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.

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: How can we show we love God? We can serve God and worship Him.

Christ Connection: Joshua was very old. He talked to God’s people and told them to obey God even after he, Joshua, died. After Jesus died and was raised from the dead, He talked to His friends. Jesus wanted them to tell other people about Him. Now Jesus lives in heaven, and He wants us to tell other people about Him too.

Dear Parents,
Today, your kids learned about “Joshua’s Final Encouragement.” Joshua was an old man—120 years old!—but his life was a testament of God’s faithfulness to His people.

God had promised when the Israelites began the conquest of Canaan that God would be with Joshua wherever he went. (Joshua 1:9) Joshua reminded the Israelites about the history of their nation, from the covenant first made to Abraham to the banks of the Jordan River when the Israelites crossed over on dry ground. Joshua also reminded the Israelites that God fought all of their battles. Not one of God’s promises to His people failed. Isn’t that a pretty awesome encouragement? We serve a God who keeps His promises!

Joshua reminded the Israelites that they still lived among people who worshiped false gods, false gods that could lead the people away from following the one true God. Joshua made it clear: the Israelites could not sit on the fence. They could not worship Yahweh one day and the Baals the next. Joshua drew the line in the sand and told them to choose. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The Israelites made a covenant to serve Yahweh. Joshua read the book of the Law, and made an altar to seal their commitment to God.

How can we show our commitment to God? We can serve, worship, and obey God. As you talk about Joshua’s legacy of faith with your kids, point to an even greater legacy of faith. After Christ’s resurrection, He sent His disciples out to tell the nations about Him. Jesus calls all people who trust in Him to tell others about Him.

Family Activity: Discover a way your family can serve others during the week. Consider making dinner for a neighbor, babysitting for a friend, visiting a nursing home, serving at a homeless shelter, picking up litter in the neighborhood, and so forth.

Go further: Send an email or letter of encouragement to an international missionary.

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 does God do when we pray? God answers our prayers.

Christ Connection: Joshua’s name means “God saves.” God helped Joshua lead the people of Israel and saved them from their enemies. Jesus’ name also means “God saves.” God helped us by sending His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross. Jesus saves us from sin and death. If we trust in Jesus, we will live with Him in heaven.

Dear Parents,

Isn’t it great that God goes above and beyond what we think is possible to keep His promises to His people? Today’s Bible story, “The Day the Sun Stood Still” relates something that seems absolutely impossible. But nothing is impossible for God!

Joshua and the Israelites were tricked by the men of Gibeon into forming a peace treaty. As a result of the peace between Israel and Gibeon, five kings of Canaan attacked Gibeon. God reassured Joshua that He would be with the Israelites as they defended Gibeon. Not only was God with them, God fought for them! God sent the Canaanite armies into confusion, then He dropped hailstones on them.

Joshua and the Israelites were fighting, but Joshua noticed it wouldn’t be long before the sun began to go down. In front of everybody, Joshua cried out to God and asked Him to keep the sun standing still in its place until the battle was over. Guess what? That’s exactly what God did! God held the sun in place for almost a full day until the Israelites defeated their enemies.

What does God do when we pray? God answers the prayers of His people and saves them. This story points ahead to another time God saved His people in a greater way: God sent His Son, Jesus, to fight the battle against sin and death.

Family Activity: Share a sunrise or sunset together as a family. Talk about what you would do if the sun stopped and you had extra time that day. Share some things God would want you to do that day. Determine to do some of them this week.

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 does God do when we obey Him? God blesses people who trust and obey Him.

Christ Connection: God made a promise to the Israelites. He said if the Israelites obeyed Him, He would be with them. God has made a promise to us, too. If we trust in Jesus, God will be with us no matter what.

Dear Parents,

Last week, your kids learned that God hates sin and punishes sin. Achan’s sin resulted in the Israelites’ defeat the first time they attacked the city of Ai. In today’s Bible story, God told Joshua not to be afraid. Achan’s sin had been dealt with. God graciously gave the Israelites a second chance to attack Ai. God promised to be with the Israelites this time.

God gave Joshua specific instructions to defeat Ai. Joshua followed God’s instructions completely, and God gave the Israelites complete victory! After the battle of Ai, God allowed the Israelites to plunder Ai, keeping whatever goods and livestock they wanted for themselves. Joshua built an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Joshua read the book of the law to the people.

How does God respond to our obedience? God blesses obedience to His will. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, God is always with us, and we are victorious over our enemies of sin and death. Remind your kids we don’t have right standing with God because we obey. We obey because He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place so we may be forgiven.

Family Activity: Make an extra effort this week to reward obedience.

Go further: Write down things you appreciate about your children (how they obey, care for others, and so forth). Share these things with your children and talk about how God has blessed your family.

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: How does God feel about sin? God hates sin.

Christ Connection: Achan disobeyed God, and he died. We sin against God, and we deserve to die, too. But we don’t have to die because Jesus died instead. We can trust in Him. Our bodies may die, but we will live forever with God in heaven.

Dear Parents,

This week’s Bible story, “Achan Sinned,” picks up where last week’s Bible story left off. Before battle, God told the Israelites to destroy everything in Jericho—except for Rahab and her family, and special items that were devoted to the treasury of the Lord. God warned that disobedience would lead to disaster for the Israelites.

Joshua prepared to attack the next city, Ai. It was a much smaller city. Joshua sent only 3,000 troops to attack it. The men of Ai defeated the Israelites and chased them away from the city. Thirty-six soldiers were killed. Joshua and the elders tore their clothes in sorrow. God told Joshua to get up, though. Someone in the camp had stolen items from Jericho!

How does God feel about sin? God hates sin and punishes sin. Achan sinned. Achan’s punishment was death. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23) Jesus died on the cross so that we could be saved from spiritual death.

Family Activity: Invite each family member to share a time he or she was caught not obeying a rule. What was the punishment? Encourage family members to share how they feel when someone doesn’t do what they ask.

Go further: Invite each person to write down ways he/she has sinned on paper. Destroy the papers, and thank God for His complete forgiveness through Jesus.

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.

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.

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.”

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!

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.