This is lesson 13 of 42 in our study on the Attributes of God called “Can you tell me what God is like?” Visit the series index to view all the lessons and get more ideas for using this curriculum in your children’s ministry.
LESSON 13: GOD HEALS HIS PEOPLE
- Key Verse:“See now that I myself am He! There is no god beside me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal and no one can deliver out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39
- Teaching Passage: the Bronze Snake- Numbers 21:4-9
- Supporting Texts: Exodus 15:26, Numbers 12:13, Deuteronomy 32:39
- AGE GROUP: elementary (ages 6-11)
- TIME REQUIRED: 45 minutes
Bibles, previous attribute of God posters, a large piece of paper with the words GOD HEALS HIS PEOPLE written on it, key verse (Deuteronomy 32:39) printed on a piece of paper, blank paper and markers or colored pencils for each child in the group
REVIEW PREVIOUS LESSONS:
Ask one of the kids in the group to remind you what you’re learning this year. Remind them that each week we’ll be looking into the Bible to answer the question… “Can you tell me what God is like?” and will be learning one of the many truths about God that we see in His Word.
Ask if anyone can remember the truths we’ve learned so far. Have the kids stand up and say the attributes of God and do the motions.
- God is Almighty= He has absolute power or is all powerful
- God is the Alpha and Omega= He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last
- God is Awesome = He inspires awe and amazement
- God is Compassionate = He shows a deep concern for His people & a desire to meet their needs
- God is the Deliverer = He is the rescuer or savior
- God is Exalted = He is noble, elevated and lifted up
- God is Faithful = He is reliable, trustworthy, true to His Word & keeps His promises
- God Forgives = He grants pardon and cancels the debt of sin
- God is Glorious = He is full of glory (praise, honor & distinction)
- God is Good = morally excellent, virtuous or righteous
- God is Gracious = merciful, benevolent, kind & compassionate
- God Guides His People= He leads, accompanies, assists and gives direction/ guidance
TEACH – GOD HEALS HIS PEOPLE:
Tell the kids that when most people think of God healing people, they think of Jesus healing people in the New Testament, but that you want to tell them a story from the Old Testament that should help to explain that God heals His people.
Read through the passage for the day (Numbers 21:4-9) and talk through it as you go.
Some of the points you’ll want to hit are:
- God was leading His people through the desert.
- Because of sin and rebellion, God had them wander in the desert for 40 years so that a new generation would enter the promised land.
- The people when through phases of trusting God and then complaining and then trusting again.
- As they were traveling, once again the people began to complain and question why God had brought them out of Egypt to die in the desert. They complained about the food (manna) that God was giving them and got angry at God.
- So, God sent poisonous snakes into the camp and they bit many Israelites and many people died.
- Then the people came to Moses and admitted that they had sinned when they complained against God and asked Moses to pray for them and ask God to take away the snakes.
- Moses prayed. God answered Moses prayer, but He didn’t take away the snakes. Instead, God told Moses to make a snake out of bronze and put it up on a pole so that the people could see it. God told Moses that when someone was bitten by a snake that if they looked at the bronze snake they would be healed.
- Moses did what God said and whenever someone was bitten, if they looked at the bronze snake they were healed.
- In this way, God reminded His people not only that He can heal, but that they needed to trust Him completely.
DEFINE AND REMEMBER:
To help the kids remember this truth about God, take a few minutes to define the attribute.
HEALS = TO MAKE HEALTHY AND WHOLE AND FREE FROM AILMENTS
EXPLAIN: Talk about how we saw God healing His people in today’s story. Talk about how God could have made all the snakes simply go away. Or He could have just healed all the people who were bitten, but instead He wanted the people to learn to trust Him and rely on Him for all things. He wanted the people to remember that He is the great healer and that they need to look to Him for salvation.
Read the memory verse (Deuteronomy 32:39) together one more time.
Since motions & actions help kids remember, choose an action for HEALS. A good motion might be to make a heart shape with your hands and hold it up to your chest
SAY: “This week our memory verse is Deuteronomy 32:39 which reminds us that God alone is sovereign (or in control) over life and death. God can heal and God can destroy. Life is in God’s hands.
Read the memory verse together from the Bible. Then, ask the kids to share stories from the Bible that they know where God heals someone.
In our story this morning we saw God’s people call out to Him for healing. The truth that we see in the Bible is that we all need to call out to God for healing as well. We don’t need to be rescued from a snake bite, but we all need to be rescued from something even worse; sin and punishment and death. In John 3, when Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, He compares Himself to the bronze snake. He said, (John 3:14-15), “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” Just like the people in the desert couldn’t heal themselves from their snake bites, we can’t heal ourselves from sin and death and without healing we will die. Romans 6:23 tells us that the punishment for sin is death. But, if we look to Jesus and believe that He was lifted up (died on the cross) in our place for our sin we will be saved; we will be healed from the sting of sin and death.
Give each child a blank piece of paper provide markers or colored pencils. Encourage them to write the word heal somewhere on the paper and then write or draw something to help them remember this attribute of God. They could write the definition for good or the memory verse or they could illustrate any of the passages you read about God being good, or they could draw something comparing their sinfulness to God’s holiness.After a few minutes, bring the group back together and give kids time to share what they have drawn or written.
Pray that the kids in the group would come to know God more and more each week through this study and that they would remember that all of us are sinners who need to be saved and that they would turn to this good God for salvation.