The Greatest Rescue Story Ever
Do you read the Bible as a rescue story? If not, you should. Rescue is at the heart of the metanarrative of Scripture. The Bible is one big true story of God’s plan to redeem people—to rescue them—from sin and death through Jesus Christ. Like all rescue stories, the Bible’s story begins with everything fine, but then, tragedy strikes—people entering into open rebellion against God and earning death as just punishment.
If you have taught The Gospel Project for any length of time, this is not news to you. This is part of our DNA of Story, Culture, and Mission. But I think it is important that we work to remember this. It is quite easy to fall into a rhythm of preparing to lead sessions each week and focusing on just what we are covering that week. When we do this, though, we hinder our kids from seeing the bigger, better story going on—the work of Jesus, our Rescuer.
Rescues Stories that Point to a Greater Rescue
This week’s session, and those that follow in the Book of Judges, illustrate this truth perfectly. As we saw in the last session, the stories of Judges follow a pattern, one which is important to know to make sense of the book’s central message. The Book of Judges is not really about Deborah, Barak, and Jael. Neither is it ultimately about Gideon and Samson. These were all real people who mattered, but none of them are the focus on Judges. Jesus is.
Judges shows us the depth of human depravity—the overwhelming appeal of sin. That is why the repetition of sin is important to see. Sin is not just a little mistake we make from time to time. Sin is not a stumble here and there. We don’t fall into sin as much as we run toward it. That is what the Israelites in that day did, and it is what we do too.
But Judges also shows us the heights of God’s mercy and grace. This is also why it is important to see the pattern of rebellion in this book. It shows us the inexhaustible love and forgiveness of God—a God who is far more patient than we are. As we read Judges, that should be at the forefront of our minds. How could God have been so patient to a people who deserved no such thing from Him? Because when we ask that question, we are forced to ask a second, related one: How can God be so patient to us, a people who deserve no such thing?
And that takes us to Jesus. God was kind to send the judges to rescue God’s people, but as we see, none were sufficient. Deborah, Barak, and Jael were a kind gift from God. But they were unable to provide the rescue God’s people desperately needed, one not from an enemy army, but from within. God’s people needed to be rescued from their sinful rebellion against God. But that was beyond the abilities of those three people. Just as it was beyond Gideon’s abilities, Samson’s abilities, and every other person who has lived except one: Jesus.
-From Brian Dembowczyk at TGP website
Preschool Tip: Preschoolers need to understand that God loves them and that He has a plan to use them for His glory. This week’s session gives you a great opportunity to share that with them. In this session, we see God use several people working together. It’s a great reminder of how we God’s design is for all of His people to bring the skills, abilities, and resources He has given them to be used together for His kingdom work. None of the three people this week stand out like a “super hero.” They seem rather ordinary—and that is the beauty of this passage. Few of us will be “super heroes.” But God is not looking for them—He is looking for faithful people. The sooner your little ones know this, the better.
Kids Tip: Unless you live under a rock, you know that our culture, and many of our churches, are being challenged about how women are treated. This has been a painful, but necessary, season, from which we hope and pray that many sins against women end. The gospel message is one of unity—how we are all brought together as one in Christ as brothers and sisters of equal value. This week you have the opportunity to affirm God’s work through two women and a man. Our kids are not too young to learn how to value, love, and respect people of the opposite gender. Prayerfully consider how you might be able to point your kids to this gospel issue.
#JesusJam Have fun worshiping together to some songs!
CLICK HERE for this weeks story summary
Christ Connection: God does what is for His glory and our good. (Psalm 115:3; Romans 8:28) God fought for the Israelites and used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to defeat Canaan. In a similar way, God uses people and events to not only save us from our enemies, but to teach us about our ultimate good: salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
If you have a bible at your house, read the book of Judges 4-5 If you don't have one, that's okay! CLICK HERE.
Qverview of the book of Judges:
Deborah and Barak Book and Activity Packet
Trueway Kids has some absolutely fantastic resources for those of us still doing church at home. One of those resources is a complete "Deborah and Barak" activity pages that even includes a printable Bible story book! CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR PRINTABLE
Today's Craft Activity:
Make your chariot! CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR PRINTABLE
This cool craft is a freebie online and is actually one of the many activities you'll find in the activity packet above, you print, make a few cuts, and your basically done! You'll need a few other odds and ends so be sure to check the supply list and grab what you need!