“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us.” 1 John 1:9a
Thank you for choosing to use the Gospel Project for Kids. Following Joshua’s death, the Israelites were without a leader. They fell into a cycle of sin that can be seen during each reign of the judges. The cycle is marked by an A-B-C-D-E pattern. Let’s look at the first judge, Othniel, to see this pattern.
First, the people fell into Apostasy. They turned away from God and served other gods. (Judg. 3:7) Next, they experienced a period of Bondage. God was angry with the Israelites, and He gave them into the hand of the king of Aram. (v. 8) Third, the people Cried out to God. (v. 9) Then, God sent a Deliverer to save them. (vv. 9-10) Finally, they had Ease in the land. (v. 11) Then Othniel died.
This pattern continued with Ehud. The people had again turned from God. Their apostasy made God angry. He sent them into bondage by strengthening the king of Moab to defeat Israel. The Israelites served the king of Moab for 18 years.
The Moabites were well-fed, especially the king. They enjoyed the fruit of the Israelites’ labor while the Israelites went hungry. By thrusting a sword into the king’s belly, Ehud disemboweled the king and left him dead on the floor of his room. The fat covered over the handle of the sword so that Ehud could not remove it.
After Ehud delivered Israel, the Israelites struck down the Moabites and there was peace in the land for eighty years. But Ehud would die, and they would need another judge to lead them.
As you talk with your kids this week, discuss that the Israelites needed someone better than a judge. 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.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- God’s people forgot about Him.
- God allowed Israel’s enemies to overtake them.
- God gave Israel a judge to help them obey God again.
- When the judge died, Israel forgot God again.
KEY PASSAGE: 1 John 1:9a
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What is repentance? Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Why did the Israelites forget about God when they did not have a strong leader?
- Why was it good that God allowed Israel to be overtaken by their enemies?
- Do we forget about God? Who can change our hearts so we remember?
- As a family, brainstorm ways to keep Jesus at the forefront of your minds throughout the week. Implement at least one idea.
- Pray for God to change your children’s hearts as you discipline this week.