We have arrived at the book of Judges (Judges 4 specifically today).
So Joshua had been leading the people into the promised land and then he died. The Israelites (God’s chosen people) had not defeated EVERYONE like they were supposed to, and the people who were left got them to worship other statues and idols (fake Gods).
God was not happy that His people were disobeying and as a bad consequence, they now had to work HARD for the Canaanites that were left.
God put Judges in charge of His people. A judge is someone who makes decisions. That person would be in charge and would remind the people of how to follow God. They would also settle arguments if two people were fussing. When Israel had a judge, they would obey God…when that judge died, they would forget again and make bad choices, until God gave them a new judge.
One of the judges God gave the people was a woman named Deborah. During this time, she helped the people make good choices and she encouraged them (helped them feel better) because they were working so hard for the Canaanites. It was supposed to be a wonderful land God had given them, but since they made bad choices, they now had to work really hard there.
But God told Deborah to call Barak, a man who could lead the Israelites’ army and they could fight Jabin the king and Sisera, his army leader.
Barak came, but you know what? He was too scared to fight! And asked Deborah to come with him. Deborah said she would, but since he was too scared, that God would let another woman defeat the king, not Barak. But Deborah was a good leader, and when there was a dangerous job to do, she was willing to help.
So the army went to fight and they fought and fought and all the Canaanites ran away. Even the king ran away…to a house where he thought he’d be safe. The mommy there was named Jael. She invited him in, but she knew God wanted him defeated and after he laid down to hide, she killed him.
After that, the Israelites were able to defeat Jabin and the Canaanites. Because two women obeyed God, the Israelites were able to be free in the promised land once again.
For our craft today, I had each child draw a woman’s face, then we cut them in half and glued taped them together, to make two women. Deborah on one side, Jael on the other.
Next time, we’ll learn about Gideon. Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!