Teaching Old Testament Stories to Children

We easily miss precious opportunities to influence children for Jesus. How? By telling them Bible stories, especially from the Old Testament, with no clear purpose in mind. We tell our children and our Sunday School students that David killed Goliath. We tell them about his cowardly brothers and the cowardly Israelite army. We tell them about the five smooth stones, the insults of Goliath and the stone that miraculously hit him on the forehead. We tell them about the giant falling down and the armies running away. And we tell them that God is able to defeat the giants in their lives today.

But there is so much more to observe and to learn from this true story! As you prepare to teach a Bible story, consider following the 3G Teaching Method. Read through the story carefully and prayerfully, asking three important questions. Then teach the important lessons you discover. What are they?

1. What does this story teach me about GOD?

God is the main character of every Bible – whether God the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. So before you teach a practical lesson, spend time focusing on God. Does the story reveal something about His love or holiness? Does it emphasize His faithfulness or patience? His authority or power? Whatever it reveals, give focused attention to God. He deserves to be noticed!

2. What does this story teach me about the GOSPEL?

After you give attention to God himself, pause to consider what he is doing. In particular, pay attention to how he may be revealing some truth about the gospel: about the sin of mankind, the consequences of our sin, the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and how he delivers those who trust Him implicitly. Luke 24:25-27 indicates that the entire Old Testament reveals key insights about the suffering and saving work of Jesus Christ. Don’t miss them!

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

3. What does this story teach me about GROWTH?

Finally, give attention to what the story teaches about the life of faith. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 indicates that the Old Testament (which was ‘the scripture’ available to Timothy as a child) is able to guide a young child not only to salvation in Jesus, but also to good works and spiritual growth.

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

For those who know Jesus Christ as Savior, what does the story teach about obeying God as Lord and developing a close relationship with Him. Does it teach anything about human relationships, prayer, practical wisdom or morality? Something else?

As you prepare to teach an Old Testament Bible story to children, apply this simple 3G Teaching Method and draw their hearts and minds to the valuable lessons you discover about God, the gospel and growth.


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