My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.
My Favorite Proverbs: Seven Things God Hates: A proud look (Prov. 6:16-19)
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
What is “a proud look”? Since I was young I’ve wondered if this had to do with the way I look to others (Do others see me as prideful?) or the way I look at others.(Do I actually look down my nose at people?) Either way, the lesson is the same: a proud look is a violation of this law: “But he who glories, let him glory in the Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17).
Self-respect is not wrong. That’s evident from another familiar proverb:“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Prov. 22:1). I should care what people think of me and do my best to reflect Christ. I should strive for excellence; to be the best I can be. Therefore I care about how I look, how I speak, and what attitudes I display at any given moment. Yet, when a man begins to admire himself independently of his Creator, he is in danger, and one common sign of this heart-sin is a proud look. It separates a man from the people around him and makes him somewhat unapproachable—at least to some. He may not realize it, but, in his self-pride, he has implied that he fails to acknowledge his constant need for mercy from His God.
Perhaps the clearest statement on this danger came from the Apostle Paul:
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3).
For today, let us be especially aware of our “look.”
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:6,10).
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8).
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14)
“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2).
Story Time from Glenn and Cindy: Concluding Genesis 45
1. There were still five years of famine ahead (45:11). Joseph said to his astonished brothers, “You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds, and all that you have” (45:10). At that moment, Joseph came back into their lives as a savior, supplying all they needed: forgiveness, food, and a secure place to live. They had treated him so badly, yet he cared for them. Review Romans 12:20-21. These lessons are so very important and relevant to children:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Have your children repeat “Overcome evil with good.” Have them prepare a card to send to someone who has not always been kind to them. Tell this child your family is missing him/her during the quarantine. Stress that you are overcoming evil (unkindness or selfishness) with good.
2. Read Genesis 45:17-23. Pharaoh gave Joseph’s brothers more riches than they could imagine: the best of all the land of Egypt. They could hardly believe their eyes!
Compare this picture with how we will feel entering heaven one day:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son (Rev. 21:1-7).
Talk to your children about how you can hardly wait for all of your family to be together in heaven. Talk to them about how lots of people in our world are sick right now. Talk about specific people they love who are sick right now. Talk to them about the reason for the present quarantine. Explain that none of these sicknesses will ever “happen” in heaven.
3. When Joseph’s aged father, Jacob, saw his sons at the front of their house with all these riches, and heard them explain that Joseph was both alive and powerful, “his heart stood still,” meaning he was speechless with the shock of it all. When he was finally able to accept that it was true, verse 28 says, “Then Israel said, “It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go see him before I die.”
Of all the many riches laid before Jacob, the greatest was that Joseph was alive and he could see him and hug him and talk with him. What are your greatest riches? What means the most of all to you?
In connection to this, teach your children that the answer to the question, “What is true success?” is, “living your life and going to heaven.” Repeat this till your children know it.
4. Explain to your children what an “enemy” is. You can talk to them about enemies on Star Wars or in stories like The Three Little Pigs or you can identify the Riddler or the Joker from old Batman episodes. You could talk to them about the wicked stepmother in Snow White or Cinderella. Ask them if we ever have enemies. Explain to them that we do not want to have enemies, but, when we do, we will always show them kindness and pray for them as Jesus taught us in Luke 6:28. Read this verse with your children. Pray with your children. Be sure to pray for enemies tonight.