“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 that God always keeps His promises and He wants us to listen and obey. Often following God’s way does 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 the Weekend…
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 walls of the city would come down and the Israelites 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 wants us to listen to Him, and to obey Him.
"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
3 Activities that Help Us Learn That God Wants Us to Listen to Him, and to Obey Him:
1. Jericho Walk
Take your child outside for a walk around your house (or another big building) and discuss the story of Joshua and how the people of Israel listened and obeyed God by walking around the walls of Jericho every day for seven days. When you finish recounting the story, stop walking and have your child look at your house/the building with you. Help your child really think about this story by asking questions like:
- Does it seem like something big like this house would fall down just by us walking around it and shouting?
- 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?
- Do Mommy or Daddy ever ask you to do things that sometimes don’t make sense to you, or that maybe you don’t really want to do? Does God still want you to obey in those times?
2. Musical Wall Game
Grab some friends and play this game. Have all the children sit in a circle and pass out a few blocks. Play a CD or sing a song, and while kids are singing the song, they are to pass the blocks around the circle. When the song ends, say DAY 1, and whoever is holding the blocks gets to begin building a wall in the middle of the circle. Add three new blocks to the circle, continue the process again with DAY 2 and so on until the wall is built by Day 7. At that point have all the kids shout “HOORAY!” and knock the wall down. Remind the children that the Israelites and Joshua trusted God no matter what happened.
3. Jericho Walls
Take a piece of card stock and help your child draw squares on it so it looks like a wall. Fold the card stock in half like a card. Place the card at one end of the table. Act out the story by walking around the table six times and on the seventh time pretend to blow trumpets. Then have your child blow the card all the way across the table as quickly as he can.
God we are thankful for the ways you care for us. Thank you for the ways you are caring for us, even when we don't know it. Thank you that when we listen to and obey you, your way leads to fullness of life!
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