All of your kids have probably heard the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.
Even my 6 year old the other night told me that his story in Awana was about Jericho and that he had heard it before.
Wow…doesn’t take long does it!?
So the question becomes how can we take this familiar story in Joshua’s life and make it amazing?
I have a few suggestions!!
Below is a sample lesson script from my Walls and Waves Elementary Curriculum. It’s the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho, perhaps, like you’ve never heard it before.
Check this out:
What does the word faithful mean?
Let’s break it down: What does the word faith mean?
Let me explain with an example…
How many of you have ever flown on an airplane?
When you get onto the airplane do you know how to operate it in case of emergency?
No! You are putting your trust in the pilot and in the airplane.
Another way to say that is that you have faith in the pilot and the airplane to take you safely to your destination.
So if we say that someone is faithful then we are saying that we can put our trust in them.
Let’s talk for a minute today about a group of people who put incredible trust in God.
The Israelites were supposed to go from Egypt to the Promised Land which God had told them would be theirs.
But when they got to the Promised Land they didn’t trust God. As punishment God sent the Israelites back into the desert to wander around for 40 years.
Everyone who was older than 20 when they first reached the edge of the promised land died the time they returned.
We pick up the story as they again reach the edge of the Promised Land and prepare to go in.
Moses the man who had let them out of Egypt and through the desert dies.
Joshua is put in charge and tells the people God’s plan.
Joshua announces that in three days they will cross the Jordan River and go into the Promised Land to take a city called Jericho.
If you were going to cross a river what might you bring or build in order to get across?
Right, and at this time of year the Jordan River would have been at its deepest. (April/May) If you tried to cross without a boat you definitely would not make it.
But listen to what Joshua says:
Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan…
He tells them to get their “provisions” like food and water and clothes ready but he doesn’t say anything about a boat!
Three days go by and the people prepare to cross.
The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant (which reminded the people of God’s presence) went first and everyone else followed behind it.
The priests got closer and closer to the water and nothing happens.
Joshua tells us what happens as they approached the water’s edge
…as soon as the priests who carried the Ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.
The moment the priests feet touched the water…
the water separated and dry ground appeared. All the people could now walk across with no trouble at all.
After crossing the Jordan River the Israelites expected to fight the people of Jericho and take over the city. They expected war.
In fact, we get to listen in to two army generals talk about their battle plans…
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
This must have been amazing. God meets with Joshua and together they prepare for battle.
And God Joshua exactly what his plan is:
March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse
Joshua 6:, 4b
So Joshua tells the people God’s plan for them.
Now think about this for a minute… What have the people of Israel been doing for the past 40 years?
They have been walking around the desert.
So the plan to take down the mighty city of Jericho is to do more walking?
This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to our brains.
But Joshua trusts God’s plan and the Israelites walk around the city once every day for six days.
Can you imagine what the people of Jericho must have thought of them? They might have even made fun of them. After all what can a bunch of people do just walking around in circles?
Here’s how they might have felt…
Get some volunteers to help….
you act out the people marching around the city of Jericho. The kids who don’t get picked will form a group in the middle of the room and volunteers will walk around them like the children of Israel did.
To make this even more fun I got some Star Wars masks from Target and let my little volunteers wear them to pretend they were the children of Israel.
Then give a few of the other volunteers a couple kazoos… They were thes priest with the trumpets.
Just like God had said, on the seventh day when the people finished marching around the city and the priests blew their trumpets the people shouted and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
What God had said He would do He did. The people trusted God and God came through for them.
In fact, God left a secret code in the story to remind us that He can be trusted. There is a reminder throughout the story that this was all God’s idea.
See if you can spot it as I read these verses…
The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!
Do you see how many times the number 7 is used? The number 7 in the Bible is used to remind us of perfection and for the presence of God.
Throughout this story, we are reminded over and over again that God can be trusted and He does exactly what He says He will do.