Prayer. “Dear Lord, Help parents to teach our children to obey you, like Joshua did.”
Choose activities that fit current needs and local customs.
Background: After God saved His people from slavery in Egypt, they disobeyed Him by not entering into the land that He had promised to give them. They feared the wicked idolaters that lived there. The Holy One let them wander for forty years in the desert, because of their unbelief. Later, when they did cross the Jordan River, it was a great historical event; because God’s people finally had faith and courage to enter into the Promised Land.
Find in Joshua 3:14 – 4:6 …
Why God told His people
to pile stones near the Jordan River.
[Answer: Joshua 4:6-7. The stones, like the Passover Feast, helped children to remember the great things that God had done. Compare Exodus 12:26-27.]
· Which of the Israelites went into the Jordan River first? Why was that important? [Answer: Joshua 3:14. The priests that carried the sacred container of the covenant went first. So doing symbolized God’s presence, showing that he went before them, just as Jesus goes before us, clearing the way into our promised land which is heaven.]
· What happened when the priests carrying the ark stepped into the river? [Joshua 3:15]
What did the twelve
leaders take from the middle of the river?
· Where did the leaders put the stones from the river? [Joshua 4:8]
Give children Christian instruction and discipline.
· Let the fathers of children do most of their training (Eph. 6:4).
· Have daily prayer and Bible study with children (Deut. chapters 6 & 7).
· Pass God’s Word on to your children, from one generation to another (Psalm 78:3-7).
· Teach children directly from the Word of God (Deut. 31:12). Tell them Bible stories.
· Let tiny children do actions. To tell about Noah, let them play animals; rabbits hop; lions roar.
· Small children pay attention only for a short time, so do not force them to follow long stories.
· Let older children teach the younger ones. Avoid always grouping children of the same age.
· Let older children create things and act out Bible stories and play games.
· Let children join adults to pray for very serious things, Ezra 10:1; 2 Chron. 20:12-13.
· Let children join adults in sacred ceremonies and celebrations, Nehemiah 12:43.
· Let children join adults to praise God in serious worship, Psalm 148:13-13; Matthew 21:15-16.
· Let children join adults to listen to Jesus’ teaching, Matt. 14:21.
· When children act badly, correct them with love, not in anger, Proverbs 23:13; Hebrews 12:6-11.
· Avoid making children angry. Hating parents or children brings a curse, Eph. 6:1-4; Malachi 4:6.
· Avoid causing innocent children to do offensive things, Matthew 18:1-6.
· Assure children of Jesus’ love and forgiveness, Mark 10:13-16.
· Serve as a shepherding elder only if you also correct your children, 1 Timothy 3:4-5.
· Visit parents to show them how to teach their children at home.
· Instruct those who teach children using the guidelines listed under Part 1.
· Invite non-Christian families to let their children take part in activities that they will enjoy.
Explain why God told His people to pile stones beside the Jordan River (see Part 1).
Explain how to give children Christian instruction and discipline (see Part 1).
Dramatize parts of the story of crossing the Jordan River. Ask the children to help.
· Let adults play the parts of Narrator, Joshua and Stone Carriers. Stone carriers have large rocks ready, in the center of the acting area.
· Let children play the parts of Israelites and four Priests (Carry a large box or pretend to).
Narrator: Tell the first part of the story (from Joshua 3:14-17). Then say, “Hear what Joshua says to the Israelites who are about to enter the Promised Land.”
Joshua: “We will cross the Jordan River. It is flooding, but God will let us pass on dry ground. Watch to see what He will do. Priests, take the container with God’s law. Step into the water.”
Four Priests: Walk toward the stones carrying the box together above your heads. Say, “Look upstream! The water is heaping up! (Go past the stones, across the ‘river’.)
Israelites (any number): Follow the Priests across the river. Say, “Look, the ground is dry!” “We can walk on dry ground!”
Stone Carriers and Joshua: Follow children across the river. Do not pick up the stones yet. Say things like, “God holds back the river!” “It is a miracle!” “God is helping us!”
Narrator: Tell the second part of the story from Joshua 4:1-7. Then say, “Hear what Joshua says to leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Joshua: “Now that everyone has crossed, choose twelve strong men to pick up large stones from the middle of the river. These stones will help our children to remember what God did today.”
Stone Carriers: Get the stones. Act like they are heavy. Pile them near where the Priests stand.
Israelites: “What is the meaning of this pile of rocks?”
Joshua: “They are to remind you of what God did for you today.”
Narrator: Explain that the drama is over and thank those who helped.
Discuss other examples of ways that we remember God’s work. Let the believers give examples.
Let believers give testimonies about how teaching their children at home has been a blessing.
Let the children present what they have prepared.
To introduce the Lord’s Supper, read Luke 11:10-13. Explain that the Lord’s Supper is one of the good gifts that God our heavenly Father gives to us, His children.
Memorize together Ephesians 6:4.
Form groups of two or three people, to pray, confirm plans for teaching the children at home and during meetings, and to encourage one another.