The Conquest of Jericho

Key Passage: Joshua 24:15 “Choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Big Picture Question: Who fought the battle of Jericho? God fought for His people.

Christ Connection: God helped His people take the city of Jericho. God told them not to take anything from the city. God would give His people what they needed. Jesus said God gives people what they need. (Matthew 6:33). The greatest thing we need is to be rescued from sin. God sent Jesus to rescue us.

Dear Parents,

This week’s story in The Gospel Project for Kids® was “The Conquest of Jericho.” Last week, your kids learned that the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. They were finally in the promised land! They only had one thing left to do: conquer the land and drive out the inhabitants. The people who lived in Canaan worshiped false gods.

Joshua sent two spies into the city of Jericho. While they were there, they stayed at Rahab’s house. The king of Jericho tracked them down to Rahab’s house, ready to kill them. Rahab, however, hid the spies on her roof. Why would Rahab save the spies? Rahab heard about God. She knew God was the one true God and that He would give the Israelites the city. She asked that her family be spared. Rahab and her family had to stay inside Rahab’s house and tie a red cord from her window. Rahab and her family were spared because of Rahab’s faith in God.

God gave Joshua specific instructions for battle. The Israelites obeyed. Who fought the battle of Jericho? God fought the battle and handed Jericho over to the Israelites. Joshua told the Israelites not to keep any of the spoil for themselves—the Lord would provide for their needs. Pray with your kids. Thank God for providing for all of your needs, including the need to be rescued from sins by Jesus Christ.

Family Activity: Make a “city wall” with pillows or boxes, march around it, and knock it down. Talk about how God knocked down Jericho’s walls.

Go further: Invite another family to walk laps around a track with you to exercise and build relationships.

The Israelites Crossed the Jordan River

Key Passage: Joshua 24:15 “Choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Big Picture Question: What should God’s people remember? God’s people should remember how He helps them.

Christ Connection: Joshua set up stones so the people would remember how God helped them move into the promised land. Jesus told His friends to remember that He died for them. At church, people celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a special time to remember that Jesus died to save people from sin and that Jesus is alive again.

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 Moses. The Israelites had reached the edge of the promised land. God called Joshua to lead the people, and He promised to be with Joshua every step of the way. God would lift up Joshua in front of all the Israelites so they would know that God would be with Joshua just as He had been with Moses.

The Israelites reached the Jordan River during flood season. With the river overflowing its banks, the Jordan River would have been as difficult to cross as the Red Sea! God gave Joshua specific instructions concerning the crossing, and Joshua obeyed. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. God told Joshua to tell the leaders of the tribes to gather 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe. When they reached their camp at Gilgal, Joshua made an altar to the Lord and set up the stones as a memorial.

What should God’s people remember? God’s people should remember how He saves and sustains them. The cross is our reminder of what Jesus has done for us: a miraculous and unmerited saving we could never do for ourselves.

Family Activity: Take a family trip to a local monument or museum, or search for one on the internet. Talk about why it was important for the Israelites to remember what happened at the Jordan River. Share important events (birthday, anniversaries, family reunions) from the past and how you remember them.

Balaam

Key Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 “Then God spoke all these words: 1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord or God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet.”

Big Picture Question: Who protected God’s people? God protected His people.

Christ Connection: Fourteen hundred years after Balaam announced Jesus’ birth, wise men followed a star to the place where Jesus was born. The wise men worshiped Jesus as King. (Matthew 2:2)

Dear Parents,

Today in The Gospel Project for Kids, your kids heard one amazing story of a talking animal. God actually gave an animal, a donkey, the ability to speak for a brief moment in order to make a point to one impromptu prophet. Balaam was hired by the king to pronounce a curse on the Israelites. Balaam headed out but his donkey kept running him into walls and crevices. After beating the donkey, Balaam heard the donkey speak. Shortly thereafter Balaam learned that he had no choice but to say what God wanted him to say and nothing else. After repeatedly blessing the Israelites instead of cursing them, Balaam lost favor with the king.

Who protected God’s people? God always protects His people. Fourteen hundred years after Balaam predicted Jesus’ birth, wise men from the east came to visit the boy Jesus.

Family Activity: Write a blessing for each of your children. Blessings in the Bible sometimes included instructions for living and a vision of the kind of person a child would become. Blessings communicate love. Consider using the words of Moses (Deuteronomy 3:16) about entering the promised land: “Be strong an courageous…For it is the LORD your God who goes with you, He will not leave you or forsake you.”

The Bronze Snake

Key Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 “Then God spoke all these words: 1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord or God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet.”

Big Picture Question: Can people say they are sorry to God? People can say they are sorry to God, and He will forgive them.

Christ Connection: The Israelites faced a huge problem because of their sin. God sent snakes to punish them. Anyone who was bitten could look at the snake on the pole and not die. Because of our sin, we face a huge problem: we are separated from God. We deserve to die. Anyone who looks to Jesus on the cross and trusts in Him will be saved and be made right with God.

Dear Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project for Kids, your kids learned about the aftermath of Israel’s sin when they were wandering in the wilderness. God had given the people and opportunity to obey, but again they chose not to. After much grumbling from the Israelites, God sent poisonous snakes into the ranks of the nation. God, in His gracious wisdom, gave them a way of escaping the results of the snake bite. Sin comes with consequences, but God always provides a way of salvation.

Because of our sin, we face a huge problem. Our sin leads us to be separated from God, and we deserve to die. Just like the Israelites who were healed from the poison snake bite when they looked at the snake on the pole, those who choose to see Jesus on the cross and trust in Him, will be saved from their sin.

Family Activity: The Israelites complained in the wilderness. Think about what people complain about. Parents, do you complain during rush-hour traffic? Kids, do you complain about doing your chores or homework? Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” This week, make a game to see who can recite Philippians 4:4 the fastest when someone complains. Turn complaints into rejoicing by focusing on God!

Joshua and Caleb

Key Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 “Then God spoke all these words:
1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord or God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet.”

Big Picture Question: What happens when God’s people disobey Him? Sometimes bad things happen when people sin, but God will forgive.

Christ Connection: Even though Joshua was not perfect, he lived a life of obedience to God. Joshua was faithful and was going to lead the people into the promised land. His accomplishments point to Christ’s finished work on the cross—defeating Satan, setting people free from sin, and making the way into the promised land of eternity.

Dear Parents,

The Gospel Project for Kids took on a spy mission this week. Spies were sent into the land of promise. They had finally arrived! The problem was most of the people who went in to spy were having problems believing that they could conquer the people who lived there. Bigger problem … God had told them they could take it, so why worry? Two of those spies, Joshua and Caleb, knew that God was true and that He would lead them to victory. The problem became helping the others see that God was true to His word.

The crowd, unfortunately, followed the dissenters who said the people of the land were too large and that Israel could not take the promised land. The people sinned. How does God respond when His people sin? Sin has a price, but God is always willing to forgive when people seek forgiveness.

Joshua and Caleb were not perfect, but they lived a life of obedience to God. Joshua would one day lead the people of Israel into the promised land. His accomplishments point to Christ’s finished work on the cross—defeating Satan, setting people free from sin, and making a way into the promised land of eternity.

Family Activity: Hide some objects for a scavenger hunt. Connect the game to Moses’ instruction to the 12 spies to look through the promised land and report about the people, farmland, fruit, and fortifications. Consider hiding things that relate to the Bible story, such as a doll, toy food, grapes, and something representing protection.

God Gave Rules for Sacrifice

Key Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 “Then God spoke all these words: 1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord or God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God give rules for sacrifice? God gave rules to show how to worship Him and be forgiven for sin.

Christ Connection: The Book of Leviticus contains many rules for the Israelites, but we do not obey all the rules in Leviticus today because we trust Jesus, who obeyed the law perfectly for us. The Israelites had to make a blood sacrifice for their sin every year. Jesus sacrificed His blood on the cross to pay for our sin once and for all. (Hebrews 7:26-27) When we trust in Christ, God forgives us of our sin.

Dear Parents,
This session was a new one for most boys and girls. Recall the last time you sat and read the Book of Leviticus. What does it mean? Why did God give all these rules? God gave rules for sacrifice to show people how to worship Him and how to be forgiven of the sin they had committed. Why did God require a sacrifice of blood? Simply, God is holy and because of that His forgiveness requires a sacrifice. The Book of Romans teaches us that the penalty for sin is death. The sacrifice offered stood instead for the one who had sinned.

The ultimate example of a substitution for sin is of course, Jesus Christ. Christ died on the cross for the sins of all. Christ died so that sinners wouldn’t have to die for their sin. The rules of Leviticus were given to help people know they could not live in right relationship with God apart from sacrifice. We today are free from following the rules of sacrifice because we trust in Jesus who perfectly obeyed the law. Our faith in Christ is what cleanses us from the sin in our lives.

Family Activity: God gave routines for life and worship to teach people that He is holy and to help them recognize His Son (Christ) when He came. Leviticus teaches eternal truths using hands-on experiences. Parents teach their children skills for life beginning with simple experiences. Help your child practice steering a riding toy or bicycle, pedaling or walking it forward and backward.

The Tabernacle Was Built

Key Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 “Then God spoke all these words: 1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord or God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God’s people need a tabernacle? God’s people needed a place to meet with God and worship Him.

Christ Connection: God instructed the Israelites to build a tabernacle so that He could dwell with them. God desires to be with His people. As part of His plan of salvation, God sent Jesus to “tabernacle,” or dwell, with people on earth.

Dear Parents,

Talk about your church with your kids. What makes your church unique? Do you meet in a traditional church building structure, or do you meet in a more temporary place? The tabernacle was built as a temporary structure used to worship God and to house His presence. God’s presence would lead the nation of Israel, and they would follow. Whenever His presence would stop, the tabernacle would be set up for worship.

The tabernacle in the Old Testament was the physical place where God’s Spirit dwelled as the Israelites journeyed to the land God had promised Abraham. The tabernacle gives us a clear picture of God’s desire to dwell with His people and to be worshiped by them. The word tabernacle means “to dwell.” To show in the New Testament God’s desire for dwelling with His people has not ended, He sent Jesus to tabernacle (dwell) with people on earth.

Family Activity: Take a picture of the place inside or outside your home where each family member feels closest to God. What is special or beautiful about that place?

God Gave the Ten Commandments

Key Passage: Exodus 20:1-17 “Then God spoke all these words: 1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord or God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. 10. Do not covet.”

Big Picture Question: Why did God give His people the Ten Commandments? God gave rules to show how to love Him and others.

Christ Connection: God made a covenant with His people: If you obey Me, you will be My people (Exodus 19:5-6) But the people did not obey God. They sinned against God, and Moses asked God to forgive them. Moses acted as their mediator, or advocate, before God. When we sin, Jesus is our Mediator. Through Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins. God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned.

Dear Parents,
Count to 10 with your kids. Ask them to name one rule that you follow in your house. Ask and see if they know why they have that rule. Help your kids see the importance of rules for keeping order. Ask what they remember about the story they heard in The Gospel Project for Kids about God giving the commandments.

God had redeemed His people from slavery in Egypt. People who have been redeemed demonstrate their love for the Redeemer thorough obedience. By giving the Ten Commandments, God showed His standard for holiness. But the people could not obey the commandments perfectly; God used the law to show that people needed a Savior. God provided that Savior ultimately through the person of Jesus Christ.

Family Activity: Create fun but manageable rules for your family to follow this week. At the end of the week, ask if it was easy to follow the rules. Talk about rules and the consequences for breaking them. Admit that adults have trouble following rules too. Thank god for His plan to send Jesus.

The Israelites Crossed the Red Sea

Key Passage: Exodus 6:7 “You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.”

Big Picture Question: Is anything too hard for God to do? Nothing is impossible for God.

Christ Connection: God created a way for the Israelites to escape the Egyptians. In the same way, God created the way for people to escape the penalty of sin—His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to get to God.

Dear Parents,

After being slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years, the Israelite people were finally free. It sure didn’t take them long after they left Egypt to start complaining about their circumstances! Think of a time you have faced difficult circumstances and you didn’t respond the way you should have. What could you have done differently?

Trapped between a great expanse of water and an approaching army, Moses again—by God’s help—led the Israelite people to victory. God used Moses to part the waters, allowing His people to walk through on dry ground. Imagine the scene. Pretend with your kids that you are standing on the banks of the sea when it begins to split apart. Talk about what you would be feeling. How would the air smell? How would the ground feel?

God created a way for the Israelite people to escape the harsh treatment of the Egyptian taskmasters. Just as God provided a way of salvation for His people from Egypt, He does the same for His people today. God provided physical salvation for the Israelites, but today, He offers spiritual salvation through the person of Jesus Christ.

Family Activity: Talk about a time your family had to trust God to take care of you. Choose a family in your community to invite to dinner. Pray for God to use your family to share the gospel.

The Passover

Key Passage: Exodus 6:7 “You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.”

Big Picture Question: Why is the Passover important? God saved His people at the first Passover.

Christ Connection: By His grace, God spared the Israelites from judgment by requiring the blood of a lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. His death was the ultimate sacrifice, and those who trust in Christ are under His saving blood and will be passed over in the final judgment.

Dear Parents,

This session of The Gospel Project for Kids dealt with the final plague God brought upon the Egyptians. This story has a clear message regarding the importance of Christ and His presence with people. Talk with your kids about the events of the Passover. Ask them to think about how they might have felt if they were living in Egypt during that time. Moses led the people to honor God, and by so doing, the people of Israel were saved from the hand of the Egyptians.

This week your kids learned that God rescued His people from the hands of the Egyptians by the shedding of blood. The sacrifice of a lamb for the blood to go over the doorpost was the only thing that kept the family inside safe from the wrath of God. God provided a much more important lamb for us, Himself—the Lamb of God. Through the shedding of Jesus’ blood, we no longer have to face the punishment of eternal separation from God because of our sin. Jesus died so we wouldn’t have to.

Family Activity: Consider hosting a family Lord’s Supper. Talk about how the unleavened bread and juice were part of the Passover meal and what they mean as a part of the Lord’s Supper.