World Cup

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World Cup

Whatever nation you are from, the World Cup will likely be shown in your country. This is a massive event. Even if your country isn’t playing, you may be able to name the best players in the world or think of some players that will play for your country.

Top 10 World Cup Goals 

Use the link below or search out your own… 

BBC ‘Top Ten Goals’ from a few years back – (link checked, April 2019)

Your World Cup Team

First up, shout out the best players in the world (apart from your youth leader of course…)

OK so now shout out or write down who you’d put in your nations First Team (the best players) and why…

If you write these things down quickly get together after and see which are the main players who get into the team! (For example if most people say a certain player etc.) 

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 PDF sheet (your very own ‘team sheet board’ complete with football pitch!)

Myfishbites World Cup Bible Characters Squad

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 Download the list here

Moses – knows the law and the tactics back to front, a pioneer of the game.

King David – in goal, proven accurate throwing

Abraham – the father of the team, not the niftiest but steady reader of the game
Noah – steady in possession, great builder

Job – solid player, keeps on going, always loyal to the team

Joseph – the captain and a leader through adversity, steady rise through the game

Daniel – survived a mauling in the lion’s den so tough in midfield scrap, great insights
Jacob – another proven fighter in midfield, won’t let go

Philip – on the wing after running alongside Ethiopian eunuch

Elijah – on the other wing having outrun Ahab’s chariot

No. 10
Paul – good movement, well-travelled, understands the game. Will also drop back into midfield when needed. An all-rounder.

Peter – always willing to get stuck in, talented but can be a bit of a loose canon

Samson – backup, great between the sticks
Elisha – quite a few tricks up his sleeve
John the Baptist – bit of a wild card and the team nutritionist

Your Turn

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 PDF sheet to write down your own Bible character football team

The Bible and the World Cup?

You won’t be surprised to hear that the Bible doesn’t have a lot to say about the World Cup or football ! There are the sporting references to the Olympics, with Paul urging people to stay true to Jesus and run their race like an athlete (2 Timothy 2 / Philippians 3). 

There is one reference to a ‘ball’ which is when Isaiah speaks God’s judgement against Jerusalem in Isaiah 22. Obviously this isn’t a sporting kind of Bible verse (although it does suggest ball games, possibly even bowls!) But the verse is actually a very serious one:

‘Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, you mighty man. He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country.”

There are a few more Bible verses about ‘cups’ (but mostly the ones you drink from, not the ones you win!) There is one funny reference to Pharaoh being presented with a cup but this is by his cup-bearer (the one who taste tested Pharaoh’s drinks), so not really that funny…

Genesis 40:11 – Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.’

Escape To Victory Promo

Direct Link, Escape To Victory – (link checked April 2019)

David, his team and his game

If you’ve watched a football game, you’ll know that the game can turn one way and then the other way. One team plays well for a while, then the other team plays well. Anything can change in a game – a red card seeing a player sent off or an injury or a sub coming on to the pitch and scoring a goal.

Back in 1 Samuel 30 there was no football game going on but things seemed to be going one way and then the other for David…

David and his guys were a winning team. They had some of the best of the best. Some of the men were a bit rough round the edges but David was a great leader. He led his men to victory after victory – they were the champions! But headed off to fight another battle, their new team-mates weren’t keen to fight alongside them, doubting they could be trusted. So David and his army weren’t allowed to even ‘play’. They were banned and kicked out of the competition – kind of like a World Cup side being booted out of the World Cup!

1 Samuel 30.3-8 and 17-20 – When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured – Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, ‘Bring me the ephod.’ Abiathar brought it to him, and David enquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?’ ‘Pursue them,’ he answered. ‘You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.’ …

David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. David recovered everything the Amalgamates had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, ‘This is David’s plunder.’

So David and his men got back to the ‘team hotel’ (Zigzag, where they lived) and found that it had been raided and destroyed. They had lost everything – all their possessions and their wives and children. They’d been stolen by the Amalgamates. David’s team-mates were even talking of not just taking the captaincy away from him; they wanted to kill him! David was absolutely gutted. So he went to God first and found strength in God. There are tough things that happen in every game (and in life) but your best place to get fired up again is by going to God who never leaves you and always has a Plan A game-plan for you!

God’s plan for David was to go get the Amalgamates and recover everything that had been lost. David was up for the plan and assembled his team together and off they went. But some of his team dropped out on the way, exhausted and probably fed up. So here’s question for you: when things look like they’re going wrong, how do you react? Do you keep on going or give up? The Bible says we walk by faith not by sight. This means that we recognise what’s going on (even if it’s bad) but we trust God, knowing he’s got things in hand and is working things out for good.

David went after the opposition. He wouldn’t lie down and accept defeat (a good policy for life!) Instead, he actually won back all of what had been lost. It was like a football game where he was 2-0 up, then the opposition scored 3 goals, but then he came back to win 4-3! He even managed to control some of his team-mates who wanted to take their celebrations too far.

So here’s the main lesson from this – we keep on going no matter what happens (it’s called ‘perseverance’). We stay strong and loyal to God at all times. He’ll help us if we go a bit wrong – if we’re losing or even score a bit of an own goal! God says in Romans 8.28 that God works out all things for good for those who follow him. So as we follow God and represent his team, we should know we’re on the winning side. No matter how things look – God is there and God will bring us through to the victory parade in heaven!

Your World Cup Pledge To God

Print these off, get each young person to sign them and take them away with them. Write a brief pledge on the surface of the cup.

Check back at the end of the World Cup to see how they’re doing!

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 Your World Cup Pledge to God (A4 sheet with 2 cups for 2 people)