March 25 | Israelites Disobey & Jesus Cleanses the Temple

March 25-31 is HOLY WEEKEach day this week we will add an additional passage from the New Testament that walks us through what happened the week before Jesus was crucified. 

Today’s Reading:

Read Judges 1:19,21,27-33; Judges 2:1-3; 2:6-10; Judges 4:1– Israelites Disobey 
Read Luke 19:41-48- Jesus Cleanses the Temple 

Imagine you are driving down the road and the traffic signal in front of you turns red. What are you supposed to do?  It is important that drivers know when they are driving, a red light means stop. (If you have time, show your kids pictures of other traffic signals and see if they can tell you what they mean.) Traffic signals and signs are representations of clear expectations that anyone who is driving knows.   

The Israelites had been given clear directions with clear expectations as well when they entered the Promised Land. 

Read Deuteronomy 12:2-3 

“Destroy completely all the places where the nations that you are driving out worship their gods—on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree. 3 Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, burn their Asherah poles, cut down the carved images of their gods, and wipe out their names from every place.” 

God was very clear that they were to “destroy completely” what they encountered when they were settling in the land of Canaan. More often than not, the Israelites “failed to take out the residents” of the land.  Judges 2 also tells us that they even made covenants with the Canaanite people.  That disobedience led to a consequence.  God told the Israelites that he would not help them.  And, over and over again, the Israelites “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  As a result, the Israelites suffered because God handed them over to their enemies.  They were not honoring their part of the covenant; there had to be a consequence. The good news is that God did not stop loving them and providing for them.  Instead, God continued to provide judges for them who would help to deliver them when they failed.  God sent salvation to the Israelites. 

We are entering the week where we remember all that Jesus did before he was crucified.  Today is referred to as Holy Monday.  On this day, Jesus was in the city of Jerusalem for Passover.  As he entered the city, he cried as he thought about the destruction that would come to the city that was the location of the temple.  (We’ll learn more about that in the coming weeks as we learn about King David and King Solomon.). Jesus visited the temple and was angered when he recognized that the people were using the temple as a place to buy and sell goods.  Jesus got so angry that he flipped tables upside down!  Jesus reminded the people that God had said his temple was supposed to be a “house of prayer.”  (Isaiah 56:7) 

Similar to the Israelites who were settling into the Promised Land, the Jewish people in Jesus’ time knew what the clear expectations of how to treat and respect the temple were but they ignored those expectations.  Sadly, Jesus said that instead of a house of prayer, the people had turned the temple into a “den of thieves.”  As a result, Jesus drove the business owners out of the temple.   And just like God provided for the deliverance of the Israelites with judges, now He was providing for the deliverance of His people through JESUS. 


As a family, play a game of “Simon Says.”  Come up with a ridiculous consequence for anyone who does not follow the instructions correctlyBe sure to set clear expectations for the game and communicate about the rules and the rewardsTake some time to thank God for His mercy and grace when we don’t always follow His instructions like we shouldAlso thank Him for his Word that gives clear instructions of how we should live and follow Him. 

March Memory Verse:

He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4

Using the daily reading prompts from George H. Guthrie’s Read the Bible for Life, here’s how to use this devotional:
  1. Bring your Bible!  Your kids need to see that everything you are reading to them or learning about comes from an actual Bible!
  2. Each day starts with a reading prompt.  Read the selection as a family.  If your kids are readers, encourage them to read along with you.
  3. After you’ve read the passage, read the short devotional thought that goes along with each passage.
  4. Prayer and application are important any time we read God’s word!  After each devotional, there is a challenge to help apply what your family has read that day.
  5. There is a reading for six days of the week.  The last reading of the week is a Gospel Conversation Prompt to help you connect the reading from the week with God’s plan for salvation.

Other Resources:

March Memory Verse

MArch memory verse song

March memory verse coloring sheet

March Fill-in the blank activity

MArch Prayer calendar