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Student's Feedback On The Old Testament
By Aristea Zekios

A new church year started on September 1st - time for parents to make a commitment to the Church School program. As a teacher, I appreciate seeing so many devoted parents coming regularly with their families. I am sure there are many Sunday mornings when they’d like to take a morning off instead of dragging sleepy heads out of bed and hounding youngsters to get ready for church.

Last school year, most of my class had consistent attendance. If a student were absent, assignments were mailed home. Parents helped by making sure the completed homework was returned. Weekly lesson plans were emailed to the parents – an effective way of staying in touch. I enjoyed hearing back from the parents with their comments and questions. This showed their genuine interest in the Christian education of their children.

My 8/9th graders reviewed the Old Testament. We dug a little deeper into the stories they had learned in earlier years. The history of God and His people unfolded into a more meaningful epic. And of greatest importance, we saw Christ and His Church in the Old Testament.

On the last day of class I asked them to write about an Old Testament person or event that made an impression on them. I share their thoughts with you!

Adam & Eve by Sarah Hansen

My favorite story in the Old Testament is the story of Adam and Eve. I think it is one of the most realistic stories that will relate to humans now, and forever.

Here we have two simple humans at the beginning of time who are beautiful and naïve. Eve’s innocence is that of a child. Her parents (God) tell her not to do something (eat from the tree of knowledge), but being so naïve falls to temptation like so many of us do every day.

To this day, all of us are always tempted to go against God in any way possible. Going to church regularly has helped me to turn down the temptations of every day life. I find that church surrounds me with a good knowledge of God, and teaches me what the right things are to do. Reading the Bible also helps, as many of the stories can be connected to your own experiences. Adam and Eve is also my favorite story because if Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit, our world would be perfect. In my opinion, a perfect world would be boring.

I am grateful that I had an opportunity to gain a better knowledge of the Bible this past year.

Tower of Babel by Joan Betsanes

The Tower of Babel made an everlasting impression on me. The word ‘babble’ means chatty or small talk. This word comes from the Tower of Babel, because of the way the confused people talked.

This story stood out to me because if God had not mixed up the universal language into hundreds of languages, the world might have been one big country. The world might not have fought so much. Most importantly, the whole world might have been Christians. After God mixed the languages, people went into separate groups who spoke the same language. These groups started making their own rules and traditions. Some went as far as making their own gods. These groups grew farther and farther apart, until some were only connected through hatred towards each other. These groups became known as countries. I like this story because it makes me think, “Why would God mix up the languages if it would eventually lead to betrayal and violence?” But then I remember that God has a great plan for this world. Our job is not to wonder and worry, but to have faith in God that it’s only a matter of time before the world is healed from all sin.

Elijah by Kevin Szpakowicz

The Old Testament Saint that made an impression on me was Elijah. As a prophet, he was able to spread the word of God. He was determined and never stopped. His # 1 goal in life was to serve God. In other words, he put God first.

He, therefore, teaches us that we, too, should put God first and set aside things that are not as important. It inspires me to go to church and participate more in church life. Like Elijah we should set aside more time for God in prayer and reading the Bible.

Daniel in the Lion’s Den by Alexandra Evangelopoulos

The story that stuck with me the most from the Old Testament would have to be Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Teachers will tell children this story, but children don’t necessarily grasp the concept that Daniel actually put his life in God’s hands.

I think this story sticks out in my mind the most because Daniel had a lot of faith in God. It is almost impossible to think of how hard that would have been for Daniel. If you were put in that situation, no doubt you would pray, but you would also be doubting and fearful. Daniel is a perfect example of the Christian we are all striving to be. Every time you are in doubt, just think of what Daniel did and try to be more like him.

Joseph by Alex Zimny

Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, is one person in the Old Testament that I think lived his life with God in his heart.  His brothers were jealous of him because their father Jacob loved Joseph the most.  The brothers wanted to kill him, but instead sold him as a slave to the Egyptians and they took him into Egypt.  Many years later. Joseph became a ruler of Egypt.

Soon Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy food because of a famine.  When Joseph saw his brothers, he was happy and forgave them.  He told his brothers to bring their father to Egypt to live and they all had plenty of food during the famine.  So I think Joseph was really a good person because he was able to forgive.

Gideon by Nicholas Lisowski

The Old Testament person that I chose is Gideon. I chose him because I think his story is interesting. Gideon lived in a time of false Gods among the Israelites. God chose him to get rid of the idol worship. When God told Gideon of his plan, Gideon was in doubt. He told God to perform two miracles on two nights. Both of these miracles happened and Gideon obeyed God. He then went and destroyed the temples to the idol Baal.

With only 300 men, Gideon planned a night attack against the Midianites. When the Midianites saw their torches in the field, they thought there were many Israelites and they ran. The Israelites asked him to be their king, but he refused saying that the Lord is the only king. When Gideon died, the Israelites went back to their old ways.

The story of Gideon taught me that if you put your faith in God, He can and will help you.

Lot’s Wife by Stephanie Aboutar

 

Genesis 19:26, says: “But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” God told Lot, his wife, and his family to flee the city of Sodom because He was going to destroy it. God also said that anyone who looked back on their city would be turned to a pillar of stone.

I think the reason Lot’s wife looked back on her beloved city is for a couple of reasons. For one, she wanted to see what was happening to the city that she lived in. Second, because she was probably going to miss it. A final reason is because she wanted to take in all her memories. When she looked back, volcanic ash mummified her and she turned to stone.

I felt Lot’s wife denied the Lord because of her doubt. This reminds me of a quote from the New Testament. “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33) It reminds us to obey God and not doubt Him.

Solomon by Katrina Olson

Solomon, son of King David and Bathsheba, is considered to be the wisest king in the Old Testament. Solomon’s birth was God’s forgiveness to David for his adultery with Bathsheba. After David’s reign, which had been full of wars meant to establish Israel as a strong and independent nation, Solomon’s reign was one of peace. During his reign Solomon build a permanent temple to the Lord, in place of the original portable tabernacle. When God gave Solomon the choice of wisdom, fame, or riches, Solomon asked for the wisdom to rule God’s people. Solomon became of the most renowned figures of his time. Despite his strong faith, Solomon eventually fell away from the Lord by marrying foreign wives and worshipping their idols.

I found Solomon’s story to be intriguing. I was impressed that in spite of the fact that he was the son of a great King, he still managed to outshine his father David.

Noah’s Ark by Alex Zacharias

When Stea asked us to write an article about our favorite story in the Old Testament, I knew right away I wanted to write about Noah’s Ark. It has been my favorite since I was little.

You know the story, so I won’t repeat it. But I will tell you why I like it so much. It’s because I love animals. As God took care of the Noah and his family and all the animals, He shows us that we are called to be stewards of His creation, too.

I learned more recently that the ark represents the Church as our ark of salvation. With this deeper understanding, I still find the Noah’s Ark story fascinating.

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