The following Parent/Teacher Study Guide is a supplement for the Smoothie Rock-A-Teller On The Whopper-Stopper book. It is designed to make your devotional time with kids deeper and more meaningful. Remember, every Rock-A-Teller book has five chapters, designed to be a five day or night study for 15-20 minutes. This study guide will equip the teacher/parent with more insight and may indeed promote a longer devotional time if desired. (Feel free to copy & paste.)
Smoothie Rock-A-Teller On The Whopper-Stopper
Main goal in this supplemental study: To get your kids to own and understand where biblical "peace" and "confidence" come from. David displayed awesome confidence when confronting Goliath (see page 48 in the book). This additional study will develop this attribute.
Two object lessons are suggested. You will need a workbench vice (or a large "C" clamp), a tennis ball, and a 10'-20' rope.
Chapter 1: God made us, God shapes us.
1. How does God make things? "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). God only needs to speak to have things created. Only God can make things out of nothing.
2. Is there anyone else who can make things like God? Ask your kids what they would make if they had that kind of power. How important is it that only a perfect, holy God has that power?
3. God is powerful, powerful, powerful. Can you think of some other things that God's power can do? The "wind and the sea obey Him" (Mark 4:41); He gives water and food for every plant and animal, every day! (Psalm 104:10-21);
sometimes He even "commands" the animals to feed people (like the ravens who brought food for Elijah (1 Kings 17:4-6)); He can walk on water (Matthew 14:25); He keeps track of how many hairs are on each person's head, and numbers each one (Matthew 10:30); but His greatest power was when He saved us from our sins on the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18), and then showed us more of His power in the resurrection of Jesus (Philippians 3:10).
4. God worked on Smoothie every day. Does God work on you every day? God's greatest work that He does for us is done on the inside. He molds and shapes our hearts to love and honor Him. This process is called "sanctification." Sanctification is like a "broom" that sweeps out our sin to let more of faith in. The "broom" that God uses is His word, the Bible: "Sanctify them through Your truth, Thy word is truth" (John 17:17). The more we get into God's word, the more we permit the sanctification process to progress, and the more Christ-like we become. No wonder the devil does his best to keep us from getting into the Bible.
Chapter 2: The Challenge of the Whopper-Talking-Walk-About
The Israel talking-walk-abouts did not have any "peace" in their minds and hearts because they feared Goliath and his words. Their minds and hearts were "fixed" on Goliath's size, and feared his blasphemous talk.
The Bible says, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
Instead of having their mind "fixed" on God and what He could do for them, they had their mind fixed on Goliath and what his words threatened to do to them. God promises "perfect peace" for those who fix their trust on Him. Wow, that's a big, big, BIG promise - not "some peace," not "a little peace," not "enough peace for the moment," but "PERFECT PEACE!" Keeping your mind fixed on God is the key to this "perfect peace."
Look what happened to Peter when Jesus invited him to come out and walk on the water with Him. At first, Peter stepped out of the boat and walked straight toward Jesus. Walking on water worked as long as he kept his attention fixed on Jesus; "but when he saw the wind and the waves, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me" (Matthew 14:29-30). Peter's fixed attention went from Jesus to the wind and waves, and at that moment, he began to sink.
A good illustration to use with kids is to take a workbench vise or large "C" clamp and put a tennis ball in it. Write the words "God" on the vice, and "Your mind" on the tennis ball. Clamp down on the ball and show the strength of the union. Let the kids try and pull the two apart. Nope, it can't be done. But loosen up on the vice and watch the tennis ball bounce away.
Kids need to learn the biblical principles that are in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" - principles that David will soon show in the next three chapters.
Chapter 3: God Shapes His Baa-Baa-Mini-Cloud-Walker Watcher
David loved and honored his daddy. David is first mentioned in the Bible as one that "keeps his father's sheep" (1 Samuel 16:11, 17:34). The word "keep" implies guardianship and protection. This was his assigned duty. Though his brothers looked down upon this task as one that was beneath them (1 Samuel 17:28), David loved and honored his task as one entrusted to him by his father; and was willing to risk his life to save one little sheep to maintain that trust (1Samuel 16:34-35).
That took great love; and great love is willing to sacrifice if called upon to do so. Loving and doing good for the sheep meant he was loving and doing good for his daddy, and meant he was loving and doing good for his God.
David was also very responsible for his father's sheep. When given a new assignment by his daddy to take some bread and cheese to his brothers, Scripture is careful to record, "And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse (his father) had commanded him" (1 Samuel 17:20). David, though absent from his father's sheep, still secured a "keeper" for them. That's a picture of loving responsibility.
What moved David to love in such a way? No doubt, he saw himself as a sheep under God's care. God was his ultimate "keeper" (Psalm 23). God's love for him taught him comfort, contentment, safety, and peace - even if he found himself "walking through the valley of the shadow of death." Why? Here is the awesome answer that motivated all of David's life:
"for thou art with me!" (Psalm 23:4).
God was his "ever present help." Who do you think David had his mind "fixed" on?
Ask your kids this question, "When your parent's entrust you with a task, do you look down on it, or do you treat it with the upmost care, devotion, and responsibility? How does God want you to do your duties? Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord."
Chapter 4: God Sends His Whopper-Stopper
David had lived many, many days with God out on the hills and fields as he watched his father's sheep. He had an adoring relationship with his God. David received much of his theological training through the nature God surrounded him with. Psalm 19:1-4 says,
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
David's theology was reinforced and strengthened by his highest respect for God's word. Further in Psalm 19:7-10 we read,
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
God's word increased David's faith. This is how faith is developed. The Bible teaches that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
David loved and honored God and His word so much, that it probably never occurred to him that vile men would even dare to challenge the majesty of God, and defy His chosen people.
Upon hearing Goliath's mean talk, a holy rage came upon him. He would not allow such insulting talk against God to go unchallenged. Such dishonoring talk must be stopped. This was not a time for silence. David's mind and heart were fixed upon God, and this fixation nurtured a desire to guard and protect God's honor and testimony in and through His people. David was a shepherd of God's reputation - and this reputation was being threatened. Many, many ears were listening and were being influenced. David would not allow the reputation of God to be belittled and mocked. He wanted God's reputation elevated when others were seeking to bury it.
Ask your kids how they "shepherd" God's reputation. No child is too young not to notice that many people take God's name in vain. Such action is growing by leaps and bounds, mainly because it is never challenged as wrong. God is
greatly offended by it and will not hold guiltless those that do (Exodus 20:7). How would we feel if someone called our mom or dad a name, or used their names in a dishonoring way. We would surely react in defense of their honor. Isn't God's name even more important? Many have responded in the following way with excellent results: "I feel sorry that you should feel free to use God's name in such a dishonoring way. God is my Savior, and I love Him a lot. Would you mind not using His name like that, especially when I am around. Thank you for reconsidering how you use this great name."
Chapter 5: Roc-A-Dilly-Do and a Bopper too!
God had shaped and equipped David with "field" experience. Experience had taught David that as bears and lions die when they meddle with sheep, faith taught his heart to see that Goliath must fall when he dares to attack God and His people.
David said to Goliath, "the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down" (1 Samuel 17:46). With all his words and all his actions, David displayed great peace and confidence. Where did this come from?
The meaning of biblical "confidence" comes from the Hebrew word, batah - which means "to be stretched out, to be taut; to have firmness and solidity." In other words, when applied to David, he was "tight" with God - he was no "slacker!" David was fixed! Fixed on God!
A good illustration of biblical "confidence" to use with your kids is to get a rope that is about 10-20 feet in length. You play the part of God, and let a child play the part of the "follower." Guide the child with the rope around the room. When the rope is tight and taut, every move you make the follower can feel and be guided with (even if the child is blindfolded! - another illustration of "walking by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7)). Now try the same with "slack" in the line - the result, in short, is a disconnection between the follower and their guide.
David displayed two great qualities, peace and confidence. Both were built by faith, both were built by being "fixed" to God. Discuss with your kids how important it is to be fixed to God. No matter what life throws at us, we can have peace and confidence to face it.
God bless your study with your kids.