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Joshua (Projects and Activities)


Map Exercises

Open your Bibles to Joshua 1 - 2. Teachers, if you have maps of the trek in the wilderness, Joshua's conquests of Canaan, and the settling of the twelve tribes of Israel, bring them to class. There are two maps in the Kids Korner's archives: Twelve Tribes of Israel and Egypt and the Sinai. Included in Teaching the Bible section is a map of Canaan, Conquest, and the Judges . Ask the students to find Mt. Nebo.


Teaching about Rahab

Joan Koelle Snipes, author of That Ye May Teach the Children, shares how she would teach about Rahab.

In the past, I've never put much emphasis on teaching the story of Rahab in Sunday School. I plan to rectify this because her role in helping the early Hebrews conquer Canaan was clearly revered by the biblical authors of Matthew, Hebrews, and James. See Questions and Answers for more information on Rahab.

When I teach the story, I will follow my usual pattern of briefly telling the children the story in my own words. Then, we'll read parts of the story from the Bible. Next, I'll ask the children questions about Rahab. Finally, I'll follow up with a Bible Study Worksheet to be completed at home along with regular review questions.

Below are some of the questions about Rahab that I'll be using both in class and on the worksheet.

  • During the time of Joshua, Rahab protected two Israelite spies. Where was her house located? (Joshua 2:1, 15)
  • Just before the battle of Jericho, who sent "two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho?" (Joshua 2:1)
  • Rahab and her family lived in a house on the wall of Jericho. Why were they spared when the city walls fell and the city was destroyed in the time of Joshua? (Joshua 2:1-24)
  • Rahab's agreement with the spies was that they save the lives of her father, her mother, her brothers, and her sisters. How and where did Rahab hide the two spies? (Joshua 2:1-24)
  • Rahab hid the Hebrew spies on the roof of her house under stalks of flax. What was flax and how was it used? (Please see a Bible dictionary.)
  • How did the two spies escape from Rahab's house in Jericho? (Joshua 2:15)
  • Most scholars identify Rachab, mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus, and Rahab as the same person. Please tell the story of Rahab. (Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-25; Matthew 1:5)
  • Rahab is one of four Old Testament women listed in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus. Who are the other three? (Matthew 1:1-16)
  • The author of Hebrews notes that Rahab "perished not with them that believed not" when her city was destroyed. She gained fame by hiding some Israelite spies from the king. Please name Rahab's city. (Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:1-24; 6:22-25)
  • Was Rahab Jewish when she hid the two spies?
  • Why do you suppose Rahab decided to cooperate with the Hebrew spies?

Lessons We Can Learn from Joshua
by Bible Scholar, Barry Huff

Print/ Download -- Lessons We Can Learn from Joshua

Joshua courageously led the children of Israel out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, and from his bold example we can learn many lessons.

  • Have you ever been scared of a big test, a game, or a bully?

    • In a scary situation, you can remember the words of Joshua, "the Lord is with us: fear them not"
      (Numbers 14:9; see Numbers 13-14 for the whole story).

  • When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, Moses sent one spy from each of the twelve tribes of Israel into Canaan.

    • Ten of the spies reported that it was impossible to enter the Promised Land because the people who lived there were huge and stronger than the children of Israel.

    • This report made the children of Israel complain that they never should have left Egypt.

    • Joshua and Caleb, the last two spies, told the children of Israel not to complain or to be afraid of the strength of humans.

      • Instead, they should trust God, the ultimate strength.

  • Unfortunately, the children of Israel didn't believe Joshua.

    • They had to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness, turning to God every day for their food and water, until they trusted Him enough to enter the Promised Land.

      • The path is a lot quicker when we trust God right from the start!

  • By the time they were ready to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land, the children of Israel were trusting God with every step.

    • In fact, they walked right into the Jordan River, knowing that God would part the waters. And, sure enough, God did!

    • Sometimes we have to get our feet wet before the waters will part.
      • To overcome any problem that faces us, we must courageously move forward with faith in God.

  • This faith in God was symbolized by Joshua ordering the priests, who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant (rather than the soldiers carrying swords), to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the Promised Land (See Joshua 3).

    • In any difficult circumstance, we might ask ourselves, what am I putting first in my life: God's strength or human strength? Am I facing this challenge by beginning with prayer?

  • When the children of Israel entered the Promised Land and came to the walls of the ancient city of Jericho, Joshua once again led them to turn to God for help.

    • Joshua's experience shows that when we're turning to God for help, we shouldn't be surprised when we're asked to do something that makes no sense. God's got a great sense of humor!

    • Instead of using battering rams and bombs to conquer the city, the children of Israel used prayer and praise.

      • Prayer and praise are the greatest weapons in the world.

  • The children of Israel walked around the city walls each day and blew their trumpets in praise of God, and, sure enough, the walls of Jericho came tumblin' down.

  • Often, this story has been used by powerful countries to say that God will help them destroy their enemies. But that interpretation misses the whole point of this story.

    • While most people who lived around the children of Israel believed that God protected only the powerful rulers and did not care about the powerless or poor, the children of Israel knew differently.

      • The children of Israel worshipped a God who cared for, freed, and protected a rag-tag bunch of slaves "as the apple of his eye" (Deuteronomy 32:10).

    • The story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho (found in Joshua 6) teaches us that God brings land to the landless, loves everyone - even those who nobody else cares about - and overthrows all walls of limitation, no matter how high.

      • Wall of limitation crumble so that God's children will have what they need.

    • We too can celebrate this God through marching and music, the dedicated action of our daily life and the praise in our hearts. We will then witness walls of fear, sickness, oppression, hatred, and limitation come tumblin' down.

      • Like Joshua, we can boldly leap into the waters and march with shouts around the walls of any challenge, because we know that the God who parts waters and tears down walls is the greatest and only power in the world.

      • Instead of being afraid of, and thereby worshipping, the greatness of a problem, we can worship the greatness of God.

      • With Joshua, we can let our lives declare, "the Lord is with us: fear them not" (Numbers 14:9).

Good to Great

Print/ Download -- Good to Great

In Jim Collins' best seller Good to Great, he distinguishes between good businesses and great businesses. Collins explains that "good" is the enemy of the "great." We don't have great schools because we have good schools. Few people achieve greatness because they are content with goodness. Collins discovered a few principles that moved businesses and people from good to great.

  • Good to great companies don't focus on how to be great but on what not to do and what to stop doing. Doesn't this sound like God giving us the Ten Commandments?
  • Collins found great leaders are:
    • Modest
    • Quiet
    • Reserved
    • Humble
      • Definitely not a Julius Caesar or General Patton.
      • Great leaders first get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. Isn't that what God had Moses do with the 12 spies? The ten who didn't get it had to get off the bus. They didn't get into the Promised Land. The two who got it right, Joshua and Caleb, got to move with God.

There are five levels to this hierarchy of service. I'm going to use Joshua as an example for each level.

  • Level 1 - Highly Capable Individual - makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits. Joshua certainly seems to start his career here. Highly capable. In the movie, the Ten Commandments, he is an integral part of the process of the Exodus. Biblically, however, we aren't introduced to him until Moses gives him the order to choose out men to defeat Amalek. In Ex. 17. This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. You remember that during the battle Joshua's men are successful as long as Moses keeps his hands in the air. You know how difficult that is. When he put his hands down, the Amalekites would rally and take over. Aaron and Hur solved this problem by getting a rock and seating Moses on the rock and standing on either side of him holding up his arms until Joshua and the army won.

  • Level 2 - Contributing Team member - contributes to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in a group setting. After the battle, we learn Joshua is probably promoted to Moses' minister (Ex. 24:12-18). When Moses goes up mount Sinai to speak with God (getting tablets of stone with the law written on them as well as instructions on building the tent of meeting), he takes Joshua. Aaron and Hur are left to tend to the needs of the people. Joshua presumably remained on the lower slopes in order to prevent any person from trying to follow Moses or interfere with Moses' mission. The new IB contends that this is similar to foreshadowing in literature. It is establishing a visual image of Joshua as successor. He is obviously not afraid to follow Moses up the mountain.

  • Level 3 - Competent Manager - organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives. While not specifically written in the Bible, no doubt if Joshua is Moses' minister (lieutenant), he is intricately involved in the building of the tent of meeting. In verse Ex 33:11 we are told he is serving in the tent of meeting.

  • Level 4 - Effective leader - catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards. This is a shining moment for Joshua. He is selected as one of the twelve spies to "examine" the land. His ability to see the good in the land and their ability to conquer the land with God's help outweighs any negativity. It is going to require trust in God. So what else is new. Caleb knows that with God they can do this. The people, however, see the glass half empty and are prepared to stone Joshua and Caleb.

  • Level 5 - Executive - builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. The IB dictionary states that Joshua was almost a second Moses.
    • He has the presence of God as Moses did;
    • He is obeyed as Moses was;
    • He sanctifies Israel before God's wonders, as Moses did;
    • He is exalted before Israel as Moses was.
    • The crossing of the Jordan on dry ground corresponds to the Red Sea crossing.
    • When the angel speaks to Joshua before Jericho, he speaks to him the same way God spoke to Moses at the burning bush.
    • Joshua like Moses, wrote the law on stones.
    • God hearkens to Joshua's voice as he had with Moses.
    • When Joshua brings the tribes to Shechem for the covenant ceremony, he summarizes Israel's history similar to Moses' summary in Deuteronomy.
      • Both distribute land;
      • Both speak as prophets;
      • Both have God's promise that God will be with them.
    • We have seen how Joshua has advanced through the five steps of leadership. Collins contends humility is essential to be a great leader.

Humility, as we see it in the Bible, is an act of surrendering human will and ego and blending it with the ability to listen and obey God.

  • Collins further defines greatness as a matter of conscious choice. Let's define "conscious choice" as a desire to let the divine will govern all our actions.
  • Joshua showed all the elements of greatness - humility and the ability to make conscious choices.
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