God s Unfolding Story

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1 Old Testament Unit 8: Judges and Ruth Lesson 1: God Helped Deborah Lead the People God s Unfolding Story Bible Story: God Helped Deborah Lead the People (Judges 4 5:5) Bible Phrase: I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel (Judges 5:3). Bible Truth: I will praise God because He is my Helper. 1. God created everything. 2. People disobeyed God. 3. God chose a special people. 4. God sent Jesus to help us. 5. Jesus began the Church. Suggested Schedule: Arrival Centers 25 minutes Clean-up Time 5 minutes Bible Story Time 15 minutes Craft Time 10 minutes Snack Time 10 minutes Game Time/Dismissal Hour B 6. Jesus is preparing heaven for us. Unfolding God s Story for Teachers Take time now to read the amazing true story found in Judges 4 5. While it might seem that God uses men more than He uses women to implement His plan, this is actually not the case. Women are equally important, although in the Bible we usually see men exercising the public leadership roles. In our story today however, two women emerge as heroines with leadership positions. We will consider Deborah first. She must have been an amazing godly woman. As a judge and a prophetess, Deborah had the respect of the Israelites. The Israelites willingly submitted to her wisdom. To add to her credit, she also was a wife and mother. God s people historically repeated cycles of disobedience, consequence, repentance, restoration, and rest. In our story, they had been oppressed for 20 years as a consequence to their rebellion against God. They cried out for help. Restoration began when God heard their cry and spoke to Deborah. She obeyed God s instruction and gave a message to Barak. Barak was the commander of the army; he was both a leader and warrior. We assume he knew and respected Deborah. Apparently he feared going into battle without her. Perhaps she represented God s presence to Him. Still, he was willing to give up the honor of conquest to a woman although in the end it was not Deborah to whom his honor would fall. God s message to Deborah and Barak was for this is the day the Lord has handed Sisera over to you (Jud. 4:14). As far as God was concerned, it had already been done. The Israelites just needed to trust that God was going to do what He said. Deborah asked Barak, Hasn t the LORD gone before you? (v. 14) Perhaps Deborah s confidence in God gave Barak the courage he needed to charge into battle. We learn from Judges 5:4 that God caused a terrific thunderstorm to confuse and literally stall the 900 iron chariots that Sisera had earlier used to plant fear in God s people. Thus, God wielded a sword of His own, and no human could claim the victory. The troops fell and were destroyed. Sisera escaped, but he fled to our next heroine. He thought Jael would offer safety and hospitality, but instead she killed him. What one heroine began, another finished. A song of praise followed the victory, and the Israelites rested in peace for 40 years. The Israelites cycle of disobedience, consequence, repentance, restoration, and rest can very well mirror our own lives. We too can choose to sin, but we do not have to choose to live there. Although we will face consequences for our wrong, the sooner we acknowledge our sin and truly repent, the sooner we will find rest. Thus, a mark of true faith is repentance. On the cross Christ conquered sin and its consequence death. Jesus Christ has gone before us. Claim the victory that is yours in Him. Repent, believe, obey, and rest. Lesson Plan Arrival Greet children at eye level and express how happy you are to see them. Be sure each child has a name tag and the security measures of your church are followed. Label all coats and personal belongings. Strongly encourage children who have brought items from home, such as toys and books, to place them on a shelf while they are working with other materials. Assure children their items will be safe and they can take them home at the end of the session. Help each child make a choice where he or she would like to begin his or her Center Time. OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B Page 1

2 Puzzle Center: Work Puzzles Offer a variety of non-fantasy wooden or cardboard puzzles for children to work. What to Do: Invite preschoolers to work puzzles. Encourage children to finish puzzles before leaving the center. Give guidance rather than working a puzzle for a child. Link to the Bible Story: As children work, look for opportunities in conversation to say the Bible phrase or to briefly tell the Bible story. Home Living Center: Water Play Small rocking chair, sink and stove unit and small table and chairs; plastic dishes, child pots and pans; pretend food items; doll, doll bed, and doll accessories Plastic dishpan, towels, plasticware to play in water What to Do: Home living items naturally encourage children to act out roles and activities they observe at home. Invite children to use the plastic containers to fill and pour the water. Make sure this doesn t get out of hand! Children may also enjoy washing the dishes in the home living center. Link to the Bible Story: As preschoolers play with the water, tell about the Bible story and how God used a thunderstorm to confuse the Israelites enemy. Because He did, they were able to win the battle. Center Time Art Center: Coffee Filter Painting White round coffee filters (1 per child) Washable markers Plastic eyedroppers and cups of water (4 each) or a spray bottle of water What to Do: Invite each preschooler to color his or her coffee filter with the markers. Encourage the boys and girls to cover the entire filter with different colors. Next, demonstrate how to express water into the eyedroppers by squeezing the rubber bulb until the tube fills. Ask them to squeeze the rubber bulb to drip drops of water over the coffee filter. The water should make the colors on the filter blend to make an interesting collage of colors. If using a spray bottle, encourage preschoolers to only squirt one or two times so as not to get too much water on the filter and everywhere else! Link to the Bible Story: As preschoolers play, express that the water is a reminder of today s Bible story. Explain that the Israelites went into a battle and God helped them win by sending a rainstorm. The enemies chariots got stuck in the mud and could not move. Bible Learning Center: Comparing Activity Copies of Activity Page: Comparing, Which One is Different? (Reproducible) Washable markers or crayons What to Do: Preschoolers should be encouraged to look at the pictures in each row and decide which picture is different. Link to the Bible Story: As children work on this activity, express that the items pictured are objects from the Bible story. Talk about how each object relates to the story. For instance, the Israelites were going to fight a battle with some people who used iron chariots. This is how a chariot may have looked. Block Center: Build with Blocks Wooden blocks What to Do: Provide a small carpet if possible. Blocks are best located in a corner of the room away from the traffic flow. Link to the Bible Story: As preschoolers build with blocks, use teachable moments to share the Bible Phrase, Bible truth, or a portion of the Bible story. OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B Page 2

3 Clean-up Time Encourage preschoolers to help at clean-up time. Assign specific tasks for preschoolers to do such as placing all the crayons in the basket, throwing away the trash, gathering all the glue sticks, etc. Guide children to the Bible Story Time area. Bible Story Time Bible Teaching Picture God Helped Deborah Lead the People (Reproducible) God s Unfolding Story Cube (Reproducible/Cardstock) Introduction Show the God s Unfolding Story Cube. Express to the boys and girls that even though we find many stories in the Bible, the Bible really tells one big story, and all the little stories are a part of the big one we can call God s Unfolding Story. Tell children that each picture represents a chapter in God s Unfolding Story. Turn the cube and talk about each chapter in the story. (Refer to page 1.) Express that every story from the Bible is from one of these main parts in God s Unfolding Story. Today s story is from the third chapter, God chose a special people. Express the following in your own words. In our Bible story time over the last few Sundays we have heard stories about Joshua and the Israelites. We learned the Israelites were living in the land God had promised them. God helped them fight many battles to take the land. Joshua led the people for a long time, but he grew old and died. God chose other people to lead the Israelites. God called these leaders judges. One judge was a very brave woman named Deborah. Today we will hear how God used Deborah and a thunderstorm to win a battle. Bible Story God Helped Deborah Lead the People (Judges 4, 5:1-5) The Israelites were living in the land of Canaan, but they were not obeying God s laws. Because of their disobedience, God s people were in trouble. There was a very large army trying to fight them. The army had 900 iron chariots! The Israelites remembered how much God loved them. They prayed and asked God to help them fight. God had chosen a woman named Deborah to be a judge among the people. Deborah loved God, and she often spoke to the people about what God wanted them to do. God gave Deborah a message to give to the commander of the Israelite army. Deborah delivered the message, but the commander at first was too afraid to go and fight. He knew how many chariots they had. He asked Deborah to join him in the effort. Deborah knew God would be with them and help them win. She agreed to go with the commander. The commander gathered his army and met Deborah at the top of a mountain. They could look down the mountain and see all 900 iron chariots, and they were getting closer! Deborah told the commander, Go. God will help you win! The commander obeyed and started down the mountain. Then something amazing happened. God caused a big thunderstorm to occur! It happened so fast and there was so much water that it confused the enemy. The soldiers tried to run, but their chariots got stuck in the mud. God s people were able to win the battle! Deborah and the commander of the army sang a song of praise for the victory God had given them. They sang, I will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel (Jud. 5:3). Talk Time 1. Show the teaching picture for today s Bible story. Review by using these or similar questions. Why were God s people in trouble? How many iron chariots did the enemy have? Why did the commander of the army not want to fight? Who was the judge that helped the commander to fight? How did God help His people win the battle? 2. Read the Bible phrase on the teaching picture. Say the phrase together, I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel (Judges 5:3). Ask the boys and girls why the people wanted to praise God. Express that even though the Israelites had disobeyed, they asked God to help them. 3. Close the Bible Story Time by inviting children to join you in prayer. Think of ways that God helps people get through the day. Answers may include providing food, clothes, homes, families, protection from harm, etc. Ask God to give each one a thankful heart for the ways He provides each day. OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B Page 3

4 Craft Time: Musical Instrument Copies of Bible Phrase Disc (Reproducible, 1 copy for every 2 children) Crayons or markers Small sturdy paper plates Jingle bells (at least 3 per child) Chenille sticks (1/2 stick for each jingle bell) Hole punch What to Do: Cut out the Bible Phrase Discs. Punch the number of holes around each paper plate according to the number of jingle bells provided for each child. Invite each child to color his or her Bible Phrase Disc and paper plate. Assist with inserting the chenille sticks into the jingle bells. Preschoolers can insert the sticks into the holes but will need help to secure them. Link to Bible Story: Review the Bible Phrase with the children. Ask the children to say today s Bible Phrase, I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel (Judges 5:3). Sing the Bible Phrase to the tune of Ten Little Indians as preschoolers shake their tambourines. The last phase of the song will be the reference to the phrase. Snack Time Be sure to wash hands or use hand sanitizer. Say a thank-you prayer to God for the snack. When snack time has ended, encourage preschoolers to help with cleaning up. Game Time / Dismissal: Charge or Freeze What to Do: Ask children to form a straight line facing the teacher. This is the start line. The teacher should stand at least six or seven feet away, or more, from the children. Explain to the boys and girls that they will play a game called, Charge or Freeze. The teacher will turn her/his back to the children and say, Charge! At that command they are to take steps toward the teacher. At any point the teacher may say, Freeze! At that command the children are to freeze in their places. When the teacher says, Freeze! he/she will turn around. Anyone moving must go back to the start line. The object of the game is to reach the teacher. Play the game as long as children are interested. Express to children that Deborah and the commander had to choose to obey God and charge another way of referring to going into battle. God was with the Israelites and they won the battle. Deborah and the commander sang a song of praise to God. Dismiss children as parents arrive. Be sure to follow the security procedures of your church. OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B Page 4

5 Resources and Supplies Old Testament Unit 8: Judges and Ruth Lesson 1: God Helped Deborah Lead the People Hour B Standard Art Supplies (Supplies that are generally in the room) Washable markers Crayons Child scissors Playdough and accessories Drawing paper Easel (optional) Glue/glue sticks Tempera paint, 4 colors Tape/masking tape Pencils/colored pencils Hole punch Teacher scissors Stapler/staples Permanent markers Watercolors Paintbrushes Yarn Standard Equipment (Equipment that is generally in the room) Bible Small beanbag for Bible Story Time Assorted wooden/cardboard puzzles Set of wooden blocks Small cars and trucks Doll bed Baby doll (soft plastic) Stove/sink unit Play dishes/pots and pans Small table and chairs Small carpet for block area Play food items Storage shelf for blocks Tables and chairs for art, puzzles, and Bible Learning Center CD player/children s Worship CDs Reproducibles (Included with the lesson plan downloads) Activity Page: Comparing, Which One is Different? (1 copy per child) Bible Phrase Disc (1 copy for every 2 children) Teaching Picture: God Helped Deborah Lead the People (1 copy per class) God s Unfolding Story Cube (Cardstock 1 copy per class) Parent Page (1 copy per child) Coloring Page, God Helped Deborah Lead the People Additional Craft Materials Small sturdy paper plates Jingle bells (at least 3 per child) Chenille sticks (1/2 stick for each jingle bell) Additional Art Materials White coffee filters (1 per child) Plastic eyedroppers (4) or plastic spray bottle Additional Home Living Materials Plastic dishpan Plasticware for water play OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B

6 Which One is Different? Activity Page: Comparing, Which One is Different? Instructions: Copy 1 sheet per child. Circle the object in the row that is different from all the other objects. OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B Bible Learning Center

7 I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. Judges 5:3 I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. Judges 5:3 Craft Bible Phrase Disc Instructions: One copy for every 2 children. Color the disc and glue to a small paper plate. Punch holes around a paper plate and attach jingle bells using chenille sticks. OT08 Lesson 1 Hour B Craft Time

8 God s Unfolding Story for Older Preschoolers, Copyright SundaySchoolZone.com God s Unfolding Story Cube Instructions: Cut out on dotted lines, fold on solid lines. Glue or tape to form a cube.

9 I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. Judges 5:3 Coloring Page God Helped Deborah Lead the People OT08 Lesson 1 Optional

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