(The following is a family devotional guide with suggested questions and scriptures.)
Focus Verse: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.” -Psalm 28:7
T-Talk About It Topic
Tell me about some stories in the Bible in which God asks someone to do something ridiculous sounding…but when they do, God does the miraculous.
A-Anchor To The Bible
God wants us to have the type of trust that is relentless. Relentless trust is a trust that doesn’t give up when God asks us to do something so big, something so different, or something so ridiculous, we don’t back down; rather, we say yes…because often times, that is the precise moment that God will do something miraculous! In our focus story today, we are looking at the Israelites. After 400 years of being enslaved, God has freed His people, divided the Red Sea to save them from the Egyptians, and provided for them in the desert with His manna (as well as other miracles). God led the Israelites right to the edge of their Promised Land and asked them to do something so big, they become fearful: Go into the Promised Land and take it from the people who live there. Because of their fear and hesitations, God allowed Moses to send 10 spies to check out the land, its cities, its vegetation, its springs, etc. After exploring the land for 40 days, the spies returned. The good news? The land was fertile and many crops and fruits grew there. The bad news? There were large cities with high walls and strong, tall people (“giants”) living there. The spies’ report about the people living in the Promised Land cause much panic and fear among the Israelites. They whined and complained that God was just trying to kill them…some of them even wanted to go back to being slaves in Egypt!
But, two spies, Joshua and Caleb, stood up against the strong pressure of the Israelites to retreat and tried to encourage them to trust God by saying the land was good and that God would help them! They urged the Israelites to not be afraid and obey God – He would be with them. The Israelites got so mad at Caleb and Joshua they actually tried to stone these two young, courageous men! That is when God intervened and punished them all. Their punishment? Every adult Israelite (20 years or older) would die in the desert, never to see their Promised Land because they didn’t trust God to help them. God said their children would go into the Promised Land, along with Joshua and Caleb, because they trusted the Lord wholeheartedly. The Israelites lost out on the biggest blessing of their lives because they couldn’t trust God to do what He promised to do.
L-Learn God’s Word
The Israelites did not trust God as their strength and their shield and because of that, they lost courage to take their land. The same thing can happen to us when we cave into our fears. Feeling fearful is okay, but God is hoping we will trust Him to help us face our fears, instead of running away. When we do that, check out the land part of our memory verse: He helps us!
K-Keep Each Other Accountable
Here are a few ideas to keep everyone in check with this week’s TALK:
I had my Sunday school class do the blindfold challenge prior to this TALK: one partner blindfolds the other and leads them somewhere across the room (of course after spinning them in several directions to throw off their sense of direction!). Afterwards, he/she then calls out to the blindfolded person, guiding them across a maze of things in the way. The blindfolded person must rely upon the sound of their partner’s voice to guide them safely!
This is a great activity to show them the power of drowning out all the other voices we hear on a daily basis and listening for God’s voice and trusting His guidance.