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Lesson on Steadfastness and Integirty: The Young Martyr

Here's another life story from the Public Domain which can be used to teach the children about steadfastness and integrity.  Below the story is another Sunday School lesson.

In the afternoon of August 9, 1853, there was a little Norwegian boy named Kund Iverson.  He lived in the city of Chicago, Illinois. He was going to the pastures for his cow on that summer afternoon. On his way, he came at a stream of water where there was a gang of idle, ill-looking, big boys. When they saw Kund, they came up to him; and said they wanted him to go into Mr. Elston's garden and steal some apples.

"No," said Kund promptly; "I cannot steal, I am sure."

"Well, but you've got to," they cried. 

They threatened to duck him, but the threat did not frighten Kund. So to make their words good, they seized him and dragged him into the river, and in spite of his cries and struggles, plunged him in. But the heroic boy even with the water gurgling and choking in his throat, never changed his mind.  For he knew that God had said: "Thou shalt not steal."  And he had made God's law to be his law; and no cursing, or threats, or cruelty of the big boys would make him give up.

Provoked by his firmness, the bullies ducked him again, but it still was, "No, no"; and they kept him under water. Was there no one near to hear his distressing cries, and rescue the poor child from their cruel grip? No; there was none to rescue him. Gradually the cries of the drowning child grew fainter and fainter, and his struggles less and less, and the boy was drowned.

He could die, but would not steal.

There was a German boy who had stood near, much frightened by what he saw, ran home to tell the news. The agonized parents quickly came and searched for their lost boy all night. It was found the next morning; and who shall describe their feelings as they clasped the little form to their bosoms? Early piety had blossomed in his little life. He loved his Bible and his Savior. His seat was never vacant at Sunday school, and so intelligent, conscientious and steadfast had he been.

The little boy thought he was only going after his cows that afternoon. His mother, the other boys, and the neighbors, if they saw him, thought so, too. They did not then know that instead of going to the pasture he was going to preach one of the most powerful sermons the country ever heard. They did not know that he was going to give an example of steadfastness of purpose and of unwavering integrity, such as should thrill the heart of this nation with wonder and admiration.

Kund Iverson was only thirteen years old, but his name was soon to be reckoned with martyrs and heroes. And as the story of his moral heroism winged its way from state to state, and city to city, and village to village, how many mothers cried with full hearts: "May his spirit rest upon my boy!" And strong men have wept over it and exclaimed: "God be praised for the lad!"  May there be a generation of Kund Iversons, strong in their integrity, true to their Bibles, ready to die rather than do wrong.

BIBLE STORY LESSON:  Read Exodus 20:1-17; 24:1-7
This passage is taken from the time when the Israelites reached Mount Sinai and God told the people throught Moses to prepare themselves because He is going to come in a dense cloud and speak to them. Exodus 20:1-17 lists the 10 commandments that God spoke to them. When the people saw the thunder and lightning, they were afraid.  So they told Moses that he speak to God himself and they will listen.

The next time Moses went and told the people all the Lord's words and laws, they responded with one voice; "Everything the Lord has said we will do."

Kids Discussion:
1. How did God speak to the people? How did the people feel? What did they say in response?
2. What are the commands of the Lord?
3. What should we do with the Lord's words and laws?
4. How can the children follow the example of Kund Iverson? What is steadfastness and integrity? (loyalty in the face of trouble and difficulty)

MEMORY VERSE: Exodus 24:7
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey."

Ten Commandments Quiz
Ten Commandments Coloring Pages:  1 2   3
Game: Let the children play some games (indoor: chess, snake and ladder; outdoor: relay games, sack race) and see how steadfast they are to the end.

1 comment:

anne said...

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