Tag Archives: Ark of the Covenant

Guard Your Gates! (OBJ LESSON)


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the need to protect our hearts and minds from the evil things that might get in them.

Materials

  • Small box
  • Heart-shaped object
  • A handful of candy or a few candy bars

Preparation

·You might need a confederate when you try to tempt the “gate-keepers” to let you into the city.Talk to one of the older children ahead of time, and let them know you want them to let you in the gate after you’ve tempted them some – maybe when you offer the candy.Ask the child to keep this a secret.

·Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “I am going to tell you a story from the book of Nehemiah.”
  • “In the time of Nehemiah, there was a temple in Jerusalem, but there were no walls around the city.”(Ask for a few children to volunteer to come be your temple.Have them stand together and hold the small box in the center.)
  • “This box represents the Ark of the Covenant.”
  • “The Ark was the most important thing in all of Israel.It represented where God came to meet with His people.”
  • “Now, without walls around the city, the temple was unprotected.”
  • “At any time, the enemy could just walk in and steal the Ark of the Covenant, because there was nothing to keep the enemy out.”(Pretend to be the enemy, and show how easy it is for you to come in and steal the Ark.)
  • “Now, the Ark of the Covenant is gone today.No one knows for sure what happened to it.”
  • “I think that’s because we don’t need it anymore.You see, God replaced the building that was called “The Temple,” with our hearts.He now meets with us in our hearts instead of in a building.”
  • “The Bible says that God removed our ‘heart of stone and gave (us) a heart of flesh.’” (Ezekiel 11:19 – Replace the box with the heart-shaped container.)
  • “And our enemy is Satan.He wants to steal our hearts so that God can’t use us for His purposes.”
  • “So, the temple is like our heart today.What did Nehemiah need to protect the temple?”(Walls)
  • “Right!And Nehemiah was smart.He put together a team of people, and they began building those walls.”
  • “But if Nehemiah needs physical walls to protect the temple, what do you think we need to protect our hearts?”(Spiritual walls)
  • “Exactly!We need spiritual walls!Well, just like you build physical walls stone by stone, you build spiritual walls piece by piece when you do good things for God.”
  • “Can anyone give me an example of a ‘stone’ you might put in your spiritual wall?”(Look for examples of spiritual disciplines and good works for God.As kids mention them, have them come up to be part of the wall around the temple.Examples include: Bible study, giving, helping others, prayer, meditating on God’s word, solitude, going to church, worship…Keep taking examples until you have a complete wall around the temple.)
  • “There!We have our spiritual wall to protect us from Satan’s attacks.If we didn’t have our spiritual walls up, Satan could come right in and steal our hearts.”
  • “Walls are good to have, but we are missing something.We also need gates!”
  • “Without gates in the wall of Jerusalem, the good stuff, like food and supplies couldn’t come into the city.”
  • “In the same way, without gates in our spiritual walls, there is no way to let in good things like God’s Word.”
  • “So, we need gates – can anyone think of what our gates might be?Where does the good stuff come into our minds and hearts?” (Ears, eyes, mouth)
  • “I’m going to make these people our gates keepers.”(Pick two or three pairs of children and have them hold hands to designate that they are the gates.Make sure you include your confederate if you are using one.)
  • “Having gates is good, because they let the good stuff in, but they can also let in bad stuff.Your gates are the weakest part of your spiritual wall, and Satan will try really hard to get in through them.”
  • “Can anyone give me some examples of things Satan might try to get past your ear gates, your eye gates or your mouth gate?”(Take examples, and if needed, supply the following:

omusic with bad lyrics

obad scenes in movies

oprofanity

opictures in magazines

ogossip

orumors

othings you might feel jealous about

omean words

othings that might make you feel bad about yourself

odrugs or alcohol (because they make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do – like open your ear gates and eye gates to really bad stuff)

oother peoples’ personal things that are not to be shared (like a diary)

oviolent scenes)

  • “Wow!Satan has thought of a lot of stuff to try to get in through our ear gates, eye gates and mouth gate.”
  • “Let me show you how he works.”(Go to one of your gate-keeper pairs and try to tempt them to open the gate to let you in.)
  • “Hey, guys!How are you today?Say, I would really like to get into that gate.Would you mind opening it for me?”(Assuming they say, “no,” try some of these temptations.)

o“Aw, c’mon, do it for your friend!We’re friends right?You don’t want to be uncool do you?”

o“Wait until everyone hears what a loser you are!”

o“What if I offered you this candy?Would you open it for me then?”

o“You would be my best friend ever!”

o“Those guys over there let me in all the time.”

o“If you let me in, I’ll give you something really cool!”

o(Add other temptations that you think might work.If no one succumbs to the temptations, use your confederate to get into the city.)

  • “HA!I knew I could get in!Now that I’m in here, I think I’m going to set up camp.”
  • “When Satan gets into your heart and sets up camp, the Bible calls it a stronghold.A stronghold is the place in your heart that Satan holds, and it’s where he attacks you from.”
  • “There is a story in the last chapter of Nehemiah in the Bible that tells about when one of Nehemiah’s enemies came to live inside the temple!”
  • “Nehemiah had left the country for some time, and while he was gone, some of the people who were friends with Nehemiah’s enemies let a man named Tobiah move in!”
  • “That’s like letting Satan live in your heart!Who wants that?”
  • “The good news is that Nehemiah was a man of God.When he found out that Tobiah had moved into the temple, he kicked him out of the temple and out of the city.Then, he bleached the place and filled it up with temple furniture and offerings.”(Nehemiah 13:4-9)
  • “So if Satan gets past our gates with his junk, what do you think we ought to do?”(Throw him out just like Nehemiah did!)
  • “That’s right!Kick him out of your heart and mind!Then close those gates, and don’t let him in again, because if you keep letting him in, he’s not just going to want to live in your heart – he’s going to want to steal it for himself!”(Demonstrate stealing the heart-shaped container from the temple.If, as often happens when I conduct this object lesson, you are mauled by the children, it’s best to give up the heart before you incite a riot.)
  • “So, how many of you are going to be careful to build your walls and guard your gates from now on?”
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Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Warfare, temptation

The Ark



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about the different arks of the Bible.

Materials

· Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from www.muralmosaic.com

· Plywood or foam board – 4’ x 6’

· Straight edge or square – 6’ or longer

· Straight edge – small (like a ruler)

· Sharpie or permanent marker

· Ruler

· Glue sticks (enough for each child to participate)

· Utility knife for cutting paper

· Optionally – a flip chart or whiteboard and markers

Preparation

· Order Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from http://www.muralmosaic.com

There are instructions in the book that Mural Mosaics will send you, but here is a brief summary:

o Mark off the board in 4” x 4” squares. There should be a total of 216 squares.

o Number the squares left to right, e.g., Row 1 should be 1-18, Row 2 should be 19-36….Row 12 should be 199-216.

o Lay the board flat where the children will be able to get to it.

o Use the small straight edge and the utility knife to cut out the 216 squares from the book you received from Mural Mosaics.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· Order Wildlife Ark – Mural-in-a-Book from www.muralmosaic.com

For several weeks, have the children paste random squares onto the board. (They are each numbered on the backside of the miniature painting.)

· Try to spread out the squares so that the children can have the fun of trying to guess what they are making.

· Once they have completed the mural, use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There are several different arks mentioned in the Bible.”
  • “An ark is a container. It holds something important.”
  • “Can anyone tell me about one of the arks that you know of?” (Listen for Noah’s ark, Moses’ arc, the Ark of the Covenant, and maybe Mary, the mother of Jesus. Fill in the ones that aren’t mentioned.)
  • “You may not have known about all these. Let me share a little about each one.”
  • “The first ark in the Bible is the most famous – Noah’s ark.”
  • “Noah built it in obedience to God.”
  • “It was huge! 75 feet wide, 45 feet tall, 450 feet long with three levels! It was big enough to house every species of animal living on the planet at that time – and not just one of each, but seven of each clean and two of each unclean animals (they brought more of the clean ones, because they were allowed to eat those and used them for sacrifices to God).”
  • “The second ark that we see is the ark of Moses. It was much smaller in comparison. Only big enough for a baby, but it was a very important baby.”
  • “These two arks had some similarities and some differences.” (You may want to draw this chart on a flipchart or whiteboard.)

Wood

Covering

(inside & out)

Carried

Noah’s Ark

Gopherwood

Pitch

Noah and Family

Animals

Moses’ Ark

Bulrushes

Asphalt and pitch

Moses

  • “Both arks were made from wood – one from gopherwood (or cyprus) and the other from woody reeds. Both were covered inside and out with pitch to make them waterproof. The first carried an entire family and all the species of animals; the second carried just one person.”
  • “The third ark was actually built by Moses. It was the Ark of the Covenant. It was a box that the Israelites carried into battle and wherever they went. Inside the box were three important items – the Ten Commandment tablets, a pot of manna and Aaron’s rod. These things symbolized God’s Law, God’s provision, and God’s anointing for the priesthood. The High Priest would sprinkle animal’s blood on top of the box to cover up God’s Law, because if God compared His Law to what the Israelites were doing, He might destroy them. This ark didn’t float, but it didn’t need to. When the priests carried it into the Jordan, the river stopped flowing, and they walked across on dry land.”
  • “So, up to this point, we have two boats and a box. Let’s compare all three.” (You can add the flipchart or whiteboard.)

Wood

Covering

(inside & out)

Carried

Noah’s Ark

Gopherwood

Pitch

Noah and Family

Animals

Moses’ Ark

Bulrushes

Asphalt and pitch

Moses

Ark of the Covenant

Shittim (Acacia)

Gold

The Law

Pot of Manna

Aaron’s Rod

  • “The Ark of the Covenant had some differences from the other two arks, but there are comparisons we can make. All three were made of different types of wood, but the Ark of the Covenant was made of Shittim wood, a wood that was called incorruptible because of how hard it was. All three were covered inside and out, but the Ark of the Covenant was covered with gold. In these respects, it was like a more-perfect ark than the other two.”
  • “While the first two carried people, the last one carried things. But the things they carried were all things related to salvation from judgment. Noah’s family was saved from the worldwide flood. Moses was saved from Pharoah’s command to kill all the baby boys. But these people were not only saved from something. They were saved for something. Noah’s family was saved to preserve the human race. Moses was saved to save the Israelites.”
  • “The Ark of the Covenant also carried something that related to salvation. If anyone had been able to live a life completely according to the Law, they could go to heaven. But the problem was that no one could live a life without at least one sin. So God provided another way. Every year, the High Priest would sprinkle the blood of an innocent animal on the top of the Ark to cover up the Law inside so that God wouldn’t have to judge the Israelites for their sins.”
  • “The Ark of the Covenant was a more-perfect ark than the other two, but even it pointed to something greater. That brings us to the next ark.”
  • “Mary, the mother of Jesus, isn’t called an ark in the Bible, but she was one. She carried the Person who would bring salvation from judgment for all the world when she carried Jesus in her womb.”
  • “She stopped being the ark when she gave birth to Jesus. Jesus is the salvation that all the other arks pointed to. He is the ultimate hope of mankind.
  • “When Jesus went back to heaven, He left those in the Church to become the final ark. That means that the final ark is you.”
  • “If Jesus is in your heart, you are today’s ark. You contain the salvation of the world and the hope of mankind. And your responsibility is to share that salvation with as many people as you can.”

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Filed under Christianity, Hands-on, Hope, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation