This lesson begins a brief study of Judges. The students will discover that God’s people continuously sinned and turned away from Him They were punished and God faithfully delivered them when they cried out to Him. This is only a suggested guide to teach this lesson. Please prepare and adapt for the needs of your ministry.
Bible Passage: Judges 3
Bible Story Title: Israel’s Cycle of Sin & Rescue
Target Age Group: Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Credits: Image courtesy of Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media
Supply List: Bibles, activity pages, pens/pencils
Learning Goal: Students will discover that God rescues us from sin through the promised Redeemer, Jesus.
Learning Activity #1: Activity page
Learning Activity #2: Broken pot story. Share this illustration before beginning the lesson. (If you want to act it out you need a pole and two pots, one with cracks)
Memory Verse: Judges 2:18 “ Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.”
Bible Lesson: Israel’s cycle of sin and God’s deliverance (Judges 3)
(Before class write the question and answer on the board. I leave a blank for the students to guess the word…example God rescues people from _ _ _ and fulfills His plan of redemption.)
(Before starting the lesson pray with your class about their needs and for God to teach us from His Word.)
How does God accomplish His plan?
God rescues people from sin and fulfills His plan of redemption.
(Redemption: Deliverance from sin; Salvation; deliverance; rescue)
Bible Lesson: Israel’s cycle of sin and God’s deliverance
Share the Broken Pot story in your own words. If you have a pole and pots you can act it out for the students.
Some of us may feel like the pot with a crack in it. We don’t feel like we’re really good at anything and sometimes we don’t feel very useful. Before God every man, woman, boy and girl is a broken pot because of our sin. Sin corrupted God’s perfect creation. Even before sin entered God’s perfect creation God had a plan to redeem or rescue men, women, boys and girls from the devastating effects of sin. His plan to deliver us all from sin was to send His Son Jesus to be the redeemer. A redeemer is one who rescues or saves. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day. When a person believes in Jesus for salvation from sin God takes the life that was broken and fills him/her with His Holy Spirit. (John 7:38-39) In the broken pot story the water flowed out of the broken pot and watered the flower seeds. A person filled with the Holy Spirit is used by God to fulfill His purposes in the lives of other people so they can be rescued from sin and be a part of His family too.
How does God accomplish His plan? (He rescues people from sin and fulfills His plan of redemption)
Turn to Judges 3. Before we begin our study from the Bible we are going to learn the ABC’s of the Book of Judges. A-God’s people ABANDONED Him. B-As punishment for their sin, God allowed His people to be in BONDAGE to their enemies. C-God’s people CRIED out to Him. D-God sent a DELIVERER. E-God’s people had EASE from their enemies. (We used hand motions…Abandoned-fingers walking away, B-hands held across chest like in handcuffs, C-cry, D-strong arms, E-hand on side of head like resting)
After Joshua died and all the leaders who had seen all the great things the Lord had done, God’s people began to do evil in His sight. (Judges 2:6-11) God’s plan to send a Redeemer into the world was through His people the Israelites (Abraham’s descendants). Throughout the Old Testament God’s people fall into a cycle of sin and are led away from Him. God’s enemy Satan was at the root of all their sin because he was doing everything he could to stop God’s plan of redemption. If God’s people were destroyed because of their wickedness then the Savior couldn’t be born. No matter how messed up and broken God’s people became, God continued to rescue His people and He fulfilled His plan of redemption by sending His Son Jesus. Nothing can stop God’s plan. (Job 42:2)
(Judges 3:1-5) God commanded through Moses that the people were to destroy all the people living in the land He was giving them. Do you think the Israelites obeyed God? Do you remember the story about Joshua and the Gibeonites? The Israelites disobedience to God did not stop His purposes. He used the enemies the Israelites chose not to drive out to teach them how to fight battles. The Israelites alive at this point had not been a part of battle and these enemies would help them to learn how to fight.
(Judges 3:7-11) Let’s read these verses. As we read the verses listen for the ABC’s of Judges. In verse 7 how did the Israelites abandon God? (Did evil, forgot the Lord and served idols) What enemies did God allow to put Israel into bondage? (Cushan-Rishathaim) Which verse has the C? (Verse 9) Who did God send to deliver the Israelites? (Othniel) Which verse speaks of the Israelites having ease from their enemies?
If you mark in your Bibles it might be helpful for you to write the ABC’s next to the verses to remind you of the cycle of sin and God’s deliverance throughout this Book.
Read verses 12-13. Which of the ABC’s are in these verses? (A, B) How long were the Israelites in bondage to the king of Moab? (18 Years)
Read verse 14-15. Which of the ABC’s are in these verses? (C, D) Who did God send to deliver the Israelites? (Ehud) What fact about Ehud is mentioned in verse 15? (He is left-handed, sent to Eglon with a tribute/gift)
(Judges 3:16-25) Ehud strapped an 18 inch double-edged sword to his right leg and hid it under his clothing. When he gave the gift to Eglon he told him he had a secret message for him. The king sent everyone away and Ehud and Eglon were alone, Ehud said he had a message from God. When Eglon stood up, Ehud grabbed his sword and killed Eglon.
Read Judges 3:2-30. Which verse did you discover the E? (Verse 30) How long did the Israelites have ease in the land? (80 years) Who took over after Ehud as Israel’s judge? (Shamgar)
As we discovered Israel’s cycle of sin and God’s rescue in Judges today, did you see how you and I can fall into a similar cycle of sin in our own lives? As believers we know what God says we should do. When we disobey and don’t immediately confess our sin we are in bondage to whatever sin that is causing us to abandon God’s truth. Abandoning God and living in bondage to any sin makes us miserable and eventually we will cry out to God to forgive us and help us not to sin. Jesus has rescued us from sin and the punishment we deserve. He is our righteous Judge. When we walk in obedience to Him we will have peace (ease) from the stress that sin brings to ourselves and those around us.
If you aren’t a follower of Christ you are separated from Him (You are unable to do anything to please Him. Your sins have abandoned you from a right relationship with God. Your sins keep you in bondage and will destroy you. If you cry out to God and believe that Jesus is your deliverer and Savior from Sin you will have peace with God and live for eternity with Him. If you are unsure if you have been rescued from your sins, please talk to me afterwards.
Close in prayer.
- Name the ABC’s found in the Book of Judges. (Abandon, Bondage, Cried, Delivered, and Ease)
- How did God use the enemies still living in the land? (To train the Israelites for war)
- What did Israel do that was evil? (Forgot God, served idols)
- How did God punish the Israelites for their sin? (Allowed them to be in bondage to their enemies)
- What did God do when the Israelites cried out to Him? (He sent them a deliverer who saved them from their enemies)
- What can keep God from accomplishing His plan? (Nothing)
- What did you learn from our lesson today and how will help you to live a life that pleases God?