AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
This is lesson 17 of 42 in our study on the Attributes of God called “Can you tell me what God is like?” Visit the series index to view all the lessons and get more ideas for using this curriculum in your children’s ministry.
LESSON 17: GOD IS JUDGE
- Key Verse: “God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses His wrath every day.” Psalm 7:11
- Teaching Passage: Israel & Ai- Joshua 7 & 8
- Supporting Texts: Job 21:22, Psalm 7:11, Psalm 75:7, Psalm 96:10
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD IS JUDGE written on it, key verse (Psalm 7:11) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group, 12 small pieces of paper to review the attributes
REVIEW PREVIOUS LESSONS:
Ask one of the kids in the group to remind you what you’re learning this year. Remind them that each week we’ll be looking into the Bible to answer the question… “Can you tell me what God is like?” and will be learning one of the many truths about God that we see in His Word.
Ask if anyone can remember the truths we’ve learned so far. As a quick review, choose 6 of the attributes and write them on a small piece of paper each and write those 6 definitions on small pieces of paper. Place them all face down and take turns turning over 2 at a time looking for a match. if they’re not a match, for each attribute turned up, say the definition and for each definition say the attribute.
- God is Almighty= He has absolute power or is all powerful
- God is the Alpha and Omega= He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last
- God is Awesome = He inspires awe and amazement
- God is Compassionate = He shows a deep concern for His people & a desire to meet their needs
- God is the Deliverer = He is the rescuer or savior
- God is Exalted = He is noble, elevated and lifted up
- God is Faithful = He is reliable, trustworthy, true to His Word & keeps His promises
- God Forgives = He grants pardon and cancels the debt of sin
- God is Glorious = He is full of glory (praise, honor & distinction)
- God is Good = morally excellent, virtuous or righteous
- God is Gracious = merciful, benevolent, kind & compassionate
- God Guides His People= He leads, accompanies, assists and gives direction/ guidance
- God Heals = make healthy & whole & free from ailments
- God is Holy = He is sinless, perfect and set apart
- God is our Hope = He is the One in whom our expectations are centered
- Jesus is Immanuel = God with Us
TEACH- GOD IS JUDGE:
Start out by reading this week’s memory verse (Psalm 7:11) from the poster. Ask kids to tell you what they think of when they hear the word “judge.” Talk about how the word judge makes us think of courtrooms and criminals and punishment. Explain to the kids in the group that this morning we’ll be looking at the truth of God being judge and will think about how He rules over and passes judgement on people and why we’re all deserving of His judgement.
Then, tell the kids that you want to tell them a story from the Bible that that gives us a picture of God’s judgement. Go through Joshua 7-8 in your own words hitting the following points:
- At the beginning of the book of Joshua (chapters 1-6) we read about how God led His people into the promised land and gave them the city of Jericho. (Have one of the kids remind you of that story).
- When God have them the city of Jericho, they were told to destroy everything in the city and keep the silver, gold, bronze and iron for the Lord’s treasury
- But, one of the Israelites- a man named Achan from the tribe of Judah- disobeyed God and kept a few things from Jericho for himself. He kept 200 shekels of silver, a gold bar and a beautiful robe.
- Achan hid these things in his tent and thought he had gotten away with it….but he couldn’t hide his sin from God….God knew what he had done.
- Not long after God gave them the city of Jericho, Joshua sent about 3000 men to the city of Ai to take it as well. But, God didn’t fight with them and the men of Ai won the battle, chasing away the Israelites and killing 36 of them.
- When the people heard what had happened they were afraid and Joshua cried out to God asking why He hadn’t given them the city of Ai.
- God told Joshua that the people of Israel hadn’t kept their side of the covenant and told Joshua that someone had stolen and lied and kept things from Jericho that should have been destroyed or kept for the Lord’s treasury.
- God told Joshua to have all the people present themselves before the Lord the next day and He would show who had disobeyed.
- READ Joshua 7:10-23
- explain that casting lots is kind of like drawing straws where the one with the shorter straw is the looser.
- When the lot fell of Achan, he confessed what he had done and where he had hidden the stolen items. Joshua sent someone to collect the items from his tent.
- Achan and his whole family and all of his things were taken to the valley and stoned to death and everything that he owned was burned.
- After Achan was killed, God told the Israelites to go back and take the city of Ai and this time he fought with them and gave them victory.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
JUDGE = ONE WHO RULES OVER AND PASSES JUDGEMENT ON ANOTHER
EXPLAIN: Talk about how we saw God judge His people in today’s story. Ask why it’s fait for God to judge His people. Remind children that God had given specific laws to His people and commanded them to obey. Talk about how God knew the sin of Achan and how even though the punishment seems hard that God in His holiness cannot have sin in His presence.
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for JUDGE. A good motion might be to hit your right fist on your left palm like a judge’s gavel hitting a bench
SAY: “This week’s memory verse is Psalm 7:11. In this verse we see that God is a righteous judge, which means that He always judged fairly and rightly. And, we see that God shows His wrath. Wrath is another word for anger. What do you think makes God angry? (pause for responses). Right, sin. God is angry at sin and God is right to be angry at sin and God is right to judge sin.”
Read the memory verse (Psalm 7:11) a few times together and do the motion for judge.
Talk about how God judged Achan in this story. Ask if they think it was fair that Achan was killed for his sin. Have one of the kids read (or quote) Romans 6:23. Remind them that the punishment for sin is death. Remind the kids that just like God knew what Achan had done, God knows our hearts and He knows our sin. All of us are guilty of sinning against God (Romans 3:23) and just like Achan, all of us deserve to be killed for our sin (Romans 6:23). As a righteous judge, it is perfectly fair for God to give us the punishment that our sin deserves. But, God is also loving and in His great love He sent His Son to take the punishment for us. You see, someone has to pay the price for your sin and my sin. God is a righteous judge and can’t let sin go unpunished, so as judge He punished Jesus in our place.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word judge somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for judge or the memory verse or they could illustrate any of the passages you read about God being judge.After a few minutes, bring the group back together and give kids time to share what they have drawn or written.
Pray that the kids in the group would come to know God more and more each week through this study and that they would remember that all of us are sinners who need to be saved and that they would turn to this good God for salvation. Thank God for being the righteous judge and thank Him for sending Jesus to take the punishment that we deserve.