Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lot's Discovery

By Mary Vee

We left our story on Tuesday with Lot's wife taking a peek back at Sodom, the city she loved.
The family arrived in Zoar and fell to the ground out of breath. They weren't use to exercise and Lot was getting old.
Relieved his family was safe, he found a spot with soft green grass. His family joined him. Before he knew it, he fell asleep.
Lot woke sometime later and saw his girls sleeping. He looked around and didn't see his wife.
"Girls, wake up. Where's your mother?"
The girls helped him search.
Maybe she walked to the stores. They searched in the city square, but couldn't find her.
As they ran from store to store, Lot saw kids stealing, a gang beating an old man, and other terrible sins that he didn't want to say. This city reminded him of Sodom.
After searching the last store inside the city, they ran outside the city wall. Lot's daughter pointed to a strange site. A statue, made of salt, faced the city of Sodom. It had a hand raised to block sun from it's eyes.
Lot walked closer and gasped. It was his wife!
"Oh my dear wife, why did you look back?" He cried and hugged his daughters.
Suddenly a loud bang came from inside the city.
Lot began to shake. He looked back at the city gate and saw three men with clubs in their hands.
"That's it. We're not staying here girls. This city is as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah. Who knows if God may decide to destroy it as well."
Lot and his two daughters left Zoar. They hiked up the closest mountain and found a big, quiet cave. It looked clean and had big flat boulders that could be used for beds and a table.
"This is where the angel told us to go. I should have listened the first time."
A tear dripped down his cheek.
The angels told Lot to go live in a cave in the mountains. What do you think it would be like to live in a cave? How would the story have been different if Lot went the cave instead of going to Zoar? Click on the comment button to tell us what you think.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lot's Wife Preferred Salt

By Mary Vee

I hope you had as much fun finding the Genesis names as I had making the puzzle:)

Time to finish the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
We left Lot and his family outside the city walls of Sodom. The angels told them to run away to the mountains as fast as they could and not look back.
Even though Sodom had big, big problems with sin, Lot really liked living there...a lot.

He and his wife looked at each other. A tear dripped down her cheek. "What about my friends, Lot? What about our house? What about the great stores, and all the great things in Sodom. Must we leave? Is it really that bad?

Lot rolled his lips inside his mouth. So many thoughts ran through his mind. Maybe he could witness to the people. Maybe he could try harder to help the people of Sodom to be good.

He turned to the angels, "Wait! Maybe, maybe we could..." He turned to the east and thought of the city of Zoar. That's it! "Please, my lords, you have been so kind to us. My family can't flee to the mountains. We can't survive there. Look, over there at Zoar. It's close by. Oh, and it's small, isn't it? We could run there and be able to find a way to live there."

The angel sighed. "Very well, you can go live there. We will spare that town for your sake. But you must run there quickly."

The second Lot and his family reached Zoar, God sent fiery rain made of sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The cities and all the crops and other plants burned.

Lot's wife was sad. She thought about her house, her friends, her stores, her stuff, and all the things that meant so much to her in Sodom. She knew the angel told them to run away and to not look back, but what would one glance hurt? She'd only take a peek. She just wanted to know if maybe some of the town would be spared. She would go back and help the people clean up the mess. They could rebuild her house. She started to turn her head and.....

Do you know what happened to Lot's wife? Click on the comment button and tell me.
Also, think back or look back at the Bible stories on this blog. Do you remember what Abraham's wife, Sarah, did when God asked them to leave their comfy home in the big city of Haran? Help me figure this out.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Don't Look Back

By Mary Vee

Lot, his family, and the two visitors had a rough night. No one could sleep with all the noise going on in the city of Sodom.

Just before the sun rose the two visitors, who were angels, walked to the widow. "Lot, you and your family need to leave. Don't take time to pack anything."

Lot brushed his beard and looked at his wife. He new she loved all the fancy stores. Sure the people did bad things, OK they did really bad things. But his wife really loved living in the same neighborhood with the famous people.

The angels peeked out the window and saw the sun starting to rise. "Now, Lot. Take your wife and your two daughters and get out of here. Hurry or you will be killed!"

Lot's heart beat faster. He looked at the angels who were pacing and then at his wife who nodded her head and said, "No, I won't leave."

The angels looked at each other. "We can't wait another second." They grabbed Lot, his wife, and two daughters and led them safely out of the city. As they passed the city wall the angels let go of them. "Now get out of here Lot. Run, all of you, as fast as you can. DON'T LOOK BACK. Don't stop. Keep running until you get to the mountains or you will die in the firestorm."

Did Lot take his family and run to the mountains? Click on the comment buton below and tell us what happened next. We'll finish the story next Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let God Take Care of You.

By Mary Vee

Two Angels left Abraham’s camp and walked to Sodom.

Lot saw them the instant they arrived. He jumped to his feet and greeted them by bowing his face to the ground.

“Please, my Lords, please come to my house. I’ve got some water to wash the dust from your feet. You can even spend the night and then continue your journey.”

The angels nodded. “No, thanks. We'll spend the night in town.”

Lot knew that bad men from the town would hurt them. “Please, you must come to my house. I’ll cook a nice supper.”

The angels agreed. The angels and Lot’s family ate a tasty meal together.

Just before bedtime, a gang of bad men surrounded Lot’s house. They yelled at Lot. “Come on Lot. Send those two men out here.”

Lot went outside to talk to the gang. “No. These men are under my protection. They are in my house.”

The gang of bad men became angry. They shoved Lot. “Get out of the way.”

The two angels reached out and pulled Lot back into his house. The gang of bad men didn’t see it happen! The angels made every man in the gang blind.

If Lot had explained the real problem and asked the angels to help him the night they arrived or even after his meal things might have turned out differently.

Sometimes when we get into trouble we think we can take care of the problem by ourselves. We try real hard, but the problem doesn’t get fixed. If we ask God to take care of the problem, He will. It may not be the way we expect. But God will take care of you.

Can you share a time that God took care of you, or someone from the Bible, or someone else?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

God Listened to Abraham's Request to Help Lot

By Mary Vee

In the last story, we talked about a time when the Lord and two angels visited Abraham. They ate a meal together and talked. As the three visitors got up to leave, the Lord decided to tell Abraham about the problems in Sodom and Gomorrah. "The sin in these two cities is so very terrible."

Abraham knew what God meant. The people in the city would have to be punished.

Abraham also realized that the sins were bad enough that God would have to destroy the two cities.

The two angels turned away and walked toward Sodom. They wanted to see how bad things were.

Abraham watched them walk away. He immediately thought about his nephew Lot. Even though Lot was a rascal, Abraham loved him and cared very much about Lot and his family.

Abraham moved closer to the Lord. He looked over at the angels walking away then back to the Lord. "Will you punish the people in Sodom who love you along with the people who don't?"

Abraham squinted his eyes and looked in the direction of Sodom. "What if there are fifty people in the city who love you, will you really destroy the city and not spare it for those fifty people?"

The Lord answered, "If I can find fifty people who love me in Sodom, I will spare the whole city just for them."

Abraham wiped the sweat from his forehead and thought for a second then said, "I know I have been bold. I'm not worthy to ask you for this, but what if there were 45 people who loved you in Sodom. Will you destroy the whole city because there were 5 less people who love you?"

The Lord said "If I find forty-five people there who love me, I will not destroy it."

God knew Abraham was trying to save Lot and his family. He stood there patiently and listened to Abraham.

Abraham ask the Lord to save Sodom if there were forty people who loved Him, then thirty people, then twenty, and finally for ten people. Each time the Lord said, "For the sake of those people I will not destroy it."

Abraham knew that Lot and his wife only had two daughters. Maybe he'd hope there were at least six other people in the city who loved God. He wasn't sure.

What we do know, is God wants us to ask Him to help the people we love. Next Wednesday we will see how God helped Lot and his family.

God loves you! He wants to take care of you and the people you love.

Sometimes we don't see the ways God takes care of us. Can you share something that God did for someone else, someone from the Bible or maybe something God did for you? Click on the comment button below to share.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is Anything Too Hard for God to Do?

By Mary Vee

Abraham sat in a chair, sweating. He took a sip of water and wiped his forehead. "Well, Sarah, it's a hot day."

Sarah laughed. "Dear husband, I think I figured that out by myself. Sitting here inside the tent with my mending hasn't kept the heat away."

They thanked God for the great tree by Mamre that gave them what little shade they could find. Their tent-like home fit perfectly underneath it.

Abraham looked out at the ridge. Something moved. His old eyes didn't always see things clearly anymore. There, he saw a movement again. It came closer. No, it wasn't one. There were three. Three men. His eyes focused on them. Oh, they look hot and thirsty.

Abraham ran to them and bowed low to the ground. "Please stop here at my tent. Let me give you something to drink and maybe something to eat. We can wash the dust from the road off your feet."

Abraham was that kind of man. He just loved helping people!

The visitors said, "Sure, it would be nice."

Abraham ran to his tent. Can you imagine a 90 year old man running to his tent?

Huffing and puffing he said to Sarah, "Hurry, make some bread, we have company."

She smiled and giggled with delight. "That's wonderful, I love when company comes to visit. I'll make the bread right away."

While she made the bread, Abraham ran to his herd and picked the best one he had to be cooked for a meal. Soon the food was ready. Abraham served his company in the shade while Sarah stayed in the tent finishing up a few things. She enjoyed listening to the conversation. She crept closer to the entrance to the tent to hear better.

One man said, "I will come back next year and at that time, Sarah, your wife will have a son."

Abraham realized only the Lord would know that. Ooo, that meant the Lord had come to visit him!

But maybe Sarah hadn't figured that out yet.

Sarah laughed to herself, "How can we have a son we we are both so old?"

The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord to do? I will return to you next year and Sarah will have a son."

Sarah took a few steps out of the tent. She bit her lip and lowered her head. "Sir, you must be mistaken, I didn't laugh"

The Lord looked at her. "Yes, you did laugh.

Sarah realized then who had spoken to her. A tear dripped out of her eye.

Sometimes we think God can't help our problems. Why bother asking Him for help? No one can help. We pout and stand off by ourselves.

Let's encourage each other today. Tell how God can help someone with their problem. You can use a Bible story, something God did for someone else, or share something God did for you. Click on the comment button below to share your idea.

You start, then I will share a time God helped me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Waiting is Hard to Do

By Mary Vee

Abram believed God would give him his own son, and from that son a whole nation of people would eventually be born.
Sarai believed God as well.  They both believed and waited for ten years, then Sarai started to wonder.  "Maybe God didn't mean I would be the mother of this son."  A tear drip down her face. She continued thinking.  "After all, God didn't tell Abram I would be the mother. He only told Abram that he would be the father."
She walked out to an open area outside their tent and smiled at the clouds over the valley below.  Living on top of a mountain was nice.  God promised her husband, Abram, all the land in front of her eyes.  The land would one day belong to his descendants.  God didn't say she would be the mother.
She wiped the tear from her face and sighed.  I guess someone else should be the mother.
She talked with Abram and explained her thinking.  Abram agreed.
Abram took Sarai's servant, Hagar as a second wife.
Once Hagar became pregnant she disliked Sarai.  The two began fighting until one day Hagar ran away.
What a mess.  No one seemed happy.
Hagar hid in the desert near a spring.  God sent an angel to her.  He spoke softly and told her to go back to Sarai and continue being her servant.  He told her to be nice to Sarai and respect her.  He also said she would have a son who would have many descendants. 
After nine months, Hagar had a son. Abram named him Ishmael.
Thirteen years later God visited with Abram to tell him some very important news: 
Abram's name would be changed to Abraham, which means father of many nations.
Sarai's name would be changed to Sarah which means she would be blessed and given a son, and become the mother of nations.
WOW!  That's the news she has been waiting for.  God said it.  He really said it.  SHE would be the mother of the son God promised to Abram, oops his name is Abraham, now.
Sarah thought to herself, "If only I waited longer.  If only I waited for the time God had in mind, I wouldn't have had the problem with Hagar.  But how could I have known?  I was only trying to help."
I think that was the problem, don't you?  I try to help God do the things He wants me to do instead of waiting for Him to make things happen at the right time.  
Sometimes I try to...well, maybe you could share a time you realized things would have turned out differently if you had waited for God.  Or maybe share a time you did wait, and you saw God work.
One time, well, actually several times, I finished someone's sentence when they were talking to me.  I said the wrong things and they got angry with me.  Sometimes they walk away from me because they were mad.  I wished I had waited before I spoke.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sometimes We Need to Hear God say,"It's OK"

By Mary Vee

One day after Abram returned to his home in Hebron and Lot returned to his home in Sodom, Abram began to wonder about God's promises. How would God make him a father of many people when he didn't have even one son? He was more than 75 years old!

He thought, maybe his head servant would be the one who would inherit all his things. That wouldn't be so bad, he thought, My servant is trustworthy and kind.

That night God spoke to Abram in a dream, "Do not be afraid."

God says that a lot of times in the Bible. He realizes we get afraid when we don't understand things. God still says these Words to us today.

In Abram's dream, God told him "This servant will not be your heir, but your very own son will be your heir."

Then God knew Abram needed to hear and see more to fully understand. God took Abram outside his tent and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars."

Abram didn't really count the stars, but he understood what God meant. Still God added a little humor by saying, "If you can count the stars, then you will know how many descendents you will have."

A smile burst on Abram's face. God really would make him a dad, even though he was old. God really would make him a father of many people.

He could wait now. He knew, he really knew that God would do as He promised.

Sometimes problems happen in our life. We try real hard to solve them by ourselves, like Abram did when he thought his servant would be his heir. God knows when we are concerned that things won't work out. This is the time He will send someone to comfort us, or let us hear a story from His Word to comfort us, or put a song in our head, or something to let us know that everything is going to be OK. God is in charge...and everything will be OK. We only need to wait for His timing.

What could you suggest to someone who is going through a problem and needs to hear a word of comfort?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

God Helps Abram Win a Mighty Battle

By Mary Vee

On Wednesday we talked about the big bad King Elam and his three other king friends who fought the Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their three king friends. (Did you keep all those kings straight in your mind?)

The Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their friends screamed when they saw King Elams huge army and ran for the hills. Some of the soldiers fell in tar pits. While they were gone, King Elam and his king friends said, "Ha Ha" and stole everything they could from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah including Abram's nephew, Lot and his family.

One of Lot's servants escaped and ran 36 miles up a mountain to where Abram was living. Huffing because he was out of breath, he told Abram about the battle and how wicked King Elam took Lot and his family as prisoners.

Abram took 318 trained fighting men who had been born in his household to track down and save Lot. They traveled more than 120 miles to a place north of Damascus to conquer King Elam. They won! Abram and his men rescued all the people from Sodom and Gomorrah, including Lot and his family. He brought them back to place near Jerusalem.

The King of Sodom and the King of Gomorrah came and thanked Abram. "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself."

Abram said, "No thank you." He didn't want the King of Sodom to ever say "Abram was rich because of him."

The King of Salem, which is now called Jerusalem, watched. He was a priest of God Most High. He blessed Abram for his faithfulness saying: "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed by God Most High, who delvered your enemies into your hand."

Because of Abram's faithfulness to God, he and his men conquered a king that five other kings could not. Can you think of a reward someone received from God for being faithful?