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BIBLE PASSAGE: Joshua 2
BACKGROUND: Canaanite prostitute Rahab is perhaps an unlikely hero, but she demonstrates incredible faith and courage. When she chooses to hide the spies she does so because she believes what she has heard about God and is making a choice to live differently compared with her people.
We see the grace of God demonstrated through her story as she is forgiven for the bad choices she has made in her life and becomes part of the line of Christ. The focus in this chapter is on how she chooses to trust God and the way he invites her into his plan.
Invite the children to sit together in a circle and encourage them to share stories from their week. Celebrate any birthdays or special events. It can be helpful to have an object or cuddly toy to pass around for the children to hold as they speak. Ask them: “Have you ever helped someone? What happened?” Thank God that he is with you and ask him to help you learn more about him today.
You will need: items to hide around the room (optional)
Invite the children to spy out information for you. For example, ask them to find something unusual in your building. They could count how many lights there are in the hallway or discover what colour the chairs are in the church hall.
You could also hide some items around your room (and even outside if you are able to go further afield) for the children to find.
You will need: reeds, straw or similar (or you could use a large brown piece of material); a rope; red rope or fabric
Explain that today’s story is about someone who helped the Israelites. This someone was brave and chose to help even though others might not have. Tell the children this story:
Rahab lived in the land of Jericho. She wasn’t part of God’s people and she had made bad choices, but God had a plan for her.
When Joshua and the Israelites arrived at their new home it was already full of people. Joshua secretly sent two spies to have a look at the land.
The two spies came to Rahab’s house to stay the night. Invite some children to be spies and come to you.
The King of Jericho had heard that there were spies in the city, and he sent soldiers to find them! So Rahab hid the spies. Invite the children to help you ‘hide your spies’ with the reeds, straw or material. Ask two of the children to be soldiers.
Rahab told the soldiers that the spies had been there but had left, and she didn’t know where they had gone. She said: “Go after them quickly and you might catch up with them!” So the men rushed out to try to catch the spies. The ‘soldiers’ do so.
But they didn’t find them because Rahab had been hiding the spies on her roof. She had hidden them under stalks of flax, which is a bit like long grass.
Rahab said to the spies: “I know that God has given you this land. We’ve heard about the awesome things he has done. He dried up the water in the Red Sea! We know how powerful your God is. Because I have helped look after you, please say that you’ll look after me and my family and keep us safe.”
The spies agreed.
Rahab let them down out of her window by a rope and told them to run to the hills where they could hide. Encourage the children to take turns pretending to climb down the rope.
They told Rahab to tie a red rope to her window so the Israelites would know to protect her when they came to the city. Tie your red rope or fabric to a chair.
The spies went on their way, and for three days they hid from the soldiers. They finally returned to Joshua and told him
all about what they had seen. Rahab was remembered for the way she had welcomed the spies and chosen to trust God.
Rahab chose to live differently from and more courageously than those around her, and God included her in his big rescue plan for his people. God loves people no matter what choices they have made in their lives, and he loves to draw them close to him.
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to take turns to contribute (use your object or cuddly toy if you passed one around earlier):
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- How do you think the spies felt?
- Why do you think Rahab helped them?
- How do you think the people in the city might have felt if they had known that Rahab was helping the spies?
You will need: red ribbon or wool; beads and sequins
The spies told Rahab to hang a piece of red rope from her window so that the Israelites would remember how she had helped them and protect her whole family. Rahab hung the red cord out to say: “Yes, I want to be part of God’s plan!”
Show the children how to thread beads and sequins onto a piece of wool or ribbon to make a red bracelet. Alternatively, you could plait the strands together. As you work, chat about the story and what it means to be part of God’s plan. Share a story from your own life so the children can hear about faith in action.
You will need: bracelets from ‘Creative response’
Invite the children to pray for one another while wearing their bracelets. Stand in a circle and either hold hands or put your hand on the shoulder of the person next to you:
God, thank you that you love each one of us, and that you invite us all to be a part of your big plans. Thank you that we are
part of [insert your group name]. Help us to trust you, to be brave and courageous, and to follow you even if the people around us choose not to.
For the rest of this month’s sessions go to youthandchildrens.work/together
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