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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Joshua 1-6

Story Summary

The story of Rahab begins in this lesson and will finish in two weeks, during the lesson on Jericho. The next three lessons are intertwined (Rahab, Joshua and the crossing of the Jordan, and Jericho).

After being in the desert for 40 years, it was time for the Israelites to enter the land of Canaan. Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. He was disobedient to God when he struck the rock multiple times, out of anger (see Numbers 20:9-13). At this point in the story, Moses had died (Deut 34:5).  Before he died, he commissioned Joshua as the leader of the Israelites. 

Joshua was preparing the Israelites to enter the promised land, so he sent out 2 spies to go ahead of them and do a reconnaissance mission. He told them to pay special attention to Jericho - presumably because it was such a well-fortified city. They stayed at Rahab's house, who was a prostitute (you don't need to emphasize this point in your class). The king of Jericho got wind that these 2 spies were in his city and at Rahab's house (apparently they weren't all that good at being spies...). He sent for Rahab to give over the spies to him.  Rahab had hidden them on her roof under some flax and told the messenger that these two strange men came to her, but they left, and she didn't know which way they went. Go get them! (Apparently, she was better at the whole spy thing than the two Israelite spies).

Jericho was heavily fortified with big walls. Rahab's house made up part of the city walls.  After the messengers left, she went up to the roof to let the spies go. Rahab told the spies that everyone in Jericho was terrified of the Israelites. So she made a pact with them, that if the Israelites did in fact come back to conquer Jericho, they would spare her household. The spies agreed and told her that in order for the Israelite army to recognize who they should save, she should lower a scarlet cord down from her window. She agreed and lowered a rope to let the spies out of the city wall where she lived.

The spies had gotten all the information they needed to go back to Joshua and tell him with confidence that the Lord would in fact deliver Jericho to them and that they would win the battle.

What You Will Need

Snack Suggestion
red licorice (the scarlet cord Rahab let down from her house)

Resource Sheet

Rahab Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Rahab letting the spies down from the wall of Jericho

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Have you ever had to hide something from someone (like a present)? Who were you trying to hide it from and what did you do? Did they find it?

In today's story, we're going to learn about a woman who helped hide 2 Israelite spies in the city of Jericho.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children. 

Older students can listen directly out of a verse-by-verse Bible, since the story is not long (just be careful when you come across the word "prostitute"...)

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Joshua 2:8-12, 15-18

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • How many spies did Joshua send out? (2)
  • Where did Joshua send the spies? (Jericho)
  • Where did the spies stay? (with Rahab)
  • Where did Rahab hide the spies? (on the roof of her house)
  • What did Rahab ask of the spies? (to save her family when they came to attack the city)
  • How did the spies leave the city? (by a scarlet rope down the wall of the city)
  • How would the Israelites know which house was Rahab's when they returned? (the scarlet cord in the window)
  • Why did the Israelites save Rahab and her family? (She hid the spies from the king of Jericho)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • In this story, we learn that Rahab, who is not an Israelite, helped the Israelites and as a result, God told the Israelites to save her.
  • Did you know that God loves everyone, no matter what nationality they are?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Reinforcement Activities

Hide and Seek Red Ribbon

Scripture The men said to her, “You made us take an oath and make a promise. But we won’t keep it unless you do what we say. When we enter the land, you must tie this bright red rope in the window. Tie it in the window you let us down through. “Bring your father and mother into your house. Also bring your brothers and everyone else in your family into your house. Joshua 2: 17-18

Supplies Red Ribbon

  • Hide red ribbon in room or hang from a window in your building.
  • Have students hunt in the room or go around building looking for the red ribbon
  • (If possible, hide in a window so it can be seen from outside)

Hide and Seek

Scripture But the woman had hidden the two men. She said, “It’s true that the men came here. But I didn’t know where they had come from. They left at sunset, when it was time to close the city gate. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You might catch up with them.” But in fact she had taken them up on the roof. There she had hidden them under some flax she had piled up. Joshua 2:4-6

Supplies large space with places to hide, inside or out

  • Play hide and seek
  • Make sure you set boundaries for where they can hide.

Spy Mission

Scripture Joshua, the son of Nun, sent two spies from Shittim. He sent them in secret. He said to them, “Go. Look the land over. Most of all, check out Jericho.” Joshua 2:1

Supplies clipboard, paper pens

  • Create a spy mission
  • Students have to complete their mission without those they are spying on finding out what they are doing.
  • They may have to come up with a way to distract the people they are spying on, while they collect their information.
  • If possible, before class, hide a red cord in the area where the students will be spying.
  • Examples:
    • Find a group of people (like a classroom of adults)
    • How many of them are wearing black shoes?
    • How many have painted fingernails?
    • How many chairs are in the room?
    • How many are wearing glasses?
    • How many Bibles do you see?
    • If you have hid a red cord, students have to try and get the cord without the people they are spying on seeing them.

Rahab's House

Scripture The house Rahab lived in was part of the city wall. So she let the spies down by a rope through the window. Joshua 2:15

Supplies cereal box for each student, Brown paper, black marker, red yard, glue, white paper

  • Cover a cereal box with brown paper.
  • Draw black line to make it look like bricks.
  • Make a rounded shape for a window out of darker paper.
  • Draw Rahab in the window.
  • Attach red yarn out of window.
  • Draw 2 spies and cut out. Attach to red yarn.
Rahab's House Example

Braided cord

Scripture The men said to her, “You made us take an oath and make a promise. But we won’t keep it unless you do what we say. When we enter the land, you must tie this bright red rope in the window. Tie it in the window you let us down through. “Bring your father and mother into your house. Also bring your brothers and everyone else in your family into your house. Joshua 2: 17-18

Supplies different colors of red yarn, string or ribbon

  • Braid different colors of red yard together to make a cord.
  • Can braid cord and attach it to a piece of card stock for a bookmark or use as a bracelet.

Rappelling

Heads up! Use this activity in conjunction with the Anchor the Rope activity

Scripture The house Rahab lived in was part of the city wall. So she let the spies down by a rope through the window. Joshua 2:15

Supplies Rappelling equipment or a computer/iPad

  • Teach the children about rappelling.
  • Refer to the coloring sheet for the week to illustrate what the spies had to do to get out of Rahab's house.
  • If you have access to any rappelling equipment (harnesses, carabiners, ropes, hooks, etc), bring it to class
  • If you do not have access to actual equipment, there are several websites you can show students in class

Anchor the Rope

Scripture The house Rahab lived in was part of the city wall. So she let the spies down by a rope through the window. Joshua 2:15

Supplies Rope

  • Pretend that the children are Rahab and you are one of the spies.
  • Their mission is to find a way to anchor the rope to an object that would support your weight if you had to rappel down a wall
  • Think in advance of some ideas you can give them - some that would support your weight, and some that would not
  • For each idea, have the students actually try and secure the rope to the object, and then demonstrate to them whether the rope would support your weight or not (without breaking anything!)
  • Talk about how hard it must have been for Rahab and the spies to pull off this mission

Learning 10 commandments- commandment #6

Scripture Do not commit murder. Exodus 20:13

Supplies colored beads, leather, string

  • Teach the sixth commandment.
  • When the child can tell you each commandment correctly, without assistance, they are given a bead for a bracelet.
  • Keep the bracelet in the classroom and when they have learned all 10 commandments, they get to take it home.
  • To help them remember the commandments, you can separate them into 2 groups for the children.
  • The first four commandments are concerning our relationship with God.
  • The last six are concerning our relationship with others.