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.

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 is the one true God? Yahweh is the one true God.

Christ Connection: God sent fire from heaven. The people who did not worship God saw the fire and knew that God is powerful. One day, God would use His power to raise Jesus from the dead.

Dear Parents,
This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, our journey takes us to a power-encounter between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, a false god. King Ahab was a very evil king. In fact, “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him” (1 Kings 16:33).

God sent Elijah the prophet to get Ahab’s attention. God prevented rain in the land for three years. For Ahab, a man who worshiped Baal—the false Canaanite god of rain and fertility—the drought sent a strong message about the one true God. When God was ready to send rain to the earth, Elijah appeared to Ahab and told him to gather all the people and the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. Elijah issued a challenge to the people: Follow God or follow Baal.

Imagine what it must have been like to watch the thousand prophets of Baal face off against the one true God and His prophet. The prophets of Baal shouted to their false god. They cried out. They even cut themselves. Where was Baal? Why didn’t he answer? When it was Elijah’s turn, Elijah drenched his altar with water. Then Elijah called out to God, and God answered with fire from heaven that consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even the water in the trench Elijah dug. The people fell facedown, shouting “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!”

Elijah called on the power of God to prove to the worshipers of Baal that God is the one true God. By sending fire from heaven, God displayed His great power. God would use His power years later to raise Jesus from the dead, showing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Family Activity: Build a fire in a fire pit. Discuss with your family how God lit Elijah’s fire. Remind them that God burned up even the stones.

Go further: Use playdough to build an “idol.” Discuss with your children that idols are powerless because they are made by humans. But God is the creator of everything. Only He is the one true God.

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: What kind of king did God’s people need? God’s people needed a king who loved God.

Christ Connection: God’s people wanted a king, but no king helped God’s people love God. God was going to send Jesus. Jesus would come from heaven and be the king of God’s people. He would help them love God, and He would be the best king ever.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. This week, our journey takes us to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, created as a result of King Solomon’s sin. King Jeroboam, the first king of the Northern Kingdom, created two golden calves for his people to worship. Needless to say, his kingdom wasn’t starting out very well.

The Northern Kingdom was plagued by evil kings who led people away from worshiping the one true God. Baasha (BAY uh shuh), Elah, Zimri (ZIM righ), and Omri (AHM righ) each reigned as evil, sinful kings of Israel. Each king led the Israelites further away from worshiping God.

Then Omri’s son Ahab (AY hab) became king of Israel. Ahab was more evil than the kings who were before him—more evil than Omri, more evil than Zimri, more evil than Elah, and more evil than Baasha! If that wasn’t enough, Ahab married Jezebel, who encouraged him to serve and worship the false god Baal. Ahab built an altar for Baal in Samaria. All the things Ahab did made God very angry.

God’s people asked for a king to lead them, but no king led them perfectly. Was there any king on earth who would be faithful? God would send a king from heaven—His own Son—who would lead God’s people back to God. He would be the King of all kings—Jesus Christ.

Family Activity: Ask family members to name three rules they would create if they were king for a day. Discuss each one. Would any of the rules suggested lead people to love God?

Key Passage: 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God.”

Big Picture Question: Where does wisdom come from? Wisdom comes from God.

Christ Connection: God gives us wisdom in the Bible. Wisdom comes from knowing and loving God. (Proverbs 1:7) Wisdom teaches us how to live. God wants to change people who know and love Him to become like Jesus.

Dear Parents,

This weeks story in The Gospel Project for Kids is a little different from most other stories kids hear in Bible study. This week, your kids learned about three entire books of the Bible. To wrap up this section of Scripture concerning David and his son Solomon, we learned about the poetry and wisdom the Bible offers from Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

King David wrote many of the 150 Psalms included in this book. Remember Psalm 51? David prayed to God for repentance. Many other Psalms are words of praise, expressions of joy, thanksgiving to God, and a listing of the importance of God’s Word. Take a few minutes and read Psalm 119 and praise God for His eternal Word.

King Solomon wrote much of the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs are short sayings that teach a truth. Since God had granted Solomon great wisdom, much of his writing centered around ways to live a holy life to God. Solomon also wrote in Ecclesiastes why God created the world—so people would worship God and see how good He is.

Wisdom in the Bible is not just words about how to live. God gives us wisdom because He wants us to be like Jesus—in how we live, how we speak, and how we think. We become wise by knowing and loving Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us. (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Family Activity: Choose a favorite praise or worship song, look up the lyrics online and talk about the words. Then, sing the song! If you have a hymnal, mark favorite family hymns. Locate in the index a hymn with text from the Book of Psalms and read the text.

Go further: Spend some time journaling with your kids. Encourage them to write down the things God reveals to them in His Word. Discuss differences between what God says is wise, and what the world says is wise.

Key Passage: 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God.”

Big Picture Question: How should we love God? We should love God with all our hearts.

Christ Connection: No king led God’s people perfectly. Solomon sinned, and Israel was divided between two kings. God’s people needed a perfect king. God would send His own Son, Jesus, to be King. Jesus is a perfect King.

Dear Parents,

The Gospel Project for Kids continues to follow the life of Solomon today but gives another story of sin and its result. Solomon, with his God-granted wisdom, still made many mistakes. Solomon had married many foreign women and was led away from worship of the one true God to follow the gods of his foreign wives. God told Solomon that for the rest of his life he would be king of Israel, but once he died, Solomon’s son would have all but one tribe ripped out of his hands.

Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s servants, turned against Solomon. Once Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam, took the throne, Jeroboam led most of the nation of Israel to follow him north, where he set up his kingdom in Samaria. Rehoboam didn’t like being king of only one tribe and decided to attack the northern kingdom. God stopped his plans and the nation was divided.

Jeroboam formed two golden calves and told the people of the northern tribes that they could worship the golden calves instead of having to go to Jerusalem to worship God at the temple. From that point forward, the northern tribe of Israel started a steeply declining spiral into sin that they would never recover from.

King Solomon’s sin led to the division of Israel. Every king failed to lead God’s people perfectly. God’s people needed a better king, a perfect king! Through David’s family, God would send His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be King over God’s people forever. Jesus would lead the people perfectly back to God.

Family Activity: Take turns kicking a ball toward a target. Talk about how much the ball misses the goal if it is kicked slightly off the direction of the goal. Talk about how in the beginning Solomon’s sins probably didn’t seem “off the goal” to him, but they caused a huge, terrible result for his people: his kingdom became divided.

Go further: Use a knife or a saw to cut some things in half. Show your kids the inside of the objects. Explain how Jesus unites us with God and each other.

Key Passage: 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God.”

Big Picture Question: What did King Solomon build? King Solomon built a temple for God.

Christ Connection: God is holy. Only the priests could go into God’s special place in the temple, and they had to follow special rules because they were sinful. Jesus took away our sing when He died on the cross. When we know and love Jesus, we talk to God on our own.

Dear Parents,
This week’s story is about the fulfillment of David’s desire to build a permanent place for the ark to reside. David’s son Solomon built the temple to house the ark and the other important elements of the tabernacle, the temporary moveable house of worship for the Israelites. God had given Solomon wisdom and in the fourth year of his reign he began building the temple. Workers cut logs and stones and began to build the temple, a process that lasted seven years until it was finally completed. God promised Solomon that He, God, would inhabit the building and never abandon the people of Israel.

With the temple complete, Solomon and the Israelite leaders moved the ark of the covenant and the other holy items from Mt. Zion into the temple. Solomon sacrificed offerings before God. Once the items were placed inside the temple and the people left, a thick cloud came down on the temple and the place was filled with God’s glory!

Solomon prayed a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. The people witnessed Solomon’s prayer and were encouraged by his words. In the temple, only the priests could approach the glory of God. Jesus changed that situation when He came to earth. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple was ripped, giving people direct access to God when they trust Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Family Activity: Many details of the temple in Jerusalem reminded God’s people of His awesome power, beauty, and desire to be among them. In the ark of the covenant were items showing God’s care for His people. Think together of ways God cares for your family, through both basic necessities and blessings. Take pictures, make photocopies of significant documents, and place souvenirs of special family events in a special family box to help you recall God’s goodness.

Go further: Build a house of cards, and then knock it down. Talk to your kids about Jesus’ promise to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days (John 2:19-22). Rebuild the house of cards and explain what Jesus meant.

Key Passage: Luke 2:10-11 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.”

Big Picture Question: Why did the wise men visit Jesus? The wise men came to worship Jesus.

Christ Connection: The wise men came to worship Jesus as King. Jesus is the King who will rule forever, as God promised to King David in 2 Samuel 7. Jesus is the true King who is worthy of all our worship.

Dear Parents,

This week your kids heard a story from the Bible about wise men who travelled from a distant land in order to find the King who had been born. Have you ever found it interesting that God revealed to the wise men—pagan priests and astrologers—that the Savior had been born? Jesus was King, but not in the way these men likely thought.

As you have dinner, talk about the wise men and the sign they saw which pointed to Jesus. Talk about signs you see today, and how you can see them pointing to Jesus. Share with your family one thing you remember God showed you as a sign.

The wise men brought gifts to worship Jesus. We too need to give all of our worship to Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus to earth to be the Savior of all people, and He deserves the praise we give Him.

Family Activity: Walk or drive to a family favorite location (ice cream shop, playground, backyard). As you travel review the journey of the wise men. How do you think the wise men felt to finally reach Jesus? Name ways your family can worship Jesus.

Key Passage: Luke 2:10-11 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.”

Big Picture Question: Where was Jesus born? Jesus was born in Bethlehem as God promised.

Christ Connection: The birth of Jesus was good news! Jesus was not an ordinary baby. He was God’s Son, sent to earth from heaven. Jesus came into the world to save people from their sins and to be their King.

Dear Parents,

Merry Christmas to you! Thank you for entrusting your child to us throughout this year. We celebrate with you and your family the joy of Jesus’ birth. This week’s story in The Gospel Project for Kids was all about Jesus’ birth. When God sent Jesus to earth, He was born of a virgin, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy.

As you celebrate, recount for your kids the joyous news the shepherds shared. Help your kids understand the importance of sharing that wonderful news with others. Talk about the humble beginnings of our Savior, Jesus. Pray with your family, thanking God for sending His Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world.

Family Activity: Share with your kid(s) how you announced his or her birth to the world. Who was waiting in the waiting room? Who was the first person you called? Who was the first person to visit? Show any pictures or videos you might have of that special day. Make a list of the differences between that special day and the birth of Jesus.