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A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language: Lesson 43

Topic: The Joy Of Noble Kings

Series: Smurfs

Episode: The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf

Lesson PDF link: 43.pdf


In this lesson we are using a Smurfs episode called The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf to illustrate the difference between being a good and God-fearing king and the exact opposite. We are comparing King Gerrard from the Smurfs to King David and our Lord Jesus. We are also contrasting Leopold in this episode to the same and likening him to a ruthless money hungry man that the Bible preaches against.

Scriptures used include: Leviticus 19: 9-10; 23: 22, Deuteronomy 24: 20-22, I Chronicles 29: 10-20, Leviticus 19: 13, Deuteronomy 24: 14-15, Isaiah 42: 1-9; 61: 1-11, Nehemiah 5:1-5, James 5: 1-6, Luke 12: 13-21, Luke 16: 19-31, Proverbs 10: 16, Proverbs 11: 18, Romans 6:23 (In That Order)

Today, we are discussing characteristics of kings. We will start with a pretty simple question. What is a king? Although simple sounding, this is a very important question and it becomes complicated because it takes a lot of wisdom and courage to be a good king. A lot of times in history, kings have been self-seeking and blinded by power. This is shown many times in the Bible. We are going to discuss some things that kings must think about in order to rule. We are going to discuss the pure God-made joy of being a good one. We will be seeing an episode of the Smurfs called The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf and we will be discussing the show and linking it with the Bible

We will discuss six topics that kings must think about. These are: Agriculture, Joy (it's necessary for a good king to take joy in his kingdom and what it stands for and who it stands for), wages for workers, captives (lawbreakers and people who are a prisoner in other ways), taxes, and the way God thinks about the ruler(s) in question.

The first thing mentioned is agriculture. It is important to have a steady stream of good crops with healthy hired hands that are kept happy and cheerful by getting paid fairly and regularly. The help needs to pay bills and eat. Otherwise, the hands will not be happy and joyous; therefore the whole kingdom suffers with a lack of morale and productivity.

The second thing mentioned is joy. This can take on many meanings, but in this lesson, we are discussing the God-made joy of being a good and just ruler. We are also looking at the selfish joy of not having the kingdom's best interests at heart; wanting nothing but to love yourself lots, but your people very little if any.

The third thing mentioned is wages. A well-paid and paid on time worker is a happy worker. Otherwise, there is an overwhelming burden on the people (all work and lucky to pay the bills much less eat ' even less have fun at work and life).

The fourth thing mentioned is captives. This includes the lawbreakers who would end up in jail or prison. This also means a person inside a mental condition that is also a very real prison in itself. Prisoners biblically speaking need healing from their mental jail. Lawbreakers do need punishment and to be healed of their lawbreaking by a change in mind, body and soul. God provides this. Those in prison for crimes which require large quantities of time need to be saved, just like the ones in shorter stays in jail. All prisoners need to be set free of mental and physical baggage wherever they are in their lives ' whether jailed, in the prison of despair, or otherwise free. God will always take a heart that changes towards Him even in a prison cell. God works even inside those kinds of walls.

The fifth thing mentioned is taxes. It is important to understand that taxes mean revenue to the government or kingdom for which you are under. These need to be for need of the government or kingdom instead of greed and malice. If taxes are unfair, there is likely to be a revolt or coup. At best, there will be a lot of strife and unrest inside the territory of a king.

The sixth and final thing we are looking at is the way God thinks of one who rules. To be a good king, a ruler must be God-fearing. Otherwise most likely, a king would become self-serving. For those who are not God-fearing but for the most part humanitarian and service-minded, it is good, however, it must be noted that a king must be God-fearing in order to be considered righteous to Him.

Clip # 1: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf":

Smurfs: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf": Direct link for video/webm

What do you think of the people working in the fields, vineyards, and trees? What is your first opinion of King Gerrard's kingdom and the king himself?

What is your first impression of Leopold? Leopold's first line is selfish and sets the tone for him through our cartoon.

It looks like King Gerrard is truly an awesome king and thinks of others more than himself. The king is treating each person equally and fair in work, wage, and food.

It can be easily assumed that King Gerrard is God-fearing and wants to follow His ways. It can also be easily assumed that King Gerrard is following the Biblical teaching on farming as well. These laws are to help the needy, poor, widows, and foreigners who are in need.

The Bible States In Leviticus 19: 9-10; 23: 22, and Deuteronomy 24: 20-22

Lev 19:9 ' 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.

Lev 19:10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.

This scripture is pretty much repeated with this scripture, but with a little more information.

Lev 23:22 ' 'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.' '

This law is repeated in a way with still more information.

Dt 24:20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

Dt 24:21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.

Dt 24:22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

Not only is this a nice thing to do, but it is smart. Valuable food isn't wasted, needy stomachs are filled and those in need who don't have money can feel the blessing God wants for them as well. Everyone wins.

King Gerrard reminds me of King David when he prayed thanks over God's blessings and asks for help in remaining loyal to Him. King David acknowledges strength comes from God and in his heart asks for these blessings to remain. King David is joyous in his kingdom and knows that only comes from God.

King David's prayer of joy and thanks is stated in I Chronicles 29: 10-20

1Ch 29:10 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, 'Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

1Ch 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

1Ch 29:12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

1Ch 29:13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

1Ch 29:14 'But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

1Ch 29:15 We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.

1Ch 29:16 O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.

1Ch 29:17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.

1Ch 29:18 O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.

1Ch 29:19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, requirements and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.'

1Ch 29:20 Then David said to the whole assembly, 'Praise the LORD your God.' So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.

King David even asks for his son Solomon to follow in God's ways. This is truly a righteous prayer.

King Gerrard is truly this kind of king. On the subject of wages, King Gerrard obviously provides well for his subjects. He follows the teaching of the scriptures as well.

The Bible States In Leviticus 19: 13 and Deuteronomy 24: 14-15

Lev 19:13 ' 'Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him. ' 'Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.

Dt 24:14 Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns.

Dt 24:15 Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.

King Gerrard clearly doesn't defraud or rob his workers or subjects.

Yes, King Gerrard is truly a joyous, just, and righteous king; this may be true, but at the same time, King Gerrard asks Clockwork about everything and isn't sure of himself in his kingdom. Unfortunately, Leopold is hatching a plan. The kingdom is preparing for King Gerrard's 1st anniversary as King and Leopold wants to destroy Clockwork during these preps and make it look like an accident.

Clip # 2: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf":

Smurfs: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip? As you can see, King Gerrard is so noble that he doesn't even want his dungeons, because flowers look prettier. King Gerrard's dream is a world without crime and obvious punishment. King Gerrard would rather people be free and obviously rehabilitated if they did do wrong. King Gerrard's attitude towards prisons and prisoners are strikingly similar to God's dreams of a world free from the cost of being in prison because of wrongdoing and prisons and dungeons in general.

God's dream is to have his chosen to be free of such things as prisons and dungeons no matter where they are at the present time.

The Bible states in Isaiah 42: 1-9; 61: 1-11

Isa 42:1 'Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.

Isa 42:2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.

Isa 42:3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

Isa 42:4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.'

Isa 42:5 This is what God the LORD says' he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:

Isa 42:6 'I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,

Isa 42:7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Isa 42:8 'I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

Isa 42:9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.'

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Isa 61:2 to proclaim the year of the LORD'S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

Isa 61:3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion 'to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Isa 61:4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Isa 61:5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

Isa 61:6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

Isa 61:7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.

Isa 61:8 'For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.

Isa 61:9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.'

Isa 61:10 I delight greatly in the LORD? my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isa 61:11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

These scriptures are Messianic prophecies that God will make come to pass. Part of this was done when Jesus came to earth. The rest of it will happen once Jesus comes back the second time and commands respect and loyalty through the world once and for all.

What do you think of Leopold's plan against King Gerrard and Clockwork?

Clip # 3: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf":

Smurfs: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip? Unfortunately, Leopold takes advantage of King Gerrard and conspires to kill Clockwork; and just about does.

Leopold takes over and becomes a tyrant, which as we all know is not what God wants. Leopold halves the wages and doubles the king's tax and abolishes the free food. This is all in the name of King Gerrard even though it wasn't ordered by him.

King Gerrard's subjects are now not very joyous, happy or free. They are now in despair and crying because they cannot pay their bills and they could starve.

This is what the Bible states about the attitude of these subjects in Nehemiah 5:1-5.

Ne 5:1 Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers.

Ne 5:2 Some were saying, 'We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.'

Ne 5:3 Others were saying, 'We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.'

Ne 5:4 Still others were saying, 'We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards.

Ne 5:5 Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our countrymen and though our sons are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.'

Yes, the people must be feeling like the people here.

Clip # 4: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf":

Smurfs: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip? Handy works really hard to fix Clockwork; meanwhile, while Clockwork gets fixed by Handy, the tyranny continues and war breaks out to take the kingdom back.

Clip # 5: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf":

Smurfs: "The Return Of The Clockwork Smurf": Direct link for video/webm

What did you see in this clip? Things look really bad until Clockwork shows up fixed and ready to rumble. Clockwork is a mighty warrior indeed.

The first time Clockwork wasn't ready for the conniving Leopold, the second time he was. Handy made Clockwork seemingly better than new.

The Bible calls people like Leopold very foolish. The Bible States In James 5: 1-6

Jas 5:1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.

Jas 5:2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.

Jas 5:3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

Jas 5:4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

Jas 5:5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

Jas 5:6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.

This says that the cries of such people reach God's ears. For a person living with ill-gotten money and other riches, judgment is coming if repentance isn't done sincerely and quickly.

The Bible states in Luke 12: 13-21 some more bad news for Leopold.

Lk 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.'

Lk 12:14 Jesus replied, 'Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?'

Lk 12:15 Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'

Lk 12:16 And he told them this parable: 'The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.

Lk 12:17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

Lk 12:18 'Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

Lk 12:19 And I'll say to myself, 'You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.' '

Lk 12:20 'But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

Lk 12:21 'This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.'

In this cartoon, we see that Leopold both is lazy (he wants all the money and goods without a lot of work'eat, drink, and be merry) and he is ruthless at the same time when he doesn't get his way. He is selfish, wants nothing to do with helping anyone but himself. No amount of money or goods would be enough for such a man.

Eventually, if not very quickly, Leopold's life would be over and then what would happen to things he worked for (or not)? All of this would come to nothing and Leopold would have less than nothing if he didn't repent of being like this by coming to Jesus.

The Bible states in Luke 16: 19-31

Lk 16:19 'There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.

Lk 16:20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores

Lk 16:21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Lk 16:22 'The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.

Lk 16:23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

Lk 16:24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

Lk 16:25 'But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.

Lk 16:26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

Lk 16:27 'He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house,

Lk 16:28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

Lk 16:29 'Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

Lk 16:30 ' 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

Lk 16:31 'He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.''

It is a sad state of affairs, but this is what would await Leopold if he was real and did not repent. The ones that in the end are against God go to Hell. This is God's dungeon. This imprisonment lasts forever.

In Summary, we are going to compare and contrast King Gerrard and Leopold.

The Bible States In Proverbs 10: 16

Pr 10:16 The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment.

King Gerrard is a wonderful king who anyone who is just would enjoy to have rule them. Leopold's reign of terror only landed him in King Gerrard's dungeon while being tormented by Pewit singing off-key.

King Gerrard finally has a use for his dungeon. Leopold needs to be there. If he was real though, we would need to pray that he doesn't end up in God's eternal dungeon as well.

The Bible states in Proverbs 11: 18; Romans 6:23

Pr 11:18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

Leopold took over King Gerrard's kingdom by deceiving him with bad advice and commits to ruthlessness to try to receive an ill-gotten reward of easy living and wealth.

Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If Leopold was real and nothing happens to change his heart, Leopold's real wages would be eternal death. King Gerrard is a good king and in this lesson, illustrates a Christian king and what that would be like. If he was real, King Gerrard would be in heaven'we are to assume for this lesson that he is God-fearing and a Christian monarch.

What have we learned? Quite definitely, one could say that in order to be a good leader, teacher, even a king; that we must be God-centered and then people centered (looking for ways to bless other people), rather than self-seeking and ruthless doing it.

How will we apply this to our lives?

We need to look for God's plan for our lives and how we lead others. We all will have a call in life and it usually involves some leadership no matter what level. Be ready to lead the way God wants you to do it, be fair and just to who is under you and be submissive to people over you and especially to God Himself. I finally want to add this: to be discerning about your advisers and the advice they give. Meditate on their words and compare it with the Word.