Deborah: A Wise Mother for Israel Supplies: camera (can be phone camera or digital camera), photo shoot page (at end of this document)
Opening: Trailguides will begin by taking the offering. Trailguides will gather children in the circle, do some introductions, and a short ice breaker activity.
Once the Trailguide is finished, say:"Today we’re going to be talking about one of the strong wise characters of the Old Testament and how God worked through her. Now…who knows the difference between the Old and New Testament?” (answers may vary, but emphasize those that talk about stories of the Jewish or Hebrew people, stories about God before Jesus, the earliest stories of our faith)
Then ask:"What does it mean to be strong? Can someone who’s really small still be strong? How about wise?”
After pausing to receive answers, ask: Would you all join me in prayer?”
After a moment of silence to let everyone calm down, say: “God, we admire people who are wise and strong. Thank you for your stories of people of faith who have gone before us. Help us learn more about wisdom and strength from them so that we, too, can grow wiser and stronger. Amen.”
II. Storytelling:Explain that this story takes place after the Hebrew people had settled in the Promised Land. After the death of Moses, the people lived in Canaan, the Promised Land, and didn’t have kings yet. Instead, they had judges who helped them make decisions and live justly. This is a story of one of Israel’s judges. (*Ask what a judge is). Her name was Deborah.
Explain that, instead of reading the story to them, you’re going to have them figure out the story as you go along: the goal is to do a photo shoot at different locations in and around the church. You’re going to give the kids a list of shots that need to be taken—just like they might get if they were on a movie set—and they will need to figure out how and where to make each one happen.
III. Photo Shoot:
Pass out the list of shots.
Have one or several of the kids read the information about the first shot. Then have everyone figure out where a good location for that shot would be (can be outside or inside). What props/costumes are needed? Go to the location and take the shot.
Do the same with the next shots until you’ve completed the whole story.
IV. Closing: Ask the kids how Deborah was wise and strong (this is important because it connects the lesson to the opening). Ask for any prayer requests. Then pray for wisdom and strength and close by having everyone say this prayer together:
“God, make me your hands, your feet, and your heart to love others in the world. Amen.”
Title: Deborah: A Strong Mother for Israel Page: 1
Wilderness land, no buildings in sight
hot # 1
Scene: God’s People in Captivity
God’s people have been captured by their enemy, the King of Canaan. Their land has been taken away. They are homeless. Sad, tired, and in despair, they pray to God, “Please help us get our land and freedom back!”
God’s people kneeling and pleading with God for help
hot # 2
Scene: God Sends Deborah to Help
God hears the prayers of the people. God brings a woman named Deborah to lead the people. Deborah is a judge and a very wise and faithful person. She gives people messages from God and helps people talk out their arguments. She sits under a palm tree in the hill country, and people who have problems come to her for help.
Deborah sits under tree, helps people settle arguments
hot # 3
Scene: Deborah’s Message
One day, God gives Deborah an important message—a message that will help free the people! Deborah asks a man named Barak to come and see her. When he does, she passes along God’s message: “Go. Take 10,000 men and go to Mount Tabor. God will help you defeat the king’s army, and the Isrealites will be free!”
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Mount Tabor, a battle
hot # 4
Scene: A Battle at Mount Tabor
Barak agrees to lead the army only if Deborah comes with him. At Mount Tabor, there is an awful battle between the Israelites and General Sisera, who leads the King of Canaan’s army. Yelling and fighting go on and on—the noise is loud and terrible! But God is with Deborah and the Israelites. Deborah helps the people of Israel to feel brave and strong as they fight.
Deborah encourages the Israelites to be strong during the fight
Home to Canaan, the land that Moses had led them to long ago
S Scene: Free Again!
After a long, hard fight, Barak and the Israelites were able to beat General Sisera’s army. The Israelites are able to return to their land. They are so glad to have homes again! Deborah and Barak sing a song together. Some of the words go like this: