Crossing the Jordan (Joshua 4:23-24)
The Israelites prepared to enter into the Promised Land, but an obstacle stood in their way – the Jordan River. Just as at the Red Sea, God parted the waters and provided a way forward. Joshua reminded the people that God’s purposes in both partings were the same – “so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” (vs. 24) The people crossed over the Jordan on dry land. After Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, God caused the fortified city to fall. And so, God began to fulfill a second promise to Abraham, to give his descendants a great land.
Bible: Read Joshua 3:13-17 and Joshua 4 with your family.
Family Activity 1:
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: vacation photo/souvenir, calendar, sticky note, kitchen timer, alarm clock/phone alarm, a rock for each family member, permanent markers
Show each object (minus the rocks) and discuss how it helps us remember important events or things we should do. God wanted the people of Israel to know that He always keeps His promises so He gave them a special reminder. Show one rock. God used twelve rocks taken from the Jordan River to remind His people of His powerful ability to care for them. This would be important to remember as Israel entered a new land filled with people and situations they had never encountered. Hand each member of the family a rock and markers. On each rock, record a way that God has provided for and cared for your family. Pile the rocks in a place where you can easily see them and be reminded of God’s greatness and care.
- Read Joshua 4:20-23. Besides being a reminder to the people who witnessed this miracle, how would the rocks be used in the future?
- What is our family learning about God that we could to pass on to future generations?
Family Activity 2:
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: pencil, large mixing/serving bowl, construction paper, crayons/markers/colored pencils, stickers (optional), scissors, tape
Talk about megaphones. Who uses them? What is their purpose? When God parted the Jordan River, it was like God announcing who He was with a giant megaphone. God did this miracle “so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful” (Joshua 4:24). Now it’s time to make your own megaphone. Place the bowl upside down on the paper. Trace around it to make a circle. Decorate the circle with crayons, markers, colored pencils, or stickers. Cut out the circle and roll it into a cone shape. Tape the edges. Hold the small end of the megaphone up to your mouth to speak. Try this question and answer activity.
PARENT: Why did God divide the Jordan River?
CHILD: (Use your megaphone.) So that all the peoples will know that the Lord is powerful!
- Think of two more miracles you remember from the Bible. What was God announcing about Himself to the people who saw or heard about these miracles?
- How can our family act like a megaphone for God?
Ask God to give your family daily reminders of who He is, especially when He leads you into unknown territory.