In this week’s devotion, Joshua encouraged the Israelites because he knew he was about to die, just like how Jesus encouraged His disciples to go and tell others about Him – and that they wouldn’t be alone because Jesus would always be with them! Follow along with this devotion, which you can walk through with your family in 10-15 minutes one night this week or review it in 3-5 minutes over the course of the week.
KEY VERSE – DAY ONE:
Review the key verse and hand motions for this unit with your children.
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!” -Joshua 1:9
BIG PICTURE QUESTION – DAY ONE:
Ask your children the Big Picture Question for this unit: Whom can we trust? We can trust God to take care of us.
MAIN POINT – DAY ONE:
Share with your children that this week’s main point is Joshua encouraged the people to worship only God alone.
BIBLE PASSAGE – DAY TWO:
This week’s Bible story comes from Joshua 23:1-24:28. This story can be found on page 58 of the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook. Take some time now to read these passages with your children or you can refer to the Bible story summary below!
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
Joshua was getting old and knew he would die soon. He gathered all the people of Israel because he had some important things to say to them. Joshua said, “You have seen everything the Lord your God has done – He has fought your battles for you. Be careful to obey everything that is in the book of the law of Moses. You will die here if you disobey Him.”
Joshua reminded all the people about the things God had done for them in the past. Joshua told the people about how God had rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians. God had done so many great things for His people!
Joshua commanded the people to make a choice. “Fear the Lord and worship Him. If you don’t want to worship God, choose to worship the gods your fathers worshiped. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh,” he said.
The people replied, “We will certainly not abandon the Lord to worship other gods! We know how much God has done for us, and we love Him!” Joshua warned the people, “If you do abandon God to worship other gods, God will turn against you and harm you. He will destroy you, after all of the good things He has done for you!”
“No!” the people said. “We will worship Yahweh!”
On that day, Joshua made a covenant with the people. He set up a large stone under an oak tree. Joshua said, “This stone will be a reminder of your duty to serve the Lord, who fulfilled every promise in bringing you into this land.”
REVIEW QUESTIONS – DAY THREE:
After reading the Bible story or going through the summary, ask your children these review questions/true and false statements:
- What decision did the Israelites have to make? (whom they would worship)
- What two choices could the Israelites make about whom they would worship? (God or false gods)
- What did Joshua say would happen if the ISraelites worshiped other gods? (God would punish them)
- Whom did the Israelites say they would worship? (God)
- The Israelites were not able to take over the promised land. (false, God gave them the land)
- Joshua was old and would die soon. (true)
- Joshua told the people to obey all of God’s laws. (true)
- Joshua reminded the people of all that God had done for them. (true)
- Joshua told the people that it was okay to worship idols. (false, Joshua encouraged the people to worship only God alone)
- The people promised to worship God. (true)
WORSHIP – DAY FOUR:
CHRIST CONNECTION – DAY FIVE:
It’s amazing to see how things that happened in the Old Testament are connected to the New Testament and the Gospel – the good news that Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins because of His love for us. These Christ connections show us that God has been preparing us for a relationship with Jesus since the beginning of time.
Joshua talked to God’s people and told them to obey God even after he, Joshua, died. After Jesus died and was raised from the dead, He talked to His friends. Jesus wanted them to tell other people about Him. Now Jesus lives in heaven, and He wants us to tell other people about Him too.
As Joshua prepared for his own death, he left a legacy of obedience to God. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to the disciples and left them with a legacy: to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything Jesus had commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).
PRAY – DAY FIVE:
Pray and thank God for keeping His promises to the Israelites. Ask for Him to help us remember all the promises He has fulfilled to us, like sending Jesus to die on the cross. Thank God for encouraging us through His word to go out and talk to others about Jesus.