Key Passage: Judges 2:18 “Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies.”

Big Picture Question: How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan.

Christ Connection: After God’s people sinned, the judges helped God’s people obey God again. But the judges could not change the people’s hearts and make them love God. God had a plan. He sent His Son, Jesus, to change their hearts and save them from sin forever.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project for Kids®. Today’s Bible story takes place chronologically after the death of Joshua. The Israelites had God’s laws to help them live their everyday lives, but without a leader they fell into a cycle of sin. They turned away from God and worshiped idols, which led to bondage and oppression by foreign kings. Then they remembered God and cried out to Him. God raised up a judge to deliver them, and finally there was ease in the land.

Today’s Bible story, “The First Judges,” describes how God raised up Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar to deliver His people when they cried out to Him. As long as the judge was alive, the people followed God and experienced peace and prosperity. When the judge died, however, they would fall back into the cycle of sin.

The Israelites needed someone better than a judge; they needed a king who would save them not only from the consequences of their sin, but the sin itself. That was all part of God’s plan. God sent a true Deliverer; His Son, Jesus, died for our sin and delivered us forever from the oppression of sin and death.

Family Activity: Think of one or two believers at church or in the community whom you admire. Talk about why you admire them. Share that just as God works in their lives to accomplish His plan, and just as He did with the judges in ancient Israel, God works in the lives of your family members.

Go further: Write, decorate, and send thank you cards to leaders whom God has placed in your life. Consider including a gift card as well.

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