Queen Esther: The Book Of Esther
Esther was a queen whose faith literally saved every Jew living in the Persian empire. After King Xerxes selected her to be his queen, life seemed good for Esther. But behind the scenes, a wicked plot was brewing in the heart of a jealous man named Haman. Haman was slighted by Mordecai and this offense motivated him to spearhead the passing of a new law which called for the destruction of every Jew within the Persian empire.
This law directly threatened the lives of Esther and Mordecai, both born Jews. As Esther anxiously deliberated over what to do, her guardian Mordecai gave her this strong exhortation: If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your fathers family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
For such a time as this. These words rang true in Esthers heart and she found the courage to approach the King, uninvited. This was a treacherous decision, for approaching the king without invitation was punishable by death. But Esther had faith in God and pleaded her case before the King. The result, Hamans plot was exposed, he and his conspirators were executed and the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from certain death. For her courageous faith, Esther comes in at number 6 on our Top 10 Examples of Faith for Sunday School.
Characteristics Of A Woman Of Faith
1. A woman of faith has a relationship with God.
We must believe in and understand who God is. He is our Father, and He wants us to have a close relationship with Him. One way to accomplish that is by praying to Him regularly. The women of faith in the Bible did that often.
2. A woman of faith has a belief in Gods words.
Gods words are life, and they give us encouragement and comfort. He wants us to consider what is in the Bible. It is important to read and meditate upon what God says. The women of faith in the Bible often knew what God had said and believed in His words.
3. A woman of faith has hope in the future.
What does God plan for all of us? He wants us to be in His Kingdom. The stories of the four women who had their children raised from the dead can strengthen our faith and understanding of Gods promise to resurrect the dead, and that Gods Kingdom will come.
Story Of David And Goliath
In this well-known story, we learn about a 40 days war between the Israelites and the Philistines who was led by the giant Goliath. One day Goliath challenged them to bring forth a soldier who could come up against him, but no one in the Israelite army was brave enough to challenge him.
Hearing all Goliaths boasting, hear came a little Shepherd boy David who told King Saul that God had given him victory over all the animals who had threatened his sheep and he had faith in God that he would help him defeat this giant too.
Hearing Davids testimony, King Saul gave David the best suit of armor so he could at least stand a better chance but David refused and told him no, all he needed was his faith and his hands. So going out to face the Philistines, Goliath saw this boy David who had nothing but a slingshot, and he laughed and mocked him. Then David replied to all his jokes saying Well you come with your sword, spear, and all your armor but I come against you in the name of the Lord, God Almighty. And with great strength, David drew his sling and sent it flying straight towards this giants forehead.
Sometimes people might look at us and laugh at us because we might come in these small packages and say we will never amount to anything, and even because of how we look or our background.
I hope you enjoyed these stories 🙂 Please check out our other articles about the Bible!
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Jacob Wrestles With God: Genesis 32
Coming in at #10 on our Top 10 Examples of Faith for Sunday School is Jacob, a man whose life was filled with family drama. After tricking his brother Esau out of his birthright and inheritance, Jacob fled to his uncle Labans house. Many years later, Jacob decided to return home thats when he got the word: Esau was on the way to meet him, with an army of 400 men! For Jacob, this was the breaking point. He longed for a new life, a fresh start. His past haunted him. He had tricked his brother, lied to his father, and his name was a constant witness against him the name Jacob means supplanter, or deceiver
In Genesis 32, Jacob sent his entire family ahead of him and spent the night alone in camp. That night, a man appeared and a wrestling match broke out. Jacob fought relentlessly, but soon realized he was up against no ordinary man. He was wrestling with God himself! And yet, even though he could not win, Jacob would not give up, crying out I will not let you go unless you bless me!
In response to this act of faith, Jacob was given a new name: Israel. By faith, Jacob was given a new name and a new destiny. No longer would he be Jacob the deceiver, instead he would be Israel the name given to Gods chosen nation!
Abraham And Isaac: Genesis 22
Coming in at number 2 on our list of top 10 examples of faith in the Bible, is a story of unimaginable sacrifice. For all parents, this is perhaps the most gut-wrenching story in the Bible. It is difficult to comprehend the faith it would take to offer the life of our own child to God. And yet this is exactly what Abraham was prepared to do in obedience with his own son, Isaac. The tension in this passage is excruciating when Isaac realizes that something is wrong and asks his father: the fire and wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?
Abraham, having nothing other than faith in the character and goodness of God, replied: God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. After journeying to the top of a mountain, Abraham placed his bound son upon the altar and raised his knife. Suddenly an angel of the Lord cried out from heaven Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy. Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket. God had provided the sacrifice. Isaac was set free to new life.
This story comes in at number two on our Top 10 Examples of Faith for Sunday School because of Abrahams faith, which came at the cost of unimaginable emotional pain and suffering. But also, because it is one of the clearest old testament pictures we have of the Gospel: A loving father who was willing to sacrifice his one and only son, only to have this son returned to him alive.
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Isaiah And Daniel Prophesied About The Coming Messiah
Isaiah served as a prophet during a reign of four consecutive kings who ruled Judah from 791 B.C. to 687 B.C. Daniel served as a prophet during the reign of six kings who ruled the Babylonian empire as well as the king who overthrew the Babylonians and ruled over the much larger Persian empire. Both men were actively serving the Lord well into their 80s and 90s and possibly died after age 100.
Whats incredible is how faithfully Isaiah and Daniel proclaimed the words of the Lord no matter what it cost them. I like to think of both as brilliant, strong, highly-respected, and godly gentlemen. Yet for Isaiah, three years were spent naked and barefoot . And for Daniel, three episodes were spent facing near-certain death .
Even more incredible? How accurately both Isaiah and Daniel prophesied about the coming Messiah. Isaiah says more about the Messiah than all the prophets who followed him, and Daniel accurately stated when the Messiah would come during the last great ancient empire.
Story Of Peter Stepping Out In Faith
Peter was a disciple and a fisherman by trade. One day he was out on his out sea as usual and came upon an unexpected storm. Seeing the rough waves, Peter and other disciples were now rocked with fear.
Then all of a sudden they noticed what had seemed to be a spirit, but then Jesus replied to them saying Dont be afraid, it is just me. However, Peter being a little skeptical said, “Okay God if that is really you, ask me to come out on the water with you,” which Jesus then replied, “Come.” Peter got out and was walking on the water, but when he felt the raging waves, he got distracted, which tampered with his faith, and so he began to sink.
While he was sinking he cried out to God for help, in which God stretched his hands to save him and said, “Your faith is so small, you stepped out without fear and was near to me, so where did this doubt come from?” And when they went back inside the boat they realized that He was truly the son of God. Life application: The story of Peter story symbolizes again how we sometimes step out on faith but then at some point face the storms of life rocks us, and fear takes over. Peter also teaches that if we take our eyes off God, we will be weighed down by our problems.
But as humans, we are not perfect, and sometimes we might sink, but we have to keep our focus on the Lord. And If God can raise Lazarus from the dead, tear down the wall of Jericho, he can also to calm the storms in our lives.
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The Criminals Prayer Of Faith
Image from Wikimedia Commons
In Luke 23, two other criminals were also crucified along with Jesus Christ. One of two criminals mocked and teased Jesus for his inability to save himself, despite being called the Messiah. On the other hand, the other criminal rebuked and asked the latter if he doesnt fear God. He knew that Jesus was sinless and uttered a prayer that marked how strong his faith was in God. His prayer is one of the most faithful prayers in the bible.
Luke 23: 42-43 Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.
Jacob Taught Us Faith Empowers Us To Bless Others When Facing Trials Ourselves
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
Jacob was at the point of death, yet he wanted to bless his sons before he died.
Doubt causes us to focus on our self and our problems. Faith prompts us to look at others and the possibilities.
Live by faith, and you will bless those around you with words and deeds.
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Simeon And Anna Rejoiced Over The Newborn Messiah
Simeon lived in Jerusalem. Anna lived in the Temple itself. Their stories are told in Luke 2:25-38. Both were prophets. The Lord had told Simeon that he would not die in old age until he had seen the Messiah. Then the Lord spoke through Simeon exalting the Christ child and speaking words of exaltation and warning to the newborns mother, Mary.
While Simeon was so happy he was ready to die, Anna probably was older. The literal reading of the text says she had been married for seven years and then lived as a widow for eighty-four more years. If Anna was married at age 13 , she would have been 104 years old when she walked up and joined Simeon.
Unlike Simeon, Anna had never felt more alive. We read that she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem . I can imagine her radiant smiles and excitement as she went around the Court of the Women talking with everyone she met. I wouldnt be surprised if shes still doing that in heaven!
Davids Prayer For Anger And Peace
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Another one of Davids prayers in the Bible is for anger and peace. This short psalm was written by David as he complains to God about the slanders made against him and finding peace and refuge in God.
Psalms 4 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself the LORD hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. 6 Many, LORD, are asking, Who will bring us prosperity? Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Tax Collectors Prayer Of Humility
Image from Wikimedia Commons
During biblical times, tax collectors were recognized as sinners. Tax collectors were encouraged to charge compensatory taxes. So, they often overcharged the taxes and people considered tax collectors as traitors and thieves. However, instead of persecuting them, Jesus treated tax collectors with grace and mercy. The tax collectors prayer is his humble acceptance of the sin he made against God. Hence, this is one of the most striking prayers in the Bible.
Luke 18: 9 13 9 To some who were confident of their righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other peoplerobbers, evildoers, adulterersor even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.13 But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lessons We Can Learn From Davids Prayer
Always Thank God For Victory Over Our Enemies
Enemies here do not necessarily refer to humans out to harm you . They can refer to illness, ailment, or any burdens that you have. When we pray, pray for how God has allowed us to reign victory over all of these. No matter how big or small it is, always count our blessings to know that God is in control.
Dependence On God For Healing
In verse 2, David acknowledged and thanked God for healing him when he asked for it. Likewise, when you are healed from whatever burdens, recognize that God provided you with the people and circumstances for you to be healed.
Thank God For Keeping Us Alive
Life is a present from God. And He is the only one that has the power to give life and preserve life. Make it a daily habit to thank God for keeping us alive. We may not be facing the life-threatening situations David went through as seen in verse 9 but it always pleases God when we thank Him for preserving our lives to do His good works.
Be Bold And Give Thanks Aloud
Davids prayer teaches us to be bold and give thanks aloud because thanksgiving is one of the purest forms of worship. We dont worship in silence, do we? So let us glorify and give thanks to our Lord God boldly and loudly, for He deserves all the praise of heaven and earth.
Make Thanksgiving To God A Routine
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Joshua Obeyed The Lords Audacious Commands
Like Joseph, Joshua lived to be 110 years old . Like his fellow good spy, Caleb, Joshua loved, trusted, and obeyed the Lord wholeheartedly. Caleb may have beaten Joshua at arm wrestling, but Joshua stands out as one of my all-time favorite Bible heroes. Like his predecessor, Joshua had the courage to obey the Lord no matter how audacious His commands sounded.
Joshuas secret was listening for the Lord, even if the Lord spoke to him only once every few years. His other secret was immediately repeating and obeying the Lords commands. After all, if the Lord said it, and He cannot lie, then what the Lord promised will come true. Walk around the hostile city of Jericho quietly for seven days? Check. Walk around it quietly six extra times on the seventh day? Got it. Then shout? Good as done.
Only one ancient city in all the world has walls that imploded into the city. That is, the walls imploded everywhere except one spot . Archeologists call it Jericho City IV. No other archeological site is quite like it!
Lessons We Can Learn From Jonahs Prayer
God Uses All That He Has To Reach You
God used the raging storm, sailors, and a giant fish all to bring Jonah back to the path that God has designed for him. How much then would God do to reach you who has fallen as well? There is no place on earth where God cannot reach you. That is how much He cares and loves you.
God Is A Just God
God is a loving and compassionate god. However, let us not forget that He is also just and will punish those who rebel against Him. Yet, God does so with grace and mercy so that we may learn from our mistakes. Just like how He provided Jonah with a belly of a fish to reflect and repent, what belly has God provided you to repent and ask for salvation?
God Doesnt Stop Working With Us Just Because We Messed Up
10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land Our almighty God is not like the bosses of companies who lay off workers or cut off partnerships due to mistakes. His grace and mercy for us are incomprehensible. God could have killed Jonah for his rebellion but instead, God saved Jonah so that He may continue working with him and through him. How great is our God!
Recommit Yourself To God
Gods Timing Is Always Perfect
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