For the teacher: Listen to two great sermons by Jeff Riddle at Sermon Audio . “Deborah: Feminist Icon or Reluctant Leader?” and “Deborah’s Song of Victory”
Explain to the children that the book of Judges covers the period of time after Joshua’s death until the time of Samuel. During this period, the Israelites have several cycles of turning away from God and then returning to Him again. Leaders, called judges, helpes lead the Israelites to overcome their enemies.
Scripture: Judges 4:1-9, 16- 24 ; 5:1 -5, 24 – 27, 31 or page 190 in The Golden Children’s Bible
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.
Have the children open their Bibles to Matthew 2 or pages 354 – 355 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(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.)
- Why did God allow the Israelites to be conquered by the Canaanites? They did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They worshiped the idols of Canaan.
- Why do you think that they might have done these things? Maybe they were envious of the Canaanites. Maybe they didn’t want to be different than everyone else, etc.
- Who was the king of Canaan? Jabin
- Who was the commander of Jabin’s army? Sisera
- How many iron chariots did Sisera’s army have? 900 (Explain to the children that chariots would have been like our tanks today. They were made of iron and they had blades attached to the hubs of the wheels. Show them a picture of a chariot. Picture #1 Picture #2)
- How long did Jabin rule over the Israelites until they cried out to the Lord to help them? 20 years
- Though the nation had turned away from God, who had remained faithful to him? Deborah
- What position did God give to Deborah? a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, a judge
- Where did she hold her court? under a palm tree in the country
- Who did she send for? Barak
- What did God tell her to tell Barak to do? to take ten thousand men to battle Jabin
- On what condition did Barak agree to go? if she would go with him.
- What does that answer tell you about Barak? He is afraid
- Deborah agreed to go, but what did she say would happen because she was going along? A woman would defeat Sisera and she would get the honor instead of Barak
- Do you think that God was pleased that Barak asked Deborah to go along? No.
- Remember that God told Joshua to “be strong and courageous”? Do you think He wanted Barak to be strong and courageous, too? Yes.
- If God asks you to do something for him, how do you think that you should respond? with strength, with courage, with boldness
- How many of Sisera’s men died in the battle? all of them
- Sisera tried to run away. Where did he go to hide? in the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite who had an alliance with Jabin
- What did Jael give to Sisera? Some milk and a blanket
- What did Sisera tell her to do? To stand watch at the door of the tent and deny that anyone was in the tent with her if anyone asked.
- What did Jael do when he was asleep? She killed him with a tent steak and a hammer.
- Did Deborah’s prophecy that the credit would go to a woman come true? yes
- Deborah and Barak sing a song of praise to the Lord. What clues in the song tell us what God did to help the Israelite army? There was a big rainstorm which probably made it hard for Sisera’s army to drive their chariots, giving the Israelites the advantage. vs 21
- How many years of peace did the nation of Israel have after this battle? 40
- Let’s pray and ask God to help us to have the heart of Deborah to worship God alone, and to serve Him with strength, courage and boldness in faith…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Psalm 20:7 (NIV) “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
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, Color page #2 from Calvary Kids, Color page #3 from kidscorner. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Show a video of this story.
Have the kids or helpers act out the story. You might have Deborah sit under this palm tree from Spoonful.
Have your High School group or volunteer group do a skit, such as this one.
Here is another lesson and activity suggestions from Mission Arlington.
There are some good craft ideas here at Hands-on Bible Teacher.
This Bible Lesson is for older kids from Blble Lesson 4 Kidz.
Sing “Be Bold Be Strong” and “If We Confess Our Sins” by the Donut Man, and “Be Strong- Joshua 1:9” and “What Seems Impossible” by Mary Rice Hopkins.
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.