Lesson: Protected to Save…A Tale of Two Babies (Exodus 1:22-2:10)

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3As we begin to prepare our hearts for the Advent Season, this lesson models how all Bible stories, Old and New Testament alike, point to the Savior. The activities and emphasis here take the story of Baby Moses and his miraculous rescue, but add a slight twist by drawing comparisons to the birth and first days of Jesus.
Lesson focus: God has a plan for everything and works all things to His glorious will.
Passage: Exodus 1:22-2:10 (with echoes in Matthew 2:1-18)
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th Grade (adaptable older or younger)
Materials Needed: Protective sportswear (helmet, pads, etc.); baby dolls and blankets; white socks (one per student); dry rice or beans; rubber bands; yarn; markers.
Lesson Opening:
Start out with a “hide the baby” game… depending on size of the class, this can be done in teams or one at a time. Have most of the students leave the room or close their eyes while the rest (in a time crunch) take turns wrapping a baby doll in a blanket and hiding it in the room somewhere. Then have the other students hunt around the room to locate the dolls. If necessary, use “hot” and “cold” clues to find. Explain that we are going to be talking today about a couple of very special and very miraculously chosen babies.
Bible Lesson:
Hold up a couple of props: a helmet or two, and/or protective padding worn for sports or bike rides. Ask children what these things are used for (protection). Today we are going to hear about how God protects us, and how He gives us special people to protect us. What do we know about the story of Moses? Allow children to give facts they already know about the Exodus story…provide a bit of background story, backing up to Joseph and how Israelites wound up in Egypt in the first place. After a while, this resulted in slavery, pain, and suffering. Eventually, Pharaoh felt threatened by their growth and demanded that the baby boys be killed:

22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”
Clearly this is a BIG problem, but God had a plan. He chose someone special to lead the people out of slavery, and made sure that He was protected…
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

God knew from the beginning, before Moses was even born, that he would be the one to lead Israel out of bondage. He chose a unique setting for this Savior to be born. Babies were being killed, mothers in mourning, and an entire people in jeopardy. Where else do we see a baby born in rough circumstances?
*Note: for older students (or to extend time), examine both passages and make a chart, allowing students to find similarities between the birth of Christ and that of Moses.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c]
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”

What did King Herod do when Jesus was born? He enforced the slaughter of newborns (just like the Moses story). And pay attention…where did the Messiah and his young parents go for refuge? Egypt! Somewhat ironic, considering Moses was trying to get people OUT of Egypt…but the point remains the same. Moses was chosen by God and protected in order to eventually save the chosen people. Jesus was God’s son, sent to save the whole human race! He has a plan in all things.
Craft: Baby Moses sock doll…help students pour rice (or beans) into a white tennis sock. Tie off with rubber bands or yarn, and allow children to decorate a face. Place the dolls into a paper bag “basket” and surround with fake grass or yarn.
Close with prayer and reminder of God’s amazing plan. He has called all of us and equipped us with special qualities and purposes to do His wonderful work. Tell God you are ready for Him to use you. Thank Him for Jesus and salvation.  Watch for ways you can grow, trust, and serve!
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