The Cloud and Fire

Hello again. Today we reviewed the tabernacle (from Exodus 24-39). Last year’s lesson (AND A LOT MORE DETAIL) can be found HERE. We also learned about the pillars of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21-22)

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God’s people, the Israelites were living in the desert while they followed God to the land He had promised them.

God showed the people He was with them by leading with a cloud. During the day it was a cloud, at night it was fire. If the cloud stayed, the Israelites stayed. If the cloud moved, the Israelites moved.

God told Moses to build a tabernacle (like a church). He gave Moses all the instructions and was very clear about what the church should be like. Since they moved around a lot, the tabernacle was really a big tent.

The church had a place where the people could make their sacrifices to God–to show Him they were sorry for their sins and/or to give God gifts.

It also had a place to worship God and then it had a special room called the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place. Only one person one time a year could go into that special place and that’s because God’s spirit was there. The chief priest was the only person and he only went in one time a year to talk with God. He would talk to God for the people and ask God to forgive their sins. God was WITH His people the whole time they were in the desert.

When Jesus died on the cross, the big curtain that separated God’s spirit (in the Holy of Holies) from the rest of the tabernacle was torn in two pieces and it showed us that we were no longer apart from God. Because of Jesus we can have God’s spirit in our hearts and we can talk to Him anytime we want!

Later, instead of a tent tabernacle, God’s people would build a “real” temple (church) for God. But one day we will worship God in heaven! And the Bible says that Jesus is like the chief priest now…serving God and talking to Him for us. (Heb 4:14-16)

God is aways taking care of us. He took care of the Israelites and led them with the cloud and the fire. He gave them shade in the day and warm fire at night. He was close to them and stayed right with them.

God leads us too–He uses His words in the Bible and in our hearts to lead us. He keeps us safe and stays close to us. God is always with you–loving you.

We found THIS cute craft posted by Ginri Jordan based on the Bogard Press 2013 VBS “Mighty God.”
THIS is a cute video from SabbathSchool that goes along with today’s lesson.

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Israel Disobeys

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Exodus 32/33. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

So Moses was up on Mt Sinai with God getting all the rules for God’s people. Moses was gone 40 days (about a month) and the Israelites were just sitting down at the bottom of the mountain. In those 40 days they already started to think “Maybe God forgot about us? Maybe God isn’t real? Maybe God doesn’t care about us?”

So they came up with a plan. “We need a NEW god!” they said.

Aaron, Moses’ brother said, “Ok! We’ll make a new god! Everybody take off your rings, earrings, your bracelets…give us your gold cups, plates…whatever you have.” Then he called some guys who knew how to build and they made a cow shape. They heated up all the gold until it was very soft, poured it into the cow shape and let it harden. Then they took the cow shape off and they had made a golden cow statue.

The people then danced and sang and prayed to the cow.

Does God hear us? (Yes) Does God see us? (Yes) Does God love us? (YES!)

Can a cow statue hear us? (No) Can a cow statue see us? (No) Does a cow statue love us? NO!

God was NOT happy. He sent Moses back down the mountain to tell the people to STOP IT! Only GOD is the real God. He is the One we pray to and sing songs for and dance for. He is the One who loves us.

God was very frustrated, but Moses asked God to please forgive the people.

There were still bad consequences for the people worshipping the cow (some of them died and some more got very very sick). God just told us in the 10 commandments to put Him first and not worship any other thing…and His own people turned around and were doing just that.

You probably won’t see too many people where you live worshipping gold cows…but sometimes we DO put other things before God. Sometimes we worry more than we pray. Sometimes we want to watch tv or play games more than we want to talk to God. Sometimes we are more worried about getting toys than we are helping other people. We worry about what WE want, not what God wants.

We should always try to put GOD first. God’s own people forgot all about Him in a month. Let’s pray right now that God will always remind us of who He is and that we will always worship ONLY Him.

For our craft today, we cut out a golden cow shape.

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Then we added some gold glitter and our text: We worship ONLY God. Exodus 32.

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

The Law

Hello again! Today’s lesson is from Exodus 19-23, Romans 3,5, and 8. Our lesson and craft from last year (focusing on the 10 commandments) can be found HERE. Today’s lesson focuses more on the law and WHY God gave His people the law.

 

After God saved His people from the Egyptians, He led them through the desert and provided food and water for them. The people came to a mountain called Mt Sinai. God told Moses to come up the mountain and He would give Moses the rules the people needed to follow.

For 40 days and nights Moses talked with God and God told Moses everything the people needed to do or not do to obey God. God even wrote the rules on some stone tablets.

Do you know why your mom and dad have rules for you? They have rules to keep you safe (don’t touch a hot stove, use gentle hands, hold hands when you walk in a parking lot) and rules to help you become good people (study for school, clean your room, help take out the trash).

God’s rules for His people were the same way. Some of the rules keep the people safe and some of them help us be more like God.

Can we ALWAYS obey God? No…we can’t. (Romans 3:23) Only one person has ever perfectly obeyed God…do you know who that is? It’s Jesus! Jesus is the only person who was perfect. We all mess up and disobey God’s rules sometimes. So one thing the rules does is it shows us our sin. If we don’t know what the rules are, then we don’t know we are disobeying God. Now that God gave His people the rules, they would know when they disobeyed. (Romans 5:20)

Do you remember what the consequence for disobeying God is supposed to be? It’s dying. Back in Moses’ day, the people would ask God to forgive them and change their hearts to follow Him again. Then an animal (like a sheep) would have to die–to show that they were sorry and wanted to be right with God again.

If they people disobeyed God and never tried to make things right in their heart, the consequence would be forever death, in hell, away from God.

But God had a better plan. One day, He would send His OWN son, Jesus to be the sheep. Because He was perfect, He was the only one who could stay with God and take the place of our consequence-Romans 3:10, 19. Jesus died just like the sheep used to die. And He didn’t stay dead. He lived again…just like when we sin, we are supposed to die, but if we choose Jesus, then we will live again, forever. (Romans 8:3, 11)

The law (the rules) God gave His people showed them (and us) that we sin. And it shows us that we NEED a savior. (We need someone to save us from the consequences of our sins.) The Bible tells us that Savior is Jesus. And ALL we have to do, is believe in Him. (Romans 3:22, 25-26)

When we love God, we WANT to obey Him…so we try our best to follow His rules. (Romans 3:31) But when we mess up (and we all will), we trust that Jesus has taken that consequence for us and if we tell Him we are sorry and stop doing those bad things, that He WILL forgive us.

 

Even God’s people didn’t always obey the rules (as we’ll see next time). But now they had God’s plan–His plan to keep them safe, to help them be more like Him, to show them their sins, and to show them their need for a Savior.

Today we made little stone tablets like the ten commandments, but instead of writing the 10 commandments on them we wrote this:

The rules show us that we: SIN, and that we need a SAVIOR.

 

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

God’s graciousness in the wilderness

Hello again! Today we continue to follow Moses and the Israelites. This is from Exodus 16 and 17 in the Bible. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

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Moses and the Israelites had been freed from the Pharaoh and from living as slaves in Egypt. But now what?! God had led them through the Red Sea, saving them AGAIN from the Pharaoh and his army…and now? Sand. Lots and lots of sand. They walked around the desert for a LOOOOOONG time. (It wasn’t supposed to be THAT long…but they ended up disobeying God…but we’ll get to that part later.) For now…they were wandering around the desert.

What is a desert like? Do you know? (My kids said BOOOORIIIIING). There is little water or food. And the Israelites were hungry! Do you know how people act when they are hungry? That’s right…they get GRUMPY! They whined and complained and said, “WHY would God brings us out here?! At least we had FOOD in Egypt…I mean…it was terrible! But at least we had food!”

How do think God responded? Was He mad? Did He let them starve to death?

God was patient and He listened to the people and then He was gracious. (That means He was extra nice to them even though they didn’t deserve it.) God told Moses that He would send birds (called quails) that the people could eat every evening and that each morning He would provide a special bread called manna.

Every day (except for church day) they were supposed to go out of their tents and get as much manna as they needed for THAT day. If they got too much, it would get yucky. God wanted the people to trust Him every.day. If they could get as much as they wanted, they wouldn’t have to trust God to give them food every day. God wanted them to have just enough for each day (and twice as much the day before church day so they could rest on church day) so that every single day HE could give them what they needed.

And God DID give them manna every morning and quail every evening.

The people SHOULD have been thankful….but they got grumpy…again. They were tired of just eating the quail and manna. And one day, when they stopped walking, they were complaining about not having enough water. God AGAIN was gracious to His people and told Moses to go to a certain rock and to touch it with his staff (big stick). So Moses went before all the people and water came pouring out of the rock. Remember, nothing is too hard for God!

Every time the people needed something God provided (He took care of them and gave them what they needed.) When God asks you to do something that seems crazy (like pack up and move your family away from a wicked Pharaoh) you can be SURE that God will take care of you. Anything God asks you to do, He will take care of you through it.

God loved His people and took good care of them…providing for them every day. God loves YOU too and He will take care of you every day too!

Thanks for joining us, love to you all!

Through the water

Hey all! Welcome back! Today we are continuing to follow Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt (found in Exodus 13-14) and last year’s lesson can be found HERE.

 

After Pharaoh said the Israelites could go, he changed his mind and said “But who is going to build things for me? Or clean my house? Or serve me?! Why did I let those slaves go?”

So he gathered up his soldiers (there were thousands!) and took off after God’s people.

The Israelites were not an army…just regular people…mommies, daddies and kids so they were moving kind of slow, and it was easy for the Egyptian soldiers to catch up.

Soon the Israelites got to a big sea called the Red Sea….(but it’s regular blue water) and they saw the Egyptians coming and they were scared.

But God told Moses to raise his hands and lift up his staff (his big stick). Remember, there wasn’t anything special about that stick–it’s not a magical stick or anything…GOD was the one who did the cool things. God made a big wind come and He parted the water. There were two big walls of water on either side on the sea, but a dry path down the middle.

The Israelites walked through the water…water on this side…water on that side…but dry on their feet. Can you believe it?!

Pharaoh and his men chased after the Israelites. The Israelites hurried through and when the last of God’s people were through, Moses raised his staff again, and the water came crashing down on the Egyptians. They were all washed away.

God protected His people. God had a plan to lead His people back to the land He promised them and nobody, not even a big king with a HUGE army was going to stop God. God can do ANYTHING and nobody can stop God’s big plans. (Is 14:27, Job 42:2)

We watched Veggie Tales Moe and the Big Exit and talked about what was the same in the video and the Bible and what parts were different.

For our activity today, we parted the Red (pepper) Sea based on THIS VIDEO. You take a bowl of water and sprinkle red pepper on top, then dip your moses (however you want to make him–we used a spoon and some paper) in dish soap and when he gets in the water it separates. (Full disclosure: this worked awesomely the 1st time and then not again….I guess because there was now dish soap already in the bowl? But it’s pretty cool the 1st time you try it.)

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Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Passover

Hi all! Today we are continuing the story of Moses–this lesson is found in Exodus 5-12. Last year’s lesson and craft (focusing on more on the plagues than the Passover) can be found HERE.

So Moses and Aaron were headed back to see the new Pharaoh and to tell him “God says, ‘Let My people go!'” (God was going to take His people back to the promised land and away from the mean Egyptians.)

When they got to the Pharaoh they said, “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

The Pharaoh was not happy! “Who is your God? Why should I listen to YOU? NO! These people can not go! And because you tried to set them free…now they will work EVEN HARDER!”

The Israelites DID work harder and they were not very happy with Moses. Again Moses and Aaron went to the Pharaoh and said “God says ‘Let my people go!’” The Pharaoh again answered no. And now he was MAD!

Then God said “This king will not change his mind. Because he will not let My people go, I will send plagues (a lot of bad things) and you will know that I am the Lord.” God told Moses and Aaron to meet the Pharaoh at the Nile River (the river Moses had floated on as a baby…the big important river that everyone got their water from). When they did, Aaron put his staff (like a big stick) into the water and it turned into blood. EW!? The people couldn’t drink it, they couldn’t wash their clothes or take a bath. It was disgusting.

**Sidenote: Aaron’s staff was not a magical stick…it was not anything special…but GOD made it do cool things sometimes. It was God’s power…not the stick that did the cool things.

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

Pharaoh responded, “Ummmm NO.”

Then God sent frogs. They were in peoples’ houses, in their food, in their potties, everywhere! Pharaoh said “If you take these frogs away, I’ll let the people go!”

So Moses asked God to take the frogs away…but as soon as Pharaoh saw that the frogs were gone, he changed his mine and said “Ummmm NO.”

Then God sent bugs.

God sent Aaron and Moses back to Pharaoh to say “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

And Pharaoh said “Ummmm NO.”

Then God sent flies.

God sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh to say “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

And Pharaoh said “Ummmm NO!”

Next God killed the animals of the Egyptians, which means they didn’t have any milk to drink or any meat or eggs to eat.

God sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh to say “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

And Pharaoh said, “Ummmm NO.”

Next, God made the Egyptians have yucky, sick skin. They had big ouchy spots all over.

God told Moses and Aaron to go tell Pharaoh “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

Again, Pharaoh said “Ummmm NO.”

Then God sent hail (which is like big rocks of ice that come down during a storm). The hail hurt the people and their houses.

Pharaoh said “If you will take the hail away, then the people can go!”

God took away the hail, and told Moses and Aaron to say to Pharaoh “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

But Pharaoh changed his mind (AGAIN) and said “Ummmm NO.”

Then God sent locusts (kind of like grasshoppers) and they ate up all the food the Egyptians were growing in the ground.

God told Moses and Aaron to go to Pharaoh and say “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

And Pharaoh again said, “Ummmm NO.”

Next, God made everything dark. There was no light for 3 days. The people couldn’t cook, they couldn’t play, they couldn’t even move around it was SO.DARK.

God had Moses and Aaron say to Pharaoh “God says ‘Let my people go!’”

But once again, Pharaoh said “Ummmm NO.”

Lastly, God said, “I have one more plague. After that, he will let you all go. In the middle of the night, I will come through Egypt and I will kill the firstborn son of every person, UNLESS, you kill a lamb and wipe the blood on your door. THEN, I will pass over that house, because I will know that that house has people who love Me and who obey Me.”

This was a sacrifice. If you remember, before Jesus came and died for us, people used to give sacrifices to God…they would kill one of their best animals and that would be like a special present to God to show God they were sorry for their bad choices. This time, God asked them to sacrifice a lamb and paint their doors with the blood. It sounds gross and it probably kind of was. But this also reminds us of Jesus. Jesus is like a sacrificial lamb who died for us and when we love and trust Him and ask Him into our hearts, His blood covers over our sins, just like the blood covered the doors of the houses of the people who loved God.

The Israelites obeyed God. They sacrificed a lamb (just the kind God said to) and they wiped the blood on their doors. That night, the first boy in every family died, even the Pharaoh’s son…but not the Israelites who obeyed God.

Before, the Egyptians had been so scared of the Israelites being so strong that they had killed all their baby boys. And now God took the Egyptians’ first born boys.

(Later, God would give His OWN son, Jesus, to save all of us!)

It was the middle of the night when Pharaoh found his son dead and he called Moses and Aaron and said “GET OUT!” The Egyptians were so scared of Moses and his God, that they gave the Israelites food and money and sent them away. They were finally leaving Egypt and heading to the land God had promised them.

For our craft today, we cut some cardboard and drew doors on it. Then we painted (with paint, not blood…but hey…knock yourself out if you want) the “blood” on the doorframe.

Our text reads: Passover Exodus 12

 

 

THIS is an EXCELLENT overview of the story and of Passover posted by Crossroad’s Kids Club.

 

Another craft we have done at church is to take this sheet and add cotton balls to the lamb. It has a simple explanation of Passover on it for the kids.

 

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(If it won’t load for you, it is a coloring page of a lamb and the description says:

When the Pharaoh would not let God’s people go, He sent plagues. The Israelites gave God their best lambs, and put the blood on the door just like He said. He saw that they obeyed Him and passed over their houses. God is all-powerful. He is omnipotent. The blood from the lambs saved the Israelites just like Jesus’ blood on the cross saves us. Exodus 7-12, John 1:29)

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

God speaks to Moses

Hello again! Today’s story is from Exodus 2 and 3.

Last year’s story and craft can be found HERE.

So Moses and God’s people, the Israelites, were living in Egypt. There was a new king (Pharaoh) who didn’t like the Israelites and was very very mean to them. We learned last time that Moses had been adopted by the king’s daughter (she was going to keep him and he would grow up in the king’s house.)

Moses always knew he was an Israelite, even though he grew up in the fancy king’s house. One day he saw one of the Egyptians being mean to one of his family–another Israelite. And do you know what he did? He KILLED him! (Not a good choice…but even “heroes” of the Bible like Moses made bad choices sometimes. Jesus is the ONLY perfect person.)

But everyone saw and everyone knew what Moses had done. The king tried to kill Moses (because he defended an Israelite instead of acting like an Egyptian Prince and being mean to him too) so Moses was scared and ran away.

He ran FAR away and he stayed away a loooong time. He stayed away so long, he got married, he had a family, he had a new job…he had a whole new life.

One day Moses was taking care of the family sheep and he saw something funny. He saw a bush that was on fire…but it wasn’t burning up. Have you ever seen a campfire? If you burn the wood, it burns down and turns to ashes. But this wasn’t turning to ashes. (Like the Israelites…they were “burning” in Egypt having to work so so hard…they should have been destroyed…but they weren’t…God kept them going because He had good plans for them…just like He kept the bush burning even though it should have burnt down.)

Moses went to have a close look and then God spoke to him from the bush!

God said “I AM the God of your father Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I have an important job for you. I have seen how the Egyptians treat my people and I don’t like it. It’s time to bring them back to the land I promised them. YOU will go to the king (the Pharaoh) and say “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”

The old king had died by now and there was a new Pharaoh. Moses was SCARED to go back. He had killed someone!? Did everyone still remember that? Were people still mad at him? Would this new king want to kill him too?

Moses asked if he could take his brother, Aaron with him to help him talk to the king. So Moses and Aaron set off and we will see next time what happens when they talk to the Pharaoh.

For our craft today, we painted a bush and branches and then added fiery tissue paper.

Our text reads: God spoke to Moses in a burning bush. Exodus 2-3

 

Thanks for joining us. Come again tomorrow to see what happens next in our story!

Love to you all!

Baby Moses

Hello all!

Today’s story is from Exodus 1 and 2.

Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

If you remember from before, Jacob had 12 sons, and one of them was Joseph. God had promised Jacob that he and his family would always live in that special land, but they moved to Egypt to be with Joseph. (But God would bring them back).

Joseph and his brothers were all living in Egypt and had lots of kids and those kids had kids, and they had kids…and the people of Jacob/Israel (that was the new name God had given Jacob)  lived in Egypt for 400 years.

These were the people God had chosen, the people of Jacob…and He blessed them. There were SO many of them and they were strong and healthy and good workers. BUT, there was a new king in Egypt (the Pharaoh) and the people of Egypt began to be afraid of the Israelites because there were so many of them. “Maybe they’ll try to take over and be King instead of me!” said the Pharaoh.

The king said “We will kill all the baby boys of the Israelites. That way none of them can be king and then they won’t be able to grow up and make any MORE babies!”

But one of the Israelite mommies had a baby and she just couldn’t let them kill her baby boy, so she hid him in a basket. She covered him up and put him in the Nile River (a really big and important river through Egypt).

Then she said to her girl, the baby’s big sister…”Go sneak along the river and make sure he’s ok.”

The basket with the baby inside floated down the river until it came to a group of women and one of them was the princess! The Pharaoh’s daughter!

“Look! It’s a baby! He’s soooo cute! I must keep him! I will name him Moses,” said the princess.

Just then the sister came out from where she was hiding and watching baby Moses and said, “Would you like me to find someone to help take care of the baby for you?”

“Yes! He’s so little! He needs mommy milk…and I don’t know how to take care of a baby. I’ll need someone to take care of him!” said the princess.

“I know somebody who can take care of him!” said the sister, and she went and got Moses’ mommy. The mommy was able to keep her boy and take care of him, until he was old enough, then he lived with the princess. He got to be with his mommy AND grow up with the princess!

God took care of baby Moses and He had big plans for him too. We will see what happens in Moses’ story more tomorrow.

For our craft today we drew some water on a blue piece of paper and then cut out basket shapes and some baby boys from a magazine. Lastly, we practiced our writing and wrote Moses’ name. We talked about how Moses means “I pulled him out of the water.”

 

This video is a summary cartoon posted by Mei Yee Wong.

And this video is from Saddleback Kids.

Thanks for joining us. Looking forward to more tomorrow! Love to you all.

The Tabernacle

Hey all!

Our story today is from the second half of Exodus.

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While the Israelites were in the desert on the way to the promised land, God gave Moses instructions to build a tabernacle, which is kind of like a church. God gave very very specific instructions on how to build it and what to put in it. He was also very specific in how the priests (people who served in the church) were to dress and how they were to worship Him.

The tabernacle was a tent and God’s cloud lived over the tabernacle and was a cloud by day and a fire by night. When God moved, the people moved. When God stayed over the tabernacle, the people stayed.

Later, a tabernacle would be built (in the promised land) and God also says there is a tabernacle in heaven where He lives. When Jesus came though, God no longer had to live in the tabernacle, He could live in each of our hearts.

(For very young kids, this might be a good place to stop).

The tabernacle had 7 important parts or pieces and they each showed a part of the Israelites’ journey and they each showed us something about Jesus.

The tabernacle was a big tent, with only one way in. Just like the Bible tells us that Jesus is the only way to God. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through Me.” (John 14:6) It was surrounded by a high fence which made a courtyard (or like a big fenced-in yard).

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1. The Altar

Right inside the tabernacle courtyard was a place to make sacrifices. God said the people had to kill their best, perfect lamb as a sacrifice. If they did the way He said, then they could be forgiven for their sins. “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)

This is like when the angel came and killed all the firstborn boys when they were in Egypt, unless they put the blood of the lambs on their doors.

It also makes us look forward to Jesus, because He would die once and for all for all our sins. No more animal sacrifices, because Jesus would be the perfect lamb.

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2. Basin

Next, there was a basin of water. The priests were to wash their hands and feet before going in.

The water reminded them of God leading them through the red sea and providing for them in the desert.

The water represents to us being clean before God. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [with blood] to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

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3.  Lampstand

Next was the lamp stand. It was in the first room of the tabernacle. It was the only light in that room and God told the priests to keep it burning always.

This reminded the Israelites of the fire of God leading them always.

It also tells us about Jesus. He is the light of the world. There are dark, yucky things in the world (satan) who want to keep us from God, but Jesus is the light. He shows us the way to God. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) When we believe, the Bible says we are “children of the light.” (Ephesians 5:8)

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4. Table

Also in that first room was a table with bread. The priests would bake bread each week and it would stay out a week, then they would eat it in that room. This showed God wanting to be with His people and for them to enjoy good things in His presence.

This reminded the Israelites of the manna God provided for them.

It tells us of Jesus because

A. He loved to eat with others and be with them, getting to know them and love them

B. The Bible says that man can not live just by bread, but that we need the words of God, we need Jesus

C. Jesus, before he died, sat down with his disciples to eat bread and drink wine and He told them that His broken body on the cross would be like the bread and His blood would be like the wine and whenever we get together to eat or drink, we should remember Him and what He has done for us. (Matthew 26:26)

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5. The Altar of Incense

This is the last object in the front room. The priests had to burn special spices each morning and evening and leave them burning as a sweet smell to God. It was a sign of the prayers going to God. God wants us to come to Him with our prayers.

This reminded the Israelites of Moses going up the mountain to speak with God on their behalf.

It tells us about Jesus because He is now the one who comes between us and God. He speaks on our behalf and He is certainly sweet to God. God wants to hear from us and Jesus says “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)

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6. The Holy of Holies

There was a big curtain between the first room and the second, most inside room of the tabernacle. The inside room was called the Holy of Holies. The most special of all places. Only one day each year, only one person (the high priest, the head priest) could go in to the room where God was in the Holy of Holies. The big curtain separated sinful man from the Holy, perfect God. There were very special things the high priest had to do to be in God’s presence, like an extra sacrifice and shielding his eyes.

The Israelites could not see God, were not allowed to see God. Even Moses when he asked to see God on the mountain was not allowed to look right at God. This reminded the Israelites that man used to live in paradise with God, in Eden, before we sinned. Now they were separated from God by their sin.

This place and curtain tell us of Jesus though! When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the tabernacle was torn in two….the barrier between God and man was broken! We now had access to the Holy God through Jesus. Just like Jesus’ body was broken, the curtain was broken. Jesus is the high priest who takes us before God and makes us right before Him. “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body …let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The Holy of Holies tells us of heaven too. “For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. …But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:24-26)

Legendary Ark of the Covenant from the Bible
Legendary Ark of the Covenant from the Bible

7. The Ark of the Covenant

Inside the Holy of Holies was an ark (not like the boat), more like a box. God told Moses to put in manna, Aaron’s staff and the ten commandments. On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat. God lived here.

The bread reminded them of how God took care of them and provided for them in the desert, even when they complained. The staff reminded them of their disobedience to God (making the golden cow) and questioning God. The tablets were a reminder that God had picked the Israelites to be His people. He made the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel. He chose to lead these the promised land. God CHOOSES to love us and forgive us. And even still, the people did not keep the commandments well or follow God much of the time.

The reminders of their sin, would also tell us about Jesus. The bread God gave them kept them alive, but “Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.’” (John 6:32, 48-50)

Jesus obeyed God’s authority and was the perfect sacrifice for our sins, because He always obeyed God. “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:20-22)

God lived among the Israelites and they worshiped Him. He led them forward to the promised land as a cloud by day and a fire by night, in His temporary earthly home. Now we know Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in heaven, serving on our behalf as the high priest and we can come to God any time we wish because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

That’s all for today and for July! Join us next time when we start Leviticus-Ruth in August!

Love to you all!

The Golden Calf

Hi all! Today’s story comes from Exodus 32.

GoldenCalfWorshipers

So Moses was up on Mt Sinai talking to God for 40 days (40 wake ups!)

And the people got bored with all that waiting. They said “Why is it taking so long?! What are we DOING out here?! Let’s make a new god!”

So Aaron, Moses’ brother told all the people to take their gold jewelry and dishes and they melted it all together and then they made a gold cow. They said “THIS is our God!”

But a gold statue can’t love you, or care for you. A gold statue can’t hear you when you pray. The people made a bad choice.

They put food in front of the gold cow, and they danced and sang songs. They bowed down to the ground and had a fancy party for the cow.

God was NOT happy. He sent Moses back down the mountain to tell the people to STOP IT! Only GOD is the real God. He is the One we pray to and sing songs for and dance for. He is the One who loves us and protects us and leads us.

God was very frustrated, but Moses asked God to please forgive the people.

There were still bad consequences for the people worshipping the cow and not God (some of them died and some more got very very sick). God just told us in the 10 commandments to put Him first and not worship any other thing…and His own people turned around and were doing just that.

It makes God very sad when we disobey or make bad choices. He did forgive the people though and He promised to lead them to the land He had waiting them. Even when we mess up or when God seems confusing or far away, we can trust that He loves us and has good plans for us. We can pray and ask Him to be close to us and to show us where to go next.

One more lesson in Exodus and then we’ll start Leviticus-Ruth in August. Love to you all!