In this week’s devotion, God sent the first judges to the Israelites to help them remember to worship God after Joshua’s death. The judges were a picture of the one true Judge God would send His people when He sent His Son, Jesus. 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 verses and hand motions for this unit with your children.
“For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our King. He will save us.” – Isaiah 33:22
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’” – John 8:12 (Backyard Kids Club Cave Quest Key Verse)
BIG PICTURE QUESTION – DAY ONE:
Ask your children the Big Picture Question for this unit: How does God accomplish His plan? God uses people for His glory and our good.
MAIN POINT – DAY ONE:
Share with your children that this week’s main point is:
Preschool/Kindergarten: The Israelites forgot about the one true God.
1st-5th grades: God’s people turned from Him to worship idols.
BIBLE PASSAGE – DAY TWO:
This week’s Bible story comes from Judges 3:7-31. 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 had died. Without a strong leader, the Israelites began to disobey God and worship false gods. God was angry and let an enemy king take over the Israelites. Then the Israelites remembered how good they had it when they loved and obeyed God. They cried out to Him, “Save us!” God raised up Othniel to rule over them as the first judge.
The land was peaceful for 40 years, then Othniel died. Again, Israel forgot about God. God gave the king of Moab power to attack the Israelites and defeat them. The Israelites served the king of Moab for 18 years. They were sad and they remembered how good they had it when they loved and obeyed God. They cried out to Him, “Save us!” So God raised up Ehud to save them.
The Israelites sent Ehud to the king of Moab. Ehud said, “I have a secret message for you.” The king dismissed all his attendants so he was alone with Ehud. When the king stood up, Ehud pulled out his sword. He pushed it into the king’s belly. Ehud escaped down the porch, locking the doors of the room behind him. He was gone when the king’s servants came in. The servants unlocked the door and found the king dead on the floor.
When Ehud escaped, he blew a ram’s horn and he became the Israelites’ leader. “God will help us defeat our enemies, the Moabites,” Ehud told them. So the Israelites battled the Moabites and took control over them. There was peace in the land for 80 years.
When Ehud died, the Israelites forgot God again. They turned away from Him. When they remembered how good they had it when they loved and obeyed God, they cried out to Him, “Save us!” God sent a third judge, Shamgar, to save them.
REVIEW QUESTIONS – DAY THREE:
After reading the Bible story or going through the summary, ask your children these review questions:
Who were the leaders God gave Israel? (judges)
What happened when a judge led Israel? (the people obeyed God)
What happened after a judge died? (the Israelites forgot about the one true God)
Who did God use to defeat the King of Moab? (Ehud)
What happened after the Israelites defeated Moab? (peace in the land)
Why did God let an enemy king take over His people? (God’s people turned from Him to worship idols)
What did the people do when they remembered God? (they cried out to God for help)
Who was the first judge? (Othniel)
What happened after Othniel died? (the people forgot about God again)
Who was the second judge? (Ehud)
What did Ehud blow after he escaped from the king of Moab’s palace? (a ram’s horn)
Who was the third judge? (Shamgar)
How many years of peace did Ehud provide? (80 years)
WORSHIP – DAY FOUR:
Now is a great time to worship together as a family. You can sing a personal favorite, you can use this lyrics video to sing Mighty to Save, or sing our Kids City songs from this unit.
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.
After God’s people sinned, the judges helped God’s people obey God again. But the judges could not change the people’s hearts and make them love God. God had a plan. He sent His Son, Jesus, to change His people’s hearts and save them from sin forever.
The judges saved the people from the consequences of their sin, but not the cause of it. God’s plan was to one day send a true Deliverer – Jesus, His own Son – to be the King of His people. Jesus saves people from sin forever.
PRAY – DAY FIVE:
Pray and thank God for sending judges to help the Israelites turn back and worship God. Thank God for sending Jesus to help us turn our hearts back to Him, away from sin.