Look, Listen & Live 4: Servants of GOD (Long Version)
Outline: Ruth, Samuel, David, Elijah. 24 sections. It has a picture book to go along with the recording.
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
The Israelites were God's chosen people. Sometimes they disobeyed God and this brought them much sadness and trouble. But many of the people loved God and were very diligent in following His Word. They were God's servants. As they served God they were a help to other people. Listen to these stories about some of God's servants.
Turn to the next picture in the yellow book when you hear this sound.(signal)
Picture 1: A Family Flee from Famine
After the Israelites settled in the land of Canaan, they called the land Israel. At one time there was no rain for many months. The people had no food and it was a very difficult time.
A man named Elimelech lived in the town of Bethlehem. He took his wife, Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chileon, and went to the nearby land of Moab. They thought they would live there for awhile, until there was enough food in Israel again.
But things did not go well for this family. Elimelech, the father, died. Then his two sons, Mahlon and Chileon, married girls from Moab. Their names were Orpah and Ruth. Later on, the two sons died. Naomi, Orpah and Ruth were very sad because they had no men to care for them. Naomi felt that God had turned away from her.
Sometimes we have bad times like that too. Perhaps it seems that God has forgotten us. But that is not true. God loves us and cares for us all the time. He uses the bad times as well as the good times to help us, and to teach us about Himself. God can make the bad times become good times, as we will see in this victory.
Picture 2: Naomi and Ruth Return to Israel
Naomi, Orpah and Ruth were sad because their husbands had died. Then Naomi heard that God had sent rain to His people in Israel, and they were having good crops again. She thought that it would be best if she returned to Israel, so she packed up all her things and set off on her journey. Orpah and Ruth went with Naomi.
After they had gone a little way, Naomi spoke to her two daughters-in-law. "It will be better if each of you go back to your own people, to your own parents' place. You have both been kind to me and I pray that God will be good to you, and give each of you a good husband and a happy home."
Orpah and Ruth cried and said they did not want to leave Naomi. They said they would go with her to Israel. But Naomi said that she would not be able to provide any husbands for them. It would be better for them to return to their own places. Orpah and Ruth cried again. Then Orpah said good-bye and went back to her own place.
But Ruth would not leave Naomi. Ruth said, "Don't make me leave you for I want to go wherever you go, and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God."
Ruth did not understand all the difficult things that were happening to her, but she knew she could trust Naomi's God to care for her. She wanted to be one of God's people too.
Naomi and Ruth traveled back to Bethlehem, in Israel. Naomi's friends were sad to hear that her husband and sons had died. They tried to comfort her. Naomi and Ruth stayed in Bethlehem.
Picture 3: Ruth in the Harvest Field
It was the time of the year when the people of Israel were harvesting their crops (barley). Ruth and Naomi had no fields or crops of their own. They were very poor. Ruth said to Naomi, "I will go out into the fields and see if I can pick up some of the grain that the harvesters have left behind."
Ruth went into a nearby field and began to collect the grain. The field belonged to a man named Boaz who was a very wealthy man, and a close relative of Naomi. But Ruth did not know this. Boaz came to the field while Ruth was working there. He talked to the man who was in charge of the harvesting. Boaz said to him, "Who is that woman over there?"
The foreman said, "That is the woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me if she could pick up the grain which the harvesters left. She has been working hard all morning."
Boaz went and spoke to Ruth. He said, "You stay in my field. Don't go anywhere else. Stay right behind the harvesters and they will look after you." Ruth was very surprised. She asked, "Why are you so kind to me? I am only a foreign woman."
Boaz said, "That is true, but everyone knows how kind you have been to Naomi, and how you left your own people to come and live among strangers. God will bless you for this. Because you have come to trust in Him, He will care for you in a wonderful way."
Boaz and his workmen looked after Ruth, and she picked up much leftover grain. That evening when she took it home, Naomi was amazed to see the large amount of barley Ruth had. Naomi said, "Where did you get so much? Someone has been very kind to you."
Ruth told her about Boaz and all that he had said. Naomi was excited to hear this. She said, "Boaz is a close relative of ours. God is very good to us. He had sent Boaz to help us." Ruth stayed in the fields of Boaz and worked there right through the time of harvest.
Picture 4: Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
At the end of the barley harvest, Naomi spoke to Ruth and said, "I must try and get a husband for you, so that you can be happily married in a home of your own. I have been thinking about Boaz. He has been very kind to us, and he is a close relative of ours. He knows our custom that when a man dies, a close relative can marry the dead man's wife and so provide sons to carry on the dead man's name. I think Boaz would like to do this for you, so listen carefully and do what I say. I know that Boaz will be winnowing grain (barley) this evening. Go to the place where he is working, but don't let him see you. After he has finished work, and has eaten his meal, watch where he lies down to sleep. When he is asleep, go quietly and lie under the blanket just at his feet. Boaz will tell you what to do after that."
Ruth went to the place where Boaz was working and did all the things Naomi had asked her to do. Later on that night, Boaz woke up and saw that a woman was lying under the blanket at his feet.
"Who are you?" said Boaz.
Ruth said, "I am Ruth. I want to become your wife according to your custom, because you are our close relative."
Boaz said, "You are a kind girl, Ruth, and God will bless you for this. You don't just think about marrying a young man, but you are prepared to marry an older man like me, so that you can raise a family to carry on the name of your dead husband. Don't worry. I will arrange all the details for our marriage as soon as possible. But there is one problem. There is one other man who is a closer relative to you than I am. He has the right to marry you before I do. I will talk to him about this in the morning."
Picture 5: Boaz and the Elders of Bethlehem
The next day, Boaz went to the market place at Bethlehem. There he found the man who was a closer relative then he was to Naomi and Ruth. Boaz sat down with the man, and called ten of the elders of Bethlehem to come and be witnesses to everything that was said between them.
Boaz said to the man, "Naomi is selling the land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. You have the right to purchase it. If you don't purchase it, I will."
The man said, "Yes, I will buy it."
Then Boaz said, "If you buy the land, you must also take Ruth the Moabite woman as your wife, and raise a family for her that will carry on the name of her dead husband."
The man did not want to do this because he already had his own family. So he said to Boaz, "I will not buy the land - you buy it." Then the man took off his sandal and gave it to Boaz. This was the custom of the people of that place to show that the land now belonged to Boaz.
Boaz said, "You men are all witnesses. Today I have bought the land from Naomi, and I have also acquired Ruth as my wife."
The men said, "Yes, we are witnesses. May God bless you Boaz, and Ruth. May you have a large family, and may they be leaders in Israel."
So Ruth became the wife of Boaz. Later on they had a son called Obed. Naomi and Ruth and Boaz were all very happy. Ruth was not an Israaelite, but she became one of God's people, and a true servant of God. It was difficult for her, but Ruth trusted God to help her. God gave her great happiness and also made her a help to other people.
Ruth's son, Obed, was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David. David became the great king of Israel and the ancestor of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Picture 6: Mary and the Angel of God
Mary was a woman who lived in Israel many, many years after Ruth. Mary was a descendant of Ruth and Boaz. Mary was a young woman and a virgin. She was engaged to marry Joseph. Before they were married, an angel appeared to Mary and spoke to her.
The angel said, "Mary, God thinks very highly of you. He is going to do something very great for you. You will become pregnant and bear a son. You will call Him Jesus. He will be a very great man and will be called the Son of God. God will make Him a great king, and His kingdom will last forever."
Mary was very surprised to hear this. She said to the angel, "I am not married. How can I have a baby?"
The angel said, "God's Spirit will cover you, and you will become pregnant. Your baby will be the Son of God."
Mary said, "I am God's servant. I will do whatever He says."
Mary was another one of God's servants. She believed that God would do as He said. She loved God and trusted Him to care for her. Mary became pregnant, as the angel had said. She gave birth to a son and called Him Jesus. He was the son of Mary and the Son of God. Jesus was the greatest servant of God. He gave up His life for us all so that God could take away our sin and we could become part of God's family.
Picture 7: Hannah Prays to God
1 Samuel 1:1-20
There was a man in Israel named Elkanah. He had a wife named Hannah. Hannah was very sad because she had no children. Each year Elkanah and Hannah traveled to the House of God (Tabernacle) at Shiloh. There they gave offerings to God, and thanked God for all the good things He had done for them. But still Hannah was sad, because she had no children.
One day when they were at Shiloh, Hannah went to the House of God to pray. The priest who looked after the House of God was sitting just beside the doorway. His name was Eli.
Hannah was crying as she prayed to God. She said, "O God, hear my prayer and give me a son. If you will give me a son, I will give him back to you, and he will serve you all the days of his life."
Eli could see that Hannah was upset. Her lips were moving but no sound came out as she prayed. Eli thought she was drunk and spoke sharply to her, "Must you come here while you are drunk." He said.
But Hannah said, "O no, I am not drunk. Don't think I am a bad woman. My heart is very sad and I am praying to god about my trouble."
Eli said, "Let your heart be at peace and may God grant you whatever you have asked for." Then Hannah was very happy. Later on, after she and Elkanah returned to their home, Hannah gave birth to a son. She called him Samuel.
God always hears our prayers, and He knows what are the best things for us to receive. He also knows what is the best time for us to receive them. We must be patient as we pray to God and trust Him to give us what is best at the right time.
Picture 8: The Child Samuel in The House of God
1 Samuel 1:24-28, 2:12-21, 3:1-21
Hannah kept Samuel for just a few years. Then while he was still a little boy she took him to God's House (Tabernacle) at Shiloh. Hannah came to Eli the priest and said, "Do you remember me? I am the woman you saw standing here, praying to god. I asked God for a son, and He has given this boy to me, so now I am giving him to God. As long as he lives he will belong to God. He will be God's servant."
Samuel stayed with Eli at the House of God, but Elkanah and Hannah returned to their home. Each year they brought offerings to the House of God and Hannah would make a coat for Samuel. Eli would pray and ask God to help them in all they did. God gave Hannah more children - three boys and two girls.
Samuel stayed with Eli, and Eli taught him how to be a servant of God in God's House. Samuel grew up to be a boy who loved God and always obeyed His Word.
But Eli's sons were very wicked. They were also priests in the House of God, but they did not obey God. Eli did not correct his sons. He just let them keep on doing evil things. God was not happy about this and nor were the Israelite people.
One night when Samuel was asleep, he heard a voice call his name, "Samuel." He jumped up and ran to where Eli was sleeping. Samuel said, "Here I am. Did you call me for something?" Eli said, "No, I didn't call you. Go back to sleep."
This same thing happened three times. Then Eli realized that God was talking to Samuel. Eli said, "Go and lie down again. When you hear the voice say, "Speak Lord. Your servant is listening."
Samuel did as Eli had told him. Then God said to Samuel, "I am going to punish Eli and his family, because Eli's two sons are so wicked. Eli and all his family will be punished."
Next morning, Eli asked Samuel what God had said, and Samuel told him. Eli was sad, but he knew what god was going to do was right. From that time, God spoke to Samuel many times, and he gave God's Word to the Israelite people.
It is good if we listen to God as Samuel did. Even though it may not be easy for us to do what God says, we must obey God's Word carefully. We must also teach God's Word to our children.
Picture 9: Samuel Prays for Israel
1 Samuel 7:2-14
Samuel grew up to be a great leader in Israel. He served God and the Israelite people as he taught them the Word of God. The things that God had said about Eli and his family all came true. Eli's two wicked sons were killed by (enemy) Philistine soldiers. Eli also died.
The Philistine people defeated Israel in battle and ruled over them for 20 years.
Then Samuel spoke to the people, "If you are determined to return to God and follow only Him, you must get rid of all your false gods. If you obey God's Word whole-heartedly, He will deliver you from the Philistines." So the people destroyed all their false gods and worshipped only God.
Then Samuel said, "Everyone come to Mizpah and I will pray to God for you." Many of the Israelites gathered together at Mispah. They fasted and prayed and offered sacrifices to God.
The Philistines heard that the Israelites were meeting there, so they sent all their soldiers to fight against Israel. Just as the Philistine soldiers arrived at Mizpah, Samuel offered a lamb to God as a sacrifice, and he prayed for the Israelites. God sent a great thunderstorm that made the Philistine soldiers terrified and they began to run away. The Israelite soldiers chased them and won a great victory.
Samuel was a great leader. He was a great servant of God and the people of Israel. He traveled all over Israel helping the people with their troubles, and teaching the Word of God to them.
Picture 10: Samuel Anoints Saul with Oil
1 Samuel 8:1 - 10:1
When Samuel grew old, he appointed his two sons as leaders of Israel. But they did not follow God the way their father did. They did many things that were not right and the people of Israel were not happy. Some of the leaders came to Samuel and had a meeting with him. They said, "Your sons do not follow God the way you do. They are not good leaders for us. We want you to appoint a man who will be a good king over the whole nation of Israel. We want to have a king like all the other nations have."
Samuel was upset when the people said this. He knew that God was the king of Israel. The people should have been following God, and not looking for another king.
But God spoke to Samuel. God said, "Don't be upset by what the people have said. The people have not rejected you, they have rejected Me. Let them have a king. But warn them that it will bring many hardships for them."
Samuel told the leaders what God had said, then he sent them home. A little while later, a man named Saul came to the place where Samuel was staying. God said to Samuel, "This is the man who is going to be king of Israel."
Saul was tall and good-looking. Samuel went to Saul and poured some olive oil on his head. This was a special sign that Saul had been chosen as God's king for Israel. Saul was king over Israel for forty years.
We must be careful who we let rule our lives. If we try to be master of our own lives we are sure to make mistakes. If we let other people rule over us they may not lead us in the right way either. We must make sure that God is our king, and follow only Him.
Picture 11: Saul Tears Samuel’s Robe
1 Samuel 15:1-29
Saul was a great leader of the Israelite soldiers. They fought against the Philistines many times, and Saul helped Israel to win many battles.
One day God gave a message to Samuel. God said, "Tell Saul to go and fight against the Amalekites. They are the people who fought against Israel when Israel first came out of Egypt. Tell Saul he must destroy those people completely because they are very wicked. Don't leave any Amalekite people alive, nor any of their animals."
Samuel gave this message to Saul and Saul took the Israelite army to fight against the Amalekites. The Israelites won a great victory against them. But Saul did not completely obey what God had told him to do. The Israelites kept alive many of the best animals of the Amalekites, and they brought the king of the Amalekites back as a prisoner.
Samuel came to meet Saul and said to him, "What have you done?" Saul said, "We have obeyed God's command."
Samuel said, "Then why can I hear all the noise of the animals? And why is their king still alive?"
Saul said, "We just kept the best of the animals to offer as sacrifices to God."
Samuel said, "It is better to obey God's message than to offer sacrifices. You have rejected God's message, so God has rejected you as king of Israel."
Samuel turned and walked away. Saul grabbed hold of his robe to pull him back, but Samuel's robe tore.
Samuel said, "Just as my robe is torn, God has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you. He will give it to a better man."
Sometimes we think our own way is best. But we must always be careful to obey God's Word completely. Then we know that God will be pleased with what we do.
Picture 12: Jesus in the House of God
Many years after Samuel, God sent His Son Jesus from Heaven to live on earth as a man. Jesus came to save all people. But Jesus did not come as a great leader, with many servants and a large army. No, Jesus was born as a baby, to poor people. Jesus came as a servant. He was a servant of God and a servant of all people.
Every year devout Israelites went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover in the Temple. When Jesus was 12 years old His mother, Mary and her husband, Joseph, took Him to Jerusalem. Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all their relatives and friends worshipped God there for several days. Then Mary and Joseph began to travel back to their own village. When they stopped for the evening they looked for Jesus, but could not find Him. He was not with any of their relatives or friends. Next day they returned to Jerusalem and continued to look for Jesus. After three days they found Jesus in the Temple. Jesus was sitting down with the men who were the Teachers of the Israelite people. They taught the people about God's Word. Jesus was talking with them about God's Word. The teachers were amazed at the things Jesus knew.
Mary and Joseph were upset. Mary said to Jesus, "We have been searching for you everywhere. Why didn't you tell us you were here?"
Jesus said, "Why were you looking in other places? You should have known that I would be here in My Father's House. I am doing work for My Father."
When Jesus was just a boy like Samuel, He obeyed His Father, God. Jesus knew that His Father was God. Jesus came to be God's servant, and the Saviour of all people. Jesus obeyed God in all that He did. Remember that Samuel listened to God and obeyed His commands. But remember also that Saul disobeyed God and ruined his life.
Picture 13: David, The Brave Shepherd
1 Samuel 16:1-13, 17:34-35
When God rejected Saul as the king over Israel, He chose a young man named David to take his place. (David was the son of Jesse. Jesse was the son of Obed. Obed was the son of Boaz and Ruth.)
David was a young man who loved God. He tried to please God in everything he did and said. David was a shepherd for his father, Jesse. While David cared for the sheep he sang songs and made beautiful music to praise God.
One day while David was caring for the sheep, a wild lion came and attacked them. Though he was only a young man God helped David kill the lion, and the sheep were not hurt. Another time, the same thing happened when a bear attacked them. David knew he could trust God to help him.
God told Samuel to go to Jesse's place at Bethlehem, where He would show Samuel who was going to be the next king of Israel. When Samuel arrived at Jesse's place, he asked to see all his sons. Jesse's eldest son was tall, strong, and good looking. When Samuel saw him he thought he must be the man God had chosen to be king.
But God said to Samuel, "No, this is not the one. You should not just look at a person's outward appearance. I (God) look at a person's thoughts and desires."
Samuel looked at all of Jesse's sons, but God did not choose any of them until they brought the youngest one, David. God said to Samuel, "Yes, he is the right one, anoint him." Samuel took some oil and poured it on David's head as a sign that God had chosen him to be the next king of Israel.
David was just an ordinary person, but God chose him to become king of Israel, because he loved God and wanted to serve Him with all his heart.
Picture 14: David and the Giant
1 Samuel 17:1-54
The Philistines came to fight against King Saul and the army of Israel. The two armies faced each other across a valley. One of the Philistine soldiers named Goliath was a huge man, 3 meters tall.
Every day, Goliath came out of the Philistine army camp and called out to the Israelites, "Choose a man from among you to come and fight me. If he defeats me, we will be your slaves. But if I defeat him, you will be our slaves."
Goliath made this challenge to the Israelites for many days, but no-one went to fight him. All of the Israelites were afraid of Goliath.
David was too young to be a soldier, but one day his father told him to take food to his older brothers. David heard Goliath shout his challenge to the Israelites and said, "this man should not defy the army of the Living God."
King Saul let David go to fight against the giant Goliath. David was not afraid. He knew that God would help him. He picked up some stones for his sling and ran to meet Goliath.
David shouted to Goliath, "You come against me with a sword and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Living God. The battle belongs to God. He will help us to defeat you today."
David used his sling and threw a stone at Goliath. It hit him in the middle of the forehead, and he fell down dead. Then the Philistines were afraid and began to run away. The Israelites chased them and won a great victory. David was not afraid of the giant. He knew that God was much greater than the giant, and God's power was able to help him.
Sometimes we have troubles and hardships. They seem like giants to us and we think they might defeat us. We can trust God to help us. He is greater than all our troubles, and He loves and cares for us.
Picture 15: Saul Tries to Kill David
1 Samuel 18:1 - 23:29
King Saul was very pleased that David had helped Israel to defeat the Philistines. He gave his daughter, Michal, to be David's wife. He asked David to come and live with him in the King's house.
The people of Israel were very pleased with David too. David became a great soldier and leader. The people made up songs to sing about David's great victories. But this made King Saul jealous. He became angry with David and even tried to kill him.
God was not helping Saul as He did before, because Saul had disobeyed God. Sometimes an evil spirit would torment (worry) Saul so that he acted like a madman. When that happened, David played soothing music on his harp which made Saul feel better again. But once, while David was playing music for Saul, he got very angry and threw his spear at David. David moved aside quickly and the spear just missed him. It was very dangerous for David to live in the palace.
Jonathan, Saul's son, was David's best friend, and he tried to help David all the time. Many other Israelites helped David too. But eventually David had to leave King Saul's house. He ran away to a desert place and hid so that Saul could not find him. But David was not alone for long. Soon many Israelite men came and stayed with David and he became their leader.
David knew that God was with him. David had been a shepherd, looking after his father's sheep, and David knew that God was his Shepherd. God cared for him all the time, even though it was difficult for David at that time.
God is our Shepherd too. He knows our difficulties and hardships and He cares for us all the time.
Picture 16: David Spares Saul’s Life
1 Samuel 26:1-25
King Saul continued to chase after David for many years. But God cared for David and always kept him safe.
At one time, David and his men were hiding out in a desert place. Saul and a large army of Israelites came looking for David. One night they camped close to the place where David was hiding, so he decided to creep into King Saul's camp and see what they were doing.
David took one of his men named Abishai with him. In the middle of the night they crept silently into the camp. All the soldiers were asleep. Even the guards around King Saul were asleep. King Saul was sleeping with a spear and water jug beside him.
Abishai said to David, "Now is the time for you to kill Saul. God has given him to you now."
But David said, "No. It would be wrong for me to kill the man God has chosen to be king of Israel. We will just take his spear and water jug and get away."
So they took Saul's spear and water jug and crept quietly out of the camp. When they were a long way away, they shouted loudly and woke up all the people in Saul's camp.
David called out, "You are not looking after your leader, the King. His spear and water jug are here with us. We have spared your life, Saul. I pray that God will keep my life safe too." After this, Saul stopped chasing after David, and he was able to live in peace.
David did not need to kill Saul. Murder is never right and God forbids it. David did what he knew was right in God's sight, and God cared for him. It is always best for us to do what we know pleases God.
Picture 17: David Is Made King
1 Samuel 31:1-7; 2 Samuel 5:1 - 7:16
Saul was still the king of Israel, but God was not with him anymore. The Philistines brought a great army to fight against Israel. After a long battle the Philistines won. Saul and his son, Jonathan, were killed and many other Israelites too. The people of Israel were very sad. Now there was no king in Israel.
David's family was from the tribe of Judah. The tribe of Judah asked David to be their king. They told the other tribes in the land of Israel to make David their king too. After some time all the tribes of Israel agreed to make David king over Israel.
The people said, "The Lord (God) has said that you should be the shepherd and leader of His people." The people were very happy with David as their king.
God gave David great success in all that he did. God helped David and the Israelite army to defeat all their enemies. The area over which David ruled as king became larger and larger. David defeated the Jebusite people who lived in Jerusalem. Then he made Jerusalem his capital (chief) city and built his palace there.
David was a good leader. He prayed to God to guide him, and the people were pleased with all the decisions he made. David wrote many songs to praise God. This helped the people to learn more about God. As a young man David had been a shepherd caring for sheep. Now God had made him a shepherd of the Israelite people. David obeyed God's Word, and he taught the people to obey God's Word too. David was the greatest king the people of Israel ever had.
Picture 18: David and Bathsheba
2 Samuel 11:1 - 12:20
David was a great leader of Israel. But even great leaders make mistakes. At one time David was staying in his house (palace) in Jerusalem. The Israelite army was away, fighting a battle against some of Israel's enemies.
One evening King David went for a walk on the roof of his house. He looked over to another house and saw a beautiful young woman having a bath. David liked the woman and wanted to have her for himself. He found out that her name was Bathsheba and that she was married to Uriah, one of the soldiers in his army. David wanted her so much, he asked Bathsheba to come and stay with him. David committed adultery with her.
At that time Uriah was away with the army. David sent a message to the captain of his army. He told the captain to make sure that Uriah was killed in the war. Then David took Bathsheba as his own wife. Bathsheba came and lived in the palace with David's other wives. Later she bore him a son.
David thought that no one knew what he had done. But God was very displeased with what David had done. God sent His prophet Nathan to speak to David. Nathan said, "God has made you king of Israel and given you great success. But you have despised the law of God. You have committed adultery and murder. Now the enemies of God can laugh at God and His law. Because of what you have done, Bathsheba's son will die, and there will be a lot of unhappiness and murder in your own family."
Then David realized that what he had done was very wrong indeed. He prayed to God and told him that he was very sorry for what he had done. He asked god to for give him and to take away his sin. He wanted to have a right relationship with God.
God forgave David for all his sin. God allowed David to continue as king of Israel. David was still a great leader of Israel, but because of what he had done, he had to face many troubles and difficulties with his own family.
We cannot hide our sin from God. God knows all about us. We must confess our sins to God and turn away from them. God is always ready to forgive us and to make us right with Him. But when we sin we hurt other people, and we also give the enemies of God an opportunity to laugh at Him. It is better to forsake our sin, and to obey the Word of God.
Picture 19: A House for God
1 Chronicles 22:1-19
David ruled as king over Israel for many years. He defeated all of Israel's enemies. David loved God and he always tried to do things to please God. David thought it would please God if he built a big and very beautiful house (a Temple) for Him in Jerusalem. So David began to make plans to build the temple.
But God said to David, "No, you cannot build a house for Me. In your many battles you have killed many men. You are not the right sort of man to build a house for God. Your son, Solomon, will be the next king of Israel after you. He will be a man of peace and rest. He will build the temple for Me." David was sad when God said this, but he knew God was right. David worked hard getting together all the things that would be needed to build the temple.
When his son, Solomon, became king, everything was ready for him to begin. Solomon had many thousands of workmen to build the temple. It took them seven years. When it was finished, it was a beautiful place. The Israelite people loved to come there and worship God. They did this for many hundreds of years.
David was the greatest King of Israel. But another King was to come who is greater than David.
Picture 20: Jesus Comes Into Jerusalem
Many years after King David, Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. Mary was a descendant of King David. Jesus is the Son of God, but He is also a descendant of King David.
Jesus taught the people about God. He did many wonderful things to show the people that He was the Son of God. (God's Chosen One)
One day Jesus came into Jerusalem. A large crowd of people were waiting to great Him. Jesus came riding on a donkey. The people were very happy and they shouted and sang praise to God. Some people put their coats on the ground for the donkey to walk on. Other people waved palm branches in their hands.
They shouted, "Praise God for the Son of King David. Praise God for the man God has sent to us." The people wanted Jesus to be their king.
The words of the Bible from many years before came true that day. The words say, "See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey."
Yes, Jesus is the King of Israel. He is also the King of all people everywhere. But Jesus was God's servant. He came to help all people. Jesus is a King, but He does not rule over people by means of a large army. He is the King of people who love and obey His Words. He wants us to be God's servants and to help other people. Is Jesus your King?
Picture 21: The Birds Feed Elijah
1 Kings 17:1-6
After King David and King Solomon, there were many kings who ruled over the people of Israel. Some were good kings who taught the people to obey God. But others were bad kings who led the people away from God.
One of the bad kings was named Ahab. His wife's name was Jezebel. Jezebel was not an Israelite. She worshipped one of the false gods called Baal, and she tried to make all the Israelites worship Baal too. Jezebel and Ahab were wicked people. They did many evil things to try and make the Israelite people follow false gods. God was very displeased with this.
At that time there was a prophet in Israel named Elijah. He loved and obeyed god and gave God's word to the people. One day, God told Elijah to take a message to King Ahab. Elijah went to Ahab and said, "Because you and the Israelite people are worshipping false gods, God is going to punish you. From this day onwards, there will be no rain in Israel for the next few years until I tell it to rain again."
From that day, it did not rain in Israel for three years. It was a very difficult time for all the people. But it happened because Ahab and the people would not obey God.
God told Elijah to go and hide in a desert place called Cherith. There was a small stream there, and Elijah could drink from that. God told the birds (ravens) to bring food to Elijah every day. So Elijah had food and drink every day, and he stayed there for a long time.
Elijah was not afraid to give God's message to Ahab and the people, even though they did not like it. Elijah knew that the most important thing to do was to love God and obey Him. Elijah knew that God would care for him. Let us be brave and obey God even when things are difficult.
Picture 22: Elijah and the Fire of God
1 Kings 18:16-46
For three years Israel had no rain. It was a very difficult time for the people. Then God said to Elijah, "Go and tell King Ahab that I will soon send rain."
Elijah went to King Ahab and said, "Gather all the Israelite people together at Mount Carmel with all the religious leaders who teach the people to worship the false gods Baal and Asherah."
Ahab brought all the people, and the priests to Baal, to meet Elijah at Mount Carmel. Elijah spoke to them all and said, "You people must choose whom you are going to serve. If you think God is the great one who has power over all things, then serve Him. But if you think Baal is the great one, then serve him."
Then Elijah spoke to all the priests (religious leaders) who served Baal and said, "Prepare firewood and put it on an altar. Then kill a young bull, cut it up, and put it on top of the firewood. I will do the same and prepare firewood, kill a young bull and put it on the altar of God. But no-one is to put fire on the altars. You call upon Baal and I will pray to God. The one who answers by sending fire to light the wood, he is the true God."
After they made their preparations, the priests who served Baal began to dance and shout. They called out to Baal, "Baal, hear us!" They did this all morning and all afternoon. Elijah laughed at them and said, "Call louder, perhaps he is deaf." Then they shouted louder and cut themselves with knives, but still no fire came to light the wood.
Towards evening, Elijah called all the people together. He told them to pour lots of water on the altar and firewood. Then Elijah prayed to God and asked Him to show the people that He was the true God. Suddenly God sent fire from heaven. It burned up the young bull, the firewood, the stones and the water - nothing was left. All the people bowed down and worshipped God. They all said, "God is the great one. We will serve Him."
Elijah served God even when most other people did not. God showed the people that He was God and that His servant Elijah was right.
God needs faithful servants today. Men and women who will obey Him even when other people laugh at them.
Picture 23: Elijah Goes to Heaven
1 Kings 19:1-21; 2 Kings 2:1-14
For many years, Elijah continued to teach the people about God. Many times Ahab, Jezebel and other wicked people tried to harm Elijah, but God always protected him. God told Elijah to anoint another man to help him teach the people about God, and to give God's messages to the people. His name was Elisha. Then God told Elijah that his time on earth would soon finish. He must get ready to go to heaven.
One day Elijah and Elisha were walking along together. Suddenly a chariot of fire appeared drawn by horses of fire, and drove between them. It forced Elijah and Elisha to separate. Then Elijah was picked up by a strong whirlwind and carried up to heaven. His cloak fell from him on to the ground.
Elisha was very surprised and cried out, "The chariot of Israel and the chariot drivers!" Then the chariot and the chariot drivers and Elijah disappeared from his sight as they went up into heaven.
Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak and took it with him. It was a sign that Elisha was now God's prophet who would give God's messages to the people.
It was not always easy to be a servant of God, but Elijah and Elisha feared God and always obeyed Him. They loved God and did the things that pleased Him.
Picture 24: Elijah with Jesus and Moses
Many (700) years after Elijah, God sent His Son, Jesus, to live on the earth. Jesus gave God's messages to the people, and He taught the people about God's Word. Some Israelite people wanted to kill Jesus, just as they wanted to kill Elijah, but others listened to what Jesus said. They believed that what Jesus said was true and that He was the Son of God.
One day Jesus took three of His disciples to the top of a mountain, away from all the people, to pray to God. While Jesus was praying, His face and clothes changed. They began to shine with a very bright light. Then two men appeared and began talking to Jesus. They also were shining with a very bright light. One of the men was Elijah, the other was Moses. They talked with Jesus about how Jesus would complete God's great plan of salvation in Jerusalem and return to heaven.
God said, "This is My Son, the One I have chosen. Listen to what He says." When the cloud lifted, only Jesus was standing there with his three friends.
Elijah and Moses were men who loved God and served Him. When they died, they went to heaven and there they continued to praise God and serve Him. They are still there today.
How about you? Do you love God and obey His Word? Have you turned away from your sinful ways and asked God to take away your sins? Are you one of God's servants?
It is not always easy to be a servant of God. But Jesus has promised to be with us always. When we die we will continue to praise God and serve Him forever in Heaven.