Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lesson - The Spies

VERSES:   Numbers 13:1-14:

MEMORY VERSE:   Numbers 13:23  "And they...cut down...a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review the first four books of the New Testament:  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

PRAYER:    May we trust the LORD enough to let Him take care of us in His own time.

SPECIAL SONG:   The Twelve Sons Of Jacob (see  April - Lesson - The Twelve Sons Of Jacob on this blog).

VISUAL AID:   Overhead Projector (for instructions, see March - Visual Aid #4). Draw a cluster of grapes on a branch, large enough for two men to carry on a pole (Num. 12:23). Extra visual aid:  Bring in a cluster of grapes to eat, showing how small our grapes are compared to the ones found in the Promised Land.

  • THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL HAVE ARRIVED AT THE PROMISED LAND!  God promised the children of Israel that He would take them to a land that flowed with milk and honey (Ex. 13:5) and God always remembers His promises. The people camped in the wilderness and God told Moses to tell the people, "Send men into the land of Canaan and spy out the land." God told them to pick one man from each tribe. Do we remember what a tribe is and who was the head of each tribe or family? If we can remember way back to Jacob and Joseph's time, how many sons did Jacob have? That's right! Twelve! Each one of Jacob's sons had a family and they were in charge of their family or sometimes they called a family a tribe. This is what God was talking about! He wanted one man from Reuben's family, one man from Simeon's family, and on down the line to one man in Benjamin's family. Levi's family did not need to go because they were priests, but Joseph--remember Joseph?--had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and they each had families, so in the end twelve men were chosen to spy out the land. 
  • The spies' job was to see what was in this new land that had been promised to them, to take a look at the people who lived there, to see if the people were strong or weak, to see if there were many people or just a few. Another job was to look at  the land to see if it was a good land with lots of crops, to see if there was wood in the land, and they were to bring something back that grew there. Moses told them to be courageous and go check it out, so they went.
  • They climbed up into the mountains and came to a place called Hebron. There was a brook there, and that was where the twelve spies saw an unusual sight! They saw very, very, very big grapes hanging on the vines because it was the grape season when they spied out the land. The grapes they saw were larger than any they had EVER seen before! They were HUGE! So they cut down a branch as big as this one (motion to the grapes that you have drawn--see Visual Aid above) and not one, but TWO men had to carry it back to the camp on a pole or a staff between them. They also brought back pomegranates and figs. Can you imagine how they felt? Here they had been traveling in the desert and these are the first fruits they have had in a long time! Finally after forty days, the men returned to the camp. FORTY DAYS?! We can remember that! How long did it rain during the flood? Forty days and forty nights! How long was Moses up in the mountain with the two tablets? Forty days! How long were the spies in the land of Canaan? Forty days!
  • When the twelve men came back to the camp, they stood before Moses and Aaron and all the people and told them what they had seen and showed them the fruit of the land. This is the report they gave:  "We have seen the land and it surely does flow with milk and honey. Here we show you the fruit of this new land. BUT...we have seen the people and their cities. Their cities have walls all around them and the people there are as tall as giants!!" We know the people were a little afraid when they heard this news because there was a good man named Caleb there with the other eleven men, and the Bible says that "Caleb stilled the people" or he calmed them down. Caleb said to Moses and all the people, "Let us go right now and possess it for we are well able to overcome it." But the men that were with Caleb, all except Joshua, said, "Oh, no! The people there are stronger than we are and we are not able to fight them. We are like grasshoppers compared to them." 
  • Next time, we will see what happens. Will they go in and fight for the land...or will they be afraid?
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Study a little about the city of Hebron.
  • It is interesting that we now know of three different occasions where the number forty is used.
  • What do we remember about Joshua? He held up Moses' hands when they were fighting the Amalekites. Joshua went up the mountain a little ways with Moses. Now, we have learned he is one of the spies!
ACTIVITY:    Grapes From The Promised Land
Materials needed:  9" x 12" yellow construction paper, scraps of different shades of purple paper, 3" x 2" rectangle of brown paper, 8" x 12" green construction paper, glue, scissors, marker or crayons.

  1. Hand out a piece of yellow paper. This is the background.
  2. Hand out shades of purple paper. 
  3. Cut purple papers into approximately 2" circles.
  4. Turn yellow paper portrait style (up and down).
  5. Glue circles onto yellow paper, starting at the bottom. These are the grapes.
  6. Fold brown paper in half, and in half again. This is the branch.
  7. Glue branch to top of paper, touching the grapes.
  8. Fold green paper in half.
  9. Cut two leaves out of paper.
  10. Fold each leaf in half, and in half again. These are the veins in the leaves.
  11. Glue leaves to top of yellow paper.
  12. Write "Grapes from the Promised Land" and "Leviticus 13:23" on the yellow paper.