A session exploring the massive amount of themes in the bible, aimed to get young people excited about reading the bible
Suitable For Ages 14 upwards
Required: pens, paper, youtube video (link below), flip-chart,
Extra Files Needed (i.e. worksheets etc): Youtube Video – 3 Minute Bible – click to download
Opening: Show the 3 minute bible clip from youtube (link in extra files)
You could challenge the group as they watch it to write down or observe as many bible stories in it as they can
Answers to challenge: Creation of universe, then animals, then people, Adam and Eve sin, Noah and the Ark (flood), Tower of Babel, God splits up the people’s languages, Abraham and Isaac, unknown, unknown, Jacob’s Ladder, The Story Of Joseph, Israelites in Slavery, Moses and the Burning Bush, The Parting of the red sea, The Ten Commandments, Joshua and Jericho, Samson, Ruth, David and Goliath, David and King Saul, King Saul Dies, Solomon is Born, David and Psalms, Dry Valley of Bones, Prophets, Danial and Lions, Jonah and Fish, 2 Prophets, New Testament, John the Baptist, Jesus is Born, Wise Men, Jesus’ Baptism, Picks Disciples, Sermon on the mount, healing, teaching, Palm Sunday, Last Supper, Carries the Cross, Dies, Tomb is empty, Doubting Thomas, Ascension, Pentecost – tongues of fire, Paul/Peter Preaches, Paul’s Journeys/Letters, Revelation.
Ask: Have you ever read the whole bible? Which bits have you read? Do you find the bible exciting?
Brainstorm: What sort of things do you not expect to find in the bible?
‘Guess What’ Read the group the following three quotes explaining that 2 are from the bible and one isn’t, can they guess the odd one out?
1 – Let your breasts be like bunches of grapes, the smell of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. (Song of Songs: 7: 8)
2 – Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d; Labour and rest, that equal periods keep; “Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;” (Eloisa to belard by Alexander Pope)
3 – They were relaxed and enjoying themselves when the men of the city, a gang of local hell-raisers all, surrounded the house and started pounding on the door. They yelled for the owner of the house, the old man, “Bring out the man who came to your house. We want to have sex with him.” He went out and told them, “No, brothers! Don’t be obscene—this man is my guest. Don’t commit this outrage. Look, my virgin daughter and his concubine are here. I’ll bring them out for you. Abuse them if you must, but don’t do anything so senselessly vile to this man.” (Judges 19: 22-24 The Message)
Explain: The bible is full of surprises, anything that can happen in life is in the bible, if it was made into a movie it would probably be X-Rated and banned, there’s more drama than Eastenders, more sex rabbits, more violence and murder than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre yet more heroes than all of Marvel Comics put together but all of this has a meaning, 2 Timothy tells us that all scripture is God breathed, God put everything there for a reason and tonight we’re going to have a look at a few stories and think about what they mean and why they are there!
King David Study!
Read: 2 Samual 11: 1 – 12: 25
Explain: You can split the story up into four perspectives which we can also fit the whole bible into. These four are ‘The Sin’, ‘The Cover-up’, ‘Condemnaton’ and ‘Repentance, healing and restoration’ (you may need to explain these
Group Activity: Ask the entire group to try and fit the story into the four categories: The Sin, The Cover-up, Condemnation and Repentance, Healing and Restoration
Answers to the activity – Looking at the story in more depth…
The Sin – David ‘spies Bathsheba naked, invites her round, sleeps with her and makes her pregnant’
Discuss: King David is described as a man after God’s own heart, why do you think this sin happened?
Explain: King David should have been out at battle with Bathsheba’s husband however instead he was at home, eyeing up Bathsheba as she took a bath. The sin is a case of David abusing his power because in those times if the king summoned someone they had to go or could possibly end up executed. He probably never intended on what happened, he didn’t realise she was married however his interests seem to change from considering taking Bathsheba as a wife onto a one night sexual romp with a good looking woman!
The Cover-up – David gets Uriah back from battle and tries to get him to sleep with his wife, he even tries to get him drunk, eventually sends a note to have Uriah killed in battle.
Discuss: You can get the group to discuss the parts of the story they put in the ‘Cover Up’ section earlier. Why do you think he did what he did to try and cover up etc.?
Explain: Often when we do something wrong we want to cover up when we find out the consequences, so first David tried to shift responsibility to someone else and calls Bathsheba’s husband back from battle and tries to get him to sleep with his wife so it looks like it’s his doing, however this doesn’t work, and David gets desperate, first trying to get Uriah drunk and then does one last stupid thing and has Uriah killed in battle. One sin has led to another without King David even realising it!
Condemnation and Repentance – God sends Nathan to tell David he’s been found out by God!
Discuss: What were the problems with King David’s amazing cover-up plan?
Explain: The problem with any cover-up or sin, as we were talking about last time is that you can’t hide your heart from God. So God sent Nathan to David to remind him what he’d done and remind him that he knew! God spoke to David through Nathan and David confessed to God and was willing to accept the consequences which God decided were that David would be shamed by his baby dying. He wrote Psalm 51 about it!
Read: Psalm 51
Healing and Restoration – Bathsheba has a second baby Solomon
Discuss: How do you think that God used this situation for His own good? What did he do to carry out healing and restoration in the situation?
Explain: The story tells us that even though God had shamed David by having his son die. He still loved David enough to give him another son who would later go on to become King. God healed the hurt within David and Bathsheba caused by the sin and the death of the baby when David had gone to God and repented.
All Of That and The Bible
Discuss: How can you fit those four categories into the entire bible?
Explain: Those four categories can fit for the whole bible which we saw in the starting video. Sin enters the world through Adam and Eve and humans keep on sinning, throughout the Old Testament we try and cover up that sin, with floods and sacrifices but the punishment for sin is death and nothing but God can take that away so God sends Jesus to help people realise that they’re sinning and to offer healing and restoration to the world Jesus dies for the entire world’s sin and our punishment is taken from us, like David we still have consequences for our sin but Jesus has took the punishment of death we deserve.
Conclusion: Where about are you with the four points? Are you still sinning letting one thing lead to another without always realising it? Are you in denial, trying to cover up what you do and explain to yourself that no-one will find out? Or have you accepted that you can’t do it on your own and that the only way out is to accept Jesus and repent, allowing him to take your punishment and then letting him offer healing and restoration in your life?
Pray to Finish