Crossing the Jordan

Crossing the Jordan

Scripture: Joshua 3 and 4

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

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Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Joshua 3.

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)

Discussion:

  • What was the name of the river that the Israelites were to cross?  the Jordan
  • What instructions did the officers give the people?  Follow the priest carrying the ark of the covenant.
  • What did Joshua tell the people to do? Consecrate themselves.
  • What does consecrate mean?  To bathe themselves. To cleanse themselves from sin.
  • What did Joshua tell the priests to do?  When they got to the riverbank they were to  stand in the river.
  • What time of the year was it?  The harvest time.
  • What happens to the river during that time of the year there?  It is at flood stage.
  • What happened when the priests stepped into the river?  The river stopped flowing at a town called Adam far upstream and the people were able to cross over to the other side.
  • How is this different than the crossing of the Red Sea?  When they crossed the Red Sea they were going out of Egypt.  Now they were going in to the promised land.  (Deut. 6:23)
  • Remember that 40 years before they had sent spies into the Land and were going to go into the land.  What happened that time?  The people were too afraid to go in and fight the people.  They didn’t trust that God would help them conquer the land. So, God had them keep wandering around in the desert for 40 years.
  • What was different this time?  This time they were ready to trust and obey. (Joshua 1:16)
  • Think how exciting that this would be.  They were going to cross over into the promised land after 40 years of waiting for this to happen!  This was a very special event!
  • Why do you think that the ark of the covenant was so important? The ark represented God’s presence with them.  He was going out before them.
  • How do you think that God would have you deal with obstacles in your life?  We should consecrate ourselves by asking for forgiveness from our sins.  Praying and asking for help. Listen to God by reading the Bible.  Step out in faith and do what He’s told us to do.
  • After crossing Joshua chose 12 men, one from each tribe.  What were they to do?  Each was to take a stone from the middle of the river where the priests were holding the ark and bring them over to the camp.
  • What were the stones for?  To make a memorial. To remind themselves what God had done and to tell their children and grandchildren what God had done there.
  • How do you remember special things that God has done for you?  Tell our friends and family, write it in a journal,  take pictures of the special event, celebrate and tell each other about that special day each year, etc.
  • Let’s tell each other some special things that God has done for us. 
  • What happened when the priests came up onto the riverbank?  The river started to flow again.
  • Why did God do this miracle? So that the people would stand in awe of Joshua as they had of Moses. So that people would know that God is powerful and so that they would fear the Lord.

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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

Joshua 1:16

“Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.”

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Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story. Color page #1 from Ministry to Children. 

An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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Here is a great craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.

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Have the children make a Crossing the Jordan card by Bible Songs and More

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Have them fill out this activity page from Sharon’s Place, or these from Calvary Curriculum,

or this worksheet from Calvary Williamsport.

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Here is a great lesson and ideas from Sunday School Sources.

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Have the children make a diorama like the one shown here at Hands on Bible Teacher.

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Show the children a video related to this story:  Video #1 , Video #2 ,  Video #3

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Here is a lesson with a great introduction idea from Mission Bible Class.  And this lesson from the Resource Well has a couple of game ideas

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Play Journey to the Promised Land from Sunday School Network.

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Show the children this artist’s vision of crossing the Jordan.

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Sing “What Seems Impossible” or “Promised Land” or “Be Strong – Joshua 1:9” by Mary Rice Hopkins 

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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