Joshua and Caleb
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Thank you for choosing to use the Gospel Project for Kids. Your kids have been learning about the Israelites—former slaves in Egypt—as they moved toward the promised land. Before God rescued His people from slavery in Egypt, He promised to bring the Israelites back to the land He had given to Abraham so many years before. (Ex. 3:8) From Egypt, the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and traveled toward Mount Sinai. When they were hungry and thirsty, God provided food and water. (See Ex. 16–17.) Israel spent one year at Mount Sinai, where Moses received God’s law, including the Ten Commandments.
Time and again, the Israelites rebelled against God, Moses interceded, and God pardoned the people. When Israel arrived at the edge of the promised land, God instructed Moses to send scouts into the land. Moses sent out a leader from each tribe. Twelve men, including Joshua and Caleb, traveled through the promised land of Canaan for 40 days. They returned with fruit—grapes, pomegranates, and figs—and gave a report on the land.
The scouts described the land’s abundance, as “flowing with milk and honey.” They gave an account of the people, various tribes who were physically strong and whose cities were fortified. Caleb’s immediate imperative—“Let’s go up now!”—was met with resistance by most of the group. Assessing their own strength against the strength of the inhabitants, they concluded that to move forward would mean certain defeat.
The Israelites complained: “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness!” Joshua and Caleb tried to persuade the people of God’s presence and protection, but the people would not trust God. So God gave them what they thought was better. He sent them into the wilderness to wander for 40 years. They would die there. Only Joshua, Caleb, and the Israelites’ children would enter the promised land.
Help your kids contemplate the punishment Israel faced for their rebellion. The Israelites rebelled against God because they did not trust Him. Jesus trusted God perfectly. He took the punishment we deserve for our sin, or rebellion against God. When we trust in Jesus, God forgives our sin and gives us eternal life.
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:
- Moses sent 12 men to look at the land God promised His people.
- Joshua and Caleb trusted God.
- The rest of the Israelites did not trust God to give them the land.
- God said the people would wander in the wilderness.
KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 3:5
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What does it mean to sin? To sin is to go against God and His commands.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- Why were the Israelites afraid to take the land?
- Why should knowing God planned to give them the land have made a difference?
- What can we trust God to do?
- How is Jesus different than the Israelites and us?
- Assign each family member a task to make a fruit salad. Invite neighbors over to share the salad. Talk about the fruit-filled land God promised His people.