Entries in children's Bible stories (27)

Saturday
Jul202013

An Audio Bible Adventure: The Story of Esther, Part 1


About 2,500 years ago, in the city of Shushan, the capital of Medo-Persia, there lived a very pretty and caring young woman. Her name was Hadassah.

Hadassah’s parents had died when she was a child. Fortunately, she had a cousin named Mordecai, who held a well-paid position as an official at the royal palace in Shushan. When Hadassah's parents died, he adopted her as his own daughter, giving her the Persian name “Esther,” meaning “star.”

Mordecai was one of the many Jews who had chosen to stay in Medo-Persia rather than go back to Jerusalem. Ever since the days when King Cyrus ruled Persia, the Jews had been permitted to return to their land. Some 45,000 Jews had chosen to do so with Zerubbabel as their governor, yet hun­dreds of thousands remained behind. King Cyrus had been kind to the Jews, allowing them to work and worship God as they pleased, which made it easier to stay than return.[1] During the reign of King Ahasuerus, the good relations continued.

Some, like Mordecai, found good employment in the palace, and others became involved in various kinds of business throughout the country.

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Sunday
Jun232013

An Audio Bible Adventure: The Humbled King

A retelling of Daniel 4

Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian Empire, stood with his queen amid the rooftop gardens of his imperial palace and gazed out over the capital of Babylon. The setting sun was casting a golden light on the tops of the glorious buildings and temples in the distance.

“It is so good to be back home,” he said, his face beaming.

“It's good to have you back, my lord,” the queen replied. “You were gone for many months on your last conquest.”

“Ah, and such great conquests they were, my dear. You should have seen me lead my armies as we swept into Palestine and the nations of Jordan. Nothing could withstand me! We absolutely crushed their armies, battered down their city walls and burned their palaces. Never has there been an empire as great as mine … er, ours, or a conquering king as glorious and mighty as me.”

“You also brought back much wealth and riches.”

“Yes,” said the king, “and slaves! I am going to put several thousand of them to work in beautifying Babylon.”

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Friday
May172013

An Audio Bible Adventure: The Man Who Built a Dream

A retelling of the book of Nehemiah

See “In Defense of the Poor” for another story on Nehemiah’s life.

In the fifth century BC, I, Nehemiah, served in the honored position of royal cupbearer entrusted to bring unpoisoned drink to King Artaxerxes of Persia. This was at the time when God’s chosen people had been carried away into captivity as a punishment for their sins and rebellion against God.

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Friday
May172013

An Audio Bible Adventure: In Defense of the Poor

A retelling of Nehemiah 5

See “The Man Who Built a Dream” for another story on Nehemiah’s life.

It was the year 444 BC, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, that Nehemiah, who was royal cupbearer to the king, embarked on a mission to rebuild Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the city of his fathers and the once-great capital of Israel. Because of their sins and rebellions against God, the Jews had been conquered and forced to serve as slaves of Babylon for many years. Then the Medes and Persians under King Cyrus overthrew Babylon, establishing a vast empire, which lasted for more than two hundred years. Cyrus, who was both a friend and patron of the Jews, issued a decree in the first year of his reign that the Jews could begin their return to their homeland, Israel.

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Saturday
Apr202013

Elisha’s Secret Army

A retelling of 2 Kings, chapter 6

During the time of the prophet Elisha, the neighboring king of Syria had declared war on Israel. However, something went wrong with his campaign. Every time he planned an attack or an ambush, the king of Israel heard about it and prepared for it. 

This happened not once or twice, but so many times that the king of Syria was sure he had a traitor in his camp. Sending for his officers, he said to them angrily, “Who is spying for the king of Israel?”

“Not one of us, O king. It is Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your private quarters,” replied one of his servants who had somehow heard of the power of Elisha's God.

Now the problem seemed easy to the king—get Elisha, and all the trouble would be over. The king ordered horses, and chariots, and a great army to go to Dothan, where Elisha was staying, to fetch this man who knew too much.

Thinking to take Elisha by surprise, the army arrived by night and surrounded the city. There seemed no way of escape for the man of God.

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Friday
Mar152013

An Audio Bible Adventure: Fire from Heaven

A retelling of 1 Kings 18:1–45

See “Make Me a Cake” for another story on the prophet Elijah’s life.

Three years had passed since the prophet Elijah stood in King Ahab's court and announced the coming of the great drought. He had spent part of that time by the brook Cherith and part of it with the widow of Zarephath. Many times during those long days, he must have wondered what God was planning to do next for His people. Had the people of Israel learned their lesson yet? Were they ready to turn from their idols? Someday the Lord would end the drought—but how and when?

 “Go, show yourself to Ahab,” the Lord said to Elijah. “And I will send rain to the earth.”

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