Key Passage: Jonah 4:2 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Big Picture Question: What does God do when people sin? God loves people, but He punishes sin.

Christ Connection: God is holy and He punishes sin. But God also loves people. God wanted His people to stop sinning and love Him, but they would not. God punished His people. God loves us. We sin and should be punished. But God sent Jesus to be punished for us.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Over the next four weeks, our Bible stories will focus on four prophets whose messages to God’s people foreshadowed Jesus Christ. In today’s Bible story, Amos was a regular, hard-working man who raised sheep in the Southern Kingdom of Judah. God called Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.

On the outside, the Northern Kingdom of Israel looked good. They were prospering economically, their borders were expanding, and sure, King Jeroboam was an evil and ungodly man, but he could have been worse. But God was not pleased with His people. Their hearts were far from Him. They ignored God’s laws, worshiped idols, and mistreated the poor. They were greedy, hypocritical, and prideful. So God called Amos to tell Israel that God was going to judge them for their sin.

Taking God’s message to the people of Israel was no easy task. When Amos told Israel through three sermons that God’s judgment would also fall on them, they told him to go away. The Israelites’ refusal to turn back to God eventually led to their exile and brought an end to their time of prosperity.

God is holy and just, but He is also loving and gracious. God wanted His people to turn back to Him, but they refused. Israel faced the punishment for their sin. God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sin. God accepts anyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Family Activity: Encourage each family member to intentionally do something nice for someone. It can be a friend, family member, or neighbor. You may even choose to do something as a family. Talk about how God wants His people to treat one another fairly, something those living in Israel were not doing during the time of Amos.

Key Passage: 2 Kings 17:13-14 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands.’…But they would not listen.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God scatter His people? God’s people sinned against Him

Christ Connection: When the people of Israel did not do what God said, God punished them. We disobey God too, but Jesus took our punishment for us. People who trust in Jesus can be with God forever.

Dear Parents,

Today’s Bible story in The Gospel Project® for Kids focuses once again on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. God’s people in the Northern Kingdom had a long history of disobeying God. God sent His prophets to the people of Israel. The prophets told the people of Israel to repent and worship God again. Many times, the prophets told the people what would happen in the future if they continued to sin.

Sometimes God’s people listened to the prophets, repented of their sins, and followed God. But many people did not. God had been very patient with the Israelites. He had helped them in times of trouble and had delayed their punishment because He is gracious and compassionate. (2 Kings 13:23) But many years passed, and God knew His people would not love Him with all their hearts.

God had had enough of His people’s sinning. They wouldn’t listen to Him, so He allowed their enemies to send them into exile. The king of Assyria attacked Israel and laid siege to Samaria. Assyria captured Samaria and forced the people to leave the city. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the people were scattered, just as God had said it would be. (1 Kings 14:15)

When the Israelites disobeyed God, God judged their sin and punished them by removing them from His presence. Jesus took the punishment for our sin upon Himself. He unites and restores those who trust in Him. Jesus brings us into God’s presence and keeps us there.

Family Activity: Work a puzzle together as a family. Prior to working the puzzle, scatter several of the pieces around your home. Challenge kids to find the pieces and add them to the puzzle. Explain that because God loved His people, He allowed them to be scattered. Remind kids of God’s promise to one day reunite His people with Him forever.

Key Passage: 2 Kings 17:13-14 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands.’…But they would not listen.”

Big Picture Question: Who heals us from our sin? Jesus heals us from our sin.

Christ Connection: Naaman was sick. He had a problem with his skin. When Naaman washed in the river, his skin got better. No one can obey God all the time. We are all sick with a sin problem. When we trust in Jesus, He heals us. God forgives us and makes us better.

Dear Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, we turn our attention to Elisha, Elijah’s friend and successor, and Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army. The Syrians often attacked Israelite cities and took whatever they wanted, including people to work as slaves. One of the slaves carried off by the Syrians has a pivotal role in today’s story.

Naaman was sick with leprosy—a serious skin disease. Without a cure, Naaman would suffer horribly. A young slave girl from the land of Israel, however, knew about the one true God. She told her mistress that Elisha the prophet could heal Naaman.

Naaman told his master, the king of Aram, what his servant said. The king of Aram wrote a letter to King Ahab, commanding him to heal Naaman. King Ahab panicked. He couldn’t heal Naaman—only God could do that! Elisha called for Naaman and told him to wash seven times in the Jordan River. It wasn’t the “cure” Naaman was expecting, and initially he rejected Elisha’s instructions. His servants, however, encouraged him to obey. Naaman washed in the Jordan and he was healed! Naaman told Elisha, “I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel” (2 Kings 5:15).

Naaman was sick with a skin problem. His disease went away when he washed in the river. All people are sick with a sin problem. They need a Healer. When we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior, God forgives our sin and heals us.

Family Activity: Ask your church leadership about any people in your congregation who may be homebound. Plan an outing with your family to visit them, bring them a meal, and pray over them for healing.

Key Passage: 2 Kings 17:13-14 “The Lord warned Israel and Judah… ‘Turn from your evil ways and keep My commands.’…But they would not listen.”

Big Picture Question: How does God help in times of trouble? God promises to be with us.

Christ Connection: Elijah was a special messenger of God. Jezebel did not like Elijah, but God was in charge. God kept Elijah safe. Jesus is God’s messenger too. People did not like Jesus, but God was in charge. God used Jesus’ enemies to carry out His plan to rescue people from sin.

Dear Parents,
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story immediately follows Elijah’s confrontation with King Ahab and the false prophets of Baal. Elijah saw God send fire from heaven. God showed King Ahab, the Israelites, and all the people who worshiped the false god Baal that God is the one true God. Elijah probably felt very happy and victorious, but he was about to face trouble.

King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, was furious with Elijah. Jezebel had already killed many of God’s prophets. After Baal’s defeat at Mount Carmel, Jezebel sent a message to Elijah: she was going to kill Elijah like she had killed God’s prophets. Elijah was afraid! He ran away from Jezebel and hid in the wilderness. Overcome with despair, Elijah begged the Lord to take his life. (See 1 Kings 19:4.)

God sent an angel to bring food and water to Elijah while he rested. Then Elijah traveled to Mount Horeb—another name for Mount Sinai—to have a personal encounter with God. God revealed Himself to Elijah in a voice, a soft whisper. Elijah’s circumstances were difficult, but God didn’t leave him. God gave him Elisha, a friend and successor. God assured Elijah that he was not alone; there were 7,000 people in Israel who had not turned to worship Baal.

Elijah was God’s prophet, but Jezebel wanted to kill him. God was in control, and He protected Elijah. Jesus is the true and final Prophet. People hated Jesus and wanted to kill Him. God was in control. He used Jesus’ enemies to fulfill His plan to save people from sin.

Family Activity: Make a “telephone” by poking a hole in the bottom of two plastic cups. Thread a length of string through both holes, tying knots in each end to secure it. Hold the string taut to share whispers across a room. Talk about how God used a whisper to speak to Elijah.

Go further: Guide everyone to take turns playing out a time they are afraid or something they are afraid of. Talk about how God is always with us, even when we are afraid.