Lesson: Good Idea or Bad Idea? Uzzah Catches the Ark

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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how to make the best decisions.

Needed: picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden, a piece of fruit, picture of the Ark of the Covenant, cookies or different levels of prizes

Into Game: Good vs. Best 

For this game show type game, you’ll call on volunteers to come up and answer a question about the Bible (choose questions you think kids will know). If they get the answer right, give them a cookie or other small prize. Then, tell them that they can take their one cookie or prize and sit down or they can try to answer another question. If they get the second question right, they’ll get a second cookie or an even better prize. If they get it wrong, they lose their cookie or prize they earned from answering the first question.

When everyone who wants to has had a chance to play, ask, Was it a difficult choice deciding if you were going to try to answer the second question? Why or why not?

Sometimes, we need to make difficult decisions, and we have to think about what the best choice is.

Lesson

Ask students, How many of you remember the story of Adam and Eve?

(Show your picture of Adam and Eve in the Garden.) Adam and Eve were the first man and woman that God created.

Where did they live when God created them? (In the Garden of Eden)

And what did God tell them not to do? (God told them not to eat fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.)

But Adam and Eve saw that the fruit looked good (show children your fruit) and they wanted to eat it. God told them not to eat it, but they wanted to eat it, so what should they have done?

Was it a good idea for them to eat the fruit or was it a bad idea for them to eat the fruit? (It was a bad idea because God knows what’s best and He told them not to eat the fruit.)

Well, how about this one?

(Read 1 Chronicles 13:1-11 with your students, or read the following story as a summary.)

When David became King of Israel, he wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city where he lived. Does anyone know what the Ark of the Covenant was?

(Show your picture of the Ark.) The Ark was a special chest inside the Tabernacle church that held the tablets that God wrote the Ten Commandments on, some manna bread that God gave the Israelites to eat in the desert, and Aaron’s – the first priest’s- staff that God made to start growing flowers again even though it was a dead stick and not connected to the tree anymore. God’s Presence rested on top of the Ark.

The Ark of the Covenant was so holy, so special, that God told everyone not to touch it. It was kind of like how God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit. God told people not to touch the Ark of the Covenant. They could only carry it by its poles, not touch the actual chest.

So, King David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the city where he lives. But while the men were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, it started to fall, so one of the men, a man named Uzzah, reached out and touched it to catch it from falling.

Now, God had said not to touch the Ark of the Covenant, but Uzzah thought that he should touch it to keep it from falling. What do you think Uzzah should have done? Was it a good idea for him to touch the Ark of the Covenant or a bad idea for him to touch the Ark of the Covenant?

This is a hard one, but it was a bad idea because God knows what’s best and He told people not to touch the Ark. If it was going to fall, God could have caught it Himself. He didn’t need Uzzah to catch it.

So, do you remember what happened to Adam and Eve after they ate the fruit God told them not to eat?

They were punished. They had to leave the Garden of Eden and life became a lot harder, and they eventually died because they didn’t listen to God.

And because Uzzah didn’t listen to God – he touched the Ark of the Covenant when God told him not to – God killed Uzzah as a punishment.

We need to remember to always listen to God. Even if you think something is a good idea like Adam and Eve thought it was a good idea to eat the fruit and Uzzah thought it was a good idea to touch the Ark, listen to God first.

Game: Telephone

Remind students that we need to listen to God and do what He says exactly. So, in this game, you have to listen to the person next to you and repeat what they say exactly. Have students sit in a line or in a circle. You’ll whisper a message to the first student, and they’ll pass it on. See how close the message is to what you said when it gets to the end. The goal is to have the message stay as close to the original all the way through.

Game: Alex and Alicia 

Help students apply the lesson by giving advice to two fictitious students.

Story #1: Alex’s Brother

One day, Alex’s little brother Arthur was running around the house. Suddenly, Arthur tripped and fell. As he was falling, he knocked over a picture of the boy’s grandma. As Alex heard the glass break, he knew Arthur was going to get in trouble. Arthur wasn’t supposed to run in the house to begin with, and now he had broken something. He felt bad that Arthur was going to get in trouble and thought about lying about it and saying that he knocked the picture over.

What should Alex do in this situation?

(Alex is being nice to his brother by trying to keep him out of trouble, but Alex should tell the truth. God’s rule is that people should tell the truth and God will be happy with Alex for not lying.)

Story #2: Alicia’s Tough Decision 

One day on their way to school, Alicia’s friend Samantha messed up her own hair on purpose. “Doesn’t my hair look cool now?” Samantha asked Alicia. Alicia didn’t think Samantha’s hair looked cool. She thought it looked silly, but she didn’t want to hurt Samantha’s feelings.

What should Alicia do in this situation?

(Alicia is being nice by not wanting to hurt her friend’s feelings, but she should tell Samantha the truth. God’s rule is the people should tell the truth, and God will be happy with Alicia for not lying.)

Closing Prayer

Father God, we thank You for giving us Your rules. We pray that You will always help us to remember Your rules and to make the best choices in our life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Samuel and David: Children Sunday School Lessons on the Boy Prophet and the Shepherd King.


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