Friday, November 1, 2013

God Is With Us: When He Gives Us Work to Do - Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)

Theme: God is with Us: When He Gives Us Work to Do
Scripture Reference: Joshua 10:13
Memory Verse: Joshua 10:1-15
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)


During the months of January and February, children will explore the theme: God Is with Us. Each week, a familiar story from the Old Testament will be studied and a particular lesson examined. This week, children will learn how they can be assured God is with them when he gives them work to do.

(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Joshua 10:13 NLT

Icebreaker Questions: 
Has someone ever asked you to do something you didn’t feel that you could do?

Have you ever been scared to try something you’ve never done before?

What do you do when you’re afraid to try something or when someone asks you to do something you’re not confident you can do? 

For eight weeks, we will talk about the theme “God Is with Us.” We will learn eight different stories from the Old Testament—some of which you might already know, that will show us different occasions when we can be assured God is with us. Jesus promises never to leave or forsake his followers, and these stories will teach us how God didn’t with men and women who lived a long time ago. 

Bible Story Time: 

Reflection: Do you think grown-ups are the only ones God gives work to do? 

When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, he was afraid, but this was the work God wanted him to do. For forty years, he led them through the wilderness until all those who were adults when they left Egypt had died. They died because they didn’t believe God could do what he promised: lead them into the Promised Land. 

Moses got aggravated with the people on more than one occasion. They never seemed to be satisfied. There was always something for them to complain about. One particular time, they were complaining about not having enough water to drink. God told Moses to speak to a rock, and water would gush out. Moses was so mad that he hit the rock in addition to speaking to it. God was disappointed that Moses didn’t trust him enough, so he told Moses he couldn’t lead the people into the Promised Land. Someone else would have that privilege, and his name was Joshua. 

Reflection: How do you think Moses felt when God told him he couldn’t go into the Promised Land and that he could only see it from a mountaintop? How do you feel when your parents tell you no?

Sure enough, Moses died. Now it was Joshua’s turn to lead these millions of people into the land God promised them. The first city Joshua chose to fight against was Jericho. How many of you have heard the song, “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho.” We’ll sing that song a little later. Conquering Jericho was the first work God gave Joshua to do. Joshua was one of the original twelve spies that Moses had sent in to spy out the land 40 years before. Only he and Caleb said they could conquer the land. The majority of the spies said the people were too fierce and the cities too fortified. Their disobedience is why they had been wandering in the wilderness for the last 40 years. Joshua was one of God’s faithful and obedient followers. Now he would lead the people to do what he tried to tell them to do 40 years ago. 

Reflection: Have you ever wanted to do something that you needed help doing but couldn’t find anyone to help you? How did it make you feel?

After Joshua and the Israelites conquered Jericho, they fought against and conquered another nearby city: Ai. When some of the Southern kings of the land heard how Jericho and Ai had been destroyed, they were terrified. They decided to attack a city called Gibeon. When the Gibeonites saw this great army coming to fight them, they sent word to Joshua and asked for his help. Joshua and his entire army left the place where they were staying and hurried to Gibeon. God promised him he would help him do what he asked of him. 

Reflection: What do you do when others ask you for help? Do you help them, or do you make excuses why you can’t? What do you think God wants us to do?

Joshua and his army traveled all night and surprised the armies who were attacking their friends. As their enemies were running away from them, God sent a terrible hail storm. The hail was so large that it killed more of the Israelites’ enemies than they did with their weapons. As Joshua and his men were fighting their enemies, he asked God to do something strange. Joshua asked God to let the sun stand still long enough for them to defeat their enemies. And God answered his prayer. God was powerful enough to help Joshua do what he asked of him. We don’t know exactly what happened when the Bible says the sun stood still, but through his miraculous power God prolonged the daylight so Joshua and his army would have time to defeat their enemies. 

Reflection: If God was powerful enough to make the sun stand still so Joshua could defeat his enemies, do you think he is powerful enough to help you do anything he asks of you? 

Reflection: What might be some things God could ask you to do?

The Bible tells us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Regardless of how difficult what God asks us to do is, he will give us the power to accomplish it. He will be with us all the way. Praying, reading God’s Word, and having good Christian friends are three good ways to feel God’s power. 

Activity Time:

My God Can

1 empty can
Construction paper
Glue or tape
Markers or crayons

Cut a piece of construction paper long enough and wide enough to go around the can.
Tape or glue paper to can.
Cut out letters to make the sentence: My God Can (Job 42:2)
Glue letters to the can along with any other designs the child might care to make.
Color as desired. 
Read the following verses and look for items to represent what the verse teaches that the children can put in the cans over the next weeks: Proverbs 15:1, John 8:12, Psalm 40:1-2, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:8, Philippians 4:13, Psalm 4:8. 


Let’s sing about God’s power to help us do what he asks of us.


Activity Time: 

Let children color the picture of the warrior and complete the Joshua Word Search. 

Wrap Up:
Let each child tell one thing they learned about God’s power from the story of Joshua.  


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