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 today, 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: The Promised Land – 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 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: Meal Time
Review the hand motions and key words for the Conquest, Judges, and Kingdom eras. (Hint: you can find all of the key words by clicking here) Ask your kids if they have a favorite story from each of these eras. What do they like about those stories? What does it teach us about God? Is there any way that this story connects to the New Testament and what Jesus has done for us? (ex: In the Judges era, God raised up leaders called judges to deliver the Israelites from their enemies. God sent Jesus, the perfect Judge, to deliver us from our enemies of sin and death!)
Friend: Drive Time
Spend time in the car this week reviewing the whole Bible Timeline. If it helps, print off a copy of the Timeline to keep in your car. Refer to this when you have down time on a drive to go over the names and order of the eras, the icon for each one, and hand motions. Make a game out of it!
Thank God for being the same God today that we read about in His Word. Talk about characteristics of God we see in these three eras (ex: protector, deliver, provider) and throughout the Bible. Spend time praising Him for who He is.
Download our Watermark Family Advent Guide and commit to working through it together as a family for the next 25 days as we lead up to Christmas. As you follow along, discuss which era the daily readings are found in on our Bible Timeline!
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.
We will be starting our new character trait, Purpose!
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