Catechism Material

Old Testament History for Beginners, Book 2 (simplified) - From Saul to the Return from Captivity

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Old Testament History for Beginners, Book 2 (simplified) - From Saul to the Return from Captivity
Updated: 2013-02-09 Size: 82.5 KB Downloads: 342

Adopted for use in the Protestant Reformed Churches

by the Synod of 1961



This is the second in a series of three books which treat the history of the Bible for children from the ages of six to eight years. This second book treats the history from the beginning of Saul’s reign to the return of the Jews from captivity.

The teacher will notice that generally only one or two events are treated in each lesson, rather than the many details. The teacher will use his own discretion in determining how much other material should be included in the discussion in the classroom.

May our God use these means to realize His promise among us that He will be our God and the God of our seed forever. That is our sincere prayer and also our blessed confidence.



I Samuel 10-15, 28, 30

1. Why did the people want a king?

They wanted to be like the other nations.

2. Did God give them a king?

Yes, Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin.

3. Was Saul a good king?

No, he was very wicked.

4. How did Saul show that he was wicked?

He disobeyed God’s command.

5. How did God punish Saul?

God took the kingdom from him.

6. Did God speak to Saul after that?

No, God did not speak to him anymore.

7. When did Saul want to seek help from God?

Before a battle with the Philistines.

8. Where did Saul go since God would not speak to him?

During the night he went to a witch.

9. Who spoke to Saul there?

Samuel, who told him that he would die.

10. How did Saul die?

He killed himself in the battle.

Memory verse: "For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." Psalm 1:6


LESSON 2 David Anointed As King

I Samuel 16-30

1. Whom did Samuel anoint in Saul’s place?

David, who was of the tribe of Judah.

2. What did David do when he was a boy?

He cared for his father’s sheep.

3. Was God with David even then?

Yes, God saved him from a lion and a bear.

4. Who mocked the army of Israel?

The giant Goliath.

5. What did David do to Goliath?

He killed him with a slingshot.

6. Was Saul pleased that David killed Goliath?

No, he was jealous of David.

7. Why was he so jealous of David?

He knew that God would make David king.

8. How did Saul try to kill David?

He followed after him with his army.

9. Where did David hide?

He hid in the caves of the mountains.

10. Did Saul ever harm David?

No, for God always took care of him.

Memory verse: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me." Psalm 23:4

LESSON 3 David As King

II Samuel 2-12

1. Who became king after Saul died?

David, who feared the Lord.

2. Where did David live?

In Jerusalem.

3. What did David bring to Jerusalem?

The ark of God.

4. What did David plan to build in Jerusalem?

A beautiful temple of God.

5. Did David build this temple?

No, God told him that Solomon would build it.

6. Tell of one sin that David committed.

He took another man’s wife.

7. How did David try to hide this sin?

He killed this man by putting him in the front line of battle.

8. Was David sorry for this sin?

Yes, but not until God sent Nathan, the prophet, to him.

9. How did God show that He was displeased with David?

God made his son sick, that he died.

10. Did God punish David in other ways?

God brought many troubles in his family.

Memory verse: "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." Psalm 32:1


LESSON 4 The Sin of Absalom

II Samuel 15-19

1. Who was Absalom?

A son of David.

2. What sin did Absalom commit?

He tried to take the kingdom from his father.

3. Why was this wrong of Absalom?

Because God had made David king.

4. Did the people want Absalom to be king?

Yes, many of the people liked him.

5. Did David want to fight against his son Absalom?

No, he fled from Jerusalem.

6. Did David flee alone?

No, his army went with him.

7. Did Absalom follow David?

Yes, he came with an army to fight him.

8. What happened in this battle?

Absalom was caught by his head in a tree.

9. How did the battle end?

Absalom was killed.

10. Did David go back to Jerusalem?

Yes, he was king as before.

Memory verse: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1


LESSON 5 Solomon

I Kings 1-11

1. Who was king after David died?

Solomon, as God had promised.

2. What did Solomon ask of God?

Wisdom to rule the people.

3. Did God give Solomon wisdom?

Yes, and God also gave him riches and honor.

4. When did Solomon show his wisdom?

When two mothers wanted the same baby.

5. What did Solomon build?

A large and beautiful temple.

6. Who came to Solomon?

The queen of Sheba.

7. Why did the queen of Sheba come to Solomon?

To see the glory that God gave him.

8. What sin did Solomon commit?

He married many wives.

9. Did these wives cause him to sin still more?

Yes, they caused him to serve idols.

10. How did God show that He was displeased?

God took part of the kingdom from him.

Memory verse: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Proverbs 1:7


LESSON 6 Rehoboam, King of Judah

I Kings 12-14

1. Who became king after Solomon?

His son, Rehoboam.

2. What did the people ask Rehoboam to do?

They asked him to lower their taxes.

3. Did Rehoboam do as the people asked?

No, he answered them roughly.

4. How did the people rebel against Rehoboam?

Ten tribes made Jeroboam their king.

5. Was this right for the people to do?

No, God had made Rehoboam their king.

6. What were the ten tribes called?

The kingdom of Israel.

7. How many tribes stayed with Rehoboam?

Two, Judah and Benjamin.

8. What were the two tribes called?

The kingdom of Judah.

9. Did Rehoboam serve God always?

No, he and the people turned away from the Lord.

10. How did God punish him?

God sent the king of Egypt against him.

Memory verse: "Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee." Psalm 33:22


LESSON 7 Jeroboam, King of Israel

I Kings 12-14

1. What were the ten tribes called?

The kingdom of Israel.

2. Who was the first king of the kingdom of Israel?


3. Was Jeroboam a good king?

No, he caused Israel to serve golden calves.

4. Why did Jeroboam make these golden calves?

Because he did not want the people to go to the temple at Jerusalem.

5. Who spoke against the altar Jeroboam had set up?

A prophet from Judah.

6. What happened when this prophet spoke against the altar?

The altar broke in pieces.

7. How was this prophet punished on the way home?

He was killed by a lion.

8. How did God punish Jeroboam for his sin?

God made his son sick.

9. How did Jeroboam’s wife try to save her son’s life?

She went to a prophet of God.

10. What did the prophet tell her?

Her son would surely die.

Memory verse: "Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness." Psalm 5:4


LESSON 8 Elijah and Ahab

I Kings 17

1. Did the kingdom of Israel have any good kings?

No, they were all wicked.

2. Which king was especially wicked?

King Ahab, who married wicked Jezebel.

3. Did Ahab want Israel to serve God?

No, he made them serve Baal.

4. How did Ahab make the people serve Baal?

He killed those who served God.

5. Which prophet came to Ahab?

The prophet Elijah.

6. What did Elijah tell Ahab?

That there would be no rain for a long time.

7. Where did Elijah go during the famine?

He went to hide by the brook Cherith.

8. How did God feed Elijah there?

God commanded the ravens to bring him food.

9. Where did God send Elijah after the brook was dry?

To the home of a poor widow in Sidon.

10. How did God care for Elijah and the widow?

God gave them oil and meal every day.

Memory verse: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19


LESSON 9 Elijah On Carmel

I Kings 18

1. When did the famine end?

When God sent Elijah to Ahab.

2. What did Elijah tell Ahab to do?

To bring all Israel to Mount Carmel.

3. Who else came to Mount Carmel?

450 prophets of Baal.

4. What did Elijah tell them to make?

An altar to Baal.

5. Might the prophets put fire on the altar?

No, they had to ask Baal to do that.

6. Could Baal send fire?

No, for he was only an idol.

7. What happened when Eliiah prayed?

God sent fire from heaven upon his altar.

8. What did the people shout when they saw this?

"The Lord, He is the God."

9. What did Elijah do to the prophets of Baal?

He killed all of them.

10. Did God send rain?

Yes, after Elijah prayed for it.

Memory verse: "I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me." Isaiah 45:5


LESSON 10 Jehoshaphat, King of Judah

II Chronicles 17-20

1. What were the two faithful tribes called?

The kingdom of Judah.

2. What do we know about the kings of Judah?

They were all of the family of David.

3. Why did God place David’s sons on the throne?

Because our Lord Jesus would be born of David’s family.

4. Did all the kings of Judah serve God?

Some of them did, but many were wicked.

5. Name a God-fearing king after Rehoboam.


6. What did Jehoshaphat do for the people of Judah?

He taught them to serve the Lord.

7. What sin did he commit?

Jehoshaphat went along with Ahab to battle.

8. What happened in the battle?

Ahab was killed.

9. How did God bless Jehoshaphat?

God made him very rich.

10. Did God help Jehoshaphat against his enemies?

Yes, God made his enemies afraid of him.

Memory verse: "Praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever." II Chronicles 20:21


LESSON 11 The Prophet Elisha

II Kings 2-5

1. Did Elijah die?

No, God took him to heaven.

2. How did God take him to heaven?

By a chariot of fire in a whirlwind.

3. Which prophet took Elijah’s place?

Elijah’s servant, Elisha.

4. How did some children mock Elisha?

They cried: "Go up, thou bald head."

5. How did God punish these children for this?

Two bears killed 42 of them.

6. Who came to Elisha to be healed?

Naaman, a leper from Syria.

7. How did Naaman know about Elisha?

A Jewish girl told him.

8. How was Naaman healed?

He washed himself in the Jordan River seven times.

9. What sin did Elisha’s servant commit?

He took presents from Naaman.

10. How was Elisha’s servant punished?

He became a leper.

Memory verse: "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." II Kings 2:12


LESSON 12 Elisha Promises Food to Israel

II Kings 6, 7

1. Why did God send the prophet Elisha to wicked Israel?

Because God still had His people there.

2. Why did the king of Syria try to capture Elisha?

Because Elisha helped the king of Israel.

3. What happened to the army that came to take Elisha?

The Lord made them blind.

4. Did Syria come against Israel again?

Yes, the army camped around the walls of Samaria.

5. How did this trouble the people in the city?

They had no food.

6. Were they very hungry?

Yes, two women even ate a baby.

7. What did Elisha promise the king?

That there would be plenty of food the next day.

8. Did the king believe Elisha?

No, he and his servant mocked Elisha.

9. How did God give food to Samaria?

God caused the Syrians to flee away.

10. What happened to the servant who mocked Elisha?

He was trampled to death.

Memory verse: "I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:11


LESSON 13 Jehu, King of Israel

II Kings 9, 10

1. Whom did Elisha anoint as king of Israel?

Jehu, the captain of the army.

2. Did Elisha go to anoint Jehu?

No, he sent a young prophet.

3. What was Jehu commanded to do?

To kill the whole family of Ahab.

4. Why did God command him to do this?

Because Ahab’s family was very wicked.

5. Whom did Jehu kill first?

The king of Israel and the king of Judah.

6. Did Jehu also kill Jezebel?

Yes, he told the servants to throw her out of a window.

7. Was Ahab’s whole family killed?

Yes, his 70 sons were beheaded.

8. How did Jehu pretend to serve God?

He killed all those who served Baal.

9. Did Jehu really serve God?

No, he made Israel serve idols again.

Memory verse: "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 15:8


LESSON 14 The Prophet Jonah

Book of Jonah

1. What did God say to Jonah?

"Go to Nineveh, and cry against it."

2. Did Jonah go to Nineveh?

No, he ran away.

3. What happened when Jonah was on a ship?

God sent a storm upon the sea.

4. What did the sailors do to Jonah?

They threw him into the sea.

5. Did Jonah drown?

No, God prepared a fish to swallow him up.

6. Did he die in the fish?

No, after three days the fish spit him out.

7. Did Jonah obey God after that?

Yes, he went to Nineveh to preach.

8. What did Jonah preach?

"In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed."

9. Was Nineveh destroyed?

No, because many of the people repented.

10. Why were they saved?

Because God had His people there.

Memory verse: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27


LESSON 15 Joash, King of Judah

II Chronicles 22-24

1. Who was Athaliah?

A daughter of wicked king Ahab.

2. How did Athaliah become queen?

She killed her own grandchildren.

3. Was Athaliah able to kill all of them?

No, the baby Joash was hid in the temple.

4. When was Joash made king?

When he was seven years old.

5. Who helped to make Joash king?

Jehoiada, the God-fearing priest.

6. What happened to Athaliah?

She was killed.

7. Did Joash do what was right?

Yes, as long as Jehoiada lived.

8. What good deed did Joash do?

He repaired the temple.

9. What did Joash do after the priest died?

He served idols.

10. What other sin did Joash commit?

He killed Jehoiada’s son, who was a prophet.

Memory verse: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1


LESSON 16 Hezekiah, King of Judah

II Kings 18-20

1. Name another good king of Judah.


2. Were the people still serving God when Hezekiah became king?

No, even the doors of the temple were closed.

3. Did Hezekiah want the people to serve God?

Yes, he opened the doors of the temple.

4. What did Hezekiah do to their idols?

He destroyed them.

5. How else did Hezekiah show that he wanted Judah to serve God?

He made a great Passover feast.

6. Did Hezekiah call only the people of Judah to the feast?

No, he called also the people of Israel.

7. Did Israel come when Hezekiah called them?

Yes, a few came, but most of them refused.

8. Did Hezekiah serve God all his life?

Yes, he served God with all his heart.

9. What happened to the kingdom of Israel about this time?

God brought them into captivity because of their sins.

Memory verse: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12


LESSON 17 Hezekiah Becomes Sick

Isaiah 36-39

1. Who came to fight against Hezekiah?

The king of Assyria with his army.

2. How did he try to frighten Hezekiah?

He sent letters to him.

3. What did these letters say?

That God could not help Hezekiah.

4. What did Isaiah tell Hezekiah to do?

To trust in the Lord alone.

5. How did God help Hezekiah?

God killed the army of Assyria.

6. What happened to Hezekiah about this time?

He became very sick.

7. What did Hezekiah pray in his sickness?

He prayed to be made well.

8. Why did he pray to be made well?

Because he had no son to be king.

9. Did the Lord hear his prayer?

Yes, God made him well and gave him a son.

10. Who was this son?


Memory verse: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1


LESSON 18 Manasseh, King of Judah

II Chronicles 33

1. Who became king after Hezekiah?

His son, Manasseh.

2. Was Manasseh a good king?

No, he was very wicked.

3. What wicked deed did Manasseh do?

He sacrificed his children to idols.

4. How else did Manasseh sin against God?

He killed the people of God.

5. How did God punish Manasseh?

He was put in prison in Babylon.

6. What did the Lord do to Manasseh in prison?

God made him sorry for his sins.

7. Did Manasseh stay in prison?

No, he became king again.

8. How did Manasseh show that he was sorry for his sins?

He took the idols out of the temple.

9. Did Manasseh also restore the worship of God?

Yes, the priests might sacrifice to God again.

10. Did the people really repent?

No, they soon turned back to their sins.

Memory verse: "For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great." Psalm 25:11


LESSON 19 Josiah, King of Judah

II Kings 22, 23

1. Who was the last good king of Judah?


2. How did Josiah show that he feared God?

He broke down the idols.

3. Did Josiah repair the temple?

Yes, he hired men to do it.

4. What did the workmen find in the temple?

A book of the law.

5. What did the king do with the law?

He read it to the people.

6. What did Josiah command the people to do?

To keep the Passover.

7. Was it a great feast that the people held?

Yes, for years there was not one like it.

8. How did Josiah die?

He was killed in battle.

9. Did the people continue to serve God?

No, they became still more wicked.

10. Of what did the Lord warn the people?

That He would punish Judah as He did Israel.

Memory verse: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105


LESSON 20 The Prophet Jeremiah

Jeremiah 36-42

1. Who was Jeremiah?

Jeremiah was a prophet in Judah.

2. When did God call Jeremiah to be a prophet?

When he was still a boy.

3. What did Jeremiah tell about Jerusalem?

That Jerusalem would be burned.

4. What did Jeremiah say would happen to the people?

They would be brought to Babylon.

5. Did the king and the priests believe Jeremiah?

No, they were very angry with him.

6. How did Jeremiah suffer?

He was put in a pit.

7. Did God punish the people as He had said?

Yes, they were brought to Babylon.

8. Did Jeremiah go with them?

No, he and some others were left in Jerusalem.

9. Did Jeremiah stay in Jerusalem?

No, the people took him to Egypt.

10. What did Jeremiah promise the people in captivity?

After 70 years God would bring them back to their own land.

Memory verse: "It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed." Lamentations 3:22


LESSON 21 Daniel and His Friends

Daniel 1-4

1. Who were taken with the Jews to Babylon?

Daniel and his three friends.

2. What became of Daniel and his three friends?

They became princes in Babylon.

3. How did God show that He was with them?

He made them the wisest men in Babylon.

4. How did Daniel show his wisdom?

He explained the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.

5. Of what did Nebuchadnezzar dream?

A great image destroyed by a stone.

6. What did the dream mean?

That Christ will destroy all the wicked nations of the earth.

7. Did the three friends worship God in Babylon?

Yes, they would not worship an image of the king.

8. Did the king punish them for this?

Yes, he threw them into a fiery furnace.

9. Were they burned up in the furnace?

No, God sent His angel into the furnace with them.

10. How was the king punished for being proud?

God made him to live like an animal.

Memory verse: "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace."

Daniel 3:17


LESSON 22 Daniel in the Lions’ Den

Daniel 6

1. Did Daniel pray to God in Babylon?

Yes, he prayed looking toward Jerusalem three times a day.

2. Why did Daniel pray looking toward Jerusalem?

He knew that God would bring His people back to their own land.

3. Were the other princes jealous of Daniel?

Yes, they wanted to kill him.

4. How did they try to kill him?

They asked the king to pass a very wicked law.

5. What was that wicked law?

That all the people must worship only the king.

6. Did Daniel obey the king?

No, he prayed to God as before.

7. What did the king do to Daniel for this?

He threw him into a den of lions.

8. Did the lions eat Daniel?

No, the Lord shut the lions’ mouths.

9. What did the king do to these bad princes?

He threw them into the den of lions.

10. Did the lions eat them?

Yes, before they fell to the bottom of the den.

Memory verse: "We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29


LESSON 23 The Return from Babylon

Ezra 1-10

1. How long did the Jews stay in Babylon?

About 70 years.

2. How did they return?

The Lord told King Cyrus to send them back.

3. How many returned to Jerusalem?

About fifty thousand people.

4. What was the first thing the people did?

They began to build the temple.

5. Were the people happy when they could use the temple again?

Yes, but some wept.

6. Why did some weep?

Because the temple of Solomon was far more beautiful.

7. Who troubled the Jews?

The wicked Samaritans.

8. How did they trouble the Jews?

They tried to stop the work on the temple.

9. Was the temple finished?

It was finished only after 21 years.

Memory verse: "The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." Psalm 126:3


LESSON 24 Esther

Book of Esther

1. Did all the Jews return to Jerusalem?

No, some stayed in Babylon.

2. Name two of them that stayed.

Mordecai, and Esther his niece.

3. What happened to Esther there?

She became queen.

4. Who was a chief ruler under the king?

Haman, who hated Mordecai.

5. What did Haman want to do?

He wanted to kill all the Jews.

6. Who heard of this plan?

Mordecai, who told Esther.

7. Did Esther tell the king?

Yes, she told him at a banquet.

8. Were all the Jews killed?

No, the king told them to fight for their lives.

9. What happened to Haman?

He was hanged on a gallows.

10. What does this show?

That God always takes care of His people.

Memory verse: "Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 124:8


LESSON 25 Nehemiah

Book of Nehemiah

1. Who was Nehemiah?

A cupbearer to the king.

2. What did Nehemiah hear about the Jews?

That they were not building the walls of Jerusalem.

3. What did Nehemiah do when he heard this?

He asked the king to let him go to Jerusalem.

4. What was the first thing Nehemiah did in Jerusalem?

He looked at the walls at night.

5. Did Nehemiah start to build the walls?

Yes, he set all the people to work.

6. How were the people troubled?

Wicked men tried to stop the work.

7. Did they stop the work?

No, Nehemiah gave the people swords.

8. Did these wicked men bother them still more?

Yes, they lied to the people about Nehemiah.

9. How were the walls built so quickly?

God helped His people to build.

Memory verse: "O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee." Psalm 84:12

Last modified on 02 April 2013

Additional Info

  • Revision: Simplified
Hanko, Cornelius

Rev. Cornelius Hanko was born to Herman and Jennie (nee Burmania) Hanko on May 19, 1907 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He received his heartfelt desire when the Lord in His mercy took him to glory on Monday, March 14, in the year of our Lord 2005.  
      Rev. Hanko was baptized in the Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church.  During the common grace controversy in the 1920s the Hanko family followed Rev. Herman Hoeksema and the majority of the consistory of Eastern Avenue in their polemic against common grace and their advocacy of one, sovereign grace of God for the elect in Christ Jesus.  The Hankos thus became charter members of the First Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan when the Eastern Avenue Protesting Christian Reformed Church, her pastor and consistory, were cast out of the CRC in 1926.  Rev. Hanko, therefore, was the last of the PRC clergy (and perhaps of the entire membership of the PRC) to have had direct, personal contact with the events of 1924–1926 that led to the formation of the Protestant Reformed Churches.
      Already in his teenage years Rev. Hanko had his eye on the ministry.  His first inclination was to be a missionary.  That never happened, because the Lord called him to the pastoral ministry for his entire career.  Rev. Hanko began his studies for the ministry under Revs. H. Danhof, H. Hoeksema, and G. M. Ophoff.  He graduated from the seminary in 1929 with five other men (four of whom left the PRC in the split of 1953 and one of whom left the PRC in the early 1960s.  All five of these eventually became ministers in the CRC).
      After graduation from the seminary Rev. Hanko and his bride Jennie (nee Griffioen) made their way to Hull, Iowa PRC, in which church Rev. Hanko was ordained a minister of the Word and Sacraments in the PRC.  God blessed Rev. and Mrs. Hanko with four children, all of whom are members of the PRC:  Rev. Herman C. (married to Wilma Knoper), Professor Emeritus of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary; Fred (married to Ruth Miersma), who gave his working life to the Protestant Reformed Christian Schools (Adams Street in Grand Rapids, where he was my ninth grade teacher, Northwest Iowa in Doon, where he taught with my wife, and Hope, Walker, Michigan); Elaine, widow of Richard Bos; and Alice, who cared for her father in his later years.
      In addition to the Hull PRC, Rev. and Mrs. Hanko served in the following Protestant Reformed Churches:  Oaklawn, Illinois (1935); Manhattan, Montana (1945); First, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1948); Hope, Redlands, California (1964); and Hudsonville, Michigan (1971).  After becoming emeritus in 1977, Rev. Hanko remained active for a number of years, preaching and teaching in the churches and preaching two services per Sunday in Florida during the winter seasons.
      His years in First Church were difficult ones for Rev. Hanko because of the controversy that resulted in the split in First and in the denomination in June of 1953.  The controversy involved the doctrine of the covenant.  The majority of the congregation of First and of the members and clergy of the denomination embraced the covenant view of Dr. Klaas Schilder (conceiving of the essence of the covenant as consisting of a conditional promise made by God to every baptized child).  These left our churches.  During these years, while never compromising the truth of an unconditional covenant of grace and friendship established unilaterally by God with His elect in Christ Jesus, Rev. Hanko never lost a certain healthy balance in his preaching and teaching in First Church.  He simply did his work by the grace of God, preaching, teaching, and caring for the flock of God as best he was able.  
      During his years in First Church, which numbered more than five hundred families before the split in 1953 and ca. 200 families after the split, Rev. Hanko had my father as one of his co-laborers in the consistory.  They became good friends.  The Hankos and the Deckers regularly visited together.  It was through this contact that I got to know Rev. Hanko on a personal basis.  It was during Rev. Hanko’s years as pastor of First that I was a student at Calvin College, then located on Franklin Street in Grand Rapids just a short block away from the parsonage occupied by the Hankos.  Not infrequently, I would walk from class at Calvin to the parsonage with my questions.  Rev. Hanko patiently answered these questions from Scripture and the confessions and would then offer prayer.  Rev. Hanko was used by God, together with my parents to keep me in the PRC as a member and later as one of the churches’ pastors.  I also had the blessed privilege after October 1, 1965, the date of my ordination as pastor of the Doon, Iowa congregation, to labor for a few years with Rev. Hanko as a colleague.  We younger pastors in Classis West leaned heavily on our older, experienced, and competent colleague, learning much from his godly example.
      During his pastorate in Hudsonville, Michigan the Lord delivered his beloved Jennie from her suffering into glory.  I remember sitting with Rev. Hanko in the ICU waiting-room at the hospital, when he remarked, “Part of me is dying in there.”  Now Rev. Hanko, having died in the Lord, enjoys God’s fellowship in Jesus in glory as well.
      We thank God for giving our churches this gifted and faithful servant and for using him for the edification of the churches for the years of his lengthy ministry among our Protestant Reformed Churches.  That in the years to come these churches may follow the example of our beloved brother, Cornelius Hanko, and “…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints…” is our fervent prayer (Jude : 3b).
      Soli Deo Gloria! (Written by Rev.Gise Van Baren)

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