Walk Your Family Through the Bible: Joshua, Judges & Ruth

By Jessica Wolstenholm

Spring has sprung here in Tennessee and not a moment too soon! As my family and I sat down to watch What’s in the Bible? Volume 4 “Battle for the Promised Land”, we felt ourselves like we were entering a new land filled with sunshine and flowers rather than the dreary cold we’ve experienced the past few months.

This volume was especially meaningful for us since it includes the story of Joshua after whom my son was named. He beamed with pride at every mention of his name and reminded us often that he too is strong and courageous.

As we gathered together my daughter asked, “Does this one have two parts?” I nodded my head and she continued, “Good, because I hate it when it’s over!”

Their love of this family time is growing and we’re establishing a culture in our home that sets faith and fun faith building resources at the center of our conversations.

What’s in the Bible? Volume 4 “Battle for the Promised Land” covers historical books of the Bible, Joshua through Ruth. This portion of the Story is so important to our faith and often only taught to kids through simple storytelling. But more than mere stories, there are life-applicable truths to be found in every chapter of the Bible.

Part one of volume 4 covers the journey of Joshua in leading God’s people into the land they’d been promised. There’s so much to learn when you think of all the Israelites encountered upon entering Canaan. Phil Vischer does an incredible job explaining how battles and death played a part in God’s plan, a topic we often shy away from in the church.

The learning continues as we encounter the Judges God sent to help his people turn their attention back to him. Lastly, DVD 4 tells the story of Ruth (one of my favorites), her faithfulness and God’s plan of redemption.


What we found in DVD 4, Battle for the Promised Land:

Key Concepts:

    • The Debt of Sin
    • Idols
    • Redemption


    • Historical Books
    • 12 Tribes of Israel
    • The Judges
    • Cycle of Apostasy


    • Crossing the Jordan
    • Battle of Jericho
    • Settling in the Promised Land
    • Ruth

As we guide our family into the Promised Land in volume 4, here are a few things we are keeping in mind:

    • We’ll use Joshua and the call of God on his life to be strong and courageous as an encouragement to trust God’s strength when he asks us to do an important job.
    • Our children may deal with fear of the debt we owe due to our sin. We’ll explain that although there may be some consequences for our actions, we will never experience death as a result of our sin because of Jesus.
    • The Israelites were left without a leader after Joshua died. We’ll discuss the importance of leaders and how God used various Judges (leaders) to help get his people back on track.
    • The story of Ruth is a wonderful example of redemption (our debt being paid) and will help our kids understand what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

A few discussion ideas we’ll be using this month:

    • Biblical Battles – There are countless books, blog posts and sermons that try to reconcile how a loving God could allow so much violence in Biblical times. Clive and Ian pose the question that many adults and children alike have been asking for years. Phil calls it “one of the trickiest bits of the Bible.” How could such a loving God allow so many people to die? God has a standard for holiness that none of us can even come close to reaching. When we sin, we deserve death. The people of the Old Testament who were killed by God (whether through battles, plagues or the flood) got what they deserved. We haven’t received what we deserve for our sin because God’s rescue plan to save as many people as he could came to pass with the death and resurrection of Jesus. We have been saved because God loves us.
    • Idols – Any time we choose to make something in our life more important than God, we have made that thing an idol. We’ll encourage each other to think about things in our lives that have become idols and discuss how we can bring greater balance to these areas.
    • Cycle of Apostasy – Our WITB friends explain that without a leader, the Israelites acted like a bunch of kids in a classroom without a teacher. Each time a Judge stepped up to help get God’s people back on track, they stayed on course for a while but then fell back into their old ways…much like we do in our own lives when we go through cycles of good and bad behavior. Our role as parents or leaders in our children’s lives, is to help them stay on track in living a life set apart for God.
    • Redemption – This concept is difficult for adults to understand, let alone kids. The important thing to help our children understand is this: Jesus paid everything we owe or ever will owe for our sin when he died on the cross. He is the reason we no longer owe our debt of death. He is the promise of eternal life.

God has given us his Word (the Bible) and people (our parents and other leaders in our lives) to help us learn and do what’s right so we can live the amazing life God has for us. Spending time with the Israelites and joining them on their journey has reminded us that we can live up to the call God gave to Joshua:

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

Have you watched volume 4 with your family? What are some of the interesting conversations you’ve had as a result of these stories?

Battle For The Promised Land: Joshua, Judges, & Ruth

In the book of Joshua, the Israelites finally make it to the land God promised to them, but their excitement is short lived. It turns out that making themselves at home in Canaan isn’t as easy as just crossing the Jordan River. Learn what happens to them in Battle For The Promised Land.


Old Testament Heroes Devotional and Activity Pack

Learn even more about Joshua, the Judges, and Ruth in the Old Testament Heroes Devotional and Activity Pack!

This printable pack features 25 days of devotionals and 10 new activities including a color-able Ruth Fill-in-the-Story activity.

Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (6) and Joshua (3).