How can we listen for God’s direction in our lives? Includes a teaching guide, class activity, game, and craft.
Needed: volunteer to play Miriam (you can be Miriam if you want), baby doll, basket, paper to make journals, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Activity: Brainstorm
Tell students that you want their help to create a new product or solve a problem. First, ask them what product they want to design or what problem they want to solve. Then, guide them with questions on how they might accomplish their goal. Affirm every idea and try to work it into the product or solution.
When you’re finished, say, Those were some great ideas you all had! Today, we’re going to hear about how God gave someone a great idea.
Say, Last week, we met a woman named Shiphrah. She was a nurse who helped the Israelite women have their babies when the Israelites were living in Egypt. Does anyone remember what Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, told Shiphrah to do when she saw a baby Israelite boy being born? (Pharaoh told her to kill the baby Israelite boys.)
Why did Pharaoh tell her to do that? (He was afraid the Israelites would grow up and join his enemies and fight against him.)
Did Shiphrah do it? Did she kill the baby Israelite boys? (No.)
Shiphrah did what was right and listened to God instead of Pharaoh.
Well, today we’re going to meet someone else who is going to tell us a little bit more about what happened when the Israelites were in Egypt.
(Ask Miriam to come in.)
(Miriam reads the following script based on Exodus 1:22-2:10 .)
Miriam: (enters, carrying a baby doll) Wow! Look at all these great kids. Hi, kids! My name is Miriam and I want to tell you a little bit about my brother, Moses, today. Is that okay? Are you ready to hear my story?
Great! Well, a long time ago, when we were living in Egypt, the Pharaoh told Shiphrah and Puah, the nurses, to kill all the baby boys as soon as they were born. But Shiphrah and Puah wouldn’t do it. So, Pharaoh ordered all of the mothers to kill their baby boys by throwing them in the river and letting them drown.
Does that sound very nice? Would you throw your baby in the river and let it drown? No, of course you wouldn’t. And my mom didn’t want to do that, either. So, when she had a baby boy, my little brother, she hid him for three months, and didn’t let Pharaoh or any of his guards know that she had him.
But after three months, it started to get too hard to keep him hidden. She knew that Pharaoh’s guards would find him sooner or later and, when they did, they would kill him. So God gave my mom a plan. She put my baby brother in a basket (put baby doll in basket) and put the basket by the river. Then, she told me to hide by the edge of the river and watch him to make sure that the basket didn’t go into the water or anything.
So, that’s what I did. I watched the basket and I watched it and watched it…until someone started coming down to the river. You’ll never guess who it was. It was the princess, Pharaoh’s daughter! She was coming down to the river with her servants to take a bath in the river.
Then, she looked over and saw my baby brother’s basket. She sent her slave to pick up the basket and bring it to her and she found my baby brother inside. My baby brother was crying and the princess felt sorry for him. She decided to keep him for herself!
Then, I came out of my hiding spot and ran over to her. “Do you want me to find someone to take care of him for you?” I asked the princess.
She said yes, so I went and got my mom. My mom took care of my baby brother for the princess, and the princess named him Moses. That’s how my baby brother was born, and that’s how he became a prince in Egypt. The princess adopted him as her own son.
But it’s all because God gave my mom the idea to put him in the basket by the river. God knew that the princess would come and find him. God knew that the princess would take care of him. Isn’t that a great story?
(Have students thank Miriam.)
What did Pharaoh say to do to all the Israelite baby boys? (Drown them.)
Who gave Moses’ mom the idea to put him in a basket by the river? (God.)
What happened to Moses when his mom put him in the basket? Did he drown in the river? (No, the princess found him and he was allowed to live.)
Who got to take care of Moses after the princess adopted him? (Moses’ mom.)
Do you think you should listen to God if He gives you an idea? (Yes.)
We should also listen to what God is telling us because God always has the best ideas. He saved Moses from being killed and even made it so that his mom could keep taking care of him. If we listen to God, He can protect us and make good things happen for us too.
So, let’s remember to trust God and do what He tells us.
Craft: Idea Basket
Give children paper to make journals out of. You can give them staples or string to bind the journals. On the front of the journal, have them draw Moses’ mother getting the idea to put Moses in the basket.
Explain that this is their journal to write down ideas that God gives them. It can be a great way for them to think about what God might be leading them to do in their daily lives or what direction He might want them to follow as they get older. Get them started by telling them to write “Ideas of what God wants me to do today…” on the top of one page and “Ideas of what God wants me to do in my life…” on another page.
Game: Finding Moses
Tell the students to close their eyes. Then, take the baby doll and basket (or a smaller version of it) and hide it somewhere in the room. Tell students to open their eyes and find the baby Moses. The first student who finds it gets to hide it for the next round.
An alternative would be allowing the student to hide themselves. In that case, they are Moses, and their hiding place is the basket.
Lord, we thank You for giving us all great ideas of what You want us to do, just like You gave Moses’ mom the idea of how to save Moses in the basket. Help us to always listen to You so that we can follow Your plan in our lives.
This lesson is included in my book, Slaves to Conquerors: Children’s Sunday School Lessons for Exodus – Joshua.