Don’t Be Deceived!

Scripture: Joshua 7-9

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn the story of the Gibeonite deception.
  • Students will learn examples of how to look for logical fallacies.
  • Students will learn how to test other’s words using the Bible.

Guiding Questions:

How can we check that the information we are told coincides with the Bible?

Materials: list of scenarios, optional score cards for game

Procedure: Review the story of the Gibeonites deceiving the Israelites in order to receive provisions from Israel. Emphasize to students that they cannot believe everything that they are told even if it is told by a preacher or trusted adult. They have to test the information using the Bible as the truth. Even the Israelites were tricked and so we want to be on guard and stay rooted in God’s Word. Talk about the evidence the Israelites saw and what else they should have done before agreeing to help and being tricked. For example, the Israelites should have noticed that it was odd for the travelers to be willing to be servants. They also did not say what land they were from. Especially emphasize verse 9:14 where it says that they did not seek God’s council. Then give students scenarios with younger students suggesting where you might look to find evidence and older ones actually checking to see if they can find that evidence. You may want to provide a list of Bible verses and have students match the scenario to the verse that helps them make a good choice.
Scenario suggestions and ideas:
1. Joe is watching T.V. He hears someone who looks like he might be a preacher say “God understands there are times when it is actually a good thing to tell a lie.” Should Joe believe what this man says?
2. Mary is at school. Her friend says her preacher said he read in the Bible that it’s okay to take things from other people that you want because God would want you to be happy. Should Mary what she hears?
3. Gabriella hears her older cousin, Marcus being disrespectful to his mom. When she asks him about it, Marcus insists that he does not always have to respect his mom because moms make mistakes and do not always do what is right. Does this mean that Gabriella only has to respect her mom when she agrees with her?
4. Mike is in the car with his friend’s dad who is speeding and does not heed. They are on a rural road and the dad says that it’s okay because he knows there is not much traffic and the Bible does not say he has to obey all the detailed traffic laws. Does this excuse him from having to obey the rod laws since he thinks that they are petty?
5. Jessie promised her brother that she would not play his guitar while he was at camp. She heard a speaker on the radio say that what someone does not know cannot hurt them. People should not worry about trying to do things right all the time. Just worry about what people think of you. Is it okay if she plays his guitar as long as she takes good care of it?
6. Taylor heard a speech that explained that the ends justify the means. It doesn’t matter how things are done so long as it gets done. His Bible class is raising money to buy Bibles to send overseas. He is too busy to do work to earn the money and he does not want to use his savings. He wants to take a little bit of money from his older sister’s and mom’s purses to donate so that he can have something to give in Bible class. If he asks permission, he does not think that they will say yes. Since his sister and mom should be giving to others anyways and he does not have time to earn the money, is it okay for him to take theirs without their permission?
Bible Verses that help with decision-making in these scenarios:
1. Dishonesty Proverbs 12:22
2. Stealing and Coveting Exodus 20:16-17
3. Obeying Parents Ephesians 6:1-3
4. Obey the laws of the land Romans 13:1-7
5. Vows 76:11
6. Dishonest gain Proverbs 21:6

Additional Questions:

  • Why was the “proof” of the old wineskins, hard bread and worn sandals not good enough to prove that they had traveled a long time from afar?
  • Why do you think that the Gibeonites were willing to be servants rather than face other consequences? What does this tell you about the Israelite’s reputation?

Supplemental Activities:

  • Discuss the importance of memorizing scripture. Review verses that encourage being prepared such as “Always be prepared to give an account for your beliefs”. Have students make a list of verses that they think would be useful to memorize. They can then write each one on a card and make a schedule for memorizing it. For instance, break a verse up into small segments. Encourage students to find a partner who will memorize the same verse so that they can be accountability partners.

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