Two Obedient Men: Caleb & Joshua

Monday:Two Obedient Men: Caleb & Joshua
Story Passage: Numbers 13-14
Other Passages:
Objective: We should trust and obey God.
Visuals Available (updated 2016)
Memory Verse: 1st John 2:5, But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him.
Introduction: Footsteps
This week we're going to be learning about some people in the Bible, whose footsteps we should follow. What does it mean to follow in somebody's footsteps? [Accept some answers.] It means doing the same kinds of things that they did, or being the kind of person that they were. Today, we're going to talk about following in the footsteps of two men named Caleb and Joshua. God honored them for what they did, because they obeyed God. So we know these are good footsteps to follow.
Story: Caleb & Joshua
The Lord told Moses to pick out twelve men from Israel, one from each tribe, and send them to investigate the land that God was going to give them. Two of them men Moses chose were Joshua and Caleb. He also sent ten other men. They explored the land for forty days: they looked around to see how strong the people were who lived there, what kind of cities they had, and they took samples of the fruit that grew there.
When they came back to the camp to report to Moses, they told him that the land was very good. They showed him one cluster of grapes that was so big, two men had to carry it. But ten of the men were afraid to go take the land, because they were afraid of the people who lived there, and the strong walls around the cities. Now, Joshua and Caleb knew that God had said he was going to give them the land, so Caleb said, We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.
You see, Caleb believed God, and wanted to obey what God had told them to do.
The Point: Obey God
Why did Caleb say that they should go take the land? He wanted to obey God. Caleb trusted God, and knew that doing what God said to do was the best thing.
Story: What Happened Next?
Caleb and Joshua wanted to obey God, but the other ten men were afraid, so they started spreading rumors, exaggerating how big and bad the people were. They said that they felt like grasshoppers next to them, even though really they were only a little smaller. Also, they lied about the land, and said that it wasn't very good land.
God punished the people for their disobedience. Because they were unwilling to obey, they had to wander around in the desert for an extra forty years. Of the twelve men who had explored the land, only Caleb and Joshua, the ones who had wanted to obey, were the only ones who lived through the forty years and got to go into the land. God rewarded them for their obedience.
Application: Group Disobedience
Have you ever been in a group of people who were all disobeying? Imagine you're playing with your friends, and they all decide to start doing something you're not supposed to do. Let's say you're at a birthday party with ten friends, and they all decide to start watching a movie that you know your mom said you shouldn't watch. Let's say you go ahead and watch it with them, because, hey, they are all watching it. What would you tell your mom when she finds out you watched it?
It's hard to obey when all the people around you are going the other direction. But Caleb and Joshua obeyed. When their friends said, we can't do it, we can't go into that land, it's too scary, Caleb and Joshua spoke up. They tried to remind the people of what God had said. They didn't get the people to obey, but God honored Caleb and Joshua for their obedience. So even if you can't get all your friends to do the right thing, it's still important for you to obey.
Invitation: Obedience
Invite any children who want to follow in the footsteps of Caleb and Joshua to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

Second Round of Fishing for Christ Decoration Photos

While we're waiting for the aforementioned Footsteps lessons to be reviewed, I thought I'd post the second round of photographs from 2009. This first shot shows a section of wall with fish and bubbles. We actually made all those fish back in 2004, when we used this theme the first time: we photocopied various outline-style images, colored them in with markers, cut them out, and laminated them. When we took them down after VBS, we saved them, because we knew we'd be using the theme again. The bubbles are just little circles of blue construction paper in about three different sizes.

This one shows a different section of wall, this time with seaweed (made from green construction paper) in addition to the fish and bubbles.
Here you can see one of the nets that we hung from the ceiling. (We bought half a dozen of these nets from the Oriental Trading Company.) In the background you can also see mobiles. The mobiles are a kit that someone bought for us in 2004, and the fish and things hanging from them, and the other ones hanging from the ceiling, are also from a purchased kit. They're double-sided, which is why we hung them from the ceiling rather than on the wall. We use fishing line to hang them, because it's cheap and durable and easy to work with and sufficiently transparent that you mostly don't notice it.
In the auditorium we hang flags of the countries where we have missionaries.
Here's another of those nets, this time by the front entrance. We originally tried to use masking tape to stick it up, which didn't hold well, as you can see. So we switched to the blue tacky stuff, which worked much better.
In the stairwell we had some ceiling tiles out, due to an ongoing renovation project (something to do with the new lighting fixture being a different form-factor from the old one, I think, and also we were putting some of the existing wiring into conduit, because it should have been that way in the first place). So I figured we'd make the best of the unsightly mess by hanging a decoration from it! Indeed, the open ceiling made it really easy to hang the net in exactly the configuration I wanted, because I wasn't restricted by tile-boundaries and could tie up bits of the net more or less wherever I wanted.
We also hung a net from the preschool-room ceiling.
I think that about wraps it up for the 2009 decoration photos. I expect the Footsteps lessons will be forthcoming soon, now, and then we can start gearing up for 2010.