“You have to be kidding! God could not really want us to do that!” That is at least what I would have said as an Israelite listening to Joshua talk about God’s plan for defeating Jericho. It sure did sound crazy, but the truth is God always keeps His promises and He wants us to listen and obey. Often following God’s ways do seem crazy by the world’s standards – love those who persecute you, give sacrificially, consider others as more important than yourself, and on and on. Yet, as we learn from Joshua and Jericho, He is always with us and we can trust Him. Utilize the activities below to build these truths into your kids’ hearts (and your own) this week at home.
HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…
Last week we learned about Moses sending twelve spies to search out the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who were not afraid and trusted that God would bring them into the Promised Land. Because Joshua was faithful, God put him in charge of the Israelites after Moses died. Joshua was told by God to go to the city of Jericho, and the Lord told Joshua that He had delivered Jericho into his hands. He told Joshua to march around the city once with all the armed men for six days, with the priests carrying trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the Ark of the Covenant. On the 7th day, they were to march around the city 7 times with the priests blowing the trumpets. When they heard a long blast from the trumpets, all the people were to give a loud shout. Then God said that the wall of the city would come down and the people could go up into the city. Joshua obeyed the Lord and led his people. At the appointed time, they obeyed. On the 7th day Joshua and his people followed the Lord’s command and the walls came down. ( Joshua 6)
- God always keeps His promises.
- God is always with us.
- God wants us to listen and obey.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!
3 Activities that remind us God Wants Us to Listen and Obey:
1. Snack Attack
And the snack came tumbling down... Let your child help you recreate the walls of Jericho with 4 large graham crackers and some peanut butter or icing. Just spread a little peanut butter/icing on the shorter edges of the graham crackers so that when you stand the graham crackers on their long edges forming a square, the peanut butter/ icing will help the “walls” stick together. (You could also use saltines and squeeze cheese.) You can use teddy grahams or gummy bears for the people and let your child re-enact the story... and then enjoy the spoils!
2. Watch and Learn
Watch the Veggie Tales movie “Josh and the Big Wall” together as a family. Make it fun, pop some popcorn, and enjoy great conversation after the movie about Joshua and Jericho.
TALK it out...
- What do you think made the walls of Jericho come down?
- When Joshua first told the Israelites what God wanted them to do, what do you think they thought? (Did it sound like a good idea, sound silly, strange, etc.)
- Does God want us to obey only when it makes sense to us or does He want us to obey Him no matter what?
3. Conquer the City
Make a trumpet using an empty toilet paper roll. You could also utilize a rolled up piece of paper, taped to hold together. Let them decorate their trumpet with stickers or by coloring it. Build the city of Jericho using pillows, blocks, Legos, books, or whatever your child can find. Tell them to pretend they are in Joshua’s army. They can march around the “city” just holding their trumpet six times in a row, but taking a break after each one. The 7th time (representing the 7th day) the children will walk around the city seven times blowing their trumpets. After the 7th time, shout, and knock down the city of Jericho.
God, help us to trust and follow You even when it does not make sense to us. You are a God who always keeps Your promises. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons