I had not planned or practiced this beforehand, but I was able to tell an abbreviated version of all the stories in order. It took only about 7 minutes. What was neat was seeing their expressions as I told the stories. There were looks of satisfaction when certain parts of stories were told. There was a lot of head shaking and smiles. Some even spoke with me at points, remembering the stories aloud.
After this review, I told the story from Numbers 13 and 14, when the people of Israel were about to enter the promised land. They sent 12 spies to see the land and its people. Only Joshua and Caleb gave favoring reports and the people rebelled against God. God punished them by not allowing them to go into the land until all the people who had seen his miracles in Egypt were dead (except the two faithful men).
This story was easily remembered and retold by the group. The key questions that led our discussion were these:
- What did God want his people to do?
- What did they do?
- What do you think would have been different if they had chosen to act differently?
I told them that God is going to test them one day, just like he did these people. They would have to have enough faith to obey and believe that God will bless them for it.