June 15, 2014

OT 17 Jacob's Dream

Reference: Genesis 28:10-22

Story Summary: 
   Esau had vowed to hurt his brother, Jacob, because he had stolen his blessing. When Jacob’s parents heard of this, they told Jacob to run away to his Uncle Laban’s house, which was about 550 miles away.
   One night on the journey, Jacob stopped at sunset. He used a large rock as his pillow and soon fell asleep. It was then that God came to him in a dream.
   In his dream, Jacob saw a great ladder to heaven, which angels going up and down it. At the top, he saw the Lord God himself. God spoke to Jacob and made him many great promises. These were the same promises God had made to Jacob’s father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham.
   When he woke, Jacob realized God had come to him in that dream. He made a promise to God: “if you keep your promises to me, then you will be my God.” Jacob took the stone he had slept on. He set it up like a pillar and poured oil over it to remember what God had said to him there.

Big Idea and Motions: God kept his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
God - point up
Kept - clasp your hands together
Promise - Touch your right index finger to your lips, press the palm of your right hand down onto the top of the fist of your left hand (See http://goo.gl/B9xpEJ for a demonstration).
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - hold up additional fingers as you say each name

Verse / Motions: Psalm 105:8, ESV - He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations...
He - point up
Remembers - tap your temple
Covenant - pretend to write on your palm with a pencil
Forever - draw a ∞ in the air with your finger
Word - open your palms like a book
Commanded - wag your finger, with your other hand on your hip
Thousand - gesture your arms in a wide circle

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Why was Jacob running away from home? // His brother, Esau, wanted to hurt him
What did Jacob sleep on? // A large stone
What did Jacob do when he slept? // He dreamed
How tall was the ladder in Jacob’s dream? // All the way to heaven
Who was going up and down the ladder in the dream? // Angels
Who was at the top of the ladder? // The Lord God
What did God talk about with Jacob in his dream? // He gave him the same promises he gave Abraham and Isaac.
What did Jacob do with the stone after the dream? Why? // He set it up to remember God spoke to him there
What promise did Jacob make? // “God, if you keep your promises, you’ll be my God.”
Who was Jacob’s great-great-great-great grandson? // Jesus

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/EoHA5G
Resources - http://goo.gl/J1w7Qq

June 8, 2014

OT 16 Jacob Steals Esau's Blessing

Reference: Genesis 27

Story Summary: 
   Isaac, who was very old and blind, wanted to pray a prayer of blessing over his son, Esau. But first, he wanted his son to hunt some wild meat and prepare a meal for him to eat. So Esau set out.
   Rebekah overheard this and went to Jacob. She told Jacob to pretend to be Esau and get Isaac to bless him instead. They cooked food the way Isaac liked it, dressed Jacob in Esau’s clothes, and even coated Jacob in goat fur so he’d be hairy like Esau.
   When Jacob came, Isaac was suspicious. But Jacob kept lying and lying, saying that he was Esau. Eventually, he convinced Isaac of his lies and Isaac blessed him.
   Soon after Jacob left, Esau arrived with his wild meat, prepared for his father. Quickly, Isaac and Esau realized they’d been tricked by Jacob. Esau as furious and wanted to kill Jacob. Rebekah heard of this and told Jacob to run away to her brother, Laban.

Big Idea and Motions: Tell the truth like God.
Tell - make your hand talk like a puppet
Truth - tap your lips with your index finger, then point away*
God - point up
* This is the ASL sign for “true”

Verse / Motions: Ephesians 4:25, ESV - Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor...
Put away - pretend to toss something over your shoulder
Falsehood - cross your index fingers in an X over your lips
Each one of you - point to different people as you say each of these words
Speak - make your hand talk like a puppet
Truth - tap your lips with your index finger, then point away*
With his neighbor - put your arm around someone else
* This is the ASL sign for “true”

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What did Isaac want to do for his son, Esau? // Pray a prayer of blessing to God for him
What did Isaac want Esau to do first? //Hunt for meat and cook it for him
When Rebekah heard this, what did she do? // Get Jacob and make a plan to trick Isaac
What was Rebekah’s plan? // Have Jacob pretend to be Esau and steal the blessing
What did they do to make Jacob smell and feel like Esau? // Wore his clothes and goat skins
Why couldn’t Isaac see that it was Jacob? // He was blind.
Did Jacob successfully trick Isaac? What did Isaac do? // Yes, he blessed him
Who came in after Jacob left? What happened? // Esau did. He and Isaac realized Jacob tricked them
How did Esau feel after Jacob stole his blessing? // So mad he wanted to kill Jacob.
What did Rebekah tell Jacob to do? // Run away from Esau to live with her brother

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/PNsFDm
Resources - http://goo.gl/lQnO5n

June 1, 2014

OT 15 Jacob, Esau, and the Birthright

Reference: Genesis 25:27-34

Story Summary: 
   Because Esau was the the older twin, he received his family’s birthright. That meant he would receive twice the inheritance that his brother Jacob would receive. And their father, Isaac, was a wealthy man. Esau's birthright was very, very valuable.
   One day, Esau came back from a long day in the wild, open country just as Jacob was cooking. He was tired and very hungry. “Give me some of that red stew,” he said. Seeing an opportunity to trick his brother, Jacob said, “First, sell me your birthright.”
   “Look, I’m dying of hunger,” Esau exaggerated. “What good are those rights to me?” Because he was so hungry,  Esau did a very foolish thing. He agreed to sell his birthright for a bowl of red stew. So Jacob gave him some stew and bread to eat and Esau chowed down. By selling his birthright for stew, Esau showed that he didn’t care about his birthright at all.

Big Idea and Motions: Small foolish decisions now can cost you big later.
Small - hold your hands about an inch apart in front of you
Foolish - twirl your index finger in circles by your temple and wiggle your head
Now - point to your feet with both index fingers
Big - hold your hands far apart
Later - point far to the right with both index fingers

Verse / Motions: Romans 5:8, ESV - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wages - pretend to swipe a debit card
Sin - two thumbs down
Death - cross your arms in an X over your chest
Free gift - hand a “gift” to someone in front of you
Eternal life - trace an ∞ in the air with your finger
Christ Jesus - form a cross with your forearms
Lord - point up

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
A birthright meant you got twice as much… what? (Inheritance, stuff when your parents died.)
Which brother had the birthright at the beginning? Why? (Esau because he was born first.)
What had Esau been doing? (Out in the open country, probably hunting.)
What was Jacob doing? (Cooking some red stew.)
When Esau wanted stew, what did Jacob say? (First sell me your birthright.)
What did Esau say after Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright?” (I’m dying of hunger! I don’t care about my birthright!)
What did the Bible say Esau thought about his birthright? (He didn’t care about it.)
Was what Jacob did kind? Why not? (No. He should have just given soup to his brother instead of tricking him.)
How did Esau’s foolish action cost him? (He’d get half of the inheritance later.)
How did Jacob’s foolish action cost him? (He didn’t get along with his brother.)

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/pZpnVO
Resources - http://goo.gl/joVoUW

May 25, 2014

OT 14 Jacob and Esau are Born

Reference: Genesis 25:19-26, 26:2-4

Story Summary: 
   God had promised Abraham that he would grow his family into a great nation. God began to keep that promise by giving Abraham a son in his old age, Isaac. But there was a problem: Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, was unable to have children.
   Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife. God answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant. Soon after, Rebekah felt a great struggle inside her. She asked the Lord what was happening. God said, “Two nations are in your body. The older son will serve the younger one.”
   Rebekah gave birth to twin boys. The first to come out was red and hairy. They named him Esau. As Esau came out, his brother grabbed him by the heel. They named the younger twin Jacob.

Big Idea and Motions: God kept his promise to Abraham and Isaac.
God - point up
Kept - clasp your hands together
Promises - Touch your right index finger to your lips, press the palm of your right hand down onto the top of the fist of your left hand (See http://goo.gl/B9xpEJ for a demonstration).
Abraham - hold up an index finger to your right
Isaac - hold up another index finger to your left

Verse / Motions: Psalm 105:8, ESV - He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations...
He - point up
Remembers - tap your temple
Covenant - pretend to write on your palm with a pencil
Forever - draw a ∞ in the air with your finger
Word - open your palms like a book
Commanded - wag your finger, with your other hand on your hip
Thousand - gesture your arms in a wide circle

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What problem did Rebekah have? (She couldn’t have children.)
What did Isaac do when Rebekah couldn’t have children? (He prayed to God.)
After Isaac prayed, what did God do? (Let Rebekah have children.)
What were the babies doing that made Rebekah worried? (Struggling inside of her.)
What did Rebekah do when the babies were struggling inside her? (Asked God what was happening.)
What did God say about the two babies? (They were two nations; the older will serve the younger)
What baby was born first? (Esau.)
What was Esau like? (Hairy and red.)
What baby was born second? (Jacob.)
What was Jacob doing when he was born? (Grabbing Esau’s heel.)

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/wxHdNe
Resources - http://goo.gl/5OzRVl

May 18, 2014

OT 13 Isaac and Rebekah

Reference: Genesis 24

Story Summary: 
   Abraham asked his servant to travel to the land of his family and find a wife for his son, Isaac. He didn’t want Isaac to marry one of the evil people who lived in the land of Canaan. He sent the servant off with camels packed with treasures.
   When he arrived, the servant stopped by the well outside of town. He prayed, “God, give me success. Suppose I say to a women, ‘Please give me a drink.’ If she says, ‘I’ll give you a drink. I’ll get some water for your camels, too,’ let her be the one you’ve picked for Isaac.
   As he finished the prayer, Rebekah came to the well. The servant asked her for a drink. Rebekah said, “I’ll give you a drink. I’ll get some water for your camels, too.” Right then, the servant knew that God had answered his prayer.
   After talking with and giving gifts to her brother, Laban, Rebekah and the servant returned to Abraham. When Isaac met Rebekah, he took her home to be his wife.

Big Ideas and Motions: God listens when his people pray.
God - point up
Listens - cup your hands behind your ears
People - hold out your hands and wiggle your fingers
Pray - press your palms together and bow your head

Verse and Motions: Psalm 145:18, ESV - The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Lord - point up
Near - squeeze close to anybody by you
All - gesture your arms in a wide circle
Call - pretend to talk on a phone
All/call - same motions as before
Truth - touch your index finger to your lips, then point away from you*
*This is the ASL sign for “truth”.

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What did Abraham want his servant to do? // Find a wife for Isaac
Why didn’t Abraham want Isaac to marry someone from the new land? // They were evil people
What kind of place did the servant stop at when he got there? // A well
What did the servant pray? // God, show me the right wife for Isaac
What did the servant want the right woman to say? // I’ll get water for you and your camels
Who showed up as he was praying? // Rebekah
What did Rebekah say when he asked for a drink? // I’ll get water for you and your camels
What did the servant give to Rebekah? // Jewelry and clothes
Who did Rebekah and the servant go and tell this story to? // Laban, her brother
After he met Rebekah, what did Isaac do? // Marry her

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/mBQ9l1
Resources - http://goo.gl/9LGzwL

May 11, 2014

OT 12 Job

Reference: Job 1-2, 42

Story Summary: 
     Job was an honest  and righteous man. God blessed him with many good things, including 10 children, and many servants and animals.
     One day, when Satan challenged the Lord. "Job only trusts in you because you've guarded his family and given him so many good things. If you take those things away, he'll speak evil right to your face!" The Lord God agreed to let Satan test Job. Satan was allowed to take away the good things God had given Job, but he couldn't touch Job himself.
     Satan put his plan into action. Soon, messenger after messenger came to Job with terrible news. His animals had been stolen or killed. He's servants had been attacked. And his children were all dead. Still, Job didn't speak evil of God.
     But Satan wasn't through. He told God, "If Job's own body is hurt, he'll curse you to your face!" God agreed to let Satan test Job. But Satan had to allow Job to live. So Satan did what he said. Painful sores covered Job's body. Even though he was miserable, Job didn't speak evil of God.
     After passing Satan's tests, the Lord rewarded Job. God gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Big Idea and Motions: God is always Good, even when things look bad.
God - point up
Always - gesture your arms in a wide circle
Good - two thumbs up
Look - put a hand above your eyes and look around
Bad - two thumbs down

Verse / Motions: James 1:12, ESV - Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life...
Blessed - hold two thumbs up near your face and smile
Man - flex your muscles
Steadfast - stomp your foot, put your hands on your hips, and stand boldly
Trial - pound the bottom of your fist into your palm, like a judge pounding a gavel
Test - pretend to write on your palm
Receive - pretend to receive a box from someone
Crown - pretend to put a crown on your head

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
What was Job like? // Honest, right, respected God, avoided evil
What blessings did God give Job? // 10 children, many animals, servants
What test did Satan want to do to Job? // Take away his stuff
What did Satan say Job would do if he lost his stuff? // Speak evil of God, right to his face
What bad things happened to Job in the first test? // Lost all his animals, servants, and children
Did Job speak evil of God after test 1? What did he do? // No, he shaved his head, tore his clothes
What was the second thing Satan wanted to do to Job? // Hurt Job’s body
What did Satan do to Job’s body? // Covered it with sores
What did Job’s wife tell Job to do after he was covered in sores? // Speak evil of God and die.
Did Job speak evil of God after test 2? // No
What did God give Job at the end of his life? // Twice as much as he had before

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/E3AHxj
Resources - http://goo.gl/jVb9x0

May 4, 2014

NT 39 Jesus on the Road to Emmaus

Reference: Luke 24:13-35

Story Summary:
   Two of Jesus' disciples were walking to a place called Emmaus. As they were walking, Jesus appeared among them, but God kept the disciples from recognizing who he was.
   As they walked, they told Jesus about the things that had happened in Jerusalem, about how Jesus had died, and about how some women had said he appeared to them. Jesus, of course, already knew about this since he was the person these things happened to.
   As they walked, Jesus taught the two disciples that the Christ, God's special savior, had to suffer to save his people. He started from the first books of the Bible and taught all the way through the end of the Old Testament. As he taught, the two disciples' hearts burned inside them.
   When they stopped, Jesus started to go on further. But the disciples begged Jesus to stay with them. As they ate together, God opened their eyes. They recognized Jesus and, just like that, Jesus disappeared before their eyes.
   The two disciples ran back to Jerusalem totell the other disciples that they had seen the risen Lord.

Big Idea and Motions: The whole Bible points to Jesus.
Whole - gesture your arms in a wide circle
Bible - open your hands like opening a book
Points - point your index finger into the palm of your other hand
Jesus - form a cross with your forearms

Verse / Motions: John 5:39, ESV - You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me...
Search the scriptures - open your hands like a book and look back and forth at them
Think - tap your brain
Eternal life - draw a ∞ in the air
Bear witness - make your hands talk like puppets
Me - point to yourself

Questions to Ask Throughout the Week
Who were the two disciples in Jesus’ story? // Cleopas and his wife, Mary
Where were they walking? // To Emmaus
Who joined them on their walk? // Jesus
Why didn’t they know it was Jesus? // God kept them from recognizing him.
What were they talking about? // How Jesus had died, some women had said they saw him risen
What did Jesus teach them about? // How the Bible talks all about the Christ.
How did the disciples’ hearts feel when Jesus talked to them? // Like they were burning inside.
What happened when they ate bread with Jesus? // They recognized Jesus, then he disappeared
After they saw Jesus disappear, what did the disciples do? // Ran back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples
Who does the whole Bible point to? // Jesus

Google Docs Links:
Lesson - http://goo.gl/kFDrwP
Resources - http://goo.gl/bfsdXO