This is Day 23 in a 31 day series on Teaching Toddlers Theology. To catch up on where we've been, or view our menu of posts, go to this intro post.
Throughout the Old Testament, there is are many men and women who are faithful to God and great examples to teach our kids! A few we can talk about today are Joshua, Samuel and David! Each of the stories that are associated with these young men are memorable to kids and teach such great lessons about who God is and how we respond to him!
The story that Joshua is probably remembered for most is the Battle at Jericho when the walls came tumbling down! Like any boy, Titus loves to hear (and sing!) about big buildings and towers crashing down, and the yelling and trumpets blowing... Noise... Chaos! It's a boy's dream story! :) And the coolest part about it, is that we can tell our kids that God is the one who knocked these walls and buildings over! But Joshua had to trust what God said, and make the choice to obey! And God gave them the victory by doing things His way!
Just today Titus and I were marching around Jericho (our coffee table) and blowing our pretend trumpets! Then we told the story as we built some walls with blocks, had his toy people march around them and then knocked the walls over! It was probably the most fun he had all day, plus he learned a great Bible story that he won't soon forget!
Samuel lived in the temple and assisted with the daily work. The Lord had a special purpose for Him and called to him one evening. Samuel, however, thought it was the Priest Eli. Eli said he wasn't the one who called and to go back to bed. Again, the Lord called to Samuel and again Samuel when to Eli. Finally Eli told Samuel that the next time he was called to answer, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening!" Samuel became a great man of God who knew the Lord's voice the rest of his life! People revered him for his connection to God and God used him to share His Word with the people of Israel and the Kings that came.
David was a shepherd boy who became a mighty warrior king! God chose him while he was still a boy to one day become the king of Israel! There was quite a waiting period until this promise reach fulfillment, much of it was filled with bloodshed! Then he became king and reigned a long time, but his reign was tainted by adultery, murder, and immorality and violence within his family... Yet despite much of David's downfalls, he is still known as a man after God's own heart! He is most well-known for being the writer of over half the Psalms as well as being the small shepherd boy who killed the blaspheming giant, Goliath! Even if we can't share a lot of David's life with small children due to the subject matter, there is still much we can teach from David's life about God and a heart that is devoted to him!
David was a shepherd boy, bringing food to his warrior brothers at the battlefront. Goliath was mocking the One and Only God, defying the LORD Almighty , and the Israelite army was doing nothing because they were afraid! David basically walked up and was like, "who does this guy think he is? and why aren't you doing anything about it?" So he killed the giant with a rock and a slingshot! God gave him victory because he cared about God's Name! God's in the business of using the weak things of this world to spread His Glory!
I won't take the time to list every lesson or attribute about God that we could teach from these stories! And there are more than just these! Acting these stories out are great ways to teach and connect them with young kids!
Start developing a desire in your kids to be used by God to do great things! God uses men and women who love him and are surrendered to Him! God has a special plan for each of their little lives, if they will obey him! Teaching about the "Bible Heroes" are a great way to do that- but, most importantly, don't forget to teach who God is from these stories! It's ultimately not about these people! God is who these stories are about; He only chose to use those people to show His Glory!
God has a special plan for your toddler's life... Do you tell them that and pray for that in their lives?