Scripture: Joshua 9:1 – 27, 10: 1 – 14 or pages 186 – 188 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 Joshua 9 or page186 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 the kings west of the Jordan wage war against Joshua and Israel? They heard about how they had destroyed Jericho and Ai.
- The people of Gibeon decided not to attack Joshua. What did they decide to do instead? To trick Joshua into making a treaty with them.
- How did they trick him? They put on old torn clothes and patched sandals, and packed their bags with old dry, moldy bread to make it look like they had been on a long journey. They said they were from a distant country.
- Why would it have been bad to make a treaty with them if they were from the promised land? God had told them to wipe out all the inhabitants of the land. (If the children ask why God told them to do that, explain that He didn’t want the Israelites to be influenced to worship false gods and idols. Talk about how important it is to choose friends wisely to avoid having bad influences that would lead us away from the Lord.)
- What did Joshua and the Israelites forget to do? They didn’t ask the Lord before they made the treaty to let them live.
- What should you do before you make a decision? Pray and ask for God’s guidance.
- What did the Israelites find out 3 days later? The Gibeonites were their neighbors!
- Why didn’t they attack them? Because they had made a oath not to. If they broke the oath, they would make God angry.
- What did they do instead? They made them their servants.
- What did the other kings decide to do when they found out that Gibeon had made a treaty with Israel? They decided to attack Gibeon.
- Did Joshua let them kill the Gibeonites? No. They came to fight for them.
- Why? They had made a treaty with them.
- What did the Lord say to Joshua? “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
- Why did Joshua march his army all night from Gilgal? To surprise and confuse the armies attacking Gibeon.
- How did God help them? He threw down large hailstones on them, which killed more of them than the Israelites killed.
- What did Joshua ask God to do? to make the sun and moon stand still until the battle was completely won.
- Did God do that? Yes.
(How God did this is not possible for us to know. All we need to know is that God created the world and that He is all powerful and can do anything. Read Revelation 22:5 “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Psalm 74:16 “The day is yours, and yours also the night;you established the sun and moon.” Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”)
- Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us to always ask him for guidance before we make decisions and to trust him to do great and mighty things for us…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
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. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Have the children do these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.
This site also has some worksheets. Scroll down.
This lesson from Mission Bible Class has a great intro idea.
Another great intro and object lesson from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa.
And this is another great lesson from Bible Lessons 4 Kidz
This site has a good object lesson activity.
Here is a Bible review game that might be fun.
Read the story “Up a Tree” from Keys for Kids.
Try this craft from Bible Craft Creations.
Have the children make a story wheel. First print this picture of Joshua commanding the sun to stand still on card stock. Cut the sky off at the crest of the mountains. Make a wheel the width of the page on another piece of card stock and cut it out. Draw a sun at a spot on the outer edge of the circle. Color the sun and the rest of the circle as the sky. (Or use blue card stock and paste a yellow sun on the outer edge.) Use a paper fastener through the center of the circle and through the picture so that when turned the sun moves in an arch over the scene.
Sing “Be Bold and Be Strong” by the Donut Man, or “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.