Crossing the Jordan – Joshua 1 - 4
A new chapter is beginning for the Israelites! After 40 years of hardship, sadness, and death plus many experiences of God’s faithfulness and mercy, the Israelites are finally leaving the wilderness and are standing on the edge of the Promised Land. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, all of these people were only children when they left Egypt. Some may not have even been born yet, so most probably don’t have vivid personal memories of the crossing of the Red Sea. How incredibly good of God to give them their own miraculous experience before they enter the Promised Land!
Don’t miss the instructions at the beginning of Joshua 3 where Joshua commands the people to stand back from the ark 1000 yards – that’s 10 football fields! Because we don’t know the geography of this area – that there are steep banks leading down to the Jordan River, we might miss the fact that this would put the Israelites standing at the top of a high hill above the Jordan River while the priests down below walked the ark into the flooded Jordan. It would have given all the people on the ridge above a perfect view of what God was doing. He “piled up” the water upstream so that the priests ended up crossing on dry land. It wasn’t exactly the same miracle God did when He parted the Red Sea, but it was still incredible and miraculous and would have spoken to the people of God’s incredible power, exerted for their good.
Some of our kids may have feelings similar to the Israelites; they’ve heard the stories of God’s power, love, and goodness, but they may feel that they’ve never had a front row seat to see Him for themselves. God wants all people to know and love Him. He wants our kids to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who opens the spiritual eyes of our kids and who transforms their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. However, we can pray. And we can be signposts, pointing to the goodness, grace and faithfulness of our God. There are miracles happening in our midst. Some are happening in human hearts, and some are expressed in the physical realm. Let’s not miss chances to see what’s happening ourselves, and then, let’s loudly proclaim to our kids what God is doing in 2020.
REVIEW THE STORY
Activity – Stones to Remember
- • Give each child a stone. Ask them to think about what they KNOW about God. What adjective describes what they know about God?
- • Have kids ever seen God do something that proves what He is like? A time He was powerful? A time He was forgiving? A time He was gracious? A time He was awesome?
- • Let kids share stories about God while they write their adjective for God on their stones and decorate them.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
- • What did this story teach you about God?
- • God wants each of us to KNOW Him.
- • God is always working around us. Do we have eyes to see?
- • God wants us to tell others what we know about Him.
- • God wants us to teach children to know and fear Him.
- • What did this story teach you about people?
- • People can experience God.
- • Sometimes it might feel scary to do what God has asked.
- • People can remember what God has done.
- • People should teach their children about God.
- • What did you learn about yourself?
- • God wants me to experience Him.
- • God will take care of me as I try to obey Him.
- • God wants me to tell the story of what I have seen Him do.
- • I want to be part of teaching children to love and fear God.