|Monday:||Two Obedient Men|
|Main Passage:||Numbers 13-14|
|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.
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 we emulate them: we do the same kinds of things that they did, or be the kind of person that they were. What kind of person would we want to emulate? A rock star? A famous singer? A successful business executive? How about a godly person?
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, what fortifications, ... 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. They didn't trust God to help them take the land. 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.
The Point: Obey God
You see, Caleb believed God, and wanted to obey what God had told them to do. Caleb said that they should go take the land, because he 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. (Apparently a cluster of grapes so big two men had to carry it was not going to help feed the people.)
The Israelites decided to go on the recommendation of the ten men who were afraid. 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, 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 and your buddies are hanging out at the mall, and they all decide to start vandalizing the mall fountain. You know you shouldn't, but you know, they're all doing it. Together. Maybe you could just stand there and not really participate, but is that the right thing to do? [Discuss.]
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 they tried, and 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, and to stand for what is right, and to trust God to take care of you.
Invite anyone who wants to follow in the footsteps of Caleb and Joshua to stay after and discuss it further.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.