We live in a beautiful world! Just look at the amazing things around you. Let’s go back to the beginning and see what the Bible tells us
about how it all began. In the beginning,
God made the heavens and the earth. God moved over the darkness
and said, “Light!” He called the light “Day”
and He called the darkness “Night”. Day One!
Done! Then God made a space to separate
the waters above from the waters below. He called the space “Sky.” Day Two!
Done! God gathered the waters together,
and dry ground appeared. He called the ground “Land”
and the waters “Seas.” Then He made plants like grass,
grain and trees. Day Three!
Done! Then God made lights in the sky. He made the sun for the day,
the moon for the night, and all the stars. Day Four!
Done! God made fish to swim in the waters
and birds to fly in the sky. “Have babies!” He told them.
“Fill the world with splashing and singing.” Day Five!
Done! Next, God made animals. He made farm animals, wild animals,
and animals that crawl on the ground. “Just one more thing to make,”
God said, “the most special thing of all.” So, in His image,
God made man and woman. “Have babies,” He said.
“Take charge of the world. Care for the fish, the birds and the animals.” Day Six!
Done! Then God looked at everything He had made. “It’s very good!” He said. So on the seventh day He rested
and made that day special. Day Seven!
Done! The first man and woman, Adam and Eva, lived in a beautiful garden
that God made for them. But satan came as a crafty serpent
and tempted Adam and Eve … “Did God say you must not eat the fruit from these trees?
the serpent asked Eve. “Just the tree in the middle,” Eve replied.
“If we eat from it, we’ll die.” “You won’t die!” said the serpent. “There’s a reason why
God doesn’t want you to eat from that tree. If you do, you’ll be like Him.
You’ll know what He knows!”. Eve ate the fruit. She gave some to Adam,
who was with her. He ate it, too. And at once, they knew things
they had never known before. One thing they knew was that they were naked! They sewed leaves together to cover themselves. They’d never felt fear or shame before, so they knew something was wrong. “Adam!” God called.
“Eve!” “We’re hiding, “said Adam.
“We’re naked.” “You know that because
you ate from the tree,” God sighed. Then Adam blamed Eve,
and Eve blamed the serpent. God said, “Serpent, you must crawl on your belly. A woman’s son will defeat you. Eve, childbirth will be painful. Adam, growing food will be difficult.” Then God made clothes for Adam and Eve
and sent them out of the garden. He put an angel with a flaming sword there,
so they could not return. The earth filled up with people, but they sinned so much that
God was sorry He had made them. He decided to send a flood
to wash away everyone on earth. There was a man named Noah
who wasn’t like the others. Noah loved God and obeyed Him. God decided to spare Noah
and his family from the flood. God warned Noah about the flood. He told him to build an enormous boat with
a low roof, three decks, a window, and a door. In obedience, Noah built it. God told Noah to collect two
of every kind of animal. One male. One female. Then Noah, his family,
and the animals went into the boat. God shut the door. It rained for forty days and forty nights. Water fell from the sky
and rose from the oceans lakes. Even the tallest mountains
disappeared beneath the flood. Meanwhile, Noah, his family, and all the animals
were safe in the boat, floating on the flood waters. God had not forgotten about Noah,
not even for a moment. God sent a wind to blow. The waters went down.
The boat rested on Mount Ararat. Noah sent out a dove. When it didn’t return, he knew it was safe. When the ground was dry,
God told them to come out. He put a rainbow in the sky as a promise
that He would never flood the whole earth again. God promised Abraham a son and, from that son,
many descendants, who would bless the whole world. But Abraham and his wife,
Sarah, were too old to have children. Twenty years went by.
Still, Abraham trusted God’s promise. When he was 100 and Sarah was 90,
God reminded them of His promise. Sarah was going to have a baby! When their son was born,
Sarah was so joyful that she laughed. “God has brought me laughter!” she said. So they named their son Isaac,
which means “he laughs”. When Isaac was a boy, God tested Abraham by telling him to take Isaac
to Mount Moriah and kill him as a sacrifice to God. Abraham was confused,
but still he trusted God. Isaac carried the wood,
and Abraham held the knife and torch. Together they climbed the mountain. “Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”
asked Isaac. “God will provide it, ” Abraham replied. Abraham arranged the wood on an altar,
tied up Isaac, and laid him on the wood. As he raised the knife to kill Isaac,
an angel called his name: “Abraham!” “Don’t hurt the boy!” the angel cried. “God knows you trust His promise.
Look, there in the bushes! A ram is caught by its horns!
Sacrifice that instead.” So Abraham sacrificed
the ram instead of his son. He called the place “God Will Provide,”
because God provided the sacrifice. Just as God had said,
His promise came true. Jacob had twelve sons,
but he loved his son Joseph the most. He gave Joseph a special,
brightly colored coat. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. They hated him. Joseph also had special dreams. “In my dream, we were tying up
bundles of wheat,” he said, “and your bundles bowed down to mine!”
Joseph’s brothers hated him even more. Joseph had another dream. “The sun, the moon, and eleven stars
bowed down before me.” His father and brothers grumbled. “Are you saying you will rule over us?” One day, Joseph’s brothers were
in the fields watching their sheep. They saw him coming to see them. They planned to kill him
and put an end to all his dreams. “It would be wrong to kill our brother,”
said Reuben. “Let’s throw him in this empty well.” So they tore off Joseph’s special coat
and threw him into the well. Ishmaelite traders came
by on their way to Egypt. “Let’s sell Joseph as a slave to the Ishmaelites!”
suggested Judah So the brothers sold Joseph
for twenty pieces of silver. The brothers dipped Joseph’s coat
in goat’s blood and showed in to Jacop. “My son is dead!” he wept. Meanwhile, Joseph was taken to Egypt.
But God was with Joseph. In Egypt, the Ishmaelites sold Joseph
to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s captains. God blessed Joseph
and made him successful. Potiphar put Joseph in
charge of his whole household. Joseph served Potiphar well. Potiphar’s wife wanted
Joseph to sin against God. Joseph refused,
so she lied about him. Potiphar believed her,
and Joseph was thrown into prison. In prison, Joseph met two of Pharaoh’s servants. They each had dreams,
and God showed Joseph their meaning. Joseph’s explanations came true. The cupbearer was released,
and the baker was hanged. Two years later,
Pharaoh had two troubling dreams. The cupbearer remembered what
Joseph had done for him and told Pharaoh. So, Pharaoh sent for Joseph
and told him his dreams. God showed Joseph
the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams. “For seven years, a lot of food will grow,”
said Joseph. “So store up food because
seven years of famine will follow.” Pharaoh was impressed
by Joseph’s wisdom. So he put Joseph in
charge of storing up all the food! Apart from Pharaoh, no one in Egypt
was more powerful than Joseph. Joseph’s brothers went
to Egypt to buy food. They bowed before Joseph
but did not recognize him. When he saw that they had changed,
he told them who he was. The brothers were terrified. “You meant to harm me,” Joseph said,
“but God used that for good. Bring all of our family to Egypt.
We will have plenty to eat!” Egypt was filled with Israelites. The new Pharaoh was afraid that
the Israelites would become too powerful. So he made them slaves
and treated them very badly. Pharaoh ordered that all baby Israelite
boys had to be killed. One woman put her baby in basket
and hid him by the river’s edge. His sister watched him. Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing by the river. She found the baby
and decided to keep him. His sister offered their mother’s
help to care for him. Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses. Moses grew up. One day he saw an Egyptian
beating an Israelite. Moses killed the Egyptian. Then he fled to Midian
and was a shepherd for forty years. Moses was watching
his sheep on Mount Horeb. The voice of God spoke
from a burning bush. “My people are suffering, Moses.
I have chosen you to free them.” “I can’t!” Moses cried. “I’ll help you,” God promised. “Throw down your staff.” Moses did. It turned into a snake. When he picked it up,
it was a staff again. “Put your hand in your cloak,” God said. Moses did. He Looked.
It was covered with disease. When he did it again, it was healed. “Show Pharaoh that!” God said. “I’m not a good speaker,” said Moses. “I’ll give you the words,” God said.
“Your brother Aaron can help.” So Moses went to tell Pharaoh
to set the Israelites free. After Pharaoh’s son died in the tenth plague,
he let the Israelites leave. They were near the Red Sea
when Pharaoh changed his mind again and chased after them. When the Israelites saw Pharaoh’s chariots,
they were terrified. But God told Moses to raise
his staff toward the Red Sea. God sent a strong wind
and parted the sea! A dry path appeared, and the Israelites
walked straight through the Red Sea! There was a wall of water
on each side of them. They arrived safely on the other side. Pharoah and his army followed them into the sea. God told Moses to stretch out his hand. Then the sea rolled back again,
and Phareoh and his army all drowned. God led his people through a wilderness. He fed them and gave them water. They camped at Mount Sinai, where God told Moses
to meet Him on the moutaintop. Surrounded by fire and smoke, Moses climbed to the top,
and God came down to meet him. Then God gave Moses the Ten Commandments
on two stone tablets: Don’t worship other gods. Don’t make idols. Treat My name with respect. Treat the Sabbath day as a special day. Respect your parents. Don’t murder. Be loyal to your husband or your wife. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t envy people or what they own. Now the people knew how to obey God. Hannah was sad because
she had no children. She prayed,
and God gave her a son, Samuel. She was very grateful,
so she gave Samuel to God to serve Him. Hannah left her little boy at
the tabernacle with Eli, the priest. Samuel helped old, blind Eli. He even slept in the tabernacle,
while Eli slept in a room nearby. One night, Samuel heard
someone call his name. He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am,” he sad. “I didn’t call you,” Eli grunted. “Go back to bed.” Samuel crept back to bed. He heard his name again. Samuel ran back to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “I didn’t call you,” Eli sighed, sleepily. “Go back to bed.” After Samuel heard
the voice a third time, Eli said it was the Lord. “If He calls again,” said Eli, “say, ‘Speak, Lord,
Your servant is listening.'” So Samuel did.
“Samuel,” God said, “can you be My prophet and pass
My words faithfully on to My people?” “I can,” said Samuel. And he did, until he was an old man. King Saul did not obey God. So God said Samuel,
the prophet to Bethlehem. “Find a man named Jesse,” God said,
“one of his sons will be the new king.” Samuel looked at seven of Jesse’s sons.
They looked handsome and strong. “Not them,” God said. “I don’t care about looks.
I care about what’s in a person’s heart.” Jesse sent for his youngest son, David,
who was tending sheep in the fields. Samuel saw him and God said,
“He is the one!” So David was anointed the new king. Some time later,
Israel fought the Philistines. A giant Philistine soldier called Goliath, challenged the Israelites
to send a champion to fight him. But the Israelites were all too afraid. David brought food to
his brothers in the army. He heard Goliath’s challenge
and was not afraid. “How dare he defy God’s army?”
asked David. “I will fight him!” Surprised, King Saul
offered David his armor. “No,” said David. “God helped me kill wild beasts.
He will help me against Goliath, too!” David took five stones and a sling. “Am I a dog?” Goliath roared. “You send this stick of a boy to fight me!” “You have a spear,” said David,
“but I have the help of Israel’s God!” David put a stone
into the sling and threw it. It struck Goliath’s forehead
and knocked him down. The Israelites defeated the Philistines. With God’s help, David was a hero! God’s people disobeyed Him; so He let their enemies
take them into captivity. They destroyed Jerusalem and carried away
many of the Jews to their own country, Babylon. Daniel was one of the Jews in Babylon. He trusted God and
prayed to Him three times a day. God blessed Daniel, and he became
a powerful leader in that country. Some leaders were jealous of Daniel,
so they made a new law. People could only pray to King Darius. Whoever disobeyed would be
thrown into a lion’s den. Drarius agreed. Daniel still prayed to God and was arrested. Darius was sad, he liked Daniel. He realized he’d been tricked
but couldn’t change the law. Daniel was thrown to the lions. The lions roared and crept up to Daniel. Then an angel arrived!
It was God who sent him. The angel shut the lions’ mouths. Daniel spent the night there, unharmed. At daybreak,
Darius went to see if Daniel was alive. “God sent an angel to save me,”
Daniel said. The king was thrilled.
Daniel was pulled out of the den. Then King Darius had
Daniel’s enemies thrown into the den. The lions gobbled them up! King Darius told everyone in his kingdom
to honor Daniel’s powerful, living God. Esther was the Queen of Persia. Even her husband, King Xerxes,
didn’t know her secret. Esther was Jewish. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai,
worked at the palace and looked out for her. Xerxes’ advisor, Haman,
received a great reward. He was very proud. Everyone except Mordecai
bowed down to him. Haman was insulted.
He vowed to kill Mordecai and all the Jews! Haman told Xerxes that the Jews
were dangerous and should die. Xerxes agreed and set a day to kill them. Mordecai was terrified
and sent a message to Queen Esther. “Change the king’s mind,”
said Mordecai. “If I go to him without his invitation
he can have me killed,”Esther replied. “Perhaps you were made queen
just for this moment,” said Mordecai. Esther bravely agreed to try.
She went to the throne room. King Xerxes was amazed
by her beauty and invited her in. “Can we have dinner
with Haman?” she asked. Haman was building
a big gallows in his back yard. He planned to hang Mordecai on it. Then the king’s invitation arrived,
so Haman went to the palace for dinner. “A man wants to kill me and
my people, the Jews,” Esther told Xerxes. “Kill the Jews!” cried the King,
“That man is you, Haman”. “Guards! Put him to death.” So Haman was hanged on
the gallows he’d built for Mordecai. Because of Esther, the Jews were saved! They celebrated with a great feast,
which they observe to this day.