My Sabbatical Plan

In about a month from now, I will be taking my first sabbatical ever. Since I have never done this before, I don’t know what to expect or what will come out of it. But because it is in our pastoral staff policy and the Holy Spirit seems to be leading me to this, I am obeying His guidance. At first, I thought about completely staying away and resting from church ministry. So, I planned not to come to church for any reason even when I am in town. Instead, I thought about attending different churches to experience different styles of worship and learn from them. After ...

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Ruth and Boaz

Dear Parents, Only two books in the Old Testament bear the name of a woman: Ruth and Esther. Ruth’s story occurs at the time when judges ruled over Israel. God’s people were characterized by rebellion and immorality. At a time when the Israelites desperately needed a king to lead them back to God, Ruth’s story of faithfulness points us to Jesus Christ, a coming Redeemer who will make all wrong things right again. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, a woman from Bethlehem who settled in Moab with her husband and two sons to escape a famine. Naomi’s husband ...

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Samson

Dear Parents, Samson was the last of the major judges of Israel. He was born to parents who dedicated him to the Lord as a Nazirite after the Angel of the Lord announced that Samson would be born to save the Israelites from the power of the Philistines. Samson grew up, and God blessed him with great strength. But when Samson requested to marry a Philistine woman, his parents were confused. Samson was supposed to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. Why would he want to marry one of them? But God had a plan in all of this. (See Judg. 14:4.) As Samson prepared ...

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Gideon

Dear Parents, Last week, your kids learned about Deborah and Barak. This week, Judges 6 starts out in a familiar way: “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” The period of Judges was not a good time for the Israelites. Their cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace clearly showed the law alone could not save them from sin. The Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites, and they cried out to God for help. God chose a man to save them, and his name was Gideon. Gideon was an unlikely leader, and he knew this. Gideon said, “Please, ...

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Deborah and Barak

Dear Parents, This week, kids learn that the time of the judges continued after the death of Ehud. The Israelites fell into a continuous cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace. Every judge was imperfect, yet God worked through the judges. At the time when the Israelites were oppressed by the king of Canaan, Deborah was the judge of Israel. Deborah sent for Barak and encouraged him to take up an army and fight the army of Canaan and its leader, Sisera. Deborah reminded Barak that God would hand Sisera and his troops over to him. (Judg. 4:6-7) Barak agreed to ...

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Israel’s Unfaithfulness

Dear Parents, Thank you for choosing to use the Gospel Project for Kids. Following Joshua’s death, the Israelites were without a leader. They fell into a cycle of sin that can be seen during each reign of the judges. The cycle is marked by an A-B-C-D-E pattern. Let’s look at the first judge, Othniel, to see this pattern. First, the people fell into Apostasy. They turned away from God and served other gods. (Judg. 3:7) Next, they experienced a period of Bondage. God was angry with the Israelites, and He gave them into the hand of the king of Aram. (v. 8) Third, ...

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Taking the Land

Dear Parents, Last week, kids learned that God fought for His people at the battle of Jericho. When Moses was the leader of Israel, God gave His people instructions about entering the promised land. Among those instructions was the command to drive out the nations living in the land of Canaan. (See Deut. 7.) These nations were corrupt, and God would judge them for their sin. (Lev. 18) In the first battle, Israel marched around Jericho and the Lord gave them the city. As Israel moved to take the rest of the land, God pledged His presence to Joshua and reminded Israel ...

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