God Encouraged Joshua

What should you do if a friend or family member consistently points out your mistakes?

During “Questions from Kids,” FaithKids discussed how sometimes there are people who like to point out all the mistakes we make because they are trying to be mean and hurt our feelings.  There are other times, however, when people might be pointing out our mistakes because they actually care about us and want to help us be better.

God tells us that we can be angry at injustice, but to not sin in our anger.  Of course, that’s not always easy to do.  When something unfair happens to us, we often want to see something we think is “fair” happen in return.  

But that’s not what Joshua and Caleb did.  When Joshua and Caleb went into the promised land with the other ten spies to see what Canaan was like, they saw that the land was good, but because of the seemingly more powerful giant inhabitants, they lacked faith that they could take the land from them.  Joshua and Caleb reminded the people that the LORD is able, that the LORD is with them, that they need not fear the giant inhabitants of the land because the LORD would give them the land that He promised.  The Israelites failed to trust God at this time and because of their lack of faith, they could not enter the promised land.  Though Joshua and Caleb trusted God, they too had to wait alongside this stiff-necked generation who doubted God’s words and God’s providence even though God came through for His people time and time again.  Instead of pointing out the people’s mistakes in a hurtful way, however, Joshua chose to encourage the people to not rebel against the LORD.  And even after he suffered the consequences of the rest of Israel’s sin, Joshua chose not to sin in anger, but to trust and wait on the LORD.

When we suffer through injustice, the Bible tells us that we should treat our brothers the way we want to be treated and to love our enemies still.  Jesus was the perfect example of this.  When Jesus was mocked or put down, when people did not believe His words, Jesus loved them anyway…Jesus loved the people so much that He laid down His life for them.

At the end of the “Questions from Kids” video, FaithKids were challenged to answer how they could encourage or build others up with their words.

This led into today’s lesson, where we learned that it was finally the time for the next generation to enter the promised land and actually take hold of it!  Here is where we saw how God encouraged Joshua.  God said to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

FaithKids played an activity where they split into pairs and had to take turns directing their blindfolded partner to stick animal stickers on a plastic disc that was stuck to the wall of one side of the room.

The children had a blast with this activity, and the final product looked….ummm it looked very good :O)

FaithKids discussed how it was hard to stick their animal stickers in the correct area, and if it weren’t for the encouragement of their partners’ voices directing them and leading them to where they needed to go, it would seem like an impossible task to complete on their own.

In fact, during the activity, there was one child who was very determined that he could do it on his own, and even somehow managed to get a few footsteps in the right direction.  But in the end, he failed to complete the task and required help from his peers to lead him to the right path.  God wants us to follow His voice too, and He doesn’t want us to walk the narrow path alone.  He wants to encourage us with His voice, with His presence that is very near to us, even when we don’t see Him with our eyes.  If ever we feel scared or lost, we can trust that God will lead us to where we need to go and He will teach us what we need to learn.

To conclude the lesson, FaithKids reviewed the key passage and made paper lanterns.  Our key passage for this new unit comes from Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”

When we trust in God’s Word, we can trust that He will be our light to guide us.  We can be strong and courageous.  We do not need to fear or be dismayed, for the LORD, our God is with us and He is for us, wherever we go.

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