Big Idea: We need a Saviour who lives forever to save us.
Nine lessons exploring the book of Judges.
The book of Judges begins with the death of Joshua. God had worked in mighty ways through Joshua, to conquer the land he had promised to his people - a promise first made to Abraham (Genesis 12:1), confirmed with Moses (Exodus 3:8) and fulfilled in the book of Joshua (Joshua 1:2-3). Joshua was instructed to drive out the nations living in the land of Canaan - nations who’d worshipped false gods, even sacrificing their children in honour of them. The time for God’s judgement on these nations had come. But not all the nations were driven from the land as God had instructed. God had saved his people to live as his people in the land he’d promised. Throughout the book of Judges we see that Israel became more like the nations than their holy God who’d saved them. They were saved to be a light to the nations, not a mirror.
The name of the book captures the type of leaders who lead Israel at this time. They were judges, not in the legal sense of that word, but more like military leaders who rescued and then ruled God’s people. Each judge is an unlikely leader.
The cycle, highlighted in the opening chapters of the book, repeats in every story. Israel only experienced peace as long as the judge, whom God had used to rescue his people, lived. As soon as the judge died, the people turned from worshipping the one true God, to worshipping the gods of the people around them. God sends enemies to capture and oppress them as judgement on his people. Eventually the people cried out to God, God heard their cry and sent a rescuer (a judge) to save them. But each time the judge died, the cycle began all over again.
Two things to note about this cycle. Firstly, it’s God who turns things around every time. God’s compassion for his people, his unfailing commitment to them, results in him sending a rescuer every time they repented and cried out to him for mercy.
Secondly, the book of Judges cries out for a saviour. A saviour who would save God’s people and live forever as their saviour. That Saviour is Jesus. ‘Therefore he (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them’. (Hebrews 7:25)
The unit comes complete with stories, pictures, suggested songs/memory verses, games, drama activities, crafts, large and small group activities. A resource pack full of crafts and worksheets is also included.