Sunday, June 3, 2012

God stopped the waters for the Israelites. God can do anything for me!

1. Hook:
  • Water pouring 
    • Bring a pitcher of water, a large bowl and a large towel.
    • Show how you will pour the water into the bowl. Just pour a trickle of water into the bowl. 
    • Then ask for volunteers to come try to stop the small trickle of water coming out of the pitcher. The children can try all kinds of ways of doing it, but it won’t be able to be done. 
    • Explain to the children that they could not stop even a trickle. But God is able to stop a whole river that was overflowing. That’s the amazing God we have!

2. Story (based on Joshua 3) 
  • Last week we learned about the 2 spies that went to spy out the Promised Land. They returned and told Joshua, “Yes, God has given us the land!”
  • So Joshua and the Israelites headed towards the Promised Land. They came to a river called Jordan. Everyone say, “Jordan”.
  • The Jordan River was a big river. And it was the harvest season, so the river was very, very full … and very, very deep.
  • How were the Israelites going to get across now? 
  • This time there was no panic. The people didn’t say, “Oh no! We’re stuck! Let’s go back now! 
  • Instead, Joshua told the people, “Be ready. For tomorrow the Lord will do something really amazing for you.” 
  • The Israelites had an ark called the Ark of the Covenant. It was a very beautiful box, covered in gold. Inside it were the 2 pieces of stone with the 10 commandments, the staff of Aaron (Moses’ brother) and some pieces of manna (the special bread that God gave them in the desert).  The ark represents God’s presence — where God was.
  • Joshua asked the priests took the Ark to the front of the people.
  • Then God told Joshua, “Today I will honor you in the sight of the Israelites so that they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.”
  • God added, “Tell the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant to go and stand in the river.” 
  • Go stand in the river? With the fast-flowing waters that run so deep? Did God want the priests to be drowned?
  • But Joshua and the people trusted God … they believed in His promises and that He will take care of them.
  • So when the priests reached Jordan River, they stepped into the water in faith. (It takes a lot of faith to step into an overflowing river!)
  • And as soon as their feet touched the water, suddenly the waters up north stopped flowing. And the water downstream stopped too. The waters piled up in a heap, like a big wall, a distance away, leaving the ground completely dry!
  • It was amazing!
  • So the people crossed over the Jordan to the other side on dry ground. The priests carrying the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan until everyone — the entire nation of Israel — had completely crossed over safely.
  • God stopped the waters for the Israelites. God can do anything for me!
  • Is there something in your life that you think is too difficult for you? Is there anything impossible for you? Is there anything that you are afraid of? 
  • Look to Jesus. God stopped the waters for the Israelites. He can handle any of your problems — big or small — because He loves you! 

3. Activity Suggestions 
  • Memory Verse:  Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5 
  • Worksheets: 
  • Reinforcement: God stopped the waters for the Israelites. God can do anything for me!

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