1 Preschool Leader Guide Unit 9, Session 1 Copyright 2012 LifeWay

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1 Teacher BIBLE STUDY 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 Abandoned God. They turned away 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) 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 abandonment 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 fat, 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. The Israelites needed someone better than a judge; they needed a king who would save them not only from the consequences of their sin, but the sin itself. That was all part of God s plan. God sent a true Deliverer; His Son Jesus died for our sin and delivered us forever from the oppression of sin and death. 1 Preschool Leader Guide

2 The BIBLE STORY The First Judges Judges 3:7-31 Joshua had died. Without a strong leader, the Israelites began to disobey God. Nothing good ever happened when the Israelites disobeyed God. God wanted the people to love and obey Him, so he gave them a leader called a judge. When a judge led the people, the Israelites obeyed God. But when the judge died, the people forgot God and bad things happened. So the Israelites cried out to God for help. Then God gave them another judge. Othniel (AHTH nih el) was the first judge. God was with Othniel, and Othniel led the Israelites into battle. God helped the Israelites win. The land was peaceful for many years, then Othniel died. With no leader, the Israelites forgot about God. God was angry. He let the the king of Moab attack the Israelites and defeat them. The Israelites had to serve the king of Moab for 18 years. Israelites were sad. They remembered how good it had been when they loved and obeyed God. They cried out to Him, Save us! So God raised up Ehud (EE huhd) to save them. The Israelites sent Ehud to the king of Moab with a gift. Ehud made himself a sharp sword. He hid it under his clothes. Then Ehud went to the king of Moab, who was a very fat man. Ehud said, I have a secret message for you. The king told all his attendants to go away so he was alone with Ehud. When the king stood up, Ehud reached under his clothes and pulled out his sword. He pushed it into the king s belly. The sword was swallowed up by the king s fat. Ehud couldn t even pull it out! Ehud ran away, locking the doors of the room behind him. Ehud was gone when the king s servants came in. They found the king s room locked and thought he was using the bathroom. They waited, but the king never opened the door. When they unlocked the door, the king was dead on the floor! 3 Preschool Leader Guide

3 When Ehud got away, he blew a ram s horn and became the leader of the Israelites. They fought the Moabites and won. They had peace in the land for 80 years. Ehud died, and the Israelites forgot God again. When they remembered how good they had it when they loved and obeyed God, they cried out to Him, Save us! God sent a third judge, Shamgar (SHAM gahr), to save them. Christ Connection: After God s people sinned, the judges helped God s people obey God again. But the judges could not change the people s hearts and make them love God. God had a plan. He sent His Son, Jesus, to change their hearts and save them from sin forever. 4 Preschool Leader Guide

4 Small Group Opening Session Title: The First Judges Bible Passage: Judges 3:7-31 Big Picture Question: How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan. Key Passage: Judges 2:18 Unit Christ Connection: God used the judges to deliver His people from their enemies; Christ delivers people from the greatest enemy, Satan. Prepare: Post an allergy alert, if necessary. Set out a few favorite toys such as puzzles and blocks. Set an offering basket near the door. My Deliverer song LOW PREP Connect the Dots activity page, 1 per kid crayons or pencils Welcome and Session Starter (15 20 minutes) Play My Deliverer in the background. You might not sing the song through with preschoolers, but you may want to talk about its title. A key word in the Book of Judges is delivered. To deliver means to set free. God gave the Israelites into the hands of enemy nations when His people forgot their solemn promise that they had chosen to serve the Lord. However, when they cried to God for help, He delivered His people from their enemies. Activity Page: Connect the Dots Invite kids to connect the dots to see a powerful animal. Encourage them to color the animal. Say God gave Israel s first judge, Othniel (AHTH nih el), power to lead the Israelites in battle. That s what the name Othniel means: Power of God or Lion of God. [Note: Look at Gen. 49:9-10 and Rev. 5:5 to recall who else from the tribe of Judah is called a Lion.] 5 Preschool Leader Guide

5 penny large sheet of paper crayons or markers crayons prepared page, 1 copy per kid Transition cue: Ring a bell, show the countdown video, flip the lights, or clap a simple rhythm for children to copy to gain attention. Push a penny Draw three or four paths beginning at one short edge of a page to the opposite edge. The paths should be curvy and cross once or twice. Make each path a different color. Say God had a plan to help His people move into the land He had promised them. God used people to make His plan happen. Let s pretend that following one of these lines is the plan for going from one edge of the page to another. To make the plan happen, choose a path and push a penny across the page on that path. Draw sad and happy pictures Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. Title the left half: The people disobeyed God, had trouble, and asked God for help. Title the right half: God sent a judge to save them and bring peace. Make one copy for each kid. Instead of drawing something representational, young kids might prefer to scribble on the left with colors that they think are not happy colors and on the right with colors that make them happy. Say Draw a very sad picture, maybe a sad face, on the left. Draw a happy picture on the right. Talk about the titles of the pictures as kids work. Transition to Bible study Play My Deliverer or Judges 2:18 as kids move to the large group Bible study. 6 Preschool Leader Guide

6 Large Group bible study Session Title: The First Judges Bible Passage: Judges 3:7-31 Big Picture Question: How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan. Key Passage: Judges 2:18 Unit Christ Connection: God used the judges to deliver His people from their enemies; Christ delivers people from the greatest enemy, Satan. Large Group Bible Study (10 15 minutes) Bible Key Passage Poster Judges 2:18 song Introduce the Bible story Read the key passage poster. Sing Judges 2:18. Open your Bible to the Book of Judges. Point to the name of the book. Tell kids that this book tells about several times God sent the Israelites a leader called a judge. Say Joshua had been a good leader, and the people were at peace in the land. Let s make happy faces. When Joshua died, the Israelites began to disobey God. They had promised to worship and obey God, but they didn t. That made God angry. He did not have to keep His promise to protect them if they didn t keep their promise to obey Him. Let s all shake our heads, No! No! No! The Israelites would fight with their enemies and lose the battles. They would become servants of their enemies, and life would be bad for them. Let s make sad faces. After a while, the people would remember to ask God for help. Let s make praying hands! God would send a judge to be their leader. The people would worship God again, and they would live in peace. Let s make happy faces! 7 Preschool Leader Guide

7 The First Judges video Note: Othniel was nephew and son-in-law of Caleb, Joshua s brave fellow spy when Moses sent 12 spies to report on Canaan. (See Josh. 15:17; Judg. 3:9,11; 1 Chron. 4:13.) Big Picture Question Poster Tip: Do activities one of these ways: as a group, all at the same time in small groups that rotate through each activity set up as centers, allowing preschoolers to browse and choose Now, let s practice. The people were happy. (Make a happy face.) They began to disobey God. (Shake head, No!) They lost battles to their enemies. (Make sad faces.) They asked God for help. (Make praying hands.) God sent a judge to help them. (Make happy faces.) Watch or tell the Bible story Tell the Bible story or watch the video, The First Judges. Say God sent a judge to help three times. Let s say the judges names together. I ll say a name, and you repeat it: Othniel (AHTH nih el), Ehud (EE huhd), and Shamgar (SHAM gahr). Talk about the Bible story Review the Bible story by asking the following questions. Lead kids to answer with words and actions. Say Who helped Israel win battles and be at peace? (God; make a happy face). What made God angry? (The Israelites didn t obey Him; shake heads, No! No!) What happened when their enemies won battles? (The Israelites became their servants; make sad faces.) What did the Israelites do? (They cried to God for help; make praying hands.) What did God do? (He sent a judge to lead them. They lived in peace again; make happy face.) Display the big picture question poster. Say How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan. Transition to small groups Explain the small group activities you have prepared. 8 Preschool Leader Guide

8 Small Group activities Session Title: The First Judges Bible Passage: Judges 3:7-31 Big Picture Question: How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan. Key Passage: Judges 2:18 Unit Christ Connection: God used the judges to deliver His people from their enemies; Christ delivers people from the greatest enemy, Satan. Small Group Activities (20 25 minutes) LOW PREP Bible Timeline Map or Bible Story Picture yardstick or tape measure Talk about Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar Point to The First Judges picture on the timeline. Say Do you think this is a picture of Othniel, Ehud, or Shamgar? Let s look in the Bible. [Open your Bible to Judges 3.] The first judge God sent was Othniel. Let s say his name together. Let s count the verses about Othniel. [Point to Judges 3:7-11. Count the five verses.] The Lord handed over the enemy king to Othniel. The third judge God sent was Shamgar. Let s say his name together. Let s count the verses about Shamgar. [Point to Judges 3:31. Count the one verse.] The main thing we know about Shamgar is that he killed 600 enemy soldiers all by himself using an oxgoad. An oxgoad was a long wooden pole about 8 feet long and about 2 inches thick. [Stop and measure 8 feet.] One end was sharpened into a point to poke oxen and make them move not to hurt them. The other end had a flat piece like a shovel and was used to clean mud from farm tools. Usually it wasn t dangerous, so it was an odd weapon for Shamgar to use. God must have helped Shamgar use his oxgoad in battle! 9 Preschool Leader Guide

9 The second judge was named Ehud. There are 19 Bible verses about Ehud. [Point to Judges 3:12-30.] Do you remember what special weapon Ehud made? (a sharp sword, 18 inches long, that he hid under his clothes) [Stop and measure 18 inches.] The king of Moab was a very fat man. Long ago, being fat meant a person was probably very rich. Rich people had a lot of food to eat. People like the Israelites had to pay the king money every year. Ehud took the money to the king. Then Ehud tricked the king. Ehud said he had a secret message for the king. Did Ehud have a secret? (No!) The king sent everyone else out of the room. Do you remember what Ehud did? (He stuck the sword into the king. The king was so fat that his fat covered the entire 18 inches.) Ehud escaped. He arrived home and blew a rams s horn to gather the soldiers. He became the leader of the Israelite soldiers, and they fought the Moabites and won. They had peace in the land. Whose picture is on the timeline? Is it Othniel, Ehud, or Shamgar? (Ehud) several adult-size button or snap shirts Try on shirts Allow preschoolers to try on several different shirts. They can try on shirts by themselves, or one child can stand still with his arms out parallel to the floor while the other kids put a shirt on him. Guide them to button or snap the shirt. Let each kid have a turn being dressed. Say Ehud hid his weapon underneath his coat. Whom did God use in His plan to save His people from the Moabites? (Ehud) How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan. 10 Preschool Leader Guide

10 Tip: It is important to pause long enough for a reflective learner to get to think before he answers or acts. basket or gift bag each child s name on a slip of paper 5-by-7-inch heavyweight paper, 2 per kid large craft sticks glue markers googly eyes beads, jewels, or small pasta foam cups, 1 per kid markers heavyweight paper, 1 piece per kid tape Do the plan Draw each child s name out of a basket one at a time. Give a young child one instruction to follow; give kindergartners two instructions at a time to concentrate on and follow. Say My plan for you is to blink your eyes and hold your breath (or bend your knees and touch your toes, or something else similar). I know God has a great plan for you, [child s name]. Say How does God make His plan happen? God uses people in His plan. God used the judges to save His people from their enemies; God s plan to save us from the greatest enemy, Satan, was sending His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. Make a flip sign Help each kid glue a large craft stick to the back of a piece of paper like a handle for a sign. Glue another sheet of paper on the back of the first one, making a two-sided sign. Guide kids to draw a smiley face on one side and a frowny face on the other and glue beads or pasta to the smile and to the frown. They may draw eyes or add googly eyes. Ask kids to shut their eyes, flip the sign around a few times, and feel around the face to determine whether they are on the smiley or frowny side. Say God was happy when the people obeyed Him and was sad or mad when they did not. Make a ram s horn Cut the bottom out of a foam cup or roll up a heavyweight piece of paper and tape it in place. Invite kids to use markers to decorate the ram s horn. Make sounds through it like Ehud in the teaching picture. Say People heard the ram s horn and followed Ehud. They did the right thing when they followed the judges. 11 Preschool Leader Guide

11 Play a Duck, Duck, Goose game Play a version of Duck, Duck, Goose using the words No, No, No, Save us! Remind kids how the people called out to God to save them when they knew they had disobeyed Him and needed Him to save them. God is good, and He sent them help when they asked. countdown video (optional) Allergy Alert Poster paper plates and cups snack food Journal Page Bible Story Coloring Page books and puzzles crayons Snack and Transition (20 minutes) Signal for attention and ask the boys and girls to help clean up any supplies they used. Take a restroom break and wash hands or use hand sanitizer. Ask older children to help set out napkins at the table. This is a good time to practice counting one napkin per child. Remind kids to say thank you to snack-serving helpers. Remind them that the most important thank-you is to thank God for the food. Thank God for the snack. Transition When a child finishes her snack and throws away her trash, she may select a book or puzzle, color the Bible story coloring page, or work quietly at another activity you provide. If she chooses to write or draw on the journal page, suggest that she draw something mentioned in the Bible story, such as a sword or ram s horn. Help her print a title on the picture. 12 Preschool Leader Guide

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