Rahab and the Spies (Joshua 1-2) Sunday School Lesson

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Rahab and the Spies (Joshua 1-2) Sunday School Lesson
Title: Rahab and the Spies
Scripture: Joshua 1-2
Target Age Group: 3rd-5th grade
Main Point: God rescues those who trust in Him.
Supplies: Copies of “Rahab and the Spies” skit (download here), Bibles

Lesson Opening

Ask: What is one thing you would do/try if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Ask: What is keeping you from doing that thing now?
Say: In the story we’ll hear today, God gave the Israelites a big job. They were about to enter the Promised Land, but first they had to drive out the other nations currently living there. They were about to face some fierce enemies, and at times it may have seemed impossible that they would succeed. But God was with them, and He would keep His promise to His people. As long as the Israelites trusted God, they would not fail.

Tell the Bible Story

Ask: Have you ever helped someone else? What did you do for them? Why did you want to help?
Ask: Today we’re going to hear a story about a time the Israelites needed help, and it came from a very unlikely person. We’ll also learn that God rescues those who trust in Him. That’s our main point today so let’s learn the hand motions together.
Main Point: God’s (point upwards) rescues (act like you’re helping someone off the floor) those who trust (fold hands together) in Him (point upwards.)
Throughout the lesson have the kids listen for the words “spy” and “spies.” Every time they hear these words have them hold their hands up to their eyes as if looking through binoculars.
Say: At our church, we love the Bible, because it is God’s Word to us, His people! Today we’ll jump back into the Old Testament book of Joshua to hear a story about God’s promises.
Tell the Story: Moses had led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years, waiting to enter the Promised Land. You might remember that God told Moses he wouldn’t be able to enter the land because of he sinned against God by not trusting Him. Even though Moses would never set foot in the Promised Land, God took him up to the top of Mount Nebo to show him the land so Moses could see that God’s promise was about to come true. Moses died there and soon after God chose Joshua to take his place as leader of the Israelites.
Tell the Story: God told Joshua that the time had finally come for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land! The wait was over! It was an exciting time for Israel, but maybe a little scary too. You see, there were other people living in that land already, and God had told the Israelites that it was their job to drive the people out. God encouraged Joshua by saying, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Ask: If you were Joshua, how would God’s words have made you feel?
Tell the Story: Joshua appointed two spies to go into the land to see the city of Jericho. When the men arrived in Jericho they came to the house of a woman named Rahab. The king of Jericho was told that two spies had entered the city that that they were staying at Rahab’s house. The king sent messengers to Rahab telling her to bring out the spies.
Ask: If you were Rahab, what would you do?
Tell the Story: Rahab took the spies to her roof and told them to hid under some stalks of flax. Just then, the king’s messengers knocked on her door. She must have been nervous as she opened the door to let them in.
“Where are those Israelite spies?” they demanded.
Rahab replied, “The men were here, but they have left the city. If you hurry, you will be able to catch up with them!”
Ask: Why do you think Rahab protected the spies? Why didn’t she turn them into the king?
Say: Let’s read from God’s Word to find out why Rahab saved the spies.
Read from your Bible: (Joshua 2:9-11) “I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, that that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt…When we heard of this, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”
Say: The people of Jericho knew about the mighty acts of God, and they knew that the Israelites were God’s chosen people. The people of Jericho were terrified of what might happen to them.
But rather than turning to the one true God, they continued sinning by worshipping false gods. Everyone except Rahab. She knew in her heart that God was the one true God and He alone deserves worship.
Ask: Do you remember our main point? Let’s say it together.
Main Point: God rescues those who trust in Him.
Tell the Story: Rahab begged the spies to spare her and her family since she had shown them kindness by hiding them. The spies promised that her family would be kept safe as long as they stayed inside her home when Israel came to attack the city. Then they told her to tie a scarlet rope in her window that would be the sign to Israel to spare Rahab and her family.
The spies returned to Joshua and told him how the people of Jericho were melting in fear of the Israelites saying, “The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands.”
Ask: Do you think it would have been easy or hard for Rahab to help the spies?
Say: She was probably a little scared, especially since it meant lying to the king of her own country! But Rahab trusted God and knew that the Israelites would prevail over the city of Jericho. She believed that God was bigger than the king, and she was right! Because she trusted in God, Rahab and her whole family were saved.
Main Point: God rescues those who trust in Him.
Ask: Did you know that God had a very special plan for Rahab?
Say: Even though she wasn’t an Israelite, God welcomed her into His family because of her faith. Not only that, but she was the great- great- great- grandmother of Jesus! You see God’s plan of salvation wouldn’t be just for the people of Israel. God loves people from every nation and wants to bring us all close to Him. And just like Rahab, anyone who trusts God and has faith in His Son Jesus is saved because…
Main Point: God rescues those who trust in Him!
Pray …. Dear God thank you for speaking to us through the story of Rahab today. We praise you because only you are worthy of our worship. We are so thankful that you rescue those who trust in you. Amen.

Review Questions

  • What was the main point from our lesson? (God rescues those who trust in Him.)
  • Why did Joshua send spies into Jericho? (To gather information about the city.)
  • Who helped the spies? (Rahab)
  • Why did Rahab help them? (She believed that God was the one true God)
  • What made Rahab believe that God was the one true God? (She had heard about the things God had done for the Israelites.)

Learning Activity: Acting out the Story    

Supplies: Copies of “Rahab and the Spies” skit (download here)

  • Choose 7 kids to play the parts of Narrator, Joshua, Servant, King, Rahab, Spy 1 and Spy 2. Pass out the copies of the skit. Give them a few minutes to read through their lines before acting out the story for the class.
  • If you have a large class, you may divide the kids into groups of 7 and have each group act out the story together.

Bible Skills Activity: Signs of Salvation                                                        

Supplies: Bibles

  • Write the following verses on the board: Joshua 2:17-21; Exodus 12:1-13; Ephesians 1:7-8
  • Have the kids get into groups of 2-3 and assign each group one verse to look up. They will read the passage as a group and answer the following question: In this passage, what is the sign or symbol that a person is saved?
  • Give the groups time to work then come back together as a class to discuss what they found.
  • Say: In the story of the Passover the Hebrews were saved by the blood of a lamb. Rahab and her family were saved by hanging a red cord in the window. These two events point forward to Christ and how we are saved by His blood when we put our faith in Him.

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