Joshua & Caleb – Numbers 13 & 14
Satan’s tactics haven’t changed much throughout history. He wants to steal from, kill and destroy God’s children! His primary scheme is to lie to us, tempting us to doubt God’s goodness and care for us. Satan did this with Eve in the garden, and he did it with 10 of the 12 spies who first visited the Promised Land. They saw a beautiful, bountiful land, but they also encountered huge, strong enemies. In the face of such scary circumstances, 10 of the 12 chose to trust their feelings of fear more than they trusted God and what He had promised.
What about the two, Joshua and Caleb, who instead chose to believe God? Instead of trusting what their eyes saw, they reminded themselves of who their God was. Instead of going along with the crowd, they stood firmly against the majority. They did what Eph. 6:16 urges us to do; they “put up their shields of faith and extinguished the fiery darts of the enemy.” We can do the same whenever we respond to Satan’s lies with truth – especially truth from God’s Word.
Wow! Do we ever need to hear this message today! Who among us will believe God more than what we can see with our eyes or what we might be feeling in our minds and hearts? Who will stand firmly against the tide of the crowd? Let’s pray that God will raise up a harvest of people, including our kids, who will remember that our God is with us! That could change everything!
REVIEW THE STORY
Activity – Make Shields of Faith
- - Read Eph. 6:16 – “in addition to all this, take up your shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
- - How did Joshua and Caleb take up their shield of faith? Read Numbers 14:6-9.
- - they gave evidence of the good provisions of God
- - they reminded the people of God’s promise to lead them into the land
- - they identified the people’s underlying problems of rebellion (not wanting to do what God had asked them to do) and fear (not trusting God)
- - they reminded the people that God would be with them.
- - Remind kids that if they have given their lives to Jesus, they also have shields of faith. Putting up your shield of faith is reminding yourself of God’s truth.
- - Give kids the outline of a shield. Let them decorate it, and write words of truth on their shields. (See end of document for some examples of words of truth straight from God’s word!)
- - As kids work, discuss specific instances where they can speak truth when Satan whispers lies.
- - Finally, as kids work, remind them of what happened to God’s people because they refused to raise their shields of faith and instead, trusted their feelings of fear: the people were sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all adults (except for Joshua and Caleb) had died. Death is always the result when we reject God and believe anything else – other people, our fears, etc.
- - Remind kids that God loves us so much that He offers to rescue us from death. Is anyone tired of hiding in fear? Does anyone want relief from sin? Jesus offers life and peace and lasting safety!
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
- • What did this story teach you about God?
- • He wants to give us good things!
- • He is with us!
- • His presence is enough to protect us and guide us.
- • God gives us a choice to follow Him, but if we refuse, there will be consequences.
- • What did this story teach you about people?
- • Most people trust their feelings more than they believe God.
- • It’s hard to stand up to the crowd.
- • Often the crowd will not follow God.
- • What did you learn about yourself?
- • I want to listen to God’s truth, not Satan’s lies.
- • I need friends who will stand with me on God’s side.
WORDS OF TRUTH FROM GOD’S WORD
God loves me. John 3:16
I am precious to God. Isa. 43:4
God will never leave me. Heb. 13:5
You alone, O Lord, make me safe. Psa. 4:8
Lord, you will sustain me and will rescue me. Isa. 46:4
The Lord my God is with me. He is mighty to save. Zeph. 3:17
The Lord takes great delight in me. Zeph. 3:17
Lord, you made me. Psa. 139:13
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psa. 56:3