrible thing that he did, and now his son has betrayed him! Have you ever forgiven someone only to have them hurt you again? Let's see how David handles the situation and how it all turns out. Don't forget, after David's terrible sin, God told him that his family would suffer many things.... even death. I'm sure David was hurt, but maybe not surprised.

As they reached their destination in the wilderness David turned to his advisor, Hushai. I want you to go back to Jerusalem. Tell Absalom that you will be his advisor. If he asks about your loyalty to me. Tell him that you are not loyal to a person, but to whomever is king. Then when he asks for your expertise, give him faulty advise. In time, his kingship will falter and the people will see that he is not king material.
 So Hushai arrived in Jerusalem just as Absalom was arriving. He offered his services to Absalom and told him what David had suggested. Absalom already had an advisor. His name was Ahithophel. But he agreed to keep two advisors and choose which ever advice he deemed best.
 After Absalom had settled into the throne. He called in his two advisors. Of course they each had different advice. God put it into Absalom's heart to choose Hushai's advice because it would bring disaster upon him.
 Hushai sent word to David about Absalom's plan. He advised David and his men to pull up camp, cross the Jordan river and head into the wilderness. So David and his men took Hushai's advice. Absalom and his men showed up at the Jordan river shortly afterward. But David and his men were not there.
 Next time we will see what God has in store for Absalom and David.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nathan Confronts David About His Sin (2 Samuel 12)

  Last time we saw how David messed up....big time! So God sent his prophet, Nathan, to confront King David about the bad choices he made. Remember Nathan? He was the prophet that told David that he would not be the one to build the temple of God. This time, Nathan has come to tell David a story. The object of this story is to make David think, and take a look at himself. Here is the story that was told to David by the prophet Nathan.

  There were two men in a certain town. One was rich and one was poor. The rich man owned many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but a little lamb that he had worked hard to buy. He raised that little lamb and it grew up with his children. The little lamb ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing a lamb from his own flocks for food, he took the poor man's lamb, killed it and served it to his guest.
 When Nathan finished his story, David jumped up. He was so mad! He said "Any man that would do that, deserves to die. He should repay the poor man four lambs for killing his and having no pity."
 Nathan pointed at David and said. "YOU ARE THAT MAN! The God of Israel says, " David, David, David, I anointed you king of Israel and I saved you from Saul on more than one occasion!  And I would have given you much, much more. Why have you done this horrible thing? From now on, you will have many family troubles. Some of them even ending in death."
 When Nathan finished speaking, David cried out and confessed to Nathan, "Yes, yes, yes! I have sinned against the Lord!
  "Well, the good news is that the Lord has forgiven you." Nathan said. "There will be death in your family, but it will not be you. The Lord still has many plans for you." Nathan continued, "Do you see what a horrible thing this is against God? Now the enemies of God will have great opportunity to despise and blaspheme Him!"

 Do we ever think about how our actions reflect on God? Other people are watching us. If we profess to be followers of Jesus, why do our actions say just the opposite? If someone was thinking of following Jesus, our actions could point them toward Jesus or away from Him. If our actions point to God, then we are glorifying Him.... and that is what He wants.

 After Nathan returned home, David and Bathsheba's baby got very sick. David prayed, laid on the bare floor and went without food for seven days, asking God to heal him.... but the baby died. David's men were afraid to tell him about his son, but David could tell by the looks on their faces. David got up, washed his face and ate. His men were confused and asked him, " While your son was sick, you cried and refused to eat. But now that the baby has died, you stopped mourning and are eating again."
 David answered, "I fasted and prayed while the baby was alive. I was hoping that God would be merciful and let the child live, but since he has died, why should I continue to fast? I can't bring him back to life. But one day, I will see him again in heaven."

 It is so hard when someone dies. We feel sad because we won't be able to see them anymore. But we will.... in heaven. It's OK to be sad for a while, then God wants us to get back to what He put us on this earth to do. David knew his purpose.

  Then David went home and comforted Bathsheba. Soon she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. They named him Solomon. (the next king of Israel)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

David makes some bad choices and sins against God (2Samuel:11)

  Some time after David invited Mephibosheth to live on the palace grounds, King Nahash died. King Nahash was a leader in Ammon and a friend of Israel so King David sent some ambassadors to pay their respects. Hanun, who was King Nahash's son and now king, was a little paranoid and thought that David's men were there to spy on him and eventually conquer the city. King Hanun had his men cut off half of the beards of David's men, cut their robes to shreds and sent them back to David.
David was furious! He summoned his general, Joab, and gathered his troops. The whole Israelite army marched toward Ammon and a huge battle ensued. Some neighboring armies joined forces with the Ammonites, but after many of them were killed in battle,they retreated and the Ammonites were left alone to fight Israel. Winter quickly approached and the battle between Israel and Ammon was put on hold till the spring.

  Up until now, we have seen all the good things that David has done and how he trusted God, now we come to a section of the Bible that shows that David made mistakes, just like we do. In this chapter, David will make some bad choices. Aren't you glad that the Bible doesn't sugarcoat everything? We see how real the people are, and how we can relate to many of their struggles.

  The following spring, the war with the Ammonites resumed. But David told his general, Joab, "You go fight the Ammonites. I think I will sit this one out and just hang around the castle. So Joab took the Israelite army and marched off to war, while David stayed behind. One day David spent the morning walking the halls of the castle killing time. By afternoon he was so bored that he decided to take a nap. When he got up from his nap, he took a stroll to the rooftop to look over his kingdom. He
noticed a beautiful woman taking a bath on her rooftop a few blocks away. He called one of his servants to find out who she was. "She is Bathsheba, wife of Uriah who is fighting the Ammonites with General Joab as we speak." The servant answered.
 David sent for her and when she arrived at the castle.... David fell in love.  Soon afterward Bathsheba was going to have a baby. David didn't want her husband to find out that he had been with her, so he sent a message to General Joab to put Uriah in the front line of the battle, then pull back all his men so that Uriah would be killed. Joab didn't like the idea, but he followed his king's orders and Uriah was killed.
  When Bathsheba heard that her husband had been killed, she mourned. When the mourning period was over, David sent for her. She became his wife and the she gave birth to a baby boy. Then the Bible says this one thing at the end of Chapter 11 of 2 Samuel in verse 27.... but the Lord was very displeased with the things that David had done.

 Even though the Bible describes Davis as "a man after God's own heart", he was still just a man.... and all men have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Next time we will see that David has a choice to make. Turn from God.... or turn from his sin.

 Did you see how one small choice David made to stay home instead of going to war snowballed into many many bad decisions? One of David's main purposes that God had for him was to build up Israel by finishing the battles that Joshua had begun years earlier. By staying home when he should have been out to war, David gave the devil an opportunity to lead him astray. If David had been out to battle, he would have never taken an afternoon nap, seen Bathsheba and eventually had Uriah killed.

 We can learn a huge lesson. Be all about what God has for you. Pray and study the Bible. God will reveal what He has planned for you. Then get out there and do something for God.  Don't let the devil have an opportunity to use your idleness to sin against God.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

David shows God's love to Jonathan's son (2Samuel9)

  I apologize that my last couple of posts have disappeared. I am working on trying to get them restored. If anything, I will repost the illustrations.

So David settled in as king of Israel. The Philistines began to battle with the Israelites, but David quickly subdued and humbled them. Other nearby countries were also subdued by David and the Israelite army. Soon Israel grew in riches and David became famous in all the land.
 One evening while David was enjoying a time of calmness in his kingdom, he began to think about his friend Jonathan who died in battle years earlier. He missed his friend. He remembered the laughter, the fun, the serious talks, the promises..... THE PROMISES! David remembered that he promised his friend that if anyone in Jonathan's family was alive after he became king, that he would take care of them. So David called in his servant Ziba, who had also been one of king Saul's servants.
 "Do you know if there are any surviving members of Saul's family?" David asked.
 Ziba looked a bit concerned because he knew that the kings in other lands would kill the entire family of the previous king to prevent any chance of an uprising to recapture the crown.
 David reassured him. "I just want to show anyone that may be left, the kindness of God."
 Ziba answered. " Yes there is one. He is Saul's grandson and Jonathan's son. He is living just outside the kingdom in a in the home of Makir. But he is crippled."
 "How did he happen to become crippled?" asked David.
 "His name is Miphibosheth and he was 5 years old when Saul and Jonathan were killed in at the battle of Jezreel." Ziba continued. "When news of the battle reached the capital, the child's nurse grabbed him and fled. But she fell and dropped him as she was running. He became crippled as a result."
 "Go get him and bring him back here." David said.
So Ziba went to Makir's home and found Mephibsheth. "The king requests your presence."
 Mephibosheth was nervous. "What would the king want with me? I am crippled and can't do anything for him."
 "Don't worry. The king is for you. He is not against you." Ziba replied. "He simply wants to show the kindness of the Lord to you."

 This is just how God calls us. He knows that we are like Mephibosheth. We can't do anything or give anything to God that He doesn't already have. He just desires to show us His love, mercy and kindness. Have you responded to God's love by trusting in His son Jesus? That's what He wants. For us to accept His offer of forgiveness and to trust Him with our lives. If you want more information about this, call this phone number. 1-800-NEED HIM

And that's what Mephibosheth did. He went with Ziba to David and bowed before him and said, "I am your servant."
"Don't be afraid." David said. "I have asked you to come because of a promise I made to your father. I want to show you kindness and give you all the land that once belonged to your grandfather, Saul." David continued. "And you may live with me in the palace."
 Then David summoned his servant Ziba, "I have given Mephibosheth all the land that belonged to his grandfather. Since you were Saul's servants, I think it only right that you and your entire family are now Mephibosheth's servants. So Mephibosheth moved into the palace. He ate dinner with David just like one of his sons, and Ziba and his family (He had 15 sons) were there to serve him.

Jesus said that He is preparing a place for us in heaven.  (John 14:3)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Ark of the Covenant is brought to Jerusalem (2Samuel5-8)

Sorry it has been a while since I posted. I hope you had a great Easter.  Jesus is risen!

 After David became king, the Philistines were not happy. Remember David killed one of their best warriors, Goliath, not to mention thousands of soldiers. So the Philistines plotted to invade Israel and kill David. David prayed. God answered. The Philistines were defeated and David prayed again... thanking God for the victory.

 Then David decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Remember the Ark of the Covenant? God had the Israelites build it as a mobile dwelling place for Himself. Moses and the Israelites carried it through the desert. Joshua and the Israelites carried it across the Jordan River into the promise land. The Philistines captured the Ark, but gave it back when they were plagued with trouble. Now David was bringing it to Jerusalem. The Ark had been at the home of Abinadab in Judah. Abinadab's two sons Uzzah and Ahio placed the Ark of the Covenant on a new cart. They had to be careful to use the rods to lift the Ark because God warned them not to touch the Ark. But when they neared the city of Nacon, the oxen stumbled. Uzzah reached out and grabbed the Ark to steady it. He was struck dead instantly! Wow! That seems a little extreme to us, but God is good and we have to trust that He does what is right and good. Under further investigation, we can begin to understand what happened.
 The poles were placed through rings on the side of the Ark to carry the Ark, not for lifting the Ark unto a cart. No one bothered to read God's instructions for handling the Ark. It had been at Abinadab's home for 20 years and no one remembered the words of God. God is holy and we are sinful. That is why Moses couldn't look into the face of God and why no one could touch the Ark.
"David and those involved in transporting the ark erred in several ways. First, they had already lost the awe and reverence one should have for the holiness of God. Second, they had forgotten the clear instructions God set down in the law for the transporting of the ark." (Bible.org) 
 Do you give God the awe and respect that is due Him? Do you take His word seriously? It is easy for us to become lazy in our praying and Bible reading. God wants us to get to know Him better. Praying with reverence and reading our Bibles with respect draws us near to God and helps us live lives that please Him. Also, saying things like "Oh my God" and "OMG" are taking God's name casually and not with the reverence that He deserves. We should think about it before we say these things.

 David was very upset and he feared that he would not be able to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, so he left the Ark there at the home of Obed-edom. For three months while the Ark was in his home, Obed-edom and his family were blessed like crazy! David heard about it and decided to try again to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem. This time he read God's instructions for transporting it and did it the right way. When the Ark finally reached Jerusalem. There was much cheering and trumpet blowing.

When God brought peace to Israel and David was settled in as king, David summoned Nathan the prophet. "The Ark of the covenant has never been in a temple. It has always been housed in a tent. Why should I be in this beautiful palace while the Ark of the Covenant is in a tent? I will build a beautiful temple for God!"
 That night God spoke to Nathan and told him to tell David that He did not want David to build Him a temple. The reason is given to us in 1Chronicles 28. David had to kill a lot of Philistines during his life. God wanted someone without blood on his hands to build the temple, and that someone was David's son, Solomon..

 God did however, promise David that his kingdom would last forever. He kept His promise because Jesus was born into the line of David! What a promise and a blessing!
 David prayed and thanked God for His promise.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Road to David becoming the King of Israel (2 Samuel 1-4)

  While David and his men were saving their women and children from the Amalekites, Saul and Jonathan were in a fierce battle with the Philistines. Saul and Jonathan, David's best friend, both lost their lives in the battle. David didn't hear about it till two days later. He wept and mourned for his friend, Jonathan, and for Saul. Even though Saul had spent the last few years trying to kill David, he knew that God had anointed Saul as king. David also knew that he himself was anointed as the next king, but he was willing to wait on God's timing.

Ishbosheth becomes king of Israel
 Waiting is so hard to do, Isn't it? We do not like to wait. Have your mom or dad ever told, "OK, in 5 minutes." Then that 5 minutes feels like 2 hours! Imagine David waiting over 10 years after God told him that he would be king.... and he was still waiting!

 Well the wait was over..... sort of. God told David to settle in Hebron, a city in Judah. While he was there, the citizens of Judah crowned David king.... but at the same time, Abner, one of the commanders of King Saul's army, was crowning Ishbosheth, another one of Saul's sons, king of Israel. Israel was divided into 12 tribes (12 sections). David was king over Judah and Ishbosheth was king over the other eleven tribes.
 Abner was leading Israel's troops through the land and Joab, one of David's men was leading his troops as well. They met in Gibeon. Abner stepped forward and said, "There is no need for a lot of bloodshed here. Why don't we each pick 12 warriors and have them battle it out in hand-to-hand combat. Whoever wins this exhibition will win the entire kingdom for their side." Joab and his men agreed. When the exhibition was over..... all 24 men were dead. So Abner took his men back to Israel and Joab took his men back to Judah. But one of Joab's brothers, Asahel, was angry about the outcome and wanted to kill Abner. Asahel began to chase Abner through the wilderness. Abner warned Asahel to turn back, but he would not relent. "Tun back!" Abner shouted. " I will never be able to face your brother Joab if I have to kill you." Just then Asahel caught up with Abner and Abner killed Asahel. This began a long war between those who had been loyal to Saul and those who were loyal to David.
David becomes king of all of Israel
 As the war dragged on, David became stronger and Ishbosheth's kingdom became weaker.  King Ishbosheth and Commander Abner began to fight among themselves. Abner was brought before the king and accused of dishonorable behavior. "After all I've done for you and your father!" Abner spouted. "Remember, it was me that helped you become king! Well guess what? I am going to David and help him become king over all of Israel. After all, everyone knows that God anointed him long ago while your father was still king" Then Abner left and King Ishbosheth began to worry about what Abner might do.
    Abner travelled throughout Israel and took a poll to see how the people would react if David became their king.  The people relished the idea of David as their king. So Abner went to see David.
David threw a huge feast in honor of Abner and he agreed to a covenant between the people of Israel and Judah. "You will finally be king over all of Israel!" Abner declared. Then David sent him safely on his way. But as he was leaving, Joab saw Abner there and became enraged. He asked David how he could even think of making a covenant with the man who killed his brother. Then he caught up with Abner and killed him. "That's for killing my brother!" Joab sneered.
 With word of Abner's death, King Ishbosheth became fearful. It seemed that his whole kingdom was turning against him, and sure enough, one night while he was sleeping, two of his commanders came in and killed him. They wanted to show David that they had decided to join his side, but when they came and told David what they had done, he had them executed.

  David was willing to wait on God.(Psalm 27:14)   He did not want to become king because the king was killed in his sleep. But that is how he became king over all of Israel.
  David was 37 years old when he became king. Remember when he was a kid and Samuel anointed him king? David was about 15 years old then. He had to wait 22 years for God's promise. During that time David faced many hardships and sorrows. Are you willing to face difficulties while waiting on God? Waiting doesn't mean just sitting there and waiting. It means doing what God wants while waiting for God to fulfill His purpose in your life.  Waiting makes us stronger.  (Isaiah 40:31)