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Day Three

Deborah: the Heroic Judge

This is the page for Day Three.  On this page you can find background for Deborah as well as an explanation of the key beatitude.  In addition, you can find the story/service, art, science, and games guides with demonstration videos as well as the music guide and whodunnit episodes.  Those guides are also available on the home page along with the overview.  

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5 

Click or tap on these icons to take you to the right guide.  You can also find the supply list here:









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A note to Families: activities during VBS at church may only take about 20 minutes but that's made possible by lots of prep work.  Preparing for and completing an art, science, or service project might take all day.  That's okay!  You have all summer to explore the mystery museum.  

Day Three

Deborah: the Heroic Hero

Learning Objectives for the Kids:

  • Deborah did a lot.  She helped others solve their problems.  She shared God’s words with the people.  She fought for justice.  She created music that the people could use to praise God.

  • Deborah did not do these things for riches and power.  Deborah did all this because ordinary people like her needed her help.

  • God does the most amazing things in the world through everyday people who care about doing what’s right.

  • We all have gifts to share with others and that God uses to make the world better.

  • Jesus challenges us all to find what we are best at and to use those gifts not to make ourselves great but to make the world great for everybody.  In this way we are all blessed more than can be measured!

Background on Deborah:                                 Judges 4 - Judges 5

     During the 1100s BCE Deborah served as the fourth judge of Israel after the exodus from Egypt but before the monarchy was established at Jerusalem.  In that time the judges served variously as prophets, warriors, informal leaders, and as literal judges.  Deborah fulfilled all of these roles. 

     We enter Deborah’s story by learning that she dispensed judgment about the people’s problems from beneath a palm tree between Benjamin and Bethel.  The king of Canaan, Jabin, had conquered the people of Israel and ruled over them for twenty years.  Deborah was called by God to end that oppression. 

     She ordered a commander named Barak to summon an army to overthrow Jabin.  He agreed on one condition, that she march at the head of the army along with him.  She agreed on one condition, that it be made known that through God a woman was responsible for the coming victory and not a man.  From among the twelve tribes of Israel, Naphtali and Zebulun answered the call and gathered for war on Mount Tabor. 

     Jabin’s commander, the fearsome Sisera, summoned a formidable army including 900 chariots of iron to put down the rebellious forces at Mount Tabor.  In that time, 900 chariots might have been seen as an invincible force.  What followed was a stunning victory for the Israelites as their force of peasants overwhelmed an army of well-trained and well-equipped soldiers.  The Biblical account even suggests that God intervened with torrents of rain to disable the enemy chariots. 

     Sisera fled on foot as he was pursued by the Israelites and took refuge in a nearby land.  A woman there named Jael took in Sisera and when his guard was dropped, assassinated him with a tent spike.  With that, the cruel rein of Jabin under the iron fist of Sisera was effectively ended by a woman, as Deborah prophesied.  Jael showed Barak what she had done and with the threat of Sisera ended, Barak and Deborah were able to easily subdue and overthrow Jabin and liberate Israel.  Together they sang Deborah’s song about the victory which became an anthem of hope for Israel. 

Key Beatitude:                         

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5 NRSV)

If you're looking for superman in the Bible, you just found her.  Clark Kent is the mild mannered reporter / superhuman hero.  Deborah is the mild-mannered musician / superfaithful hero.  Deborah rescues a nation in peril, restores faith and justice to the land, inspires others to bravely serve, and even gets her own theme song.  All she's missing is the cape.  Deborah helps us to understand that meekness is strength built from humbly putting your gifts to the best use.  Deborah can't leap over buildings or shoot lasers from her eyes, so what are her gifts?  Deborah is confident, wise, and brave.  She deeply cares for others and is willing to put her life on the line to help them.  This care is not reserved for the wealthy or powerful but directed at the common people all around her.  Above all, Deborah is faithful to God.  Whether you want to use the metaphor of solid stones building up to a strong tower or rich soil, fertilizer, water, and sunlight growing a great tree these are the gifts that make Deborah meek and great.   

Special Prayers:  As you learn about Deborah, you’re invited to choose a prayer to repeat throughout the day.  The goal is to memorize the simple prayer so that it is there for you and your kids whenever you might need it in life, just like God.  You can choose between the more challenging prayer poem and the rhyming kid’s poem:

Deborah Kid’s Prayer:

Help us to have humble hearts.
Make mine beat like a justice drum.
As you build your great kingdom, 
I will become one of its parts.

Deborah Prayer Poem:

You make me strong.  I lean on your might.  
You make me wise.  I’m nourished by your righteousness.  
You make me brave.  I am filled with a fierceness for your fairness.

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Mystery Museum Story and Service

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Click or tap the icon for a day three pdf of the story guide that you can view online or print.  The guide includes a daily guiding question, learning objectives, supplies list, an activity introducing kids to the Bible story, questions to go with the Bible character video, instructions for a service learning project to reinforce the story, as well as a final lesson reflection.    

This video features Deborah Under The Palm Tree, 1995, by Adrienne Cruz.

Learn more at

Service learning

Go deeper into the story by serving.

Right now, there are kids in your community who don't have enough healthy foods.  Today you can go deeper into service learning with Deborah by helping to grow plants.  Get your hands in the dirt.  Do you already have a garden?  You could help tend to your planted garden or choose to plant flowers, fruits, or vegetables for the family to enjoy.  These plants can also grow food and support super important pollinators!

Christ the King Lutheran Church, in West Chester, OH, has collected some great resources to help churches support essential pollinating bugs and birds  God created an incredible ecosystem in which flying things spread around the pollen that helps vegetables and fruits for people grow while they are finding food for themselves in the same plants' flowers.  It's amazing!


Here's another great site

about monarch butterflies.

Check out Christ the King's website to learn more about growing gardens that support pollinators.  These gardens also happen to be more beautiful, more sustainable, and more productive!


Mystery Museum Art


recycled tube castles

Click or tap the icon for a day three pdf of the art guide that you can view online or print.  The guide will lead you through creating your own little castles and includes a daily learning objective, a supplies list, art project instructions with pictures, and questions to ask the kids while you're creating together.

Click or tap the video icon for a video demonstration of Recycled Tube Castles.

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Mystery Museum Science

Plant Power


Click or tap the icon for a day three pdf of the science guide that you can view online or print.  The guide will lead you through making a plant light maze and soil tester and includes a daily guiding question, learning objectives, a supplies list, at least two science experiments for each day including instructions, and questions to ask the kids while you're exploring together.

Click or tap the video icon for a video demonstration of Plant Power.  Please note, the video includes a different experiment on growing plants than Light Maze found in the guide.

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Mystery Museum Games

Plant Power


Click or tap the icon for a day three pdf of the games guide that you can view online or print.  The guide will lead you through a water relay and includes a daily learning objective, a supplies list, a new game with instructions, a classic tag game, and questions to ask the kids while you're playing together, plus a lesson reflection.  

Click or tap the video icon for a video demonstration of Plant Power.

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Mystery Museum Music

Jesus makes me a hero


Click or tap the icon for a pdf of the music guide that you can view online or print.  The guide includes a daily reflection as well as a link to the songs.  

Each day's song comes to you from the Saddleback Kids youtube page.  The song is presented with easy-to-learn motions.  Click or tap the video icon for the music video.  

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Mystery Museum Whodunnits?


A whodunnit is a mystery story that you can solve with the characters as you read along.  At the mystery museum, the mystery has only deepened with the discovery of strange new paintings.  Shurkey must work together with the curator and Miss Purple to solve The Case of the Vanishing Portraits.

Click or tap the icon for a complete pdf of the whodunnits that you can view online or print.


Like what you see?  These resources are offered for free, but a donation would be greatly appreciated and would go a long way in making more resources like this possible.

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