Children’s Lesson – God Gives Courage

“God gives courage!”

Have you ever been scared to do the right thing? It can be hard
to stand up to a bully, show kindness to someone who is mean, or refuse to follow friends who want to do bad things. Sometimes it can be scary to do the right thing even though you know you need to. That’s why you need courage—the ability to overcome your fear and do what you know is right. God is strong and mighty. When you know Him as your Savior, He gives His strength to you so you can have courage to do the right thing. Say with me, “God gives courage!”

Some people write down things they want to remember in a special book. But can you imagine writing something in your journal that would save the lives of thousands of people? Long ago many kings had people write down in record books the important things that happened during their reign. The Bible tells about a time when God used a record book to do an amazing thing!
One night, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. Do you remember who Mordecai was? He was Queen Esther’s cousin who had helped raise her. That night at the gate Mordecai heard two guards planning to kill the king. He knew he must warn the king so he told Queen Esther about the two guards who wanted to kill the king.When Esther received Mordecai’s message, she immediately sent word to the king that Mordecai had uncovered a plot against him. The king had the two guards arrested. They were found guilty and sentenced to death. God was in control of this situation. Do you remember what word we use when we talk about God being in control?
We use the word sovereign. God made sure that Mordecai was in the right place at the right time to hear the plot and save the king’s life.
The entire account, including Mordecai’s name, was written down in the king’s record books by his scribes (special writers who worked for the king). Let’s take a pretend pen and use it to write down what Mordecai did in the record book. The king had no idea that writing this down would save people’s lives. But God is sovereign—He is in control—and in the next few weeks we’re going to learn how God used this.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sometime later King Ahasuerus promoted one of his officers named Haman (HAY-mun) to second in command of the empire. Haman was a very proud and wealthy man and now he was also one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. When the king promoted Haman, he ordered all the royal officials working in the gate to bow to Haman and show respect to him. Haman must have enjoyed coming and going through the gate while all the king’s officials bowed low before him. Everyone stand up and walk in place like Haman with your head held high.  Haman didn’t notice that one official didn’t bow—Mordecai.
 
 
 

But the other officials noticed. “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” they asked.

“Because I am a Jew,” Mordecai replied. He knew the history of Haman’s people, who had treated the Jews terribly. We don’t know exactly why Mordecai refused to bow to Haman. He had a choice to make, and in that moment he made the choice that he felt was right and honoring to God and to his people, the Jews.

Do you choose to do what is right and honoring to God? Every day you will have opportunities to do things that will honor God or that will not honor God. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him.

 

 

 “God gives courage!” You may be at school or in your neighborhood when another kid is being bullied or needs help. Will you help even though you might be made fun of or bullied too? Maybe a friend invites you to do something fun but it’s the same time as church or Good News Club. Will you honor God with your choice? It may be hard for you to clean your room without being told or be kind to your siblings without your mom reminding you. In those times, where can you go to know what God wants you to do?  God has given you His Word, the Bible, so you can know what He says is right and wrong. This is how God helps you know the right thing to do. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but God says, (read Joshua 1:9a). God tells you to have courage. Courage is overcoming your fear by choosing to do what is right even though you are afraid. You can honor God every day by courageously obeying His Word even when it is easier to say or do nothing, or when others around you are not following God. Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him.

Mordecai chose what he thought was right and honoring to God and refused to bow before Haman. Every day the other officials urged Mordecai to bow to Haman but Mordecai refused.

Some of the officials told Haman about this man who refused to bow. How do you think Haman felt when he heard this?  Proud Haman was angry that anyone would refuse to bow to him. He was powerful enough to make life hard for Mordecai.

Haman saw Mordecai standing while all the other officials bowed low to the ground. Haman was angry! He remembered the officials telling him that Mordecai refused to bow because he was a Jew—one of God’s people. Haman knew there were many of God’s people in the kingdom of Persia. Hatred grew in his heart toward all of them. I’ll destroy this Mordecai and all of his people! Haman thought to himself.

Haman is not the only person who has wanted to destroy God’s people. God’s enemy, Satan, has used many people throughout history to try to destroy the Jews. But nothing could stop God’s plan to use the Jews as part of His great rescue plan to save people from sin.

Thousands of years before Haman and Mordecai were even born, God said He would use the Jews to bring the Promised Savior into the world. Many years later Jesus, God the Son, was born as a Jew to save people from sin. All people are born wanting to sin and disobey God. You sin when you disobey God in what you think, say, or do. When you are unkind or hate others because they are different from you, you sin. God created and loves all people. He calls hatred and unkindness sin. Your sin separates you from God now, and if you die with your sin, you’ll be separated from God forever. But God made you and loves you. He made a way for you to be saved from sin. (Read 1 John 4:14.) God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be the Savior. Jesus was born on Earth, lived a perfect life, and when He was an adult He willingly bled and died on a cross to pay for your sin and mine. Jesus’ life, death, and coming alive again are what make it possible for you to no longer be separated from God. Jesus is alive in Heaven today, ruling over all. He fulfilled God’s plan to use the Jews to bring the Promised Savior into the world.

Nothing could stop God from using the Jews as part of His great rescue plan. But this didn’t stop Satan from using Haman to try to destroy the Jews.

Haman gathered his advisors to help him choose the best day to carry out his evil plan. The Bible says that they “cast lots,” which is like throwing dice or drawing straws.

The day that was chosen was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—one year away. Haman superstitiously believed that fate or chance had decided the date. He didn’t realize that it was not fate but God who was controlling these events.

Mordecai’s choice to stand for his beliefs seemed to bring about a terrible situation for the Jews.

God is sovereign and is always working, sometimes in unseen ways, for His people’s good.Do you think God is at work today for the good of His people, even for your good? It may be hard to trust God, especially in the midst of hard times, but if you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him. It takes courage to speak up for those who are being bullied, or go to church or Good News Club when it’s easier not to, or even to do what’s right when no one is watching. But God is with you and will help you! (Read Psalm 31:24.) God will give your heart courage to do what is right even when it’s hard or you’re afraid.  

 “God gives courage!” Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him. Here are three things to help you. First, remember who God is—He is strong and He can give you His strength to do what is right. Second, spend time reading God’s Word every day so you can learn what God says is right and wrong. Third, acknowledge God as the greatest authority you should obey. When you acknowledge God in the things you do in your life, He will help you be wise and do, say, and think things that honor Him. Let’s say our memory verses together. (Quote Proverbs 3:5-6 with children.) You can also say Proverbs 3:5-6 to yourself every day or write it out and put it somewhere you will see it. You could even put it beside your bed to look at every morning and evening to remind you. God is always with you. When you acknowledge Him, you are admitting He is God and you need His help. God is working, perhaps in unseen ways, for your good.

God was working in unseen ways for the good of His people, the Jews, even though Mordecai’s choice seemed to have put them in a terrible situation.

Haman believed that fate had decided the date that the Jews would be destroyed. He now had to see the king and make his plan official. Haman told King Ahasuerus he should kill a group of people in the kingdom. Haman even offered the king millions of dollars’ worth of silver to pay the men who would kill these people.

King Ahasuerus didn’t ask any questions or want more information. He trusted Haman.

“Do what you want,” he said, handing his signet ring to Haman. The king’s ring was pressed into clay or soft wax to put the royal seal on official documents, making them law. Now Haman had authority to make whatever law he wished.

Haman had the king’s scribes write his new law. The law stated that on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, all Jews throughout the kingdom would be destroyed—men, women, and children—and all that they owned would be taken away. Copies of the law were made in the languages of the people and sealed with the king’s ring, making it a law that could never be changed. Messengers took the copies and hurried throughout the kingdom to make the law known. Let’s pretend to be messengers and ride out to the kingdom.

 

Now stand up and say loudly, “Hear the king’s message!”

The official decree of death to all Jews went out to every province in the empire!

The people of Shushan were confused when they read the terrible words of the law. They couldn’t imagine what the Jews had done to deserve such severe punishment. It may have seemed like God had abandoned His people—but He had not! God was still in control and was caring for them even in this terrible situation.

You may find that honoring God is not always easy. But if you have believed on Jesus as your Savior, God will give you courage to honor Him. Trust God to help you choose what is right and honoring to Him. Remember these three things to help you. First, remember who God is—He is strong and He can give you His strength to do what is right. Second, spend time reading God’s Word every day so you can learn what God says is right and wrong. You can post our memory verses somewhere to help you remember what God says. Third, acknowledge God as the greatest authority you should obey. When you acknowledge God in the things you do in your life, He will help you be wise and do, say, and think things that honor Him. He will help you acknowledge Him in your life as you read the Bible and know Him more. He will help you speak up for those who are bullied, go to church or Good News Club even when it’s not easy, or do the right thing even when no one else is watching. God is strong and will give you His strength to honor Him. (Read Psalm 31:24.) God will give you His courage as you trust Him!
 
“God gives courage!”  Will you honor God this week? You can do that with confidence, knowing He is working, perhaps in unseen ways, for your good.
 

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