Sunday School Lesson: Israel's Northern Kings

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The kings of israel Sunday School Bible Lessons for childrenThis is a continuation in the study of Israel’s kings.  This lesson covers the reigns of Jeroboam through Omri.  Although none of the kings from the northern kingdom were righteous before God they are included in this series because everything written in Scripture is for our learning.
Students will learn how merciful God is towards sinful man as they examine the lives of these wicked kings.  This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class.  It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs.  Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.

Bible Story: Northern Kingdom Kings:  Jeroboam-Omri
Scripture1Kings 12:25-16:28
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, index cards, pens/pencils, paper,

Learning Goal: Students will learn that God is merciful and wants people to turn from their sin and turn to Him.
Learning Indicator: By participating in learning activity #1 students will discover from the Scriptures that the kings from the northern kingdom were wicked.  They will demonstrate their comprehension of the lesson by answering review questions.
Learning Activity #1: Have 6 index cards with the Scripture references for King Jeroboam (1 Kings 13-14:20), Nadab (1 Kings 15:25-32), Baasha (1 Kings 15:27-16:7), Zimri (1 Kings16:15-20) and Omri (1 Kings 16:21-28) Break students down into six groups and have them look up information about their king.  Have them write what they discover about their king on a piece of paper.  Jeroboam covers more Scripture than the other 5.  Guide the group with Jeroboam to have students divide chapters for students to examine and summarize what they learn in each chapter.  (Another option is to create a worksheet for each king with questions along with verse references where the answer is found that lead the students to focus on the details of the king.)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Ezekiel 18:32 “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD.  Repent and live!”

Bible Lesson:  Northern Kingdom Kings:  Jeroboam-Omri

(On the board or a large piece of paper posted on the wall have the names of the six kings from the northern kingdoms of Israel. If you are keeping track of each king that is studied in the series have six pieces of blue construction paper with an outline of a person and the names of each king on it.  Have six circles for students to make a smile face or a sad face as they determine if they were kings who pleased God or not.)
(Have a spokesperson from each of the six groups share what they learned about their king as you come to their king during the lesson.)
Begin with prayer.
Each of you will have a chance to share the details about your king as we come to them in our lesson. The one thing I would like you to share at the beginning of our lesson is whether your king was good or bad?  Allow each student that is representing the different kings say what they discovered.  (They all were bad.)
None of the kings from the northern kingdom were pleasing in God’s sight.  They were recorded as kings who did evil in His sight.
Every person born since Adam and Eve sinned is born with a sin nature.  Sin separates us from a holy God.  Because of sin each person must die.  Choose volunteers to look up the following verses:  Romans 3:10-12, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23
The purpose God created every man, woman, boy and girl is so they can glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.  Sin interferes with that purpose.  God has provided a way for everyone to be able to fulfill that purpose through His Son Jesus.
These 6 kings were evil in God’s sight.  Do you think they fulfilled the purpose for which God created them?  (No-they did not glorify God with their wickedness)  God desires for each person to turn away from sin and turn to Him.  What is another word from turn away from sin?  (Repent)  Let’s look at our memory verse for today.  Ezekiel 18:32 “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD.  Repent and live!”
Did God just allow these kings to live wicked lives and turn a blind eye to them?  Did He find pleasure when they died as wicked men? (No)
(Spokesperson for Jeroboam shares what they learned about him)
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 1 Kings 13.  Who remembers what Jeroboam did that was sin before God?  (He created two golden calves for his people to worship.  He was afraid that the people of his kingdom would not return to Jerusalem and want to stay and be a part of the southern kingdom) God is merciful and desires people to repent and live.
Let’s read verses 13:1-3.  God saw Jeroboam’s sin and wickedness.  God desires people to repent so they do not have to face punishment.  We see His mercy (undeserved kindness) to Jeroboam by sending the man of God.  When God sends a message of coming punishment how do you think a person should respond?  (Repent and live!)  How did Jeroboam respond to the man of God?  1 Kings 13:4-6
Jeroboam didn’t repent and turn to God.  If he did he could have lived a life that glorified God and enjoyed His many blessings.  Instead Jeroboam planted seeds of wickedness that continued to grow in each generation that was born after him. (1 Kings 13:34)
(Spokesperson for Nadab)
Read 1 Kings 15:25-26.  Jeroboam sowed seeds of sin in his life and his son Nadab walked in the same way as his father. (Galatians 6:7)  He only reigns for 2 years and Baasha kills him and takes the kingdom from him.
(Spokesperson for Baasha)
In 1 Kings 16:1-7 we see God’s mercy once again to the kings from the northern kingdom.  He sends a message of punishment to Baasha through a man named Jehu.  Did Baasha repent and live? (No)
(Spokesperson for Elah)
Elah became king after his father Baasha died.  Read 1 Kings 16:9-10.  As we have looked at the northern kingdoms today have you seen peace?  Sin leads to death and obedience to God leads to peace with Him and peace in life. (Psalm 119:165)
(Spokesperson for Zimri)
Read 1 Kings 16:12. When God says He is going to do something it will happen.  ( Numbers 23:19;Psalm 119:89-91; Matthew 5:18)  He sent a messenger to Baasha and warned him of coming punishment and what that punishment would be and it happened exactly as God said it would.
(Spokesperson for Omri)
Once again we see a king that did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him (verse 25).  None of these kings turned from their sins and allowed God to use them for good.  They will be forever remembered as wicked kings.
Instead of looking at these passages we could have simply said “these kings were bad” and not taken time to look at them.  They are in God’s Word for a reason.  We can learn from what is written about them.
The northern kings had a choice to obey God or sin.  We have the same choice today.  We can choose to live a sinful life or we can repent and live.  How?  God sent His Son Jesus into this world to die for our sins.  He was buried and rose again on the third day.  By believing in Jesus our sins are forgiven and we can live forever with God.  When we put our faith in Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a life that pleases God.  God has provided what we need to fulfill His purpose for our lives:  To glorify Him and enjoy Him forever!
As God sent messengers to the kings of their coming punishment, the Bible tells us that God will punish sin.  (Romans 6:23)  If a person does not believe in Jesus and have his/her sins forgiven they will be separated from God forever when they die.
If you are a believer God is your Father and if you are choosing to disobey Him, He will discipline you so you will repent and live a life that reflects who you are as His child.  (Hebrews 12:5-11)  When the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin you should immediately confess it to God and turn away from it (1 John 1:9).
Today we can live a life that glorifies God and enjoys Him forever!  What changes do you need to make in your life so you can fulfill that purpose?  As we close in prayer I am going to be silent for a few minutes so you can pray quietly to the Lord and talk to Him about what He has shown you today.  He will help you with whatever your needs are today.
Close in prayer.
Review Questions:

  1. Name one of the six kings we discussed in our lesson. (Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, and Omri)
  2. What is the purpose for each man, woman, boy and girl? (To glorify God and enjoy Him forever)
  3. How many of the six kings pleased God? (None)
  4. How did God show Jeroboam and Baasha mercy?  (He sent messengers to warn them of coming punishment)
  5. How did Jeroboam and Baasha respond to God’s message?  (They didn’t repent)
  6. How has God provided a way for you to live a life that pleases God?  (Sent Jesus so we can have eternal life)
  7. What can we learn from these kings?  (Various responses)

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