Joshua Takes Command Object Lesson

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joshuaFEAR. You can’t see it, but you can sure see the effects of it. In this Joshua Takes Command Object Lesson, use a simple science experiment to help children understand that God asks us to make hard decisions and that He is with us wherever we go.

Scripture Focus: Joshua 1 and 5: 13-15

Materials: Wide candle, lighter, glass beaker or measuring cup, white vinegar, baking soda {CLICK HERE for a video showing you how to do this science experiment.}

Geography: Israel, Jordan River

Background: As a consequence of their choice to not go into the land, the Hebrews would be required to wander the desert for 40 years. All of the Israelites would die, and their children would be the ones to receive the blessing of the Promise Land. All would die, except for 2 men: Caleb and Joshua.

Object Lesson for Joshua Takes Command:

{On a table in front of you put the candle, the lighter, and the other materials. Light the candle. Ask:}

  • Of which words of Jesus does this candle remind you? [Allow for answers; Jesus is the light of the world; lead children to the answer of us being a light on a hill.]

Jesus told us to be a light on a hill. We are to shine for Him and show people the love of God in everything we do. And so we shine, especially when life is good.

{Put some of the baking soda in the measuring cup and add some vinegar. Put your hand over the top as the chemical reaction takes place. Then “pour” the gas over the candle to put it out.}

When life gets hard our light can go out. Maybe you get scared and fearful. Maybe you are comparing yourself to other people. Perhaps you aren’t as good at basketball as you’d like to be. Maybe your parents are fighting a lot and you are scared about divorce. Maybe you have a hard time at school. Maybe you have to do a report and have to stand in front of people.

You can’t see the fear, but you feel it. And it can put out your light if you aren’t careful.

{Light the candle again and go through the experiment again. It’s pretty cool! Reinforce the concept of fear putting out their candles.}

Bible Lesson for Joshua Takes Command:

At the beginning of the book of Joshua, God told Joshua that Moses has died. God put Joshua in charge of all the people. This was a huge, hard task that was handed to Joshua.

The Lord told Joshua that wherever his foot went, that land would be given to the people. God again promised to give them the land which He promised Abraham.

Over and over, God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. God knew that taking the land was going to be hard. There were big cities, like Jericho. There were fierce people who lived in those cities. Joshua was going to be leading the people to do some hard things. He would need to be strong and courageous.

{Light the candle.}

Joshua was told that God would be with him. Then God told Joshua to be careful about something. God wanted Joshua to keep his light shining. Joshua was going to be a leader of a nation that was about to divide and conquer other nations. Therefore e needed to be careful.

  • What does “careful” mean? [Allow for answers; doing something slowly; taking your time; focusing on something important]
  • How much of the law was Joshua to obey? [All of it]
  • What does it mean to not turn to the right or the left? [Allow for answers. Have the kids think about a horse and rider. The rider can turn the horse to the right or the left, but not if he wants it to walk straight. The law keeps us walking like Jesus. But if we stop obeying, we turn away to the right or the left and we sin.]

{Read through Joshua 1:7-9. Stop after each phase, or so, and ask a question to make sure the children understand what the scripture means. You can be humorous about it, especially the verse about “keeping the law on our lips.” Put your Bible by your mouth and ask if this is what the scripture is saying to do.}

After God gave Joshua these directions, Joshua led the people across the Jordan River and they began the process of taking over the land of Canaan.

Before the battle of Jericho, Joshua received a visitor. The Commander of the Army of the Lord appeared to him. The Commander had a sword and Joshua asked, “Are you for us? or for our enemies?

Neither,” replied the man. Joshua fell to his face and asked what message the Lord had for him. The man proceeded to tell Joshua how to go about taking the city of Jericho. God was going to have the light of an entire nation shine throughout the darkness of that land.

**VIDEO MENTION –> CLICK HERE for a video showing the archeological excavation of the walls of Jericho and how they prove this event in the Bible to be true.

Life Application of Joshua Takes Command:

{Put the candle out with the invisible gas.}

Joshua faced many fears through the years it took to take over the land for the nation of Israel. And when the light did go out, when things went wrong, God told Joshua that there was sin in the camp.

  • When you sin, are you walking straight with Jesus? or have you turned to the right or left away from Him? [Turned away from Him.]
  • How do we get back to walking straight with Jesus? [By asking for forgiveness and obeying His commands.]

We can either serve and obey the Lord, or we can serve ourselves and do what we want. Conquering the land was hard work. It involved sacrifice.

There are many things in life today that are hard to do. We would much rather watch TV than clean our rooms. We’d rather ride bikes and not do homework. Watching TV and riding bikes are easy. God doesn’t call His people to an easy life.

He asks us to do hard things. He asks us to choose the desires of others before our own. He asks us to be holy and pure as He is. He asks us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him. God wants us to be fishers of men.

Jesus didn’t want to die on the cross. In fact, He asked God if He really had to do it. But instead Jesus chose to do the hard thing. He gave up what He wanted in order to be obedient. And because of His obedience we receive salvation.

{Light the candle.}

Jesus is the light of the world. We are to be lights on top of a hill.

What can we learn from Joshua? We can be strong and courageous because God is with us wherever we go. We do not need to fear anything. 

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