Our forgiving God

Hey all! Today we talked about the next part of Numbers (chapters 17,20,21). Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

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The Israelites were following God through the desert on their way to the promised land…but no matter how many GREAT things God did…the people just COMPLAINED! It’s easy for us to complain instead of THANKING God for all the great things He has given us and done for us. Let’s take a minute to think about those things and thank God.

In the book of Numbers there are 3 stories about the people complaining and not trusting God. The first time they didn’t trust God’s choices. Aaron (Moses’ brother was the chief priest–the one who would give sacrifices and pray to God to forgive the people for their sins (bad choices). It was important that the people listen to Aaron because God had chosen him to stand between the people and God. But the people had disobeyed and as a consequence, some of them had died. Instead of telling God they were sorry, instead they said “It’s ALL YOUR fault, Aaron!” They wanted a NEW chief priest. They didn’t like the one God had chosen.

But God told them to bring 12 staffs (one from the leader of each tribe/family) into the tabernacle (the church). The next morning, when Moses went to see the staffs, Aaron’s staff (big stick) had grown some flowers! All the people were amazed and reminded that God would choose who He wanted to lead the people. They put Aaron’s staff back in front to remind everyone not to doubt God’s choosing and to be thankful that He is a forgiving God.

But, it didn’t take long before the people forgot about God’s goodness and again started complaining. They were complaining this time about the food and water. God told Moses to talk to a rock to give the people water. But even Moses didn’t always obey God. Instead of talking to the rock, he bonked it with his staff. It did give water to all the people, but God wasn’t happy. So God told Moses even he wouldn’t get to go into the promised land, only his kids and grandchildren. Even though the people had complained and not obeyed God, He still took care of them and gave them the water they needed. The people were reminded that He is a forgiving God.

Then later, many years later, the people were still following God around the desert and again, they started to complain. God was very frustrated with the people for not trusting Him and He sent snakes to bite the people. It hurt a lot and some of the people died. Moses asked God to forgive the people and God told Moses to make a big snake statue and the anyone who got bitten by a snake could look at that and get better. If the people believed God and obeyed Him and looked at the snake statue, they got better. If they didn’t obey God, then they died. Was the statue God? No. Did the statue have any powers? No. Only God has the power to make someone better. He just wanted the people to OBEY and look at the snake. He wanted them to TRUST HIM and obey. Even though the people complained and complained, God still gave them a way to get better. The people were reminded that He is a forgiving God.

Sometimes when we make bad choices, there are bad consequences, but God still forgives us and still loves us. We can always remember that He is a forgiving God. The people did not trust God…instead they complained. When we trust God, we will be thankful. Let’s try to be more thankful and trust God’s plans.

THIS video by Steven Bussell has all three of our mini stories in paper-bag puppet form (very cute and well done).

THIS is a great overview of the book of Numbers from the “What’s in the Bible” series posted by JellyTelly.

THIS is a very thorough overview of Numbers posted by The Bible Project.(Today’s lesson starts at about 3:15 into the video and goes until about 4:35).

Thanks for joining us again! Love to you all!

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!

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.

manna and quail

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!