When we read the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament, we are often quick to judge them. How could they so easily be led astray by false idols? How could they forget God so quickly? Why do they keep failing over and over again? Honestly, we are more like Israel than we’d like to admit. We follow God faithfully for a while but soon we are lured away by the world and forget the goodness of our God. We fail, repeatedly, just like Israel. The good news that we see in the Conquest, Judges, and Kingdom eras is that God is faithful and loves His people. He still wanted to have a relationship with Israel and He still wants to have a relationship with us, despite our failures. The same God of the Old Testament is sovereign today, and that’s a really good thing.
BIBLE TIMELINE: Conquest-Judges-Kingdom
MEMORY VERSE: “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:8-9 (NLT)
This Week’s Finish Line: Conquest, Judges, Kingdom
After Moses died, God chose Joshua to be the leader of the Israelites. Joshua led the people into the Promised Land and God gave them miraculous victories over the Canaanites when they followed Him. God kept the promise He made to Abraham and the people finally had a home. God raised up judges to govern the people through cycles of sin, defeat, and repentance. Despite Israel’s failure, God remained faithful to His people. Eventually Israel demanded a king because they wanted to be like all the nations around them. God granted their request but Israel was led by mostly unrighteous kings and became divided in a civil war. God used prophets to share His message with them. It is the same message we all need to hear today. God loves you. Repent of your sins. Come back to Him and He will forgive you. God always keeps His promises.
- Read Joshua 1:5-9. What does God tell Joshua and the Israelites before they go into the Promised Land? Why could they be strong and courageous? What did He tell them to be careful to do?
- In Joshua 24:14-15, Joshua said he and his family would serve the Lord. Who would you say you and your family serve? How does the way you spend your time and resources reflect that?
- What is your favorite story from one of these three eras? The battle of Jericho? David and Goliath? Ruth and Naomi? Share your favorite story with your family.
- What do you learn about God in these three eras? How does He show His love and faithfulness?
Bring it Home Conversations & Activities:
* Check out our vision for parents and how to use these activities each week.
Teacher: Beginning of Conquest
As you are at the dinner table read Joshua 1:7-9 out loud to your family. Ask your kids what instructions in these three verses did God give Joshua? As a family come up with a list. Discuss together how well the Israelites followed all of those instructions. Then make it personal by asking them how well they think you are doing as a family with all of those things. Come up with a game plan on how to grow in following God’s instructions.
Friend: The Six-Week Challenge
Join us in the six-week challenge by memorizing a verse a week of Psalm 1! It is highly important to memorize scripture and to write it on our hearts. So we have created this challenge for the whole family! We want parents and children alike to be memorizing the same thing together. This is something you can do while driving, while in your living room or while doing dishes and we hope is a bonding activity. You can make flash cards by going to watermark.org/blog/six-week-challenge and printing them off.
Counselor: Review Timeline
As you are putting your family to bed pull up the handout from this weekend. Go over what your kids learned about the Conquest, Judges and Kingdom era. Ask your kids to tell you one story from each era. Then as a family see if you can remember all 13 eras and the hand motions that go with them!
Coach: Works Are a Response
The common theme in the Conquest, Judges and Kingdom eras is that God is faithful! He does not forget His people and his grace never runs out. As you are sending your family off for the day remind them that God cares for them and is always faithful in His love for them!
Thank God for being the same God in both the Old and New Testaments. Thank Him for being faithful to always keep His promises and do what He says He will do.
Next week we will begin the month of February with the Godly characteristic of JOY. We will learn that because God is trustworthy, we can have joy!
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