Lesson: Moses and the Burning Bush

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The Lord always helps us when He asks us to do something. Includes a lesson, class activity, game, and snack idea.

Needed: volunteer to play Moses (you can be Moses if you want), long stick for a staff, flashlight, supplies to make a snack (optional: things to burn)

Optional Intro Activity

Gather a variety of items that will burn or melt, including a twig from a bush. Before lighting each item on fire, ask students what they think will happen. Save the twig for last.

Explain that we can make some things that won’t be damaged by fire, but it’s very rare. Say, And, of course, we can’t make a bush or a tree or any kind of plant that won’t burn. But in today’s story, we’re going to hear about a bush that didn’t burn up when it was on fire.

Lesson

Ask students, What are some things that you’re good at?

What are some things that you’re not very good at? (The teacher should also share something they’re not good at.)

What would you think if God told you it was really important for you do something that you weren’t very good at? Would you try to do it or would you tell God that you’re not good at that thing and that He should ask someone else to do it?

Well, today we’re going to meet a man who did ask God to find someone else to do it, and we’re going to see what God said to him.

(Ask Moses to come in.)

(Moses reads the following script based on Exodus 2:11-4:17 .)

Moses: (enters, carrying a staff) Well, hello everyone! My name is Moses. You might remember that I was the baby who the princess found by the side of the river. My mom put me there because Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had told the Israelites to put all of their baby boys in the river and let them drown. But my mom didn’t put me in the river. She put me in a basket by the side of the river so that I wouldn’t drown. That’s when the princess found me and adopted me as her own baby.

I grew up and was a prince. How would you like to be princes or princesses?

Well, it was pretty nice. But, then, I started thinking about the Israelites. I was an Israelite and I had become a prince, but the rest of the Israelites were still slaves. Would you like to be a slave?

No, being a slave is no fun. Your masters are mean to you and you have to do hard work all day long. I went out one time and saw one of the slave bosses beating up an Israelite slave. It made me really mad to see that Egyptian slave boss beating up an Israelite slave. So, I looked around and didn’t see anyone else. I went up to the slave boss and killed him. I know I shouldn’t have done it. I should have just broken up the fight. But I let myself get too angry and I killed him.

The next day, I went out again and I saw two Israelites fighting. I told them that they should be friends and not fight, and one of them asked if I was going to kill him like I killed the Egyptian slave boss.

I didn’t think anyone had seen me kill the Egyptian, but I guess the Israelite the slave boss was beating must have told what I did. When Pharaoh heard about what I did, he tried to kill me, but I ran away.

I went to another country called Midian. When I got there, I saw these shepherds picking on some girls and their sheep. The girls were just trying to get some water out of the well for their sheep, but these other shepherds came up and cut in line and made the girls leave so that the shepherds could give their own sheep some water. Do you think that was very nice of the shepherds to do that?

I didn’t think it was very nice, either. So, I fought the shepherds and let the girls come back. They were so thankful that I helped them that they invited me to go stay at their dad’s house and work for him. Eventually, I married one of those girls and had two baby boys with her.

I stayed in Midian for many years and helped the girls’ father, Jethro, take care of his sheep. I became a shepherd like them. But one day, when I was taking care of the sheep, I saw something strange. Up on the mountain, there was a bush on fire. But the bush wasn’t burning up. It was as if the fire wasn’t doing anything to it. So, I thought, I have to go up and get a closer look to see why the fire isn’t burning up the bush.

I climbed up the mountain and, when I got close to the bush, I heard God talk to me out of the bush. He told me to stop and take off my shoes to show respect for Him. He said, “I am God. I have seen how mean the Egyptians are being to the Israelites by making them be their slaves. I have come down to rescue the Israelites out of Egypt and take them to their own country. And I want you, Moses, to be their leader. I want you to go talk to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.”

I couldn’t believe what God was saying. I was very afraid and I said, “God, what if the Israelites don’t believe that You sent me to be their leader?”

God said answered, “What do you have in your hand?”

I said, “My staff.”

God said, “Throw your staff on the ground.” I threw it on the ground (throw staff on ground), and God turned it into a snake! He said, “Pick it back up.” I picked it up and God turned it into a stick again.

Then God said, “Put your hand inside your robe.” I put my hand inside my robe and, when I pulled it out, God had made my hand all scaly and gross, like I had a disease on my hand. He told me to put my hand back in my robe, and this time, when I pulled it back out, it was totally normal again.

God said, “If the Israelites don’t believe I sent you to be their leader, turn the staff into a snake and make your hand turn diseased and then normal again, and they will believe you.”

But I was still afraid and nervous and I said, “But God, I can’t be the leader. I’m not a good speaker. I get nervous when I have to talk in front of big groups.”

Then God said, “Don’t worry. I will help you.”

But I said, “No, God. Let someone else be the leader. I don’t want to do it.”

Then, God got very mad at me. He said, “You’re the person I chose to be the leader. Now, stop making excuses. I told you I would help you. I’m also sending your brother to help you, but you’re the person I chose to be the leader. Now, do it.”

And that’s how God made me the leader of the Israelites. I’ll come back next week and tell you how God helped me and the Israelites escape from Egypt.

(Have the students thank Moses.)

Review Questions

God told Moses that He had come to rescue the Israelites out of Egypt because the Egyptians were being mean to them and making them be their slaves. God cared about the Israelites. Do you think God cares about you when people are being mean to you or when bad things are happening to you? (Yes.)

God always cares about us and He will always help us, just like He said He was going to help the Israelites. Sometimes, God wants us to help other people, though, just like God wanted Moses to help the Israelites. So, if you see someone that needs help, remember that God wants you help them.

What did God say when Moses said he didn’t want to be the leader because he wasn’t good at it? (God said he would help Moses.)

Do you think God can help you with the things you’re not good at? (Yes.)

If God tells you to do something, He will always help you to do it.

So, let’s remember to help people when they need help and to trust God to help us do the things He tells us to do.

Game: Holy Ground

Divide students into two or more teams for a relay race. Dim the lights. Tell students that when you shine your flashlight on them and call their name, they have to stop whatever they’re doing and take off their shoes before they continue. You can even shine your light on kids who are still standing in line for their turn. The first team to have all of their runners complete the race wins.

Afterward, say, I had you take off your shoes just like God told Moses to take off his shoes. Does anyone remember why God told Moses to take off his shoes? (Because God said Moses was standing on holy ground.)

We have to remember how special God is and we need to show Him respect. In those days, they took off their shoes to show respect. Today, we can show respect to God by stopping what we’re doing and listening to God when He wants to talk to us. We can show respect by paying attention in church. We can show respect by listening when someone is praying or reading the Bible or teaching us about God. Those are all ways that we can show God that we understand how special He is.

Play the game again if time allows.

Snack Activity: Supplying the Need

Tell students what to do to make their snack, but only give them what they need one step at a time. If you had a bowl of fruit salad, for example, you would put the bowl of fruit salad in front of them and tell them to scoop some out for themselves. When they say that they don’t have a spoon to scoop with, give it to them. When they complain that they don’t have bowls, give them some. Next, tell them to put some whipped cream on their fruit salad. When they complain that they don’t have whipped cream, give them the container.

When they have all they need, say, When God asks us to do something, He always gives us everything we need. He might not give us everything right away, but, if we trust Him, He will give us all the help that we need.

Closing Prayer

Father, we thank You for always helping us to do what You ask us to do. Help us to trust You as You lead us in each of our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

This lesson is included in my book, Slaves to Conquerors: Children’s Sunday School Lessons for Exodus – Joshua.


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