The following lesson is the second from the Book of Joshua. In this lesson students discover that God hears the prayers of His people and saves them. This lesson was created for older elementary students.
Bible Passage: Joshua 10:1-15
Bible Story Title: God answers Joshua’s Prayers
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 page, pens/pencils
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God hears the prayers of His children (those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ) and He delivers them.
Learning Activity #1: Sword drill (verses are located in the Bible lesson)
Learning Activity #2: Activity pages for Joshua and Gibeonites
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Joshua 24:15 “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Bible Lesson: God answers Joshua’s prayer
Who remembers the answer to last week’s question, what does God do when we obey Him? (God blesses people who obey Him in faith)
Our question today is: What does God do when we pray? God answers the prayers of His people and saves them.
Bible Sword Drill:
We are going to have a sword drill and look at verses that tell us about prayer.
- Proverbs 28:9 (Ignoring God’s instruction makes our prayers detestable to God)
- Psalm 66:19 (If we have un-confessed sin, God doesn’t hear our prayers)
- Exodus 9:29 (Moses prayer and God’s answer would show Pharaoh that the earth is the Lord’s)
- Psalm 34:17 (God hears the prayers of the righteous who call out to Him and He delivers)
- 1 Chronicles 5:20 (God answered their prayers because they trusted in Him)
- 1 Kings 8:33-34 (When God’s people confess their sin and turn back to God He hears their prayers)
- James 5:16 (The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective)
Let’s open our Bibles to Joshua 10. (Allow students to recall what they learned from the last study in Joshua 8-Joshua and Israel obeyed God’s battle plan and He gave them victory over Ai)
Before God’s people entered into the land He promised to give them He told them to completely destroy the people that lived in the land. They were not to make peace treaties with anyone. (Deuteronomy 7:1-6)
In Joshua 9 the Gibeonites heard about how Joshua had defeated Jericho and Ai they decided to trick him rather than to fight against him. They pretended to be travelers from a far away land and wanted to make peace with the Israelites because they had heard about all the miracles God had done for them. Joshua and his men did not pray and ask God for wisdom and believed the lie and made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites. They made an oath with them in the name of the Lord. When Joshua learned that the Gibeonites were neighbors he wasn’t happy but because they had made an oath with the people they couldn’t destroy them. Instead they made them woodcutters and water carriers.
Let’s read Joshua 9:14-18. Throughout the Bible a recurring word appears-covenant. A covenant is a solemn, binding agreement. In our culture we don’t really see anyone keeping any promises. God always keeps His promises and He sees when His people make covenants or oaths made in His Name. To make an oath in God’s name and not keep it would bring God’s punishment. In this passage we see God’s people recognizing what they have done by making an oath with people they were supposed to destroy. (Verses 18-20)
It is always important to pray about every decision we make. God has promised to give believers wisdom when we ask. (James 1:5) He would have given Joshua wisdom to know he was being tricked if he would have asked God what to do with these men.
The rest of our lesson is going to be in Joshua 10:1-15.
News spread quickly that Israel made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites. The king of Jerusalem was alarmed at this latest development. Gibeon was a very important city and had an army of strong warriors. He made an alliance with 4 other kings from the area and they joined forces and attacked Gibeon.
The Gibeonites sent a message to Joshua and told him they were under attack. Read verse 6.
Joshua made an oath with the Gibeonites. He was bound to that agreement. An aspect of that binding agreement is that now the Gibeonites’ enemies were Joshua’s enemies. Information on making a blood covenant
Read verses 7-8. The Bible is an amazing exciting Book! Joshua had made a covenant with the Gibeonites and was going to fight for them. God made a covenant many years earlier with Abraham. The Israelites (Abraham’s descendants) are God’s covenant people. An enemy that fights against God’s people is fighting against God Himself.
- Believers are God’s people because they have put their faith in the Lord Jesus. He is the promised Savior that God promised through Abraham. He shed His blood so we could be made righteous in God’s sight. Any enemy that comes against a believer is fighting against God Himself. (Acts 9:4; Romans 8:31)
Read verses 9-11. Who hurled hailstones at the enemies? (God) How did most of the enemies die (death by hailstones)?
As they were fighting against the enemies Joshua prays. Let’s read what he asks God to do. Read verses 12-14.
Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Believers can find great comfort in those words because as we already discussed, our enemies are God’s enemies.
This year we have regularly talked about the importance of a daily quiet time. Prayer is an important aspect of every believer’s life. Prayer enables believers to communicate with God. When we pray our hearts are focused on Him. Through a close relationship with God believers will see that He hears and answers prayer.
If you are not a believer your sins are a barrier that keeps you from having a relationship with God. If you have not placed your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins you are not in a covenant relationship with God. God is not your father and He is not obligated to answer any of your prayers. When you come to the place where you admit that you are a sinner and believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose from the grave and confess with your mouth you enter a covenant relationship with God and belong to His family. As your father, God hears and answers your prayers.
If you are a believer it is important to walk closely with Jesus and confess any known sin so that they do not hinder (hurt) your relationship with God. Sometimes if it feels like we are not getting any answer from God we should use that opportunity to ask Him if we have sin in our lives that is displeasing to Him. When we confess our sins and are cleansed the barrier that was affecting our relationship is cleared away.
Close in prayer.
If the answer is false please give the correct answer.
- T/F Joshua didn’t ask God for wisdom about the Gibeonites. (T)
- T/F Joshua obeyed God when he made an oath with the Gibeonites. (F) (They were not to make peace with any people in Canaan)
- T/F Making a covenant or oath in God’s name is a serious thing. (T)
- T/F Joshua made the Gibeonites gardeners and farmers. (F) (Wood cutters and water carriers)
- T/F God helped fight the battle and struck the enemies with lightning and hailstones. (F) (He hurled hailstones)
- T/F Joshua asked God to speed up the day so the battle would be over and they could rest. (F) (He asked for God to stop the sun from setting so they could finish the battle that day)
- T/F God was fighting for Israel on that day. (T)