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 act? God does what is good for us.

Christ Connection: Everything God does is for His glory and our good. (Psalm 115:3; Romans 8:28) God used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to help the people of Israel win battles against Canaan. God also uses people to help us and teach us about Jesus. God sent His Son Jesus to do what is very good for us: to save us from sin.

Dear Parents,

This week’s story in The Gospel Project for Kids® was “Deborah and Barak.” After the death of the first judges, the Israelites fell into a continuous cycle: sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace. When the people of Israel were oppressed by the king of Canaan, Deborah was the judge of Israel. Deborah sent for Barak and encouraged him to gather an army and fight the Canaanite army and its commander, Sisera.

Deborah told Barak that God would hand Sisera and his troops to him. Barak agreed to go, but only if Deborah would go with him. Deborah went, but she told Barak that God
would use a woman to defeat Sisera. In battle, God confused Sisera and his 900 charioteers and all of his army. Barak and his men didn’t have to fight, they just chased down the Canaanite army as they fled! All of Sisera’s troops died, but Sisera escaped on foot.

Sisera fled to the tent of Jael, whose husband was an ally of the Canaanite king. Jael invited him inside, gave him a drink, and covered him as he slept. Then she killed him! God used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to free his people from bondage. God uses people and events to save us not only from our enemies, but to bring our ultimate good: salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Family Activity: Deborah and Barak sang a praise song to God. Choose a favorite family praise song. If you like a challenge, make up a song about things God has done for your family’s good and His glory.

Go further: Research how God used women in the Bible. Consider Ruth, Mary, Esther, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, and so forth.

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.