Foundations 1.8 | Biblical Themes…The Promised Land


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Foundations 1.8 | Biblical Themes…The Promised Land Teacher’s Guide Theme verse Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Objectives Students will see the recurring pattern of faith and disobedience in which the Israelites lived during their years in the Promised Land Students will recognize that our promised land is heaven and that Jesus will lead us there. Students will discuss what it means to live as a citizen of heaven. Blueprint The period of time from when Joshua led God’s people into Canaan until they were exiled to Babylon was about 850 years. During that time a pattern of following God, distraction and disobedience, discipline by God, repentance, ad rescue occurred over and over again. God warned the people, the prophets warned the people, the good kings warned the people and still the pattern continued. Finally the discipline was takeover by Babylon (but that’s next week’s lesson). Large group time is a quick walk through entry to Canaan, Judges, the kings and the prophets highlighting the cycle. The end of large group time shows Jesus as the new Joshua who leads us to our new home in heaven. Small group time focuses on what it means to live as a citizen of heaven in our here and now.

Overview of the Evening 6:30 Students arrive Group check-in/Greater memorization 6:40 Opening game 6:50 Welcome and announcements 6:55 Teaching 7:15–7:20 (depending on how long you go) Break out into small groups 8:00 Class is over

Foundations 1.8 | Biblical Themes…Promised Land

Teacher’s Guide

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Teaching Outline 2 Work on memorizing the books of the Bible. 3 Read the theme summaries out loud together. 4 Review last week’s theme: Slavery and Deliverance. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt and needed God’s power to set them free. God used Moses to lead them out of slavery. We are slaves too, not to Egyptians but to sin. We need God’s power to set us free. God used Jesus, the new Moses, to set us free from this spiritual slavery. 5 Read tonight’s theme verse out loud together. 1. 6 This happened recently (11.12.13) Ryan Ferguson was set free after 10 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. 48 hours did some reporting back in 2006 and a lawyer took on his case for free and, when it was proven that the evidence didn’t actually point to him, he was set free. How would you feel if you had been freed after 10 years in prison? How do you think Ryan will be now? Will this change the people he hangs out with? Where he goes and when? How will he feel about his attorney? Let’s think about the feelings he’s probably feeling right now related to how the Israelites were feeling after they left Egypt. Do you think that God winning them their freedom meant that they stayed faithful to Him? Trusted Him completely? Lived the rest of their history in peace and thanksgiving for what God had done? 2. 7 You would think so, but no. Immediately after the Exodus Israel starts a pattern: first they follow God, then they become distracted and follow foreign Gods, then God disciplines them, they repent, God rescues them and they follow Him again. For a while. Then the cycle starts over. 3. We see this pattern at work the whole time they’re in the Promised Land. 8 Tonight we’ll cover about 850 years’ worth of Israel’s history from Joshua until the Babylonians conquer them in 597 BC. We’ll look at three phases of their time in the Promised Land. 4. Entry 9 After leaving Egypt and receiving the 10 Commandments they got to the border of the Land. Moses sent in 12 spies to do some recon. 10 came back and said Israel had no chance of conquering; 2 said they could do it. The people voted no and God punished them…made them

Foundations 1.8 | Biblical Themes…Promised Land

Teacher’s Guide

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wander for 40 years before they could enter the land. 40 years later Moses handed off leadership to Joshua (one of the 2 spies who said they could have conquered) and they entered and took possession of the land. Read Joshua 1:6-7 for God’s directions to Joshua. Notice the reminder to follow the covenant God made with Moses and the people. Judges 10 During this 400 year period there was no central government. The Israelites were organized by tribe and lead by tribal elders. They would get distracted from following God, he would allow a neighboring nation to take over, they would cry out for help, he would raise up a Judge to lead them and they would return to God. And then it would start all over again. The last verse of Judges describes that time very well. Kings 11 Israel wanted a king so God gave them one. First Saul then David’s dynasty began. Saul ruled for 14 years, David for 40 and Solomon for 40. After only 120 years of a central ruler the kingdom split into two. The Promised Land would never be whole again. Prophets 12 The prophets were around all through the time of the kings. They prophesied in both kingdoms after the split and during the exile (next week). Their job was to tell the people and the rulers what God said. They reminded the people and rulers of God’s covenant with Moses and promised punishment if it wasn’t followed. They also promised rescue. 5. 13 The cycle that Israel found itself repeating should sound familiar. We repeat it over and over as well. We need a power stronger than us to break the cycle forever. Jesus breaks into the cycle right on top of discipline. He takes the punishment that we earned for sin. We repent because we look at His sacrifice and realize that it should have been ours. Just like God used Moses to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt He used Joshua to lead them into their new home. Just like Jesus leads us out of slavery to sin He leads us from this world to our new home in heaven. Look up John 14:2-4…look at Jesus’ promise. For us the Promised Land isn’t real estate (in Solomon’s time Israel was about 13,000 square miles, about the size of Maryland). For us the Promised Land is eternal, is supernatural, is perfect and where we’ll finally be free from the cycle that Israel found itself in. 6. 14 Our theme verse says we are citizens of Heaven. Part of the Israelites’ problem was that they fell into distraction, not living as if they were God’s chosen people, but as if they were everyone else. What does it mean for us to live as if we’re citizens of heaven? In small group time you’ll be talking about that idea. 7. 15 Read the theme summaries again together. 8. 16 Next week: Exile and return.

Foundations 1.8 | Biblical Themes…Promised Land

Teacher’s Guide

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