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Warriors & Wars

The fundamentals of our spiritual warfare in Christ against the devil, Ephesians 6:10-20, as illustrated by the great heroes of faith in the Old Testament

Rationale

In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul describes our walk with Christ in terms of a spiritual war which we have to fight. We have an enemy and we are given weapons which we must learn to use, which themselves are ways in which Christ himself meets our needs. This warfare is a not a literal one, but against the spiritual powers of evil. In the Old Testament this spiritual warfare is no less real, but it is acted out in the context of literal battles. In these battles, we are presented with a great array of heroes of faith who illustrate the path of faith and obedience we are all called to walk down. They are models for us to follow, and the mistakes they made are also there for us to learn from and avoid. Further, in these enemies that attacked God’s people we see the devil and his attack on Christians. We fight a spiritual war, but it is a war nevertheless.
Note: The Bible is a very adult book, and the stories are adult in nature. The manner in which they are presented to children in this age group needs to take into consideration what is appropriate. The focus needs to be on God helping his people and not on the warfare itself.
Key Concepts
  • How does the devil attack us?
  • What happens when we live our own way and ignore God?
  • God deals with us with both discipline and help, both of which are expressions of his grace
  • God is greater than all the attacks of the devil
  • Faith in God no matter the circumstances, which shows itself by obedience is the key to victory
  • What are the weapons God has given us?
  • Learning from the mistakes of others
  • Our warfare is spiritual but is is warfare nonetheless

Scripture References

Genesis 3 and Matthew 4 - the attack of the devil against Adam and Eve compared with his attack on Jesus in the wilderness
Exodus 1-15 - Moses and the plagues of Egypt as warfare
Exodus 17:8-13 - When Moses hands were up Israel prevailed
Numbers 13 - the spies are sent to Canaan but will not trust God
Joshua 6 - Jericho
Judges 6 and 7 - Gideon
Judges 15 and 16 - Samson
1 Samuel 17 - David and Goliath
1 Kings 18 - Elijah and the false prophets
Isaiah 36 and 37 - 185 000 Assyrians killed by the angel of the Lord
Daniel - many instances of spiritual warfare here

Ephesians 6:1-10 where Paul describes our walk with Christ in terms of a spiritual war

1 Peter 5:8-11 - the devil as a roaring lion

Resources

Articles on the Book of Judges:

Why study Judges?

 
Youtube Videos examples:
 

Ideas/strategies for lessons

Compare the heroes in the Bible with Superheroes of today. How are they the same? How are they different? (e.g. they are honest, willing to sacrifice, brave and so on, but they trust in themselves not God)
Act out the stories
Apply to the kind of battles the students face e.g. feeling really nervous coming to school, making friends

Stick Fort: students constructing forts using materials available to them eg sticks. Students create rules to live by in their forts; rules of engagement in their wars; division of age groups. (Using a story from the book of Judges eg Chapt 2, act how God took away success when Israel became worldly and forsook the Lord.)

Investigate a story of battle from the Bible. Identify key characteristics of the battle and compare and contrast with their favourite warriors/heroes. Apply to a presentation of their choice (Powerpoint, skit, poster etc).

Look at the armour of God: How do we apply this armour? What is it good for? (See resource above on Armour of God)

Armour of God song - 

(Year 6) Stories and visual for putting on the full armour of God 

Armour of God depicted in war visuals 

Use Mine Craft to create a battle, with a report of how the warrior/hero used spiritual weapons to defeat the foe.