VERSES: Joshua 9:1-27
MEMORY VERSE: Joshua 9:27 "And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 2 Timothy. Write "2 Timothy" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of class.
PRAYER: Pray that we may always be serious about the promises we make and keep our promises. A promise is a promise.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Careful Little Eyes (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Map, showing the Conquest of Canaan, Jordan area; Examples of the Activity below
- After the battle of Jericho and the battle of Ai, all the nations around where the children of Israel were camping had heard about what had been happening and how God had helped His people. Their kings began to take notice. All of the kings on the west side of the Jordan River organized and all of their people fought against Joshua and the children of Israel. Some of the people were Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
- There was another group of people who were from Gibeon and had heard about the great battles that Joshua and the Israelites had been winning in the land of Canaan .They were tricky people and they played a trick on the men of Israel. They pretended to be ambassadors or messengers from a faraway country and came in a disguise. They put some old sacks on their donkeys, they had old bottles, they patched their clothing, and all of their bread was old and moldy. They pretended to be from a faraway country, coming to make friends with the children of Israel when they heard all that had happened in Egypt to the Israelites, especially hearing how they had won the battles they had been fighting. They wanted to be on the good side of Israel, so Israel wouldn't fight and kill them. They wanted to stay alive. They met with Joshua and, when Joshua asked them who they were and where they came from, they lied to Joshua because they really were NOT from a faraway land, they had only traveled a few days from the land of the Hivites which was close by. Joshua believed the men and promised not to hurt them, and made peace with them.
- Three days after they had made peace with the Gibeonites, the Israelites found out that the Gibeonites were their neighbors instead of faraway travelers. The children of Israel traveled for three days until they came to the Gibeonites' own cities, but still, the children of Israel kept their promise that the leaders of the congregation had made to their tricky neighbors. The Israelite leaders told the Gibeonites that they would let them live because they had made a promise, but Joshua called the men to come to talk to him. Joshua said that they were all deceivers and, while their lives would be spared, none of them would ever be free men again. They would always be the Israelites' servants.Their main jobs in life would be to chop wood and draw water for God's people.
- The Gibeonites answered Joshua by saying that because they knew that the LORD God had given all of their land to the Israelites, they were afraid for their lives and that was why they lied. They told Joshua to do with them what he wished and what he saw as good. So Joshua saved their lives, but they were always servants to chop wood and draw water for the children of Israel, and for the altar of the LORD for many, many years.
- One lesson that we can learn from this story is that, even if someone lies to us, and we make a promise based on someone else's lie, we still must keep our promise like Joshua did to the Gibeonites. God keeps His promises. We must keep our promises.
Materials needed: a small paper or Styrofoam cup, two 3" x 12" dark brown construction paper, a piece of light brown construction paper that is the width of the cup and the length plus one inch, a scrap of blue tissue paper, cellophane paper, or any lightweight blue paper, one scrap of any color 3" x 3" piece of paper, approximately 12" of twine or yarn, tape, scissors, crayons. NOTE: The Bible teacher will need something sharp to make holes in cup, i.e, sharp scissors, ice pick, pointy knife. Keep your eye on the sharp items in your class!
- Pass out the two dark brown pieces of paper to each student.
- Roll up one dark brown paper like a log.
- Tape to secure roll of paper.
- Repeat with other dark brown piece of paper.
- Cut each roll in half. These are the logs.
- Tie twine around 'logs.' Set aside.
- Pass out light brown paper to each student.
- Draw black or brown lines on light brown paper to resemble wood.
- Pass out a cup to each student.
- Tape light brown paper around the top edge of the cup. This is the bucket of water.
- NOTE: This step is for the Bible teacher or helper: Make a hole on each side of bucket of water.
- Thread twine in one hole from the outside to the inside.
- Tie the end of the twine in a knot. Pull gently.
- Thread twine in other hole from the outside to the inside.
- Tie the end of the twine in a knot. Pull gently.
- Scrunch up blue paper and place inside of cup. This is the water.
- Write "The Tricky Gibeonites' Punishment" and "Joshua 9:27" on the 'any color scrap of paper.'
- Tape scrap of paper to bucket.
- As the students leave the classroom, place 'logs' inside or across the top of the 'bucket' for easy departure.