Warm weather is here. So is summer vacation for many of you. Why not take advantage of the weather and the freedom from school and have a fun family devotional?
This one is all about rocks. As always, you choose the Bible story and application principle you think your kids need the most. Then enjoy some fun rock activities to tie to the Bible story you chose.
So let’s get started!
Materials: different kinds of rocks, nail, black and white paper, glass bowl, vinegar
Procedure: Choose one of the following Bible stories and application principles to share with your kids as you explore rocks and the Bible.
- Moses and water from a rock. Exodus 17 and Numbers 20. Moses actually had two experiences when God provided water from a rock. In the first experience (Exodus), Moses obeyed God and did exactly what he was told to do to get water to come from the rock. In the second experience (Numbers), Moses ignored what God told him to do and hit the rock instead of speaking to it. Although the people still got the water they needed for drinking, Moses paid a heavy price for his disobedience – he was not allowed to lead the people into the Promised Land. Sometimes we can be like Moses. Even though the Bible tells us exactly what God wants us to do, we can ignore it and do what we want instead. Like Moses, when we do that, we are showing an attitude problem – a heart problem – that is revealed by our disobedience. God told Moses his disobedience showed a lack of trust in God as worthy of being honored as holy. We show the same lack of trust when we choose to disobey God.
- God as our rock. Psalms 18:2, 31, 46; 62:2, 6; 95:1, 89:26, 71:3, 28:1, 40:2, etc. Psalms is full of references to God as a rock. Obviously, this doesn’t mean God is literally a rock. Rather it points to the characteristics of God that are similar to a rock. Many of the verses in Psalms list or hint at these characteristics. You may want to read one of the chapters containing several verses about rocks for your kids to have a better understanding of context. (Due to the abstract nature of this lesson, very young children may have a difficult time understanding how God can be like a rock and not an actual rock. You can still do this lesson with them as a way of beginning to understand more abstract ways of thinking. Just be prepared to be patient with them as they struggle with the abstract concepts.) We need to think of God as our rock – the one to whom we turn when we need strength adn support. God is one who never changes. One upon whom we can always trust.
- Peter as a rock. Matthew 16:13-20. Jesus said upon this rock he would build his church. While there is some disagreement as to exactly what Jesus meant by that term, most believe he was referring to Peter preaching the first sermon at Pentecost as well as perhaps his missionary works and his writings in the New Testament. There is no doubt though that Peter’s faith wasn’t consistently very rocklike while Jesus was alive. You may want to go back and review with your kids some of the stories involving Peter. Even when Peter appeared to have great faith, he still managed to usually make a huge mistake at the same time. Perhaps the worst was denying Jesus. Yet, Jesus forgave him and God allowed him to preach the first sermon at Pentecost. Why? Because it wasn’t Peter who made Peter a rock. It was Jesus. We too, will have ups and downs in our faith journey. It’s through Jesus though, that we can develop rocklike faith and obedience.
Share with your kids the Bible passages and application principles you have chosen. All of the stories rely upon the properties of rocks as their basis – particularly strength. Have your kids collect rocks or pull out their rock collections. Have them try to make marks on the different colors of paper. Then scratch each rock with a nail. If parts of the rock flake off, the rock is softer than the nail. If part of the nail flakes off, the rock is stronger than the nail. You can also place each rock in a glass contained of vinegar and see how it reacts. If it bubbles, the rock contains carbonate. This knowledge can help you identify the type of rock, especially when combined with other information. This website has other great information about rocks for you and your kids to explore.
As you experiment with rocks, discuss which rocks have characteristics the writers meant when writing the scriptures you discussed. (If you want you can do an experiment removing salt “rocks” from water. As you do, note that while you can remove the rocks from the water, it’s not quite as easy to get water out of a rock – even if it contains water in its composition.) After you have had fun exploring rocks, talk about ways you can lean on God as your rock and develop rocklike faith in God. Encourage each other to do the things you need to do to lean on God and develop stronger faith.