God made promises to Abraham and Jacob that their descendants would be numerous and that they would be blessed. In this first part of “Who Was Moses?”, children will learn how Moses was a part of God’s continued plan for the Hebrew people and how he delivered them from slavery. This lesson emphasizes the importance of families and the impact they can have on the Kingdom of God. The children will incorporate the lesson through a fun “Family Tree” craft that encourages them to reflect on how God has blessed their families in the past and how he may use them in the future.
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Who was …. ? series on major Bible characters.
OBJECTIVE: To help the children understand that God had a special plan for Moses’ family and he has a special plan for our families too!
MAIN IDEA: Moses’ was a part of God’s promise to Abraham and Jacob that their ancestors would be blessed. God continued his protection and provision for the Hebrew people through Moses’ leadership.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Exodus 1:22-2:10, Exodus 2:11-12 & 15, Exodus 3:1-10, Exodus 12:29-32
MATERIAL(S): cardstock paper, markers, green construction paper, scissors, glue
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, thank you for having a special plan for each of us! Help us learn from Moses by choosing obedience to your specific will for each of our lives. Amen.”
ICEBREAKER REVIEW: Say, “Last week we learned that Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, moved his entire family to Egypt. Does anyone remember why (to escape famine and because Joseph was there)?” Emphasize that God made similar promises to Jacob that he had made to Abraham, such as having innumerable descendants. However, even though Jacob’s family came to Egypt on good terms, the future generations found themselves in need of a deliverer!
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Comment, “Today we are going to talk about Moses. What do we already know about Moses (delivered the Hebrew people out of Egypt, he was saved as a baby when his mother put him in a basket on the Nile river, he was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter, etc)?” Explain that some of the lesson will probably be familiar, but the main focus will be how God used Moses’ life as part of his plan to save the Hebrew people.
- Start by assigning volunteers to each scripture verse. Then talk a little bit about Moses’ mother, Jochebed, and her faithfulness that resulted in his survival. Read Exodus 1:22-2:10. Ask, “What do you find amazing about Moses’ survival? Is it obvious that God had a plan for him even as a baby?” Explain that while Moses grew up as a prince in Egypt, he was forced to flee to because he murdered an Egyptian. Read Exodus 2:11-12 & 15. Say, “After 40 years living as a shepherd, Moses encountered God in the form of a burning bush.” Read Exodus 3:1-10. Ask, “Why was it important that God introduced himself as ‘the God of Abraham…Isaac…and Jacob (because Moses was surely aware of the promises God had made to them)?”
- Next, explain that Moses then went to Egypt and received help from his older brother, Aaron (because Aaron was a good speaker). Together they told Pharaoh over and over to let God’s people go (Exodus 5-10), but Pharaoh didn’t listen and Egypt was continually plagued by things like flies, water turning to blood, frogs, and hail. Ask, “Does anyone know what caused Pharaoh to finally let the Hebrew people free? Let’s read Exodus 12:29-32.” Emphasize that it wasn’t until God killed the firstborn of the Egyptians that Pharaoh finally freed the Hebrews. Tell the class there’s much to learn from Moses’ perseverant obedience and Pharaoh’s prideful response to God’s commands. Say, “Sometimes it takes a lot for people to finally surrender to God’s will. We should strive to follow Moses’ example of faithful obedience whenever others try to stand in the way of what God wants to do through our lives.” Explain that we will continue looking at Moses’ life next week and how he led the Hebrew people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Ask, “So, can we already see that God had a special plan for Moses, even from birth? God has a special plan for each of us too! We are each unique masterpieces made by God.”
Family Tree Craft: (20 minutes)
Draw a family tree for Jacob on the board and include Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel and Leah, and Esau. Then add Amram and Jochebed, Aaron, Miriam, and Moses. Say, “We have discussed how God made promises to Abraham concerning his descendents. We are going to make similar family trees to think about how God has, or will, use our families!” Pass out the cardstock paper and help the children draw an empty tree trunk with branches. Then give them the green construction paper and safety scissors. Next, show the children how to cut out simple leaves from the construction paper (you may cut out the leaves ahead of time), write a family members’ name on each leaf, and then glue the leaves to the handout. While the children work on their craft, discuss how God has already used your family and what you dream he will do in the future. Then encourage any volunteers to also comment on their hopes for their family’s future.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: God did miraculous things to keep Moses safe and then used him to free the Hebrew people from Egyptian slavery. We learn from Moses’ life that God will do amazing things when we obey and trust him!
CLOSING PRAYER: “Lord, we are grateful that you want to use us to change the world. Help us trust you when we feel unworthy of your calling and give us strength to keep choosing obedience. Amen.”
Who was …. A Study on Bible Characters
This lesson is part of a 14 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that introduces major characters in the Bible.