We had a blast at camp this week! From fun theme nights to amazing hang times with campers, we were able to break down walls and show campers just how much Jesus loves them. Part of this week was our Bible study time. This year’s theme is “Again and Again.” We looked at five different stories where each character cries out to God again and again, and again God is faithful to them. Take a look at a short summary of each day’s study!
In Monday’s Bible Study, we learned about King Saul in 1 Samuel 10:17-21 and 15:1-31. The Israelites wanted a king in order to be as powerful as the surrounding nations, so God picked Saul through the prophet Samuel. However, Saul found his identity in being a powerful king rather than in God, and walked in disobedience. God asked Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites, leaving nothing behind. Instead, Saul and his army kept the best livestock and destroyed only what was worthless.
Saul chose to please himself and his people rather than to please God. The consequence was being removed from his position as king. Oftentimes, we choose to disobey God and please ourselves instead. We learned that we should instead choose to be faithful to what God tells us to do, whether that is being kind to others or obeying our parents. We prayed and asked God to help us to focus more on him as we desire to glorify him in everything we do.
On Tuesday, we learned about Peter in Bible Study, reading from Matthew 14:22-33 and 26:69-75. The first passage described Peter walking on water as he kept his eyes on Jesus. The second passage outlined Peter denying Jesus three times as Jesus was being arrested.
As Jesus began to walk towards the boat full of scared disciples, a storm raged around them. Peter hopped out of the boat, eyes focused on Jesus. However, as soon as his focus moved to the storm around him, he began to sink. When we take our focus off of the Lord and onto the world around us, we begin to sink, just like Peter. Instead, we should focus on Jesus’ words and teaching by reading Scripture and spending time in prayer each day.
Before Jesus was arrested, he foretold that Peter would deny him three times. Then, as Peter was in the courtyard when Jesus was before the Roman council, he was asked three times by members of the crowd if he knew Jesus. Three times, Peter denied their association. We reflected on how we are oftentimes afraid of what others may think of us. Rather than acting upon others’ words and opinions, we learned that we should remain faithful to God and follow him.
On Wednesday, we learned about the story of the prodigal son, reading from Luke 15:11-32. The passage tells the story of a son who leaves his home, loses all of his money and food, and then returns to his father’s house hoping to become a lowly servant.
At the beginning of Jesus’s parable, there is a man who has two sons. One of the sons asks for his share of the family’s estate, and he leaves to go live in a different and distant country. Soon, however, he realized that he had used up all of his assets and a severe famine came over the country. He became so desperate and hungry that he dreamed of eating from the same food troughs as pigs. Eventually, the son made the journey back to his father’s house, where he planned to beg for forgiveness and ask to work as one of his father’s servants. Instead, the father runs to embrace his lost son as soon as he sees him, and he calls his servants to prepare a feast in celebration of the son’s return.
Jesus’s parable of the prodigal son is a clear picture of how we act with God. Again and again, we stray from God thinking that we can do things on our own. Once we realize once again that we need God, however, He is so excited and happy to embrace us and forgive us for leaving Him in the first place.
On Thursday, we learned about the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, reading from Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, and 57-66. In this story, we learn that Zechariah and Elizabeth were growing old and unable to have children. Then, one day when Zechariah was chosen to go burn incense in the temple, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that Elizabeth would have a child named John. Zechariah was afraid of the angel and doubted him, so Gabriel told him that he would not be able to speak until all of the events Gabriel had foretold had come to pass.
Zechariah and Elizabeth later found out that Elizabeth was pregnant, but Zechariah still couldn’t speak. When the baby was born, Elizabeth said that the baby’s name was John. Those around her questioned her decision because that name had not been in their family. However, Zechariah wrote on a writing tablet that his name should be John. As soon as this happened, Zechariah was able to speak and began to worship the Lord.
The story of John’s birth shows us that God’s promises are never impossible. Even if we don’t understand how it could be possible, we can rest in the fact that God never makes a promise that He doesn’t keep. Again and again, we can humbly walk in faith and know that His promises are true!
On Friday, we looked at the story of David and Goliath, reading 1 Samuel 17 and 17. At the beginning of the story, David is called from shepherding his flock of sheep to be anointed with a horn of oil by God’s command. Seven of his older brothers were denied this anointing before God chose David.
Later in the story, David was tasked with taking food to his brothers and the field commander, who were on a battlefield fighting the Philistines. Once he was there, David heard Goliath challenging the army to a fight. Goliath was nine feet, nine inches tall and very intimidating, but David was faithful and knew that God would give him the strength he needed to defeat Goliath and save Israel. David accepted the challenge set forth by Goliath, and chose to only fight him with his sling and a few rocks he had found on the ground.
Using only one rock, David was able to defeat Goliath. This defeat scared the Philistines, and they retreated from the battlefield. This story helps us to see that God will again and again protect us and provide us with the strength and equipment we need to overcome any situation we are faced with.