“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. Proverbs 3: 5-6
What a great victory at Jericho…but Joshua did not enquire of the LORD regarding Ai…He sent some spies who hurried back with the news that it would be an easy victory. If he had been praying about this decision , I’m sure the LORD would have showed Joshua that there was “sin in the camp”. Thirty-six men died in the first battle with Ai, but after the sin was delt with, God gave the city into their hands. Now we find in Joshua , chapter 9, that the rest of the promised land occupied by the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites have gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel. But the Gibeonites, part of the Hivite clan, took it upon themselves to trick Israel into making a treaty with them. They believed the reports of Israel’s God and figured that they could not win against His people. They dressed up in old clothes and shoes, packed old sacks and cracked dry wineskins on their donkeys, and a bunch of dry,moldy bread to make it look like they had travelled a great distance instead of a nearby territory. They came to Joshua in Gilgal and asked for a peace-treaty and a place of service with Israel. Joshua questioned them, and his men examined their old, moldy bread BUT they did not ask counsel of the LORD. Joshua and his princes swore an oath to the LORD to let them live and after finding out three days later that the Gibeonites lived close by, they kept their oath but made the Gibeonites serve them by doing menial labor for the house of God. (The descendents of these “tricksters” became the Nethinims who are listed by name in the book of Nehemiah as being part of the first deportation from Babylon .) Now that the Gibeonites are under Israel’s protection, they appeal to Joshua to come and save them from the rest of the tribes that are Israel’s enemies that have gathered to fight them. Read chapter 10 for one of the most exciting battles in the Bible.
To complete the worksheet, the kids will circle the pictures that show what contributed to Joshua being tricked. There are six correct pictures to circle.
Joshua tricked by the Gibeonites
Joshua tricked – no text
Table of Contents for Old and New Testaments are available on the June 19, 2013 post and April 2, 2013 post.
I am adding another lesson to the series on Ezra and Nehemiah due to their great importance and relevance as we seek to serve God in these perilous times. We had left Nehemiah with the succesful rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (Oct. 20, 2011 blog “Nehemiah Restores Hope”) In chapter 8 of Nehemiah we read that the people “gathered as one man” to ask Ezra to bring the book of the law so he could read it to them…”and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.” Ezra stood on a wooden podium, and beside him are listed 13 men, who along with the Levites, explained the law to the people who stood in reverence when Ezra opened the book, but who bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground as Ezra blessed “the LORD the great God.” Verse 12 tells us that the people went away to celebrate a great festival because they understood the words which had been made known to them, then proceeded to make booths to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles. This making of booths had not been practiced since Joshua’s time so there was great rejoicing. The sons of Israel continued to assemble with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt on them… confessing their sins and worshipping God. This revival brought about great changes in their behavior. They separated themselves from the foreigners of the land, and swore to observe all of the commandments. (Chapters 9-13)
Note the reverence and great honor shown the word of God by the people. We read in Psalms 119: 30 that the entrance of His Word gives light and understanding to the simple. Jesus states that none of His Words will pass away (Matthew 24:34) and “…assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18) Notice the special regard the LORD bestows on the person who “trembles at His Word” in Isaiah 66:2… “My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! ‘I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My word’.”This lesson should be especially encouraging to you teachers as we model the Levites in this story and are seeking to make the words of God understandable to children.
Hear O Israel – worksheet
Print worksheet on card-stock. Cut the portion containing the scroll, which leaves a space to write the memory verse. Have the kids write their memory verse first thing , then they can color the page and prepare the scrolls. Cut carefully around scroll. For younger kids, you will want to pre-cut the scrolls. You will need 2 toothpicks for each scroll. Before class, measure and cut the ends off the toothpicks. The kids can color them with brown markers and glue one to each end of the scroll….centering them. Roll up each end of the scroll tightly, meeting in the middle (see sample). If you have printed the scrolls on card stock, they should keep their shape rather well. Glue or tape into Ezra’s hands.
Zacchaeus is Found
Zacchaeus was very blessed indeed. Jesus has been preaching the Good News for three years and is making His way to Jerusalem to suffer and die for the sins of the world. We all know the story of the vertically challenged chief tax collector…. tax collectors were hated because of their collaboration with the Roman government and exploitation of their fellow countrymen. Perhaps he had heard of Matthew leaving the ranks of his profession, and was curious about what kind of a man would be worth following and giving up a lucrative profession for.
He climbed a tree to get a better look when he heard that Jesus was passing through Jericho. To his surprise, Jesus stopped and called him by name. He was bid to come down quickly, for Jesus must go to his house. The lonely man gladly welcomed Him – the result of the visit : salvation, forgiveness and a changed life. Jesus sought Zacchaeus because He loved him. No one is beyond seeking…Who is Jesus wanting you to reach out to? What stands in the way of us making the efforts necessary to show we care. Maybe it is a child who has only come to your class once or twice. Pray and ask the LORD to help you make effective contact. For complete instructions see the post at kidsbible.wordpress.com… (this will involve some precutting with an x-acto blade so you can fit Zacchaeus into the tree. ) I also used a leaf punch to cut out leaves.
Zack – worksheet
Zack – no text
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
Samson is Forgiven
We previously posted a lesson about the powerful Nazirite judge of Israel – Samson. (August 2011) His life has many lessons for us today so I think it would be a good idea to take two weeks to study his life.
A Nazirite vow was a serious commitment between a man or woman and God…a setting apart…a special consecration. They would be willing to avoid all contact with any dead body…separate themselves from anything pertaining to the grape or grapevine and as a visible manifestation of their holy vow…no razor was to take any of the hair on their head all of the days of their consecration. In Samson’s case , he was called to a lifelong consecration from his mother’s womb! Sadly, we have read about the poor choices Samson made even though he was mightily blessed by God with supernatural strength and was called to judge Israel for twenty years.
Samson went against the advice of his parents to marry a God-fearing Israelite woman choosing a Philistine woman instead because he liked the way she looked! (Remember…these were the days that everyone did what is right in their own eyes and stopped obeying God? Sound familiar???) He did not learn from his mistakes and made other poor associations with those that sought his defeat. This might be a good time to teach about the bondage that the enemy of our soul wishes to put God’s children under. As a result of Samson’s disregard of his sacred vows, he was blinded, bound , and imprisoned with the lowly task of grinding grain.
There is hope for this poor soul, because scripture tells us “…however the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved…” I’m sure Samson had a lot of time to reflect on his sinful behavior and was able to confess and repent because we read about him in Hebrews 11:32 as joining the ranks of the faithful. When he was called to be brought to the idol temple to be mocked by the pagans gathered, he called on the Lord GOD (Jehovah) to remember him with strength once more.
Samson is forgiven – wkst
Samson – no text
Note: Depending on your translation there are two ways to spell Nazirite…or Nazarite!
“Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.” Psalm 40:5
Miracle of the Tribute Money
The miracle of The Tribute Money is unique to Matthew…the “ex” tax gatherer! . Jesus was not liable for the temple tax being the Son of God, even though Peter impetuously answered the officials that Jesus would pay it! The temple tax (Exodus 30:13) amounted to two day’s wages for a common laborer and was required of every adult Israelite male over 20 years of age for maintaining the temple. Jesus was free from obligation to pay this tax…after all, the temple belonged to Him according to Malachi 3:1 “…’Behold, I send My messenger (John the Baptist) And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, (Jesus) in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming’, says the LORD of hosts”. Jesus anticipated Peter’s question, and told him to cast a hook into the sea of Galilee and take up the first fish he caught. Can you imagine how this must have humbled Peter who usually fished professionally with nets? Jesus trusted in the miraculous provision of God to pay His taxes…not out of obligation but out of a desire that He not offend…(and I think as a great lesson for us.)
Please visit “kidsbible.wordpress.com” for the instructions to this lesson. I am still traveling and would appreciate your prayers for the LORD’S guidance to a new location which would have to include some kids to teach! (If you are new to the blog…WELCOME… a complete Table of Contents for lessons I have covered from the Old and New Testaments is available if you scroll back past the last post on “food allergies”. (April 2, 2013) For a Mother’s Day project see the blog from May 2, 2012
Miracle of the Tribute money – a
Miracle of the Tribute money worksheet
I have just finished reading a book on food allergies and have been woefully ignorant of how severe they can be. I have added warnings on previous posts where food items were utilized in the lesson… but from now on I am going to insist on “health information” cards on all of the kids I teach. They will include name, age (birthdate) any known allergies and an emergency phone number. Kids with severe allergies should not even be at the same table with the items they are sensitive to, so please be aware of this and plan your lessons accordingly. If you are new to the Blog…WELCOME…for a complete list of Bible Lessons see the previous two posts!