Moses and the Desert: Children’s Bible Lesson

Story of Moses Bible Lessons

This is the 2nd lesson of a 5-part series on Moses, including a lesson on the 10 Commandments. These free Children’s Church lesson plans were first written for elementary aged students. Click here to view the index.

This lesson covers the story of Moses and the Desert. This material could also be used as the Bible lesson for children’s Sunday school. Be sure to consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed.

Bible Story: Moses and the Desert (Moses Flees to Midian)
Scripture: Exodus 2:11-15, 16-25, 3:1-15, 19-20
Target Age Group: Age 6 – 11 (U.S. Kindergarten – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate and understanding of how God got Moses’ attention by drawing a picture.

Items Needed:

  • Bible: Exodus 2:11-15, 16-25, 3:1-15, 19-20. There is a detailed explanation below to help bring out some of the important parts of the story.
  • 2 large brown paper grocery bags, tape, markers
  • Paper, crayons, markers

Worship: Use Moses Songs (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.

Teaching Plan: Moses and the Desert

Welcome Activity
Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.

Make a large “burning bush” with the children…this will be used later in the lesson. Open 2 large brown paper grocery bags and tape them together. Draw an outline of a tree on it. When the children get to class, have them trace their hands as leaves and have them color it.

Worship: Moses Songs

Bible Lesson Introduction
Talk about the “burning bush” from the Welcome Activity. Discuss what last week’s lesson was (Moses and the River) and why they think that you had them make a bush.

Bible Lesson
Have the children open their Bibles Exodus 2:11. To help them find it, use the following questions. Answers are in italics.
• Which part of the Bible is Exodus in? Old Testament
• What book of the Old Testament is Exodus? #2

Read Exodus 2:11-15 (NIV) aloud to the children.
Moses grew up. One day, he went out to where his own people were. He watched them while they were hard at work. He saw an Egyptian hitting a Hebrew man. The man was one of Moses’ own people. Moses looked around and didn’t see anyone. So he killed the Egyptian. Then he hid his body in the sand.
The next day Moses went out again. He saw two Hebrew men fighting. He asked the one who had started the fight a question. He said, “Why are you hitting another Hebrew man?”

The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking about killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses became afraid. He thought, “People must have heard about what I did.”

When Pharaoh heard about what had happened, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses escaped from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian. There he sat down by a well.

Summarize Exodus 2:16-25
• Moses becomes a shepherd
• He gets married
• They have a son

Read Exodus 3:1-15, 19-20
Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro was the priest of Midian. Moses led the flock to the western side of the desert. He came to Horeb. It was the mountain of God.

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him from inside a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up. So Moses thought, “I’ll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”

The Lord saw that Moses had gone over to look. So God spoke to him from inside the bush. He called out, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am,” Moses said.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 He continued, “I am the God of your father. I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.”
When Moses heard that, he turned his face away. He was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have seen my people suffer in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering.

“So I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them up out of that land. I will bring them into a good land. It has a lot of room. It is a land that has plenty of milk and honey. It is the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

“And now Israel’s cry for help has reached me. I have seen the way the Egyptians are beating them down. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh. I want you to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are my people.”

But Moses spoke to God. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” he said. “Who am I that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

God said, “I will be with you. I will give you a miraculous sign. It will prove that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship me on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel. Suppose I say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Suppose they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. Here is what you must say to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord is the God of your fathers. He has sent me to you. He is the God of Abraham. He is the God of Isaac. And he is the God of Jacob.’ My name will always be The Lord. Remember me by that name for all time to come.

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you and your people go. Only a mighty hand could make him do that. So I will reach my hand out. I will strike the Egyptians with all kinds of miracles. After that, he will let you go.

Discuss Bible Lesson
Exodus 2:11-15
Moses grew up. One day, he went out to where his own people were. He watched them while they were hard at work. He saw an Egyptian hitting a Hebrew man. The man was one of Moses’ own people. Moses looked around and didn’t see anyone. So he killed the Egyptian. Then he hid his body in the sand.

So Moses is living in Egypt now. He is out where the Hebrews (his own people) are working as slaves. He notices that an Egyptian is hitting one of the Hebrews and he doesn’t like it. He ends up killing the Egyptian and hides the body in the sand.

The next day Moses went out again. He saw two Hebrew men fighting. He asked the one who had started the fight a question. He said, “Why are you hitting another Hebrew man?”

The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking about killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses became afraid. He thought, “People must have heard about what I did.”

Someone else saw what Moses had done the previous day!

When Pharaoh heard about what had happened, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses escaped from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian. There he sat down by a well.

Now the Pharaoh knows about what Moses did and wants to kill him! Yikes! So Moses runs away to Midian.

Summarize Exodus 2:16-25

  • Moses becomes a shepherd
  • He gets married
  • They have a son

Read Exodus 3:1-15, 19-20
Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro was the priest of Midian. Moses led the flock to the western side of the desert. He came to Horeb. It was the mountain of God.

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him from inside a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up. So Moses thought, “I’ll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”

So Moses is now a shepherd and an angel of the Lord appears to him in a bush? Not just any bush…a burning bush! But it wasn’t burning up.

The Lord saw that Moses had gone over to look. So God spoke to him from inside the bush. He called out, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am,” Moses said.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 He continued, “I am the God of your father. I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.”
When Moses heard that, he turned his face away. He was afraid to look at God.

God started to talk to Moses! What would you do if God started talking to you?

The Lord said, “I have seen my people suffer in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering.

“So I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them up out of that land. I will bring them into a good land. It has a lot of room. It is a land that has plenty of milk and honey. It is the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

“And now Israel’s cry for help has reached me. I have seen the way the Egyptians are beating them down. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh. I want you to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are my people.”

God is concerned about the Israelites and is going to save them. He is going to use Moses to save them.

But Moses spoke to God. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” he said. “Who am I that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

God said, “I will be with you. I will give you a miraculous sign. It will prove that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship me on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel. Suppose I say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Suppose they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. Here is what you must say to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord is the God of your fathers. He has sent me to you. He is the God of Abraham. He is the God of Isaac. And he is the God of Jacob.’ My name will always be The Lord. Remember me by that name for all time to come.

“But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you and your people go. Only a mighty hand could make him do that. So I will reach my hand out. I will strike the Egyptians with all kinds of miracles. After that, he will let you go.

Moses is concerned with going back to Egypt and being used by God to save the people from slavery. God reassures him that everything would be ok.

Bible Lesson Activities

Activity: Reenactment

• Discuss with the children the main parts of the Bible lesson
• Use the Burning Bush that was made during the Welcome Activity as your prop
• Have the children reenact the Bible story

Activity:
Bible Verse Memorization
“Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up.” Exodus 3:2

Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:

Moses saw: circle fingers around eyes (as though using binoculars)
that the bush: squat down and grow like a bush
was on fire: wiggle fingers as though they were fire
But it didn’t burn up: shake head “no”
Exodus 3: hold 3 fingers up
2: hold 2 fingers up

Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization.

Activity: Following God (a.k.a. following the leader)
“Last week, Moses was a baby and the Pharaoh’s daughter found him in the river. Today, we learned how Moses followed God. We are going to follow God ourselves today.”

• Play “Follow the leader” with the children, giving different children turns to be the leader.

Evaluation:
Have the children draw a picture of the story.


Comments

  1. Victoria says

    Thank you for these lessons. Very helpful for Sunday school teacher.

  2. Norasein says

    Great support for the Sunday school teacher, even for Pre-school, you can work this material to the understanding of the 3 year old

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