Sunday School Lesson – “A Help Meet for Adam”

Photo: Pixabay/MiguelRPerez

VERSE DISCOVERY: Genesis 2:18-25 (KJV, Public Domain)

All throughout the Bible, God is seen as being a promoter of strong family relationships and from the beginning, these families would start with the marriage of a man and a woman.  This is and was God’s one and only design for an intimate relationship and to fulfill the commandment to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). 

Is there anything sweeter than the absolute unity of true togetherness?  Togetherness that’s not shackled by doubts, mistrust, etc.?  Togetherness that speaks more in action than words and says, in this relationship, we come together to share life together?  Her concerns become his concerns, and vice versa.  She feels what he feels because their bond is one of unity and selfless love.  Yes, I believe in the beginning, before sin entered the picture, that sweetness existed.

And, that’s just how God intended it to be.  After the man was created, he was alone and had no one else like himself to share life with.  The animals were great and served as some source of possible companionship, but they could never fulfill the needs of the man the way someone like him would.  Animals are wonderful, and I’m an animal lover, but animals are not people.  People need people.  Humans need other humans to love and interact with to be whole and complete.

There is something integral missing in the created man’s life and God set about to remedy that situation when He made a help meet for Adam.   

 

                                                 Something Not Good                 

Genesis 2:18 “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

This lesson opens with, And the LORD God said, verifying that God Himself is the one making the statement that follows.  This is critical because it’s not only stating God’s authorship of the words but also in the actions that follow.

It is not good that the man should be alone.  At the end of everything God created He said, “It was good,” (Genesis 1:31).  But, here in this verse, something causes God to say, it is not good.  And that something is the loneliness of man, which we are assuming is the present cause for concern.  This verse specifically points out the man using a singular stance, meaning just one.  The usage of the words like this reemphasizes the power behind God’s statement of his [the man] being alone.

Think about that word alone for a minute.  It can evoke a sense of isolation even though one is not in isolation physically.  Adam was in a big, beautiful garden, but he was alone.  He was surrounded by other living creatures, yet, he was still alone.  In all of that, we get the sense that Adam longed for more.

Was Adam feeling unfilled?  Viewing the monkeys swinging in the trees together as a community or rabbits chasing each other in a game of bunny tag, did the sight dishearten Adam and make him long for more?  We don’t know.  All we do know is what Scripture tells us, and that is, man is alone and in God’s eyes, it was not good.

Adam could talk, but he had nobody like himself to converse with on a daily basis.  Adam could feel, but he had nobody like himself to share his feelings with.  Adam could embrace, but another set of arms to embrace him back was missing.  What was all of this doing to him on the inside?

Again, we don’t know.  But, for the man God created, I can imagine He did not want to see any despondency in Adam due to being alone.  So, God sought to remedy the situation.

Note: Yes, Adam could converse with God and share his daily concerns with God, but we are talking about the absence of another physical being like himself on the earth to share life with.  And, when we are thinking along those lines of questioning, remember it was God Himself who pointed out Adam’s aloneness and said it was not good.  Therefore, we cannot argue with God.

I will make him an help meet for him.  God has something special up his sleeve.  All that He created was good.  Every creature, the way He made them was perfect, but God was going to do something special for Adam.  God was going to bless him with a mate, a companion; someone whom he could share this life journey with.  God was going to fill that not good part of Adam’s life with something not only good but specially made just for him.

With His marvelous creative abilities, God said, I will make, or, I will design someone who can specifically fill that void He sees in Adam’s life.  How awesome is that!  The Bible goes into great detail to show us God’s love and care for the man, to the point of fashioning for him someone that can meet his needs on every relational level.  One that is appropriate and compatible just for him.

Genesis 2:19-20 “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast… and fowl.  Here is a reiteration of what already occurred.  There are no contradictions in the Bible.  A good Bible student will see the wording for what it is, a supportive summary of creation and continually pointing back to God as the Creator is necessary and we could never over-emphasize it enough.  Perhaps that’s why the psalmist rejoiced when he thought about it and celebrated God for it when he states, “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom thou made them all…(Psalm 104:24; emphasis mine).  Out of all those manifold works, we see here where it is stated again that the Lord made these animals as well.

And, if we remember, when God made Adam, he was brought forth from the “dust of the ground,” (Genesis 2:7).  These reiterations of the Creation story, specifically toward living creatures, not only supports the story of the Author of Creation, but it also sets apart that special way that God takes that not good and turns it into something good (we will discuss this further in the next section).

And brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  Genesis 2:15 says, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”  I have always looked upon that verse and the verse in our lesson with the name of every living creature as jobs that were given to Adam by God.  And notice, these jobs were given before the Fall of man, before sin entered the world.

A lot of people try to distinguish why Adam was responsible for the naming of the living creatures at this meet and greet with the animals and not God.  God could’ve done it all, and yet, God has always invited mankind to participate in what He is doing.  God has never promoted laziness but has always encouraged mankind in taking on responsibility.  I think it is amazing how God is allowing Adam to work at, or speak things, as He Himself does.  He is not speaking things into creation, but he is speaking names over it and whatever Adam speaks, whatever he calls them, that was the name thereof, and God ordained it to be so.

I believe (just my opinion), that when one works at something, be it dressing a garden or naming creatures or the like, there becomes more interest and more personal involvement compelling one to invest in the care of what God already created.  With that, Adam gave names to all.

God’s observation in verse 18 begins to stand out even more in verse 20 where it states, but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  After naming the animals, was it now apparent, or more apparent to Adam himself that there just was no one else like him?  Again, we don’t know, but what we do know is that the reiteration of this point means that God wanted it especially noted and referenced.

Twice in this lesson, the need for a help meet appropriate for Adam is implied and stated.  Twice we sense that deep longing for companionship.  Twice we see Adam didn’t have anybody to relate to on his level.  These are all things that can be associated with the not good that God stated at the beginning of this lesson.  Nevertheless, God is getting ready to take that not good, and make something good.

Something Good

Genesis 2:21-22 “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept.  It was time for the first human surgery to commence.  This was not done by doctors in the medical field who have piled on degrees to learn about the human body.  This was done by Him who created the human body from the mere dust of the ground.

Awesome!

Using the first case of anesthesia, Adam slept.  As with modern day anesthesia he was completely under, knocked out, and totally unconscious.  This was done that God might create the help meet he needed as a companion, and He was going to do this in a special way.

Taking one of Adam’s ribs, God made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”  Why did God decide to make Eve in a different way than He did Adam?  There’s a lot of speculation with no definitive answer.  All we know is God left a very detailed and illustrated version of Eve coming into existence differently than Adam.

Most seem to suggest this was done to exhibit unity in the human race as well as unity in marriage.  We do know that Genesis 1:27 states, “In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  The woman may have been formed differently from the man, but she too was important; she was made also “in the image of God.” 

Then, God brought her unto the man.  As a gift most precious, the woman was presented to the man from God.  In his eyes, she was definitely something good to behold as the next verses suggest.

Genesis 2:23-25 “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Adam’s reaction when he saw Eve was priceless!  “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” he exclaimed.  Some way or another, Adam was made aware of the procedure that transpired and when he saw the woman he immediately recognized her as being the result of that procedure; her as being from him.

Adam’s declaration is she is no longer just a part of his body, rather now, meaning presently, after God created her – she is fully and completely of him and from him from the inside out.  Saying bone of my bones may be a hint to the inside, and flesh of my flesh could be a hint to the outside (from the inside out).

Notice also Adam’s use of the word my twice which not only shows unity but could he be speaking as if he now has a responsibility to her and for her because she is now a permanent part of his life?

She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Although I have referred to the Woman as Eve several times throughout this lesson, she does not actually take on that name until Genesis 3:20.  I referenced her as Eve for familiarity purposes.

Here, we see Adam’s first response was to call her Woman.  She was a part of man, but different from man.  Some like to say that she was the feminine side of mankind.  Regardless of what one thinks, one thing of note is that both the words Man and Woman are capitalized.  At this time their proper names weren’t being used by each other, therefore the need for capitalization of their human titles.

Notice also the emphasis placed on the phrase she was taken out of man (compare 1 Timothy 2:13; 1 Corinthians 11:8)This is the reiteration of her origin as being different from Adam and all other created beings.  They were from the ground, from dust – but, not her.  She was a special order.  She was for a purpose (compare 1 Corinthians 11:9).  She had a special role that would make her one hundred percent completely compatible for Adam.  She is that something good that would come and overshadow what was not good, and with this special design on her life, she was the perfect help meet for Adam.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.  When God looked at Adam and saw that it was not good for him to be alone, we see He remedied the situation.  Now, she becomes a priority to the man.  The word cleave means to “cling.”  She was taken out of him and now his job is to adhere himself to her, stay with her and make himself available to her and to love her.  That sounds like marriage vows already.  In fact, many view this as a snapshot of what a marriage relationship should look like (compare to the Apostle Paul’s teachings in Ephesians 5:28-33).

The idea of cleaving is also showing a strong level of commitment, fostering an environment where intimacy and love can be cultivated and nourished.  It is in this relationship where those needs that were once unmet, can now be met in this God-ordained, suitable partner for life as one flesh together (compare Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9).  Whatever brought attention to the Man’s previous “alone” state can now be fully satisfied and fulfilled with the gift of the Woman.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  When my youngest was in Pre-K, I volunteered a lot at her school.  Her teacher was very thorough in all areas of subject, but had a deep appreciation and interest in art.  One of my assignments with the students was to go through an art catalog and show different works to the students (they had a field trip coming up to the museum).  I was to point out and ask about lines, shading, shapes, and such in the works.

Before releasing me to the students she made sure to emphasize the need to stay away from “inappropriate” works, namely naked works, and with good reason.  The time of Eden is over, and these types of materials are usually looked upon with a certain amount of shame.  A quick search on the internet and in books telling the story of Adam and Eve will hide their nakedness behind trees and leaves, or something else.

But, in our lesson, innocence abounded, and they were both naked… and were not ashamed.”  During this period, there was nothing present that could make them feel ashamed.  There was no sin and no wrong.  They were completely pure.  The need to cover came immediately after they sinned (see Genesis 3:6-7).  As soon as their “eyes were opened… they knew they were naked.”  But here, as God originally made them, they had no reason to be ashamed. 

Adam and Even could enjoy an unhindered relationship God blessed them with to meet the capacity of human need.  In Eve, the help meet God designed for Adam, the void that was once present could now be filled.

 

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 - A Help Meet for Adam

Adult Journal Page – Adult Journal Page – A Prayer for My Family

Kids Journal Page – Kids Journal Page – A Prayer for My Family

Better Together Craft:  Using the Better Together Craft pdf template, create this craft following the directions as a reminder of God’s great design.

Memory Verse: A Help Meet for Adam Memory Verse

Draw the Scene: A Help Meet for Adam Draw the Scene

Word Search: Help Meet for Adam Word Search  Answers: Help Meet Word Search Answers

Crossword: A Help Meet for Adam Crossword  Answers: A Help Meet for Adam Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: A Help Meet for Adam Word Scramble  Answers: A Help Meet for Adam Word Scramble Answers

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“A Prayer for an Obedient Faith” Sunday School Lesson Summary and Activities, Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19

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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it, one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word.  Here at “Word For Life Says,” I want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons and my personal summary notes that I use when teaching. May God bless you!

“A Prayer for an Obedient Faith”

Daniel 9:4-8, 15-19

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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. I am glad you like to read my personal summary notes that I use when teaching, but as always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well.  Blessings!)

Introduction:

“I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes,” (Daniel 9:3). 

And, this is exactly where we find Daniel in today’s lesson: in prayer.  Praying, not just for himself or some random course of events.  He is interceding on behalf of his people as a whole.

Daniel knew throughout the years of their history God’s people have sinned.  Not only sinned but totally rejected God and His covenant.  Time and time, God sought to reconcile His people to Himself, but, alas, they would have none of it.  Which ultimately led to their time in captivity and being under control of enemy after enemy.  But, what Daniel also knew, was according to their history, and according to the word of God pronounced by the prophet Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2), the time of their captivity was almost up.  Deliverance was on the horizon.  Hope was in their future of returning home once more, and so Daniel prayed.  He prayed a prayer that relied on nothing but God’s mercy and righteousness that forgives and works beyond their iniquities and sins.

This lesson is important in our own walk of faith.  Anytime we are seeking to enrich our relationship with God, one of the most potent ways to do that is from the stance of prayer and repentance.  It’s a heart that is personally yearning not just for deliverance, but more of God and to be right and restored to Him.  In that, one realizes, as Daniel did, the frailty of our flesh and power, opposite His greatness and righteousness.

We take these words and glean from them that we might learn to have an obedient faith as well.

Daniel 9:4 “And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments.”

“I prayed unto the Lord my God.”  “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” (Corrie ten Boom/Quote Source: Crosswalk).  For Daniel, prayer was his steering wheel.  He didn’t just pull it out of his spiritual trunk whenever he needed it.  If you remember, back in Daniel 6, his dedication to God and prayer is what caused him to be thrown into the lion’s den.  So, prayer to him is not a foreign concept and it shouldn’t be for any child of God.  Daniel had a strong prayer life and after reading and studying and realizing the time was almost at hand for their freedom to break loose from their captors, Daniel prayed all the more, with fasting, in the humble fashion of wearing sackcloth and donning ashes (Daniel 9:3).

“And made my confession.”  1 John 1:9 is a widely known verse in Scripture.  It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  The word “confess” simply means to acknowledge.  Acknowledging that one is a sinner and has sinned is the key to receiving God’s forgiveness.

With humbleness of heart and spirit, Daniel is in this process of acknowledging their own sinfulness as a people who are supposed to be holy and in a covenant.  But, before he gets that far, his faith recognizes, and his mouth speaks of the character and love of this great God they serve.  “O Lord, the great and dreadful God” he speaks, inspiring praise and worship and reverential awe at His wonderfulness.  True prayer approaches God, recognizing fully who He is (compare Matthew 6:9).

Not only recognizing who He is, but what He does.  “Keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments.”  Faith keeps in mind the love God has for people and the mercies He seeks to extend to them.  Daniel has found God to be nothing but faithful to every word He has promised.

When their history taught them from the very beginning of their deliverance from Egyptian captivity that God shows, “lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments,” (Exodus 20:6), Daniel takes that to heart even in his day and remembers God is not slack concerning His promises; that he will do what He said He would do.  And, although he recognizes in the next verse they, as a people are far from the keepers of the covenant they should be, God will always hold up to His end of what He has committed Himself to.

There is a direct correlation in “keeping” and “keep” in this verse.  He keeps His covenant when we keep His commandments.  But, what happens when we, not He, fall through the cracks and not live up to what we are called to do.

It is that very event that has driven Daniel to his knees in prayer, seeking the mercy and forgiveness of God to restore that proper balance between God and His people.  While humanity may fall short, we depend on God who never has.

Daniel 9:5-6 “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:  Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.”

After expressing the awesomeness and faithfulness of God in prayer, Daniel admits and confesses the not so awesome state of the people.  All these words noted, Daniel said we did it all.  In our lives, we have wronged God.  In interceding and sharing the responsibility with the people, although his personal faith and walk with God was strong, Daniel was identifying himself nationally as a whole, as God’s covenant people.

Sin is sin, no matter how we describe it: “sinned… committed iniquity… done wickedly… departing from thy precepts and judgments,” all of it equals to we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.  These very words are echoed in other portions of the Bible (compare Psalm 106:6).  True confession and repentance does not come without one accepting personal responsibility for what they have done.  Before they can move forward into a positive future, the sin of yesterday and today must be dealt with.  This is what Daniel is seeing to.

A heart or a nation or a people that is not moved toward true repentance isn’t really seeking God as the head of their lives.  And, true repentance starts as Daniel started it, knowing and admitting, they, as a people, were not fitly walking in the holiness of God.  They have turned away from Him and departed from His “precepts and judgments.”  Their lives were opposite of His standard and they needed to repent; they needed an obedient faith.

“Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets.”  For hundreds of years, God chased after the heart of His people.  God had repeatedly tried to navigate his people back on the right path of righteousness through chosen men who carried His word to the people.  But, with hearts of stone and ears stopped at their hearing, the people refused to listen to those life-saving, soul-saving words.

Some of the prophets God used during this specific time of their captivity and before were Jeremiah and Ezekiel, who cried out, “This whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years,” (Jeremiah 25:11); and, “A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished,” (Ezekiel 21:9) prophesying also of Babylon against His people (see Ezekiel 21:2).  Despite these warnings, the people persisted to chase after false ways and turned their back on the truth of all that God is.

Outside of those men, God used others to call His people back to their first love found in Him, but they still refused to listen.  2 Kings 17 tells us, “Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statues, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.  Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers that did not believe in the LORD their God,” (vss. 13-14; read verses 13-23).

The word had gone out.  God’s holy message of warnings was delivered.  The response from the people was nonexistent.  Therefore, they went into captivity, out of which Daniel now prays, recognizing the fault lies in the bosom of people and leaders, including “our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land;” people of note who should’ve been directing people closer to God instead of further away from Him.

Daniel 9:7-8 “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.  O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.”

In his prayer, Daniel attributes to God His due, and to the sinful people of his land and history, he calls them out by the shame they have displayed.

“O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces,” is a portion of prayer that sounds very similar to that of Nehemiah when he said, “Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly,” (Nehemiah 9:33).  There is no fault in the face of God for what the people have faced.  If they didn’t like their captivity, it’s not because God chose for them to be there, it’s because they, through the choices they made, that chose for them to be there.  God maintains His integrity through it all.  God maintains His “righteousness.” 

The fault, once again pointed out, lies in the heart of the unfaithful people compared to their faithful God.  Thus, they have “confusion of faces” and bear the humiliation and shame of those choices.  They are the reason they are in captivity.  It is because of “their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.”

Sin separates God’s children from Him and His promises physically and spiritually.  Physically, it took them out of their country; and, spiritually, it left their soul adrift, floating on the ebbs and flows of the false and the unknown, untethered from their true Anchor.

Sin also contaminates every area of life and it destroys everything it comes into contact with causing one to lose out on the blessings of God.  Sin is not just a naughty choice someone made.  Sin is not just a vice or a misbehavior of some sort.  Sin is a destroyer.  Sin will collapse all that is good.  Sin is an offense against God!  The people were scattered and sent into captivity because of their sins and Daniel does not beat around the bush or sugar coat in admitting their “trespass against” God!  And, no one is spared or excused from this prayer of confession.  “Our kings… princes… fathers…,” Daniel continued, “We have sinned against thee.”

After the which, Daniel continued in his prayer expressing God’s mercies and forgiveness compared to the rebellious heart of the people (Daniel 9:9).  Daniel said, “Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets,” (Daniel 9:10; not in today’s printed text).  Everything they have experienced regarding their captivity has been due to a lack of obedient faith.  Disobedience equals disaster.  The evil they have dealt with was because of their lack of a personal relationship with God.  They have not prayed to Him and kept themselves before Him “that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth,” (Daniel 9:13; not in today’s printed text).  But now, Daniel is praying for a reversal of it all.  Despite their sins, Daniel is leaning on the faithfulness of God to deliver as He has done before.

Daniel 9:15-16 “And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.  O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.”

When one is personally devoted in their relationship to God and personally devoted to prayer, it’s not hard to reflect on one’s relationship with God and where He has brought them from, brought them through, and the paths He has walked with them along the way.  There is no stretch of the imagination to look back and see and rejoice over previous deliverances He has gotten for His people.

Daniel wasn’t alive back then but readily recalls their history of God’s power of deliverance for His people from Egyptian bondage (vs. 15).  God is the one who “brought thy people forth.”  In one of the most fantastic stories of the Bible, this event expresses God’s power at work for His people through plagues and miracles unheard of such as a great sea standing aright and allowing passage on dry ground for people to walk.  The fame of God went out not only through the hearts of His people, but those of other lands heard of the great power of this great God and “hast gotten thee renown,” (compare to Rahab’s testimony in Joshua 2:10-11).  The name of God had gone out.  People and nations knew that the children of Israel are the people of God and that God had their back.  

Rather than magnify His name further, the people “have done wickedly.”  Their sinful acts and broken relationship didn’t publish His greatness.  In their unholy living, they detracted from the praise and honor that should have been going to God and became a people of captivity.

So, Daniel prays, “O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain.”  “Not because of what we have done, but because of who You are, O God, in Your “righteousness,” please, turn your “anger” away from us, Your people,” is in essence, what his petition was.  Daniel prayed for a reversal of all that befell them contingent on the wonderfulness of God.

Rather than a people of praise, they have become a people of “reproach.”  This word matches the shame and “confusion of face” they were described as before.  They have disgraced the name of God as His holy people, but through it all, Daniel is praying for God to intervene and bring to a close this time of punishment in captivity.

Daniel 9:17-19 “Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.  O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.  O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.”

“Hear the prayer of thy servant,” was his plea.  One can get a sense of the earnest cry of the heart that must be mixed with those humble words as he makes his petition to God.  The people have been separated from God long before the desolation of the temple, but Daniel prays for God’s “face to shine upon thy sanctuary” once more.  Daniel is praying for wholeness, favor, and restoration for the people of God and their worship of Him. 

“For the Lord’s sake.”  As His chosen people, the children of Israel were the people whom God used to show what He is all about to the world (compare Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Isaiah 43:10-12).  The testimony of who God is to the other nations is attached to these people who are called by His name.  People often attribute to God what they see manifested in His people.

Daniel knows, it is not their own “righteousnesses” he is leaning on for this prayer to be answered, for it is not with them as a people.  A similar sentiment is expressed in Isaiah where he noted, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” (64:6).  Even if they were good, which their wickedness noted earlier speaks against that idea, they still wouldn’t be good enough.  Rather, Daniel is basing his petition and supplication for God’s intervention because of “thy great mercies.” 

The children of Israel aren’t the only ones who depend on the mercy of God.  We, as well, rely solely on His goodness and compassion toward His people.  We depend on His grace, that unmerited favor, that paves the way when pardon shouldn’t have been granted.

For this Daniel prays, “Open thine eyes, and behold our desolations.”  God is always attentive to the needs of His people.  He has never clocked out of any situation that they or we are involved in.  But, as stated before, sin gets in the way of that openness one has with God and works as a hindrance to the fulness one can experience in Him (compare Isaiah 59:2).  With the thoughts of deliverance on the horizon, perhaps Daniel was ready, almost pleading for the performance of the promise of the ending of the captivity to be taken on behalf of his people.

So, Daniel ends this prayer with a simple, “O Lord, forgive.”  This is what every true, repentant confession seeks after, the forgiveness of God.  With forgiveness comes release and restoration of the offender; another chance.

“O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake” puts some urgency behind the prayer.  “Don’t delay, O God!  Let Your name be glorified, O God when the nations see that You are still in the saving business; You are still true to deliver Your people, according to Your holy Word!  For we, “thy city and thy people are called by thy name.  They know we belong to You, and now they will know of Your power when You bring us out.  When we return home, Your glory will be magnified!”

Conclusion:

James 5:6 tells us, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Daniel prayed and interceded for his people and their deliverance from captivity.  Moses was a man, too, who had to act as a go-between for God and man when the people rebelled and worshipped the golden calf (Exodus 32:30-35).  And, our Lord Jesus Christ became the ultimate intercessor to man, not just through prayer, but through His shed blood for all those that believe on Him.

May Daniel’s prayer inspire us to seek God earnestly and to walk in an obedient faith before Him.

Standard Print PDF: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Sunday School Lesson Summary Standard Print

Large Print PDF: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Sunday School Lesson Summary Large Print

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

Word Search: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Word Search  Answers: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Word Search Answers

Crossword: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Crossword  Answers: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Word Scramble  Answers: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Word Scramble Answers

Activity Sheet: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Activity Sheet

Memory Verse: A Prayer for an Obedient Faith Memory Verse

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

“Daniel Understands the Times”

“Daniel Responds to God’s Word”

“Daniel Praying Coloring Page”

“Praying Hands Dot to Dot”

“Praying Maze”

“1 John 1:9 Coloring Bible Verse”

“Hangman”:  This old game is excellent for lesson reinforcement.  Simply print the worksheet from Printactivities.com, get your verses or phrases from the lesson you want to use or the students want to use with each other, play and enjoy!  (A single hangman page can be found atThetripclip.com.  Enjoy!) (Great for memory verses!)

“Memory Verse Activities for Any Lesson”

“Memory Activities for Sunday School”

“Sketching Bible Memory Verse”

“Create Your Own Memory Verse Activities”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

“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

“490 Acts of Love!”

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Photo Credit: Wallpaper4god.com Click to visit site

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven,” Matthew 18:22, KJV

Gulp!  Yes, forgiveness in any form can be a hard pill to swallow.  But, let me ask you this.  How many times has God said no to us whenever we sought healing and restoration for the wrongs we have done?  Exactly, He hasn’t!

Forgiveness, much like love, is nothing to be played with.  It is not a lip service to please others rather, it is a heart service to the Lord.  It is, in a sense, showing to others the same grace and mercy that God showed toward us.

Immediately following this verse, so that there were no misconceptions about the seriousness of this point that He was making, Jesus sealed it with a story of one who showed mercy and offered forgiveness and one who didn’t:

 “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” – Matthew 18:23-25, KJV

The seriousness of it all really comes to light when Jesus opens up the parable and comparing it to the kingdom of heaven.  Now, why did He go and do that?  Because the story He is about to tell so resembles what occurs in the spiritual realm that it would be easy for the people to relate to.

What would happen if today God sat down and “took account” of all the wrongs we have done?  What would it be like if we stood before Him unable to pay what we owe?  We were there!  Jesus knew the predicament that humanity was in.  He knew that man could never get himself out of the debt of sin, so here He stresses grace, mercy and compassion on those who don’t deserve it.

How often have we withheld those three precious gifts from another because our feelings were hurt?  Believe it or not, it’s the same thing.  We may not have choked out a man, demanding retribution, but if we are withholding the same mercies that God showed us than we are choking that man spiritually and emotionally.

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” (Matthew 6:15, KJV).  God will not allow us to act like that unjust servant.  Love has compelled Him to shower us love, at all cost to save us, just so that He could forgive us and restore us.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16, KJV).

It was an act of love.  An act of love that we now have the responsibility to pay it forward to another.  No, people may not deserve it.  But, then again, neither did we.  It was only through the eyes of a merciful God that we are given another chance.

Tell me, who in your life deserves that second or third or whatever the number may be, chance today?  Forgiveness IS NOT EASY!  But, it is an “Act of Love.”

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8, KJV).  I guarantee, if we were to look at ourselves, we could not fathom how many times our accounts would have gone unpaid had it not been for the blood of Christ.  More that 490 times?  But, thank God, He acted in love to save to us!

 

“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.