Jesse Tree Outlines for December 3rd-8th
(adapted for our toddlers from the RCA website and The Glorious Coming. The symbols and patterns used below are copyrighted by Reformed Church Press). For more information about Jesse Tree resources, see part 1.
December 3: Ark of Safety
Genesis 6:8 (NIV) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
When people sin, or do wrong things, God must punish it. There came a time when there was so much sin in the world that God had to find a way to remove it. God was gracious to Noah, and Noah and his family remembered God. God asked Noah to build an ark to save his own family and the animals. Then God sent rain and the world flooded, and God destroyed all the people and animals that were not on the ark. When the flood was over and Noah and his family were safely on dry ground, God made a covenant, or a promise, with Noah. God promised not to send another flood that would destroy the world. As a sign of this promise, God put a rainbow in the sky. Even in a sinful world, God still loves us and keeps his promises. Thank you, God, for keeping your promises.
December 4: Abraham
Genesis 12:1-2 (NIV) The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing."
God called Abram and asked to take a long trip, and to leave behind the place that Abram called home. God made promises to Abram. God promised that Abram would be blessed by God. Abram often forgot to listen to God's directions, but God kept all of the promises made to Abram. Most importantly, God was Abram's friend. Father, help us to believe you and to obey you.
December 5: The Promised Baby
Genesis 18:10 (NIV) Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."
Sarah wanted a baby more than anything, but even though she tried everything she could think of, she didn't have a baby. As she got older she finally decided that God would not give her a child. She didn't even believe God when he told her that she would have a son. She just laughed. But then God gave Sarah a son, and she named him Isaac, which means laughter. Sarah was very happy and grateful to God for giving her a wonderful son. Lord, help us to believe that your good promises are true.
December 6: The Sacrifice
Genesis 22:7-8 (NIV) Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provede the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
Isaac was a special boy, and his father, Abraham, loved him very much. But Abraham loved God even more than he loved Isaac. One day God asked Abraham to take Isaac on a journey. Abraham obeyed. God also asked Abraham to kill Isaac as a sacrifice, as a way of showing how much Abraham loved God. Abraham was sad, but he knew that he had to obey God. He trusted that even though he was being asked to do something terrible, God would make everything right. As he was getting ready to sacrifice Isaac, God sent an angel to stop Abraham and save Isaac's life. Then Abraham sacrificed a ram as a way of honoring God, and to thank him for saving Isaac's life. Father, help us to trust you even when we don't understand. Thank you for sending Jesus as our substitute.
December 7: Jacob's Ladder
Genesis 28:16-17 (NIV) When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
John 1:51 (NIV) "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Jacob was not a truthful person, and he had done some unkind things, but instead of saying he was sorry, Jacob ran away. He lived away from his family for many years. When Jacob ran away from his family, he may have thought that he was running far away from God, too. But God chose Jacob, and God was with him (even though this was sometimes a surprise to Jacob himself). God spoke to Jacob in a dream and showed him a ladder that reached into heaven (with angels climbing up and down). God reminded Jacob of the promises he had made to Jacob's father Isaac and grandfather Abraham. Those promises were meant for Jacob, too. They would be given to Jacob as a way of grace for a man who did not deserve them. Jesus is our way of grace. Thank you, Jesus, for keeping God's promises and showing us the way to heaven.
December 8: Joseph
Genesis 50:20 (NIV) "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
Sometimes even love cannot protect us from bad things. Joseph was loved very much by his father, Israel (Jacob), but Joseph's brothers hated him. And so they sold him into slavery in Egypt, where he became the servant of a man who eventually put him into prison. But God had given Joseph a special gift of understanding dreams, and Joseph was able to use his special gift to help others. He was rewarded for his help by being given a very important job. While he was doing this job, he again met his brothers, who did not recognize him. Even though Joseph could have been mean to his brothers, he chose to help them and forgive them. He knew that even though he had gone through some terrible times, God had been with him through everything, and God was even using the bad things to work out his own good plan. Thank you, Lord, for your good plan.