Sunday School Lesson – “The Branch and His Reign of Peace” Isaiah 11:1-10

Photo: Pixabay

VERSE DISCOVERY: Isaiah 11:1-10 (KJV, Public Domain)

The current situation of our culture and world is far removed from the idyllic picture of peace the prophet Isaiah foretold of in the verses covering the latter part of this lesson.  Just turning on the news in the morning spouts stories of evil, hatred, gossip, destruction, and lives torn apart due to the ravages of sin in this world.

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if it were different?  What if we lived in a time when peace prevailed and our relationship with God was uninterrupted by sin?  There once was a time like that.  It was during the period of innocence with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

As we are continually dealing with the evils around us today, you too may have wondered for a time when the world knew nothing but the peace of God.  The good news is we have a renewal and restoration of such a time coming in our future.  For the people of God, one day we will be introduced to a world devoid of the hatred and sin we have become so accustomed to when our Savior, the prophesied Branch, comes back and takes His reign.

In the chapter before today’s text, where people are hearing such words as “Oh Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation,” Isaiah 10:5, there needed to be a measure of hope for the people to look forward to.  When God’s warnings go unheeded, He does what He must do to direct the hearts of sinful people back to Him.  God then sends them a promise of a remnant (Isaiah 10:20-23) and tells them, “Be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee . . .” (Isaiah 10:24).  It was going to get rough for the people and they would suffer punishment, but the promise was still up ahead for something so much more wonderful.

Have no fear, for those same instruments He uses, He will judge due to their own pride (see Isaiah 10:15-16; 33-34).  “He shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one,” (Isaiah 10:34).  But, for God’s people there is the promise of new growth that will arise and be a beacon of hope, ushering in peace unimaginable.

Isaiah then paints a beautiful picture for them and us to hold onto in chapter 11 (today’s text).  This world and all its trappings, fighting, and sin will not have the final say.  What’s up ahead is so much more glorious.  Just wait for the return of the Branch at His reign.

 The Branch

Isaiah 11:1-2 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

Isaiah, the first of the Major Prophets and the author of this book, is known and called by many today as “the eagle eye prophet” for his ability to foresee the birth of Christ some 700 years before it occurred. Though much of his ministry was filled with rebuke and warnings to God’s people over their wicked ways, he was also able to encourage them through what the Lord allowed him to see in their future.

Some of the visions he saw went even beyond the birth of Christ into His future reign at His second coming.  This is magnificent when you think about it.  This prophet was allowed to see the first and second coming of our Savior King.  And, what he saw in correlation to the second coming was mind-blowing.  For those who are tired of the troubles of this world, there is a greater story up ahead and it starts with a glimpse of the past.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”  This verse and those following we identify as the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.  As many Bible students are aware, Jesse is the father of King David.  Why is that significant?  The fact is God gave David a promise through the prophet Nathan saying, “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever,” (2 Samuel 7:16).

Although David and his descendants died and passed off the scene and saw corruption, there would still be a sprout that will grow from the roots of this family to secure that seat on that throne that shall be established forever.  There will be one who springs up from this royal lineage that will not see corruption, but rather reign forever (Acts 13:37).  And, His name is Jesus.

Of Him it was spoken of, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” (Luke 1:32-33).  From before the beginning to the end of His life Jesus was fulfilling the promise of this forever kingdom rule.  He is that prophesied rod and Branch Isaiah foretells of.

If you have ever cut back some plants and placed them in water and tend to them, they begin to grow roots and sprout new life to them.  A new and better life has always been God’s desire for His people which is why it was so important that they learn about this promised Branch and cleave to the hope of peace found in Him.  Prophesying of this Branch was not only something Isaiah foretold of but Jeremiah as well.

Jeremiah 23:5, supporting the imagery found in Isaiah, also prophesies of Christ as the Branch from David: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth,” (see also Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 33:17).

One more note on our Branch description of Jesus to solidify He is the fulfiller of these prophesies.  After His birth, His parents had to flee Bethlehem for fear of Him being killed by Herod.  This landed them in Egypt.  When it was time for Him to be safely returned to the area, God spoke to Joseph in a dream instructing him on what to do next.  In Matthew 2:23 these directions led them to Nazareth.  This was very important because as it reads: “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”  That word “Nazarene” is “nezer” or “netzer” in Hebrew which means “branch.”  The Bible could not be any clearer on who this true Branch is: Jesus Christ.

“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him.”  The Branch is full of God’s Spirit.  When John the Baptist baptized Jesus it was evident that this was the Son of God by a sign that was given him. John 1:32-34 says, “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”

PLEASE NOTE: Jesus did not “get” the Spirit at the time of His baptism.  Jesus has always been fully God, meaning, fully endowed with the Spirit, and fully man at the same time.

Anything done for God must be done through the Spirit.  Isaiah 42:1 also shows and prophesies, “I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment unto the Gentiles.”  Here in today’s text, we see He is empowered by the same Spirit authoritatively, justly, and perfectly to function in areas where normal man is limited by the finiteness of his humanity.  He will have “the spirit of wisdom and understanding . . . counsel and might . . . knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” 

These functions allow Him to be the ultimate righteous judge we see figured in the next few verses.

PLEASE NOTE: When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2 which begins with the words, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me…”, and declared the same prophecy spoken therein was speaking of Him (see Luke 4:17-19).

Isaiah 11:3-5 “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

The term “quick understanding in the fear of the LORD” simply means He justly and obediently operates and follow’s His life course to please the heavenly Father.  His life is as an aromatic offering of Himself.

“He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.”  One of the strongest things that condemn or acquit a person in our judicial system is evidence; the stuff that people see and hear that prove a case or not.  We rely on this in order to have fair and unbiased proceedings.  But, what if a situation comes where the evidence is just circumstantial and can’t really be trusted to condemn or not?

He, of whom this prophecy speaks of, will base His judgment on nothing other than “righteousness” which is the truest measure wherewith anything can be measured by.  He will make sure those that are considered the least of all; those who are usually not able to defend themselves – He will make sure they will have a just, fair, and right outcome.

His righteousness is mandated by His holiness.  His holiness and just judgment are directed by the power of the Spirit in and of Him which includes all those special areas as noted above: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.  He is completely empowered to discern, advise, and carry out His sovereign righteous reign.

“He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of lips shall he slay the wicked.”  2 Thessalonians 2:8 tells us, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”  No adversary, not even Satan himself, will be able to stand when the reigning Christ opens His mouth in judgment.

The Centurion, when Jesus was coming to his house to heal his servant, sent and said unto Him, “Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed,” (Luke 7:6-7; emphasis mine).

In that coming day, when Jesus cracks the sky and returns, He will but speak a word “and with the breath of lips shall he slay the wicked” (compare His powerful words to Hebrews 4:12).  He will totally crush and destroy evil with the truth and right judgment that comes from His mouth.  He that it is spoken of that came to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) will ultimately face the same demise he tried to afflict on humanity.

“And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”  As a belt that holds up a garment, He that is coming will be wrapped in “righteousness and faithfulness.”  What that means is all that He is, and all that He has, and all that He does is guarded and supported by some of the most precious qualities about Him: His righteousness which simply is to do that which is completely and perfectly right, just, and with the utmost integrity; and, His faithfulness which personifies His sure character of never failing and steadfastness.

Out of all the leaders throughout our history here on this earth and out of all the leaders we currently see in power or vying for position now, He is the only One empowered completely to reign right.

In other passages of Scripture we see, “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself . . .” (Psalm 93:1), and “For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak,” (Isaiah 59:17).  Our King is already now and will be then, dressed and ready to render proper justice in this world and no evil will be able to stand against His judgment.

His Reign of Peace

Isaiah 11:6-10 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”

Peace as we have never known before.  An age that resembles the innocence of living in the garden with God once again as He originally designed.  There’s a beauty here that can’t be missed.  A place now where only our imagination can take us until that promise of hope is finally fulfilled in that day.

Once I wrote an article titled Interruption of Peace, expressing in it how the enemy comes to steal peace that God gives, yet peace is His divine promise and blessing to us.  In it I talk about how peace is something that must be fought for; it’s about what we let dominate our lives (read article www.wordforlifesays.com).  But, here’s the blessed thing of that coming future day – we don’t have to fight for this peace.  We don’t have to struggle with the day to day issues of life to lay hold of it.  It is there.  It is our promise.  It is our hope.  It is what He has already secured for us and at His reign, we will know it like we have never known it before.

PLEASE NOTE: We I speak of “at His reign” I am speaking of the future day of fulfillment when Jesus returns a second time to rule forevermore.  Of course, as saints of God, we know that He is ruling even as we speak now.  We are not diminishing that; rather we are magnifying the extraordinary event that will take place in that day when the Branch comes and solidifies His reign of peace.  Oh, what a day that will be!

In that day, God’s creation will operate under a spirit of divine fellowship with one another as He originally created them to be.  There is no top of the food chain or bottom of the food chain status to worry about.  His peace; His righteousness will be felt by every being in nature and none shall be absent from the knowledge, the simple knowing, of who He is.

Animals that were at odds with one another, one hiding for fear of death and another seeking to satisfy a need to eat – it will all be done away with.  These competitors become companions: “wolves with lambs, leopards with the kid, lion and the fatling – led by the direction of an innocent child.”   

Even as fantastic as some childhood movies and books depict humans and animals living together in harmony, side by side, without fear of attack or being eaten [I happen to love those kinds of stories by the way], in most of those stories there are still elements that can cause fear, distrust, and anguish between the two.

In that coming day, none of that will exist.  Only the companionship of simply being will matter.  After all, who ever heard of “cows and bears” getting along or a “lion” that eats “straw like the ox?”  Who would ever in this day of ours allow babes and toddlers (sucking child and weaned child) to play with snakes (asp and the cockatrice)? 

His coming kingdom, at His perfect reign, the things which by nature seem impossible and unheard of now, will be possible then.  The only characteristic there is summed up in one word: PEACE.

All sin and evil by then will have been done away with and full restoration will come to head.  “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (compare wording to Habakkuk 2:14).  There is the absence of pain and tears.  There is no more hardship and adversity.  The things and wrong thinking that used to ravage humanity sending it on its downward spiral of sin – all of that is gone.  It’s not in this future kingdom (see also Isaiah 2:4; 65:25; Hosea 2:18).

“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”  If you will allow me, I see the whole story of Creation, the whole history of man, and the whole of the promise that lays waiting for us in our future as being summed up in one word: GOD.

Psalms remind us, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God,” (90:2; see also Exodus 15:18 and Revelation 19:6).  And, it is that same Sovereign rule of our holy Creator that every man and creature will respect and know of because of the very essence and knowledge of who He penetrates the world as a whole thanks to the victory gained through that righteous Branch.

And, it won’t only be those of Israel who will be drawn to “his rest.”  As He stands as an “ensign;” as a banner raised, even the “Gentiles” shall “seek” him.

The nations will be drawn to the source of their salvation.  Jesus once taught Nicodemus, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:14-15); whether they be Jew or “Gentile.”  Jesus, the Branch, the “root of Jesse” was raised once on the cross when He died for the victory over our sins, and He will “stand for an ensign of the people” in that glorious day, declaring once and for all His victory and His reign of peace.

PDF Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes): Sunday School Lesson – The Branch and His Reign of Peace

Suggested activities noted in the lesson:

“Chart of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus” (Some useful information to note specific Isaiah prophecies when leading into the lesson)

“Children’s Video of Isaiah 11:1-9 prophecy”

“Grow Carrot Tops Activity” (This activity will help students see how new growth can sprout from a carrot.  Simply follow one of the easy ways shown on this site for a successful and fun project for your students.  Enjoy!)

“Geneology of Jesus Wheel Craft” (This craft or a family tree will help students trace Jesus’s family line.  Enjoy!)

Adult Journal Page: Adult Journal Page – Better Days are Coming

Kid’s Journal Page: Kid’s Journal Page – Signs of Peace at Jesus’ Reign

Blank Journal Pages  for adults and children to fill in your own verse or ideas: 2 journal pages

Draw the Scene: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Draw the Scene

Memory Verse: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Memory Verse

Word Search: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Word Search  Answers: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Word Search Answers

Crossword: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Crossword  Answers: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Word Scramble  Answers: The Branch and His Reign of Peace Word Scramble Answers

“Peace on Earth” (Activity sheets, coloring, and printables)

“The Prophet Isaiah” (Links to coloring pages, teacher’s guide, etc.)

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Sunday School Lesson – “When Sin Entered In”

Photo: Pixabay

VERSE DISCOVERY: Genesis 3:1-15 (KJV, Public Domain)

Failure is something I, as well as all humanity, have grappled with throughout their life.  Whether you want to give it a cute name like “fumbling the ball,” or call it as it is – “missing the mark,” they all declare the same thing in the end – I messed up.  I have sinned.

Sin, unfortunately, is something a lot of people don’t pay attention to, have become desensitized to, or simply brush off with no thought of confession or consequences.  Whereas, others, it brings them to their knees in humility seeking reconciliation with God and man.

Sin and the effects of sin is something every human will encounter because once sin entered the world it contaminated everything and everyone.  The paradise of what was will be shut away from humanity till the saved souls experience it one day in eternity.

“By one man sin entered into the world,” (Romans 5:12), and this lesson covers the events surrounding that dreadful day which has become known as the Fall; the day when sin entered in. 

The Fall

Genesis 3:1-7 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

God has, from the beginning, given a precious gift to the man He created: the gift of free will.  And, from the beginning, it has been man’s responsibility to use it in a just and righteous way.  With that, we see the man has had the ability to choose to do right or to choose to do wrong.  In these verses, the waters of that free will have been tested, and as a result, humanity succumbed to temptation and sin entered the world.

The serpent who appears in the story has become synonymous to us today and throughout the Bible as the devil or Satan.  Although in the form of a creature which is being used by the devil, this adversary of old (see Revelation 12:9) has come on the scene for one purpose – to disrupt the good that God created.  To work against Him in rebellion any way he can.

And to do that, he had to get to the mind of His beloved creature, man, by casting doubt about God.  The very nature of the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field.  That subtilty speaks of his cunningness.  Where a cunning character is in this respect, there is deception and falsehood with the craftiness to work both.  Therefore, whatever he says cannot be trusted and unfortunately for Eve, she and Adam find out this sad truth the hard way and a little too late.

Questioning the woman, as if they had already been engaged in an active dialogue, but weren’t, he asked, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  This type of questioning lives up to the nature of this tempter.  It cast doubt where doubt probably wasn’t once before.  It asks one to focus a little harder on the forbidden object when quite possibly, it wasn’t the focus before.  A hands-off approach was alright with her until one question made her rethink the truth of what was.

Not fully comprehending or even slightly knowing of his deception, and the deceit behind his inquiry, Eve engaged fully into conversation with the serpent when she responded.  She told him what they may and may not eat.

God supplied plenty for them.  Remember, man was the last of God’s creation and God had everything in order to properly sustain and fulfill all that they would need.  With Eden bringing to mind a picture of paradise, in the lushness of what was available to them, it would be more than enough that they had at their disposal to use and enjoy.

We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.  Notice the s on the world trees, making them plural.  Plural choices were available to them.  Plural delicacies abounded in the garden.  There were multiple things to eat and choose from with only one being prohibited from them.

That one came with restrictions.  That one came with the only rule they had to follow to be obedient to God: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  This she knew.  Thus far, this is what she abided by.

Now, the enemy works in his cunning ways to get her to do the very thing that God hath said not to do.  First, he lied and convinced her the consequences aren’t as serious as she had been led to believe.  Once that kind of thinking enters in and one begins to mull over the idea, it becomes easier to shirk the responsibility of those consequences with total disregard.  He told her, Ye shall not surely die.

Note: Notice the conflict here in what God says versus what the serpent/devil says.  God’s Word is tried, true, and solid.  God’s Word is always right, and never flawed or wrong (Proverbs 30:5).  God’s Word is everlasting, and it is fixed in heaven (Psalm 119:89).  Anything that speaks against what God says, then and now, and does not line up with His Word, is not of God, and it’s wrong.  It’s of the devil.

Eve had a choice to make.  Who was she going to listen to?

Secondly, he planted his own seeds in that garden.  He planted seeds of doubt.  Today, we know the Bible tells us, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” (Psalm 84:11).  But here, as he presented this “option” to go outside of the will of God, he did so by making it seem that God was holding out on them.  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.

The more she listened and gave space to the serpent’s sly words, the more that option to sin looked enticing to her.  Of course, right then and there she may not have seen it as sin, but anything that takes one out of the will of God, we can rest assured, is sin, no matter what it “looks like.”

When she looked at that forbidden tree she saw it had everything she wanted.  It was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise.  Or, as John so eloquently wrote: “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” (1 John 2:16).

And, because it had everything she desired, the Bible tells us she did eat.  She sinned.  She made up in her mind to go her own way; to throw off what God said and listen to the serpent (compare James 1:14-15).

She then gave it to her husband, and he did eat, too.  Adam sinned, and he did so willfully (compare 1 Timothy 2:14).  He wasn’t deceived as Eve was and with their choices made, sin has entered the world and changed it forever (compare Romans 5:19).

Now, the eyes of them both were opened.  Now, they saw things as they never had before, and they didn’t like what they saw.  Not only did they now know what evil in this respect when previously all they knew was good; but now they knew shame, guilt, and the wrongs that came with it.  Now, they knew they were naked, and they tried to cover the nakedness by sewing fig leaves together.

Oh, how I can imagine, they probably wished they could undo it all; that things could go back to the way they were.  But, they couldn’t, and the consequences of the Fall would now come.

  The Consequences of the Fall

Genesis 3:8-15 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.  And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.  And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

In their state of innocence, before their sin, they had intimate fellowship with God.  So, when they heard His voice, they were familiar with His presence.  Only this time, it wasn’t as welcoming as it once was.  This time, there was trepidation involved.  There were fear and uneasiness where there wasn’t before.  This time, His presence exposed their shame, so they hid themselves.  Sin and guilt marred everything!

What does hiding imply?  To hide means there is something that one does not want uncovered.  There is something that one does not want to be revealed.  They want to hide their wrong; they want to hide their sin from God amongst the trees – but, alas, this attempt is futile.

So, God called out, Where art thou?  Our God is omnipresent, which basically means He is everywhere at the same time (see Psalm 139:7-10).    And, our God is omniscient, which means He knows everything that’s going on from the inside out.  Psalm 44:21 says that He even knows “the secrets of the heart.”  With that being said, God knew exactly where Adam was and what was going on.  Trees could not hide man’s sin.  Later in history, Jonah too would find out the impossible feat of trying to hide from an all-seeing, all-knowing God.  Everything is opened to God; everything is exposed.  There is nothing hid from Him (see Hebrews 4:13).

I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”  Matched against the presence of God, sin will make man tremble and be afraid.  God is holy, and His people are called to be holy (1 Peter 1:16).  But, when the unholy nature of man faces God, it tries to hide.  I imagine, previously the voice of God was a comfort to Adam.  Here, in the knowledge of his sin, fear has taken over.  Sin took away peace and opened the door for all other opposing emotions.    

Who told thee thou wast naked?  Questions are designed for extracting information from an individual and securing an answer.  Once again, God knew the answer, but Adam had to fully comprehend what he had done.  Questioning will cause Adam to look inside himself for an answer; a way to reply.  “How do I answer? I would have to admit this and that.”

Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  In other words, “Have you disobeyed Me?” is what God was asking.  Adam and Eve were given one rule to follow.  One rule; one command.  Did they disregard that command?

God’s word is His commands.  What God says outranks all else.  One’s real intimacy with God is revealed in how well they keep His commandments.  1 John 2:3 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”  The psalmist said, “Thy word I have hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” (Psalm 119:11).  Hiding God’s word in one’s heart will help them not to have to hide behind trees in shame later.

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave of the tree, and I did eat.  In the previous chapter, she was “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” (Genesis 2:23).  She was the one made specifically for him.  Here, there is an almost disdainful ire about him when he talks about that woman whom thou gavest to me.  What intimacy they once shared, sin has now caused a rift in their relationship, hence the beginning of the blame game.

Note: In speaking of the blame game, notice also how Adam seemed to signify too or hint at that it was God’s fault because He is the one who gave her the woman.  Sin ruins relationships with God and with people.   

And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?  As a parent lining children up to find out who broke the lamp, God is going down the line, questioning everyone involved.  The woman’s response was, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.  Through that one bite of forbidden fruit knowledge was gained, and with that came the realization that she had been deceived or beguiled.  Some say hindsight has 20/20 vision.  But, the Bible says, “The just shall live by faith,” (Habakkuk 2:4).

Actions have consequences, for the good or for the bad.  Here, it was all bad.  Disobedience to God’s commands always leads one a treacherous path.  That’s why the Bible says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 119:105).  God’s commands shine the way to keep man from that pathway that leads to destruction.

God then speaks to the serpent.  He’s not questioning him for information.  For now, it’s time to deal with the matter at hand.  Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed.  Cursed is a word no creature wants to hear.  God has spoken again the serpent.  Upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.  The serpent would be the least favored of all animals and would pay tremendously for his part in the fall of man.

I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  This judgement also carries with it spiritual implications of the conflict between the enemy and people, to Jesus’s ultimate victory in the end.

God’s judgement was set.  Individually, Adam and Eve received further judgements (see Genesis 3:16-19).  Collectively, paradise was lost in the heart where all that reigned once was peace, and it was lost physically in being evicted from Eden (Genesis 3:22-24).  Because, when sin enters in, it destroys everything.

PDF Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes for teaching): Sunday School Lesson - When Sin Entered In 

Sin Object Lesson Ideas:

“Broken and Restored Toothpick”

“Sin Separates Us from God Balloon Object Lesson”

“Sin is Gross Object Lesson”

Adult Journal Page – Adult Journal Page – Adam and Eve’s Choices

Kid’s Journal Page: Kid’s Journal Page – Adam and Eve’s Choices

Broken by Sin Puzzle: Using the pdf: Outlines People Template students can decorate their people, cut them out, and then using scissors cut their individual people into puzzle pieces.  This symbolizes the brokenness that comes by doing wrong, by sinning. (Don’t forget to supply sandwich bags so they can carry their puzzles home).

Draw the Scene: When Sin Entered In Draw the Scene

Activity Sheet: When Sin Entered In Activity Sheet

Memory Verse: When Sin Entered In Memory Verse

Word Search: When Sin Entered In Word Search  Answers: When Sin Entered In Word Search Answers

Crossword: When Sin Entered In Crossword  Answers: When Sin Entered In Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: When Sin Entered In Word Scramble  Answers: When Sin Entered Word Scramble Answers

“The Power of God” Sunday School Lesson, Job 26:1-14

Above Photo: Pixabay/paulbr75

 

VERSE DISCOVERY: Job 26:1-14 (KJV, Public Domain)

Many are familiar with the history of Job and how his story arrived at this chapter in the Bible and the reasoning for the state that he was in (see Job 1&2 for the story behind the beginnings of his afflictions).

In the chapter prior to this lesson, chapter 25, Bildad, one of Job’s friends who came originally to console Job, who then became one of his accusers, spoke against Job’s complaint. 

You see, Job is in the hardest battle of his life.  In some ways he appears to feel alone and can’t find God in the midst of this mess he is in (23:2-9), but he firmly holds on to his faith and states, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold,” (23:9). 

But, after Job’s recitation of the wrongs he sees being done in the world (chapter 24), his friend Bildad gives a little speech of his own, to the which, we find Job’s rebuttal in the verses below.

Words Without Power

Job 26:1-4 “But Job answered and said, How hast thou helped him that is without power? how savest thou the arm that hath no strength? How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom? and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is? To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?”

But Job answered.  This was the ninth time Job speaks and it is against his friends in rebuttal and he had a lot to say about them and the words they used against him.  A lot of words are flowing from their mouths but they have no power to help.

The words we speak out of our mouths can either edify (build up) others or tear them down.  Proverbs tell us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof,” (18:21).  Proverbs also tell us, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise,” (10:19).

Yet, refraining their lips were something Job’s friends had a great deal of difficulty doing.  They just knew that Job was the cause of all his troubles, and they had no problem telling him their opinions.  Repeatedly, they opened their mouth against their friend, and repeatedly, instead of encouraging and comforting him, they attacked him with venomous words that weren’t adding to Job’s circumstance, but they were taking away from him.

Job’s rebuttal to Bildad’s last speech was to question how have their words helped him?  He has been wrung through the wringer of life and he couldn’t even find strength in the counsel of friends.  No wonder he once referred to them as miserable comforters’ (Job 16:2).

Job lost everything physically and relationally close to him.  All his possessions are gone.  His children are no more.  His wife was acting like a “foolish woman” (Job 2:10).  And as for his friends, where is the sympathy and compassion he thought he would receive in such troubling times?

Rather, before the eyes of his friends, Job seems to be nothing.  They don’t look at him the same way they used to look at him.  To them, he is not righteous, he has no integrity, and he needs to have a one on one with God to get things right.  They see no value in the man they once highly esteemed and they had no problem telling him about himself.

Job was weak and had nothing and their words did nothing to strengthen him (compare Isaiah 41:28).

Job lamented their false words and so-called wisdom which they attempted, in their own way, to counsel him by (compare Psalm 71:9-12).  Sarcastically, he stated, How hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is?  Their words were many but did very little to relieve all that Job was feeling or going through.  At the end of Job’s story, God had something to say about the words they so plentifully aimed at Job.  He said, “Now take seven bulls and seven rams, go to my servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. Then my servant Job will pray for you. I will surely accept his prayer and not deal with you as your folly deserves. For you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has,” (Job 42:8; emphasis mine; refer back to Proverbs 10:19).  Through their own wisdom they thought they were helping, but in truth, their words didn’t help at all.

While Job may have questioned the words Bildad and the others uttered against him, and the spirit from which these words were inspired, one thing Job didn’t question in this chapter was the greatness of God’s power.

God All-Powerful

Job 26:5-6 “Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.”

God is not limited in His ability to see all and to know all.  He is “omniscient” which means “all-knowing.”  As Jonah found out in his story, there is no place one can run or hide and not have God be fully aware of it.  Even David once asked the rhetorical question for which he already knew the answer: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” (Psalm 139:7).  David then followed it up with this monumental statement of faith: “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there,” (Psalm 139:8).

Years before David’s proclamation on the all-knowing capabilities of God, Job pronounced that even the places where the dead, and hell, and destruction are; these horrid places beyond the capacity of man’s reach, their goings-on are completely opened before God as if they were naked and had no covering.

God’s power sees everything!  There is no place, no situation, no heart, no anything that is out of His reach to see and know about.  All our lives are truly an opened book before His greatness, and even when we pass off the scene, He knows us in those places as well.

God knows all that goes on in the heavens and the unlimited reaches of the universe that humanity can’t even begin to scratch the surface on knowing.  God knows what goes on in every corner of the earth, with every participant of humanity.  And yes, God even knows the places where the dead reside, no matter who or where they are.

They recognize Him and fear and tremble before His presence.  How much more should the living?

Job 26:7-14 “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. He bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it. He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?”

As Creator, God’s power is responsible for putting everything in its ordered place.

He stretcheth out the north over the empty place (compare Genesis 1:2; Job 9:8).  This is referring to the heavens.  We are told in the very beginning of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1).  God is the Author and Designer of all places, things, and life.  God’s power alone is responsible for the creation of even the heavens (north) (compare 1 Chronicles 16:26; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 42:5; 44:24; 51:13 – just to name a few).  “Ah LORD GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee,” (Jeremiah 32:17).

He hangeth the earth upon nothing.  It is amazing that Job had this insight of the universe in a time before the modern use of space exploration tools and technology.  The earth is just where God placed it, rotating on an axis that nobody can see, orbiting millions of miles around the sun each year, while being held on seemingly nothingness, yet there it is, perfectly placed by God’s power.  Jeremiah tells us, “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding,” (51:15).  In essence, God’s power and wisdom are all that is needed to hang the earth on nothing!

He bindeth up waters in his thick clouds.  As Job thinks about God’s power, perhaps he’s looking skyward where he notices the clouds.  Upon seeing them, maybe he is awestruck at their beauty and how God collects the waters in them and they float along the lines of the sky and the cloud is not rent under them.  Oh, in their due time, rains will come.  But isn’t it amazing all the waters that are gathered by way of vapors and held in each one, and despite their size, mass, and weight, they dance along on the currents of the winds and travel wherever they may without them busting?

The power of God is responsible for the creation of the clouds and rains as well. “For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly,” (Job 36:27-28). Oh, what insight Job had of the Almighty!

He holdeth back the face of his throne speaks of the covering of God’s majestic, heavenly seat by way of the very cloud over it.  As Moses was held safely in the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:22), shadowed by the hand of God, that his eyes may not be overcome by the fullness of His glory, so too may the clouds cover the place of His glory, concealing the fullness of Him in His heavenly abode (compare Psalm 97:2; 104:1-3).

He hath compassed the waters with bounds.  Does Job look out on the horizon and see that circular marker in the sky that shows the limits of where dark and light meet, where day and night come to an end, and realize it’s there, too, because of God’s power (compare Proverbs 8:29; Isaiah 40:22)?  All evidence of Job’s speech points back to God the Creator and how it was nothing but His power that set everything in the heavens and the earth into motion and being.

The pillars of heaven (compare Psalm 75:3) can be likened to the mountain peaks which appear, to the human eye looking out, that they are holding up the very heavens themselves and the skies are resting upon them.  Yet, as strong and as majestic these great pillars may appear to be, they tremble at the power of God and are astonished at his reproof.  They quake in His presence and are in awe at the sound of His rebuke (compare Psalm 18:7 and Isaiah 5:25).  Everything in creation reacts to the presence and power of God.

He divideth the sea with his power.  The seas are often described as raging and out of control, but God’s power controls even these.  As the seas can be stirred by His power they can also be calmed by His power.  This is something Jesus proved true when the Son of God stood in the boat in the midst of the raging sea and demanded of it, “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39) and it obeyed His voice.

By his understanding he smitteth through the proud or, “Rahab.”  There are many ideas of exactly who or what this is referring to.  But, all the proud will be crushed under Him whether it is speaking of the pride of the sea and/or creatures in it, the pride of evil, or the pride of nations such as Egypt; all will collapse and be brought down by the power of God.

Everything in creation was made by his spirit, (Spirit), or as some translate it, the very breath of God (In both the Hebrew and Greek the word “breath” is the same word for “spirit” and vice versa. Compare Psalm 33:6; John 20:22).  From the highest heights of the heavens and all their celestial bodies, including certain constellations, particularly the dragon, which in that day was synonymous to that of the crooked serpent (compare Job 9:8-9), everything came because He commanded it to be so. 

Note: Some see the serpent here as a physical animal on land or a sea creature, or even something of the spiritual nature, all which God most assuredly reigns over and can control.  But, here in this portion of Job, it most likely refers to the constellation.

When God spoke by His breath or Spirit in the beginning, those words formed and became the world and all that we see today.  Mankind may be able to invent things out of materials that already exist, but God, by His words, creates, and things come from nothing and begin to exist for His divine purposes (see Hebrews 11:3).  As Creator, He can raise them all up, and/or pierce them through at His holy desire.  Just because He is God!

Therefore, Job closes with this statement, Lo, these are parts of his ways.  All these beautiful descriptions that Job lays out about God’s power and His creative abilities and strength to form and hold all that is in the world, none of it can still scratch the vast surface of who He really is and what He is really capable of doing.  All that we may see and wonder over, are just a part of, or just the edge of His ways.  God is so much more.

What we can hear of Him amounts to no more than the littlest of whispers, or a little portion because He is so grand and majestic.  How we would be able to even comprehend the full thunder of powerWhat it all boils down to is, out of all that God has revealed to us through His creation, out of all the demonstrations of His power, we still only know the slightest parts of Him, we still can’t comprehend His greatness fully with our human intellect because He is just that powerfully awesome!

PDF Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes for teaching): Sunday School Lesson - The Power of God

Draw the Scene: The Power of God Draw the Scene

Memory Verse: The Power of God Memory Verse

Adult Journal Page: Adult Journal Page – Job 26:7

Kids Journal Page: Journal Page Kids – Job 26:7

Blank Journal Pages: 2 Journal Pages

Earth Mobile Craft: Earth Mobile Craft

Word Search: The Power of God Word Search  Answers: The Power of God Word Search Answers

Crossword: The Power of God Crossword  Answers: The Power of God Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: The Power of God Word Scramble  Answers: The Power of God Word Scramble Answers

“Called to Preach Christ” | Sunday School Activities for Acts 9:10-20

Hey guys, thanks stopping by and visiting!   I am glad you like this site.  Please go to my Facebook and like me there. I look forward to seeing you!

Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it, one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!

“Called to Preach Christ”

Acts 9:10-20

Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well.  Blessings!)

Please note: there are no printable lessons, only activities available, until after Labor Day.  However, there are some notes on a previous lesson titled “Saul Preaches Christ!” which you may find useful. 

Below are activities to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

Word Search: Called to Preach Christ Word Search  Answers: Called to Preach Christ Word Search Answers

Crossword: Called to Preach Christ Crossword  Answers: Called to Preach Christ Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: Called to Preach Christ Word Scramble  Answers: Called to Preach Christ Word Scramble Answers

Memory Verse: Called to Preach Christ Memory Verse

Draw the Scene: Called to Preach Christ Draw the Scene

Below are Activities/Resources/Links to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

“Animated Bible Story of Saul of Tarsus” (A great and short video showing today’s lesson.  Enjoy!)

“Paul’s Conversion Sunday School” 

“Saul on the Road to Damascus Coloring Sheet for Older Students”

“Saul’s Conversion: Tell it your way printable” (Two thumbs up!)

“The Big Change Activities and Illustrated Story”

“Paul’s Conversion Activities” (Including mazes, puzzles, dot to dot and more).

“The Transformer” (Printable activities and group activities including “Transformer Teams and “Transforming Musical Chairs.”  And of course, with all this transforming talk why not throw in an actual Transformer action figure.  So cool! Enjoy!)

“Paul’s Conversion” (Ok, this is so cool! This site shows you how to use the “Sorry” board game and “Guess-tures” to make learning this lesson in an awesomely unique way.  Enjoy!)

“Saul of Tarsus Flip Chart” (Can even be downloaded on Ipads, tablets and projectors.  Enjoy!)

“Saul Loved God Song and Coloring Sheet”

“Saul is Converted Coloring and Activities”

Above Image Provided by: Pixabay

top children's ministry blogs

“Called to Preach Christ” | Sunday School Activities for Acts 9:10-20

Hey guys, thanks stopping by and visiting!   I am glad you like this site.  Please go to my Facebook and like me there. I look forward to seeing you!

Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it, one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!

“Called to Preach Christ”

Acts 9:10-20

Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well.  Blessings!)

Please note: there are no printable lessons, only activities available, until after Labor Day.  However, there are some notes on a previous lesson titled “Saul Preaches Christ!” which you may find useful. 

Below are activities to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

Word Search: Called to Preach Christ Word Search  Answers: Called to Preach Christ Word Search Answers

Crossword: Called to Preach Christ Crossword  Answers: Called to Preach Christ Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: Called to Preach Christ Word Scramble  Answers: Called to Preach Christ Word Scramble Answers

Memory Verse: Called to Preach Christ Memory Verse

Draw the Scene: Called to Preach Christ Draw the Scene

Below are Activities/Resources/Links to support this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!

“Animated Bible Story of Saul of Tarsus” (A great and short video showing today’s lesson.  Enjoy!)

“Paul’s Conversion Sunday School” 

“Saul on the Road to Damascus Coloring Sheet for Older Students”

“Saul’s Conversion: Tell it your way printable” (Two thumbs up!)

“The Big Change Activities and Illustrated Story”

“Paul’s Conversion Activities” (Including mazes, puzzles, dot to dot and more).

“The Transformer” (Printable activities and group activities including “Transformer Teams and “Transforming Musical Chairs.”  And of course, with all this transforming talk why not throw in an actual Transformer action figure.  So cool! Enjoy!)

“Paul’s Conversion” (Ok, this is so cool! This site shows you how to use the “Sorry” board game and “Guess-tures” to make learning this lesson in an awesomely unique way.  Enjoy!)

“Saul of Tarsus Flip Chart” (Can even be downloaded on Ipads, tablets and projectors.  Enjoy!)

“Saul Loved God Song and Coloring Sheet”

“Saul is Converted Coloring and Activities”

Above Image Provided by: Pixabay

top children's ministry blogs

“Happy Thanksgiving!”

My Project 326-001

Happy Thanksgiving!

I feel honored, privileged and blessed by each and every one of  you, my readers.  Week after week, you guys stop by and delve deeper into God’s Word with me.  I am humbly and honestly touched!

I am so very thankful for all of you and I just want to say,

“Thank you!”

“You Guys Are Great!”

*******************************************

Please note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Sunday School lesson posted for this upcoming week: November 29, 2015.

“Happy Thanksgiving!”

My Project 326-001

Happy Thanksgiving!

I feel honored, privileged and blessed by each and every one of  you, my readers.  Week after week, you guys stop by and delve deeper into God’s Word with me.  I am humbly and honestly touched!

I am so very thankful for all of you and I just want to say,

“Thank you!”

“You Guys Are Great!”

*******************************************************************

Please note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Sunday School lesson posted for this upcoming week: November 30, 2014.