Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Day the Sun Stood Still

Balaam’s donkey may be a favorite among kids, but I think the story from Joshua 10, the day the sun stood still,
tops it. Our kids would have done this drama five more times if we had let them. Even the adults had a blast. 

For those who aren't familiar with the story, Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, freaks out when Joshua destroys Ai and then makes a treaty with the Gibeonites. He is afraid the two groups will overpower him. So he gathers 4 other Amorite kings and goes after the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites come running to Joshua for help. Joshua leads a frontal surprise attack against them, greatly aided by God. To all of this, God adds a hail storm which destroys more Amorites than the battle did. It is a great victory for Israel. 

This story was so simple to stage. I put a pup tent in the center of the room. This represented the Israelite camp - and a sign on the tent identified it as Joshua's tent (i.e. - headquarters).

On the other side of the tent was a large sheet of cardboard I had used for several other lessons. It was leaned up against a chair, and said Gilgal on it (my bad, it should have said Gibeon - I goofed). This represented where the Gibeonites were living when the Amorites came to attack them. 
Home of the Gibeonites (the sign should say Gibeon not Gilgal. Joshua was actually located in Gilgal at this time.)
The Gibeonites come to Joshua for help.

Joshua leads the Israelites by night to Gibeon. (Joshua 10:9) Have someone turn out the lights.

The Israelites surprise the Amorites who flee before them (that's why you can't see them - except for the boy in the blue shirt who was slow to get up when our surprise attack reached them.)

So who is chasing who? Well, the girls are the Israelites and the boys represent the Amorites.

And then God sends the hail (ping pong balls - it pays to have a lot of them).

We did not even have to prompt the boys as to what to do here.

Talk about your drama queens!

It was a really simple drama that carried a powerful punch. We talked about trusting God and how God fought for Israel. Here is the script I wrote. I also printed up a sun and a moon for someone to hold at the proper time. The kids were so enthralled by the hail, they sort of missed the sun and moon miracle. Never the less, they knew God had done a great miracle in fighting for the Israelites. 
One of the pictures from Free Bible Images that I used to tell the story before we acted it out.
I left out the end of this story where the 5 Amorite kings were killed and impaled. I thought there was enough drama without that additional information.