Chapter 14: A Kingdom Torn in Two
Timeless Truth: God detests idol worshippers.
Bible Basis: 1 Kings 12:1–33; 14:22–23, 26–28; 15:11–24, 16:29-33
Key Verse: “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (1 Kings 15:11).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity encourages your family to think seriously about modern-day idols. The Extra Mile takes your family to a song that talks about God and explains why only he is worthy of worship.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God uses bad things to teach his people. I can learn from mistakes.
Elementary: God uses bad things to teach his people. I can learn from mistakes.
Middle School: When you follow the lie that God can’t give you what you need, it’s easy to turn to idols.
High School: Idol worship isn’t limited to golden cows; many things can pull your attention away from God.
You don’t run into a lot of golden cow worshipers at church these days. But the problem of idols still plagues God followers. Anything that comes before God in your life could be an idol, especially if you look to that thing for comfort or satisfaction. Have all family members fill out the chart to see how they spend their time. At the end, answer some questions to see if any idols have crept into your daily life.
On average how much time each day do you spend doing these things?
Activity Time Spent?
None of the activities are in and of themselves sinful; however, if they consume all your time and pull you away from God, they could become an idol. In today’s society money, fame, possessions, career advancement, popularity and other things rule people’s lives. Ask:
Only the one true God is worthy of our worship. King Solomon opened the door to idol worship, and then Israel and Judah forsook the Lord to follow false gods.
Watch the “I will worship You – Matthew Ward.” Have a pencil and paper ready. Write down all of the characteristics of God mentioned in the song. “My God is faithful, truthful...”
Lent begins February 22nd. What are you giving up (or taking on) this year?
could you go beyond simply giving up chocolate or coffee and instead, give up something coming between you and God - or take up a spiritual practice to bring you closer to him?
Here are some resources to help you and your family connect in deeper discipleship this Lent:
- Lent 2023 Resources from the Qld Synod
- Uniting World Lent Event
- 15 Ideas to Observe Lent (beyond giving up chocolate)
- Devotional for Ash Wednesday
- Prepare Your Heart for Easter (40-day Lenten Devotional)
- How Can 40 Days Renew and Refocus Your Heart?
Chapter 13: The King Who Had It All
Timeless Truth: God’s faithful love continues forever.
Bible Basis: 1 Kings 3:1-15, 4:29-30, Proverbs 3:1-18, 2 Chronicles 6:12-7:3, 2 Chronicles 9:1-8, 1 Kings 11:9-13
Key Verse: “Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Have respect for the LORD” (Proverbs 3:7).
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will give your family a glimpse of what it was like when God’s presence filled the temple. The Extra Mile takes your family on a digital video tour of Solomon’s temple. Plus, you can get to know Proverbs.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God made Solomon a wise leader. God can make me wise, too.
Elementary: God made Solomon a wise leader. God can make me wise, too.
Middle School: Man’s wisdom—even Solomon’s—is limited. God’s love endures forever.
High School: Solomon was the wisest man alive, but he failed to follow his own godly teaching and that led to his downfall.
- God appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered to give him anything he asked for. If God gave you the same offer, what would you ask for?
- Solomon asked for wisdom, so he could be a good king. Do you think that was a good request?
- God liked Solomon’s answer so much that he gave him wisdom, fame and money. What’s the best reward you’ve received for a good answer?
- If you could ask your parents to give you one thing, what would it be?
- Solomon’s wisdom is legendary. Many of his saying can be found in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He begins Proverbs by writing, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). What does that mean to you?
- Would your teachers and friends agree that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”?
- What would modern-day science say about that statement?
- Is Solomon’s wisdom out of date or does it still apply today? Why?
This activity requires a 20-ounce plastic bottle, warm water, vinegar and baking soda. It’s best to complete this activity outside or in a sink. As you watch the baking soda and vinegar react and fizz out of the bottle, think about what it would’ve been like to watch God’s presence come down and fill the temple.
Start by putting about two tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of the bottle. Quickly add a ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of warm water. Step back and watch the bottle fill with foam that bursts out of the top.
When Solomon prayed for the temple, God’s presence came down. Second Chronicles 7:2 says, “the priests couldn’t enter the temple of the Lord. His glory filled it.” Can you imagine God’s tangible presence filling a building? It was so powerful that people who witnessed it, dropped to their knees and worshiped God.
For a bonus activity after discussing God’s powerful presence at his temple, get a plastic zipper bag to demonstrate that God’s glory can’t be contained. Be careful as the bag will explode and may create a mess.
This time put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in a paper towel and fold it up. Pour a ½ cup of vinegar and a ¼ cup of water into the plastic zipper bag. Drop in the paper towel and quickly zip the bag closed. Give a quick shake to start the reaction, then put the plastic bag on the ground and step away. The bag should puff up and pop with a loud bang.
Money wasn’t an issue for Solomon. God blessed him with such vast riches that the Bible says silver had little value in Solomon’s kingdom and that the king drank out of a gold goblet. So when Solomon built God’s temple, he spared no expense.
Even though Solomon had 180,000 workers and 4,000 supervisors on the project, the temple took seven years to complete. It was one of the most majestic structures of the day. Nearly 500 years after the Israelites left Egypt, God’s temple was complete.
Take a digital video tour of the temple by watching this video.” Read 1 Kings 6 as you watch.
- Did anything stand out to you in the video?
- Is there any part of the description of the temple that seems especially majestic?
- How does Solomon’s temple compare to your church?
- Does God’s presence still fill buildings today? (Look at Matthew 18:20 for an answer.)
Read the Proverb that mirrors today’s date. (So if it’s the 10th, read Proverbs 10.) After you’re finished, have each family member discuss her favorite verse from what was just read. Encourage each person to memorize one verse from Proverbs. Try this for one day or do it all week!
Chapter 12: A King Makes Bad Choices / The Trials of a King
Timeless Truth: God is just . . . and forgiving.
Bible Basis: Psalm 51:1-12 5, 1 Chronicles 29:1-20, Psalm 23
Key Verse: “Wash away all of the evil things I've done. Make me pure from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).
The Story Chapter 12
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity will help your family understand the problem with sin (as you eat cookies). The Extra Mile exposes your family to two worship songs based on Psalm 51 and encourages you to get to know the Psalms.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.
Elementary: God forgave David's sins. God forgives me when I'm sorry for doing wrong things.
Middle School: David made huge mistakes. But when he asked God for forgiveness, David did it from the deepest part of his soul. God forgave David and used him in huge ways.
High School: David lived to the extreme. He messed up extremely bad, but also had a heart extremely committed to God. God loved and blessed David.
- King David was called a man after God’s heart, but made a huge mistake and tried to cover it up. Is hiding sins ever a good idea? Why?
- The prophet Nathan came to let David know that God knew about David’s sin. David was totally embarrassed and felt awful. Have you ever sinned and tried to hide it? What happened? (As a parent, if you have a story to tell about your childhood, please share it here.)
- Talk about what it feels like when you’re trying to hide something bad that you’ve done. How does it make you feel?
- What wrong actions do you battle with the most? (Stealing, lying, anger.)
- What’s the best thing to do when you mess up?
- God forgave David, but there were still consequences for his sin as David and Bathsheba’s first son died. Can you think of any consequences you’ve faced after doing something bad?
- Later, David’s son Absalom rebelled against him. Absalom was very proud of his hair, which ended up getting caught in a tree and led to his death (Can anyone say, “Pride comes before getting your hair stuck in a tree”?) Why is pride such a big deal to God?
- Are there any areas of pride that you need to look at in your life?
- Talk about some of David’s greatest accomplishments and mess-ups. What can you learn from his life?
You’ll need waxed paper, a tube of frosting, a rolling pin and sugar cookie dough for this activity. The slice-and-bake dough from the store will work or you can make dough the night before and have it chilling in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready, gather your family in the kitchen and ask: “Have you ever done something and then said, ‘I wish I could take that back’? David certainly did. Sometimes he did bonehead things and wished he could turn back time.”
Put out the waxed paper, tube of frosting and rolling pin. Ask for a volunteer. Have that family member try to get all the frosting out of the tube and onto the waxed paper. He can squeeze it, crush it and use the rolling pin on it. When he’s finished, say, “OK, now get all the frosting back in the tube.”
Just like it’s impossible to reverse time and take back sin, it’s impossible to get the frosting back in the tube. Talk about the importance of thinking before you act and trying to always follow God’s will and teaching with your words and actions. As you talk, take out the cookie dough. Roll and bake cookies, using the frosting to decorate them. Point out that God can use the mistakes in our life to make something sweet. God will always forgive when we honestly ask him for forgiveness. He wants us to serve him with our whole heart.
David did everything with gusto. He served God with passion, and when he messed up—he did it big time! After one especially painful mistake, David poured out his heart to God in Psalm 51.
Watch these two videos that feature songs based on Psalm 51.
“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Keith Green
“Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Donnie McClurkin
- Are any specific lyrics especially meaningful to you?
- Have you ever journaled or written a poem about a time you’ve messed up? If it’s appropriate, share it with the family.
- How are these songs different?
Each person’s relationship with God is unique, because he knows our hearts. He knows what will work best to sculpt us to be more like him.
Get to know the Psalms better by reading the one that corresponds to today’s date. Go the extra mile by reading all the Psalms that are multiples of the date (example: 17, 34, 51, 68, 85, 102, 119 (watch out for this one!) and 136. Do this for an entire week as a family.