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.
Two weeks ago, your kids learned that God hates sin and punishes sin. Achan’s sin resulted in the Israelites’ defeat the first time they attacked the city of Ai. In today’s Bible story, God told Joshua not to be afraid. Achan’s sin had been dealt with. God graciously gave the Israelites a second chance to attack Ai. God promised to be with the Israelites this time.
God gave Joshua specific instructions to defeat Ai. Joshua followed God’s instructions completely, and God gave the Israelites complete victory! After the battle of Ai, God allowed the Israelites to plunder Ai, keeping whatever goods and livestock they wanted for themselves. Joshua built an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Joshua read the book of the law to the people.
How does God respond to our obedience? God blesses obedience to His will. Because of our faith in Jesus Christ, God is always with us, and we are victorious over our enemies of sin and death. Remind your kids we don’t have right standing with God because we obey. We obey because He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place so we may be forgiven.
This week’s Bible story, “Achan Sinned,” picks up where last week’s Bible story left off. Before battle, God told the Israelites to destroy everything in Jericho—except for Rahab and her family, and special items that were devoted to the treasury of the Lord. God warned that disobedience would lead to disaster for the Israelites.
Joshua prepared to attack the next city, Ai. It was a much smaller city. Joshua sent only 3,000 troops to attack it. The men of Ai defeated the Israelites and chased them away from the city. Thirty-six soldiers were killed. Joshua and the elders tore their clothes in sorrow. God told Joshua to get up, though. Someone in the camp had stolen items from Jericho!
How does God feel about sin? God hates sin and punishes sin. Achan sinned. Achan’s punishment was death. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23) Jesus died on the cross so that we could be saved from spiritual death.
This week’s story in The Gospel Project for Kids® was “The Conquest of Jericho.” Last week, your kids learned that the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. They were finally in the promised land! They only had one thing left to do: conquer the land and drive out the inhabitants. The people who lived in Canaan worshiped false gods.
Joshua sent two spies into the city of Jericho. While they were there, they stayed at Rahab’s house. The king of Jericho tracked them down to Rahab’s house, ready to kill them. Rahab, however, hid the spies on her roof. Why would Rahab save the spies? Rahab heard about God. She knew God was the one true God and that He would give the Israelites the city. She asked that her family be spared. Rahab and her family had to stay inside Rahab’s house and tie a red cord from her window. Rahab and her family were spared because of Rahab’s faith in God.
God gave Joshua specific instructions for battle. The Israelites obeyed. Who fought the battle of Jericho? God fought the battle and handed Jericho over to the Israelites. Joshua told the Israelites not to keep any of the spoil for themselves—the Lord would provide for their needs. Pray with your kids. Thank God for providing for all of your needs, including the need to be rescued from sins by Jesus Christ.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project for Kids®. Today’s Bible story takes place chronologically after the death of Moses. The Israelites had reached the edge of the promised land. God called Joshua to lead the people, and He promised to be with Joshua every step of the way. God would lift up Joshua in front of all the Israelites so they would know that God would be with Joshua just as He had been with Moses.
The Israelites reached the Jordan River during flood season. With the river overflowing its banks, the Jordan River would have been as difficult to cross as the Red Sea! God gave Joshua specific instructions concerning the crossing, and Joshua obeyed. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. God told Joshua to tell the leaders of the tribes to gather 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe. When they reached their camp at Gilgal, Joshua made an altar to the Lord and set up the stones as a memorial.
What should God’s people remember? God’s people should remember how He saves and sustains them. The cross is our reminder of what Jesus has done for us: a miraculous and unmerited saving we could never do for ourselves.
The Gospel Project for Kids