Week of April 24 - The People Kept Sinning

In the Book of Judges, we see a cycle of sin, oppression, repentance, rescue, obedience, and then back to sin. The condition of man's heart when left to himself will "do what is right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Our own hearts lead us to sinful behavior that leads to enslavement to sin. Judges reveals who we are apart from God's grace.

The Book of Judges also uncovers what God is like. He is rich in love and quick to restore those who turn to Him. He is gracious; every time the people of Israel repented and turned from their sins, He sent deliverance. He restored Israel from the edge of destruction. God also revealed Himself as able to save no matter how difficult or deep the captivity. In fact, we see God's mercy clearly when He sent the judge Samson when the people didn't even ask for deliverance. In these warrior-deliver stories, God showed that what His people really needed was a king— not just any king but a perfect king who would rule His people with perfect justice and mercy.
It is easy for us as modern readers to judge the people of Israel harshly. How could they turn away from a God who delivered them from their enemies over and over again? But how easy is it for us to be tempted away from love for God and love created things more than the Creator?

What gives us hope and comfort is that in a world where it feels like there is chaos all around us, we know that God in His mercy is a God who rescues. He didn't send a flawed warrior to deliver us from the effects of our sin temporarily. He sent His only Son to defeat sin and death and restore the relationship that sinners could never fix on their own.

Today, rest in the knowledge that God has gone before you. Prepare your heart to point your kids to Jesus over and over as the true Deliverer and the true peace for which their hearts desperately long.

This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

  • Babies & Toddlers: Jesus rescues us from sin and changes our hearts.
  • Preschool: God sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from sin and change our hearts to want to obey Him.
  • Kindergarten: After God’s people sinned, the judges helped God’s people obey God again. But the judges could not change the people’s hearts and make them love God. God had a plan. He sent His Son, Jesus, to change His people’s hearts and save them from sin forever.
  • Kids: The judges saved the people from the consequences of their sin, but not the cause of it. God’s plan was to one day send a true Deliverer—Jesus, His own Son—to be the King of His people. Jesus saves people from sin forever.

This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

  • Preschool: What is the punishment for sin? The punishment for sin is separation from God.
  • Kindergarten: What is the punishment for sin? The punishment for sin is death.
  • Kids: What is the fair payment for sin? The fair payment for sin is death.

This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

  • Babies & Toddlers: God gives life forever. — Romans 6:23
  • Preschool: God gives life forever. — Romans 6:23
  • Kindergarten: The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:23
  • Kids: The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:23
Ask God for His wisdom and strength to confess sin quickly. How can confessing our sin and seeking God’s help break the cycle of sin? What do you believe is God’s reaction when His people repent?
Thank God for always hearing our prayers and responding according to His will. How did God respond to the cries of the Israelites? What does this teach us about His patience and love for His people—even when they disobey?
Play a game of follow-the-leader. Direct the leader to walk in a funny way, sing a song, or dance while others follow his motions. Assign one family member to shout “Repent!” at any point during the game, at which point the entire family must turn and begin marching in the opposite direction. The person at the opposite end of the line is now the leader. After playing, discuss what repentance means (Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus). Talk with kids about God’s desire for people—including your family—to turn away from sin and follow Jesus.
Work as a family to pick up trash and litter in a nearby park or along a neighborhood road. Talk with kids about how this area will likely be littered again and will need another cleanup in time. Remind kids that the judges could only bring temporary relief from the consequences of sin, but Jesus has completely defeated sin. Through Him, we can have forgiveness and total deliverance.
The Gospel Project is a weekly Bible study that helps kids dive deep into the big story of the Bible—God’s plan to rescue His people through His Son, Jesus Christ. Your child can access free Gospel Project learning games and activities in the LifeWay Kids app reader available in the iTunes or Google Play stores.