Jesus is the new and better… Joshua

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.

Intro:
Where is the best place you have ever been? What was it like? Today we’re going to learn about how Joshua led the Israelites into the best country they’d ever lived in. And how God has an even better country prepared for the people who follow Jesus.

Game: Canaanites footsteps
Exactly the same as Grandmother’s footsteps. The Canaanite stands facing a wall (Canaan) with all other players at the opposite end of the room (Egypt). The ‘Israelites’ have to sneak up and touch the wall by the Canaanite without being seen. The Canaanite can turn round whenever they want and anybody they see moving must go back to Egypt. You’ll probably need a leader to adjudicate!

Game: Wandering in the desert.
Very much like an unmusical chairs. There is a randomly spaced chair (or cushion) per child in the room. The kids must wander around the wilderness until a leader shouts ‘CAMP’ when they must sit on a chair/cushion. However a camp (or more) will be removed between each turn.

Memory Verse:
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13

Drama:
Josh and Caleb campaigning to enter the Promised Land
and the Gibeonites tricking the Israelites.

Talk:
What was the Promised Land like? Why were the Israelites so happy to live there?
God had rescued his people from slavery and now he was giving them a home – and an absolutely amazing one! Numbers 14:6-8
But the best thing about their home is that God would be with them there. Josh 1:3-5
However, there was a condition, God would be with his people while they lived his way, but if they worshiped other gods then God would not be friends with them anymore. Josh 7:12
So God told Joshua to make sure that no-one who worshipped other gods was still living in the land but Joshua didn’t. (Josh 7)
For a while things went well but time and time again the Israelites turned to other gods and other countries for help and ignored the God who had rescued them. (Nehem 9:24-28)
So God came down to earth to sort the mess out. He died so his people could be forgiven of all the times they’d ignored him and he came back to life and went to live with his Father forever.
And he is getting ready a new country for his people (John 14:2) – not just the Israelites but anyone who believes in him – a country where his people can live free from sin, and live with God forever. (Rev 21:1-4)
Even better news is that we don’t have to wait to live with God, by his Spirit we can live with him as soon as we trust Jesus. (2 Cor 5:5) and that all Christians are citizens of that country already! (Phil 3:20)

Activity:
Tasting session: Pomegranates (or pomegranate juice), figs (or fig rolls), honey (on toast), milk, goats milk, grapes. Why did the Israelites think the land so good?

Songs:
All through History – Nick and Becky Drake: Big Family of God
(You can buy it here and they’ve helpfully come up with their own actions in this video)
God speaks – Dr Rocktrin and the Groovemeisters: Get Ready

Prayer:
Draw a picture of a home – it can be a house or a country – write or draw all the good things God will have ready for you there. In no particular order: no more sadness, no more sin, living with God, no more sickness, no more pain, no more darkness, Jesus, the light of God, other Christians…Thank God for it (and ask him to forgive you and have a place ready for you if you haven’t before.)