“Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north
and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Longitude, latitude, hemisphere, equator, etc. Mary Rose was in the process of learning many things about the earth and terms of a globe. In Bible class they had a large blow up globe that they took turns with to find the Holy Land where the Jews lived and grew. Mary Rose asked, “Where did the Jews come from?” Her teacher thought it was a great question. She wanted to give a detailed answer but knew if she did she would need to lay aside her prepared lesson, but by doing so it would shed some light on much Bible history and serve as review. She knew she had several maps stored in the room for just such an occasion and began by pulling them out and began by saying, “It all began with a plan that God had to help bring his people back to him.” Ephesians 1:4. “The ancestry or family of Jesus began way back with Adam and Eve who were the first man and woman and then their son Seth. We are going to jump ahead a little to a time after the flood past Noah and his son Shem, and talk of a Hebrew man by the name of Abraham. God called him to go to a land that He would show him and Abraham obeyed. Genesis 12:1-8; Genesis 14:13. The land he went to was called Canaan.” The class found Canaan on the map right away. “God had promised that Abraham and his wife Sarah would have a son and his family would become a great nation of people.” Their teacher wrote, First – Abraham’s family was called Hebrews. “God also promised that his family would inherit or be given Canaan Land, and that all people would be blessed through a special person born many years later in Abraham’s family.” In a different column their teacher wrote the 3 promises on the board. “God also gave these same promises to Abraham’s son Isaac and grandson Jacob. Later Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. His 12 sons and their children became known as Israelites or the 12 tribes of Israel.” The teacher wrote, Second – Abraham’s family was known as Israelites. “They all settled in the land of Canaan. One of Jacob’s sons was named Judah. His portion of land was named after him and was called Judah. The Israelites were then called Jews through Judah. So third – the family of Abraham became known as Jews.” Afterward the teacher asked, “Now who can tell me where the Jews came from?” Mary Rose held her hand up high and the teacher called on her and she answered, “Abraham the Hebrew man!” She was very excited to learn about the people of God. Afterward the teacher took 3 large red stars and posted one on the time line by Abraham and wrote Hebrews. Then one beside Jacob with the name Israelites. The last star she placed beside Judah with the name Jews. The teacher went on to explain, “The 12 tribes wanted a king like other people around them and they became one large Kingdom with a King. After 3 kings had ruled, The 3rd King, Solomon, turned his heart from the Lord to other gods, God then divided the Kingdom and it became 2 Kingdoms. Israel was the Northern Kingdom with 10 tribes and its capital was Samaria. Judah was the Southern Kingdom and its capital was Jerusalem. It was a very sad time when these Kingdoms forgot God’s warnings and disobeyed Him by also serving false gods. As punishment God allowed them to be taken captive, Numbers 33:50-56 .The people of the Northern Kingdom were taken captive to Assyria and were sent even further away to other lands. The King of Assyria then sent strangers to live in the Northern Kingdom’s territory. Later the whole of this land was named after its capital of Samaria. After a time the King of Babylon overtook Assyria and also the Southern Kingdom Judah, and took the Jews to Babylon for 70 years. God allowed this to happen as punishment for their disobediance. While there, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream about a statue. God told the King what the dream meant through the captive Prophet Daniel. This statue represented different kingdoms that would be in power beginning with Babylon. Each Kingdom would only last for a time and then be crushed. After 70 years of being captives in Babylon, the Jews were allowed to come back home to their home land of Judah as God had said, but things were never quite the same as when they left. They worked and worked to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem. In all that time there was one of God’s promises that still needed to happen or be fulfilled. 400 years had passed when the prophets had no messages from God and the Kingdom of Rome was now in power. Over time the same land was given different names. Before and during the time when Jesus grew up the land was called Palestine. Palestine was made up of 3 provinces or sections of land named Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. It was during this time that God had a special message for a young Jewish woman who was from the tribe of Judah. Her name was Mary. The angel Gabriel was sent by God and spoke to Mary. He told her she was soon to have a baby boy who would be named Jesus, which means Savior, for He would save His people from their sins, Matthew 1:21. He was born in Bethlehem of Judea, Matthew 2:1. Jesus was going to be the one to fulfill the promise of all people being blessed! What a surprise for Mary!”
They also learned about the Kingdom of God that was described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. A large stone that would crush all the other nations, God’s Kingdom would stand forever!
Daniel 2, 2 Samuel 7:8-17; Mark 9:1, Matthew 16:13-20; Acts 2; James 2:5. The teacher pointed to the large stone in the classroom. “God would set up spiritual a King who would reign forever!” The teacher asked, “Does anyone know what King will reign forever?” Several answered, “Jesus!” Luke 23:3; John 18:37; John 18:36. During the next few weeks their teacher had made a large puzzle map where the students added shapes of land and then the correct names. She also showed them on the computer the Holy Land of today where Jesus had lived, walked and preached. They were excited to discover that Jerusalem is a real place that many people from America actually go and visit. The teacher said, “Today the land is called Israel.” Mary Rose and her classmates enjoyed seeing and getting to know more about the Bible lands. The teacher had made a hand out for her students to help them read about the things they had discussed.
• God had a plan – Ephesians 1:4
• Abraham/Hebrew – Genesis 14:13
• Promises to Abraham – Genesis 12:1-8; Genesis 13:14-16; Genesis 15; Genesis 17:15-22; Genesis 22:15-18
• Jesus from Abraham’s family; tribe of Judah – Matthew 1; Luke 3:23-38
• Abraham’s family, Hebrews – Exodus 1:15-2.
• Promises to Isaac – Genesis 26:1-5
• Promises to Jacob – Genesis 28:10-15
• Jacob/Israel – Genesis 35:9-12
• 12 sons of Jacob – Genesis 35:23-26
• Judah – Genesis 49:6-10
• Jew – Jeremiah 38:19
• Punishment – Numbers 33:50-56
• Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream – Daniel 2
• God’s Kingdom established forever – 2 Samuel 7:8-17
• Gabriel – Luke 1:26 ff
• The Kingdom/church – Mark 9:1, Acts 2; James 2:5; Matthew 16:13-20
• Jesus is King – Luke 23:3; John 18:37; John 18:36
To my Sister Bible class teachers,
Learning/telling of the linage of Jesus is quite an undertaking. Old and New Testament history is AMAZING!
As Mary Rose learned about the Holy Land and those who lived there, the globe and maps they explored made things real and seem closer. She wanted to know more about God’s people and where they came from. As teachers personal study and understanding is vital to staying sharp with God’s Word. Anticipate our student’s questions as best we can. The teacher decided to change gears with her lesson but in the long run she had been prepared. Have you ever Googled Jerusalem for your students and zoomed in?
They must have had several maps laid out on the table or floor!
I love good reference maps that bring the land to life.
Free Downloads here!
Listed below are links where you can find detailed maps to order and the 20” inflatable globe!
My prayers and encouragement go with you.
Serving in Christ,
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