Posts in Parent Resources
Unit 7, Session 4: Moses' Farewell

Decades had passed since God used Moses to rescue the Israelites from slavery and lead them toward the promised land. The Israelites had not trusted God then and had refused to enter the land.

After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites were once again at the edge of the promised land. But this time, it was a whole new generation of Israelites—many of whom had not even been born when the people left Egypt and came to this land the first time. Their leader, Moses, was 120 years old.

Moses wrote the Book of Deuteronomy to tell the people all that God had done for them and to repeat the laws and instructions that God had given His people. At the end of the book, God told Moses that Moses would soon die, never setting foot in the promised land because of his disobedience. (See Num. 20:12.) Instead, God chose Joshua to lead Israel into the land.

God also revealed to Moses that even though Israel had just endured 40 years of punishment for not trusting Him, the people would abandon God again. Having the laws written out would not be enough to keep the Israelites from breaking their covenant with God. Moses emphasized that obedience would lead to blessing and life, but disobedience would lead to curses—namely, exile from the land.

Moses went up to a mountain where he could see the land that God had promised to give to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then Moses died there.

Emphasize to your children that Moses wasn’t perfect, but Moses was a good leader for God’s people. No other prophet in Israel was like Moses—until Jesus came. The Bible says Jesus deserves more glory than Moses. Jesus is our perfect leader. He died and was raised so that Moses and every believer in all of time can enter the promised land of God’s kingdom.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers

    • We can trust God.

    • Moses led God’s people to the promised land.

    • Moses reminded God’s people to love and obey God.

    • God promised to be with His people.

  • Preschool

    • What does it mean to sin? To sin is to go against God and His commands.

    • Moses reminded the people of God’s promise.

  • Kids

    • What does it mean to sin? To sin is to think, speak, or behave in any way that goes against God and His commands.

    • Moses reminded the people to keep God’s covenant.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 (Proverbs 3:5 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Unit 7, Session 3: Balaam and Balak

God’s people, the Israelites, were in the wilderness. They had arrived at the promised land decades earlier, but the people had rebelled—refusing to trust God to give them the land. They believed it would be better to die in the wilderness than follow God (Num. 14:2), so God sent them into the wilderness for 40 years (vv. 28-29). In time, all of the adults died except for Joshua, Caleb, and Moses. The children grew up and more children were born. The Israelites disobeyed God time and again, but God still provided for them. He planned to keep His promise to give Israel the promised land.

As the Israelites traveled, God gave them victory over attacking armies like the Canaanites and Amorites. Not surprisingly, when Israel set up camp in the plains of Moab, on the east side of the Jordan River, Balak—the king of Moab—was terrified. The king knew he could not defeat the Israelites on his own, so he called on Balaam, a pagan prophet, to put a curse on them.

Though Balaam did not follow God, he knew of God and God spoke to him. God told Balaam, “You are not to curse this people, for they are blessed.” God’s plan all along was to bless humanity (Gen. 1:28), specifically through the nation of Israel (Gen. 12:3). So each time Balaam spoke over Israel, God did not allow him to curse the Israelites. Instead, Balaam spoke in four clear messages, insisting that God would bless the Israelites.

One of the ways God would bless the Israelites is found in Numbers 24:17: “A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel.” Balaam told of a powerful future king who would be victorious over his enemies. This prophecy referred to and was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus.

Teach your kids that God protects His people. His promises are sure. Balaam could not curse God’s people. God had blessed the Israelites, so Balaam blessed them too. Fourteen hundred years after Balaam announced God’s promise, Jesus was born. God sent Jesus to bless the whole world by rescuing people from sin.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers

    • We can trust God.

    • Balak wanted Balaam to speak against Israel.

    • Balaam could only bless God’s people.

    • Balaam said that God would send His people a king.

  • Preschool

    • What does it mean to sin? To sin is to go against God and His commands.

    • Balaam blessed God’s people.

  • Kids

    • What does it mean to sin? To sin is to think, speak, or behave in any way that goes against God and His commands.

    • God commanded Balaam to bless His people.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 (Proverbs 3:5 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Unit 7, Session 2: The Bronze Snake

Last week, kids learned that the Israelites believed the discouraging report of the land of Canaan instead of Joshua and Caleb’s good report. As a result, God punished the Israelites for their lack of faith. The Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness when they complained to Moses and to God. God had done some pretty amazing things for the Israelites—He rescued them from the hand of Pharaoh, He parted the Red Sea so they could safely cross, and He provided manna for them to eat. But to the Israelites, this wasn’t enough.

God disciplined them because He knew their dissatisfaction was a sign of a bigger issue: a heart problem, a sin problem. They stopped believing that God is good. In their hearts, the Israelites believed the same lie that rattled Eve in the garden. Maybe God isn’t interested in giving us what is best. Maybe He is holding out on us.

God sent venomous snakes that bit the people and killed many of them. The Israelites repented. They wanted Moses to ask God to take away the snakes.

God provided a solution. He told Moses, “Make a snake image out of bronze and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover.”

In John 3:14, Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.” What was Jesus talking about? Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” So Jesus invites us, “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other” (Isa. 45:22).

As you talk to your kids this week, help them understand that the Israelites faced a huge problem because of their sin. God sent snakes to punish Israel, but anyone who was bitten could look at the bronze snake on the pole and live. Because of our sin, we face a huge problem: we are separated from God. We deserve to die, but anyone who looks to Jesus on the cross and trusts in Him will live forever with God.

 

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

●     Babies and Toddlers

○     We can trust God.

○     God did not leave His people when they complained.

○     God healed His people.

○     God sent Jesus because He loves us.

●     Preschool

○     What does it mean to sin? To sin is to go against God and His commands.

○     God told His people to look at the bronze snake.

●     Kids

○     What does it mean to sin? To sin is to think, speak, or behave in any way that goes against God and His commands.

○     God told His people to look at the bronze snake to be healed.

 

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Proverbs 3:5-6 (Proverbs 3:5 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Unit 6, Session 3: Rules for Sacrifice

The tabernacle was complete. God now had a place where His glory could dwell without causing the Israelites to fear death. God had given His people laws from the mountain, and He gave them more rules for living and worshiping Him in the tabernacle. These rules are recorded in the Book of Leviticus. The reasoning behind Leviticus can be found in Leviticus 19:2: “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”

In Leviticus 17:11, God set apart the blood of a creature as the means for making atonement. This answers the question, “Why did Jesus have to die?” God’s requirement for the forgiveness of sins was the shedding of blood: “According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).

It is important to note a New Testament revelation about the sin offering. Hebrews 10:4 says, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Then why did God require people to make sacrifices? The institution of a sacrifice was to point to something greater—the ultimate sacrifice God would make by sending His own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for the sins of the world once and for all. (See Eph. 1:7; Rom 5:9.)

The sacrifices God required of His people were a hint of what God was going to do to forgive sinners. We no longer need to offer sacrifices because we trust in Jesus. Jesus offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice that takes away our sin once and for all.


You and your children may not be familiar with the Book of Leviticus. Use this week as an opportunity to emphasize God’s holiness and His requirement of a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. Lead them to treasure Jesus as the perfect and final sacrifice “who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers

    • God is holy.

    • God gave His people rules for worshiping Him.

    • People brought gifts to God every year.

    • God sent Jesus to earth because He loves us.

  • Preschool

    • What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

    • God made ways to forgive His people.

  • Kids

    • What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

    • God is holy and requires a sacrifice for sin.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Matthew 22:37-39 (Matthew 22:37 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Unit 6, Session 2: The Tabernacle Was Built

Thirteen of the last sixteen chapters of the Book of Exodus contain instructions for building the tabernacle. The word tabernacle means “dwelling place.” The tabernacle was a portable tent where God met with His people. God wanted to dwell among them. (See Ex. 29:45-46.)

Moses had been on the mountain talking with God for 40 days. God wrote the Ten Commandments, the words of the covenant, on tablets. When Moses returned to the camp, he called all of the Israelites together and gave them the instructions God had given him. (Ex. 24:3-4)

God’s directions for building the tabernacle were very detailed. God was not trying to burden the people; He was trying to show them His holiness and absolute authority. God appointed Bezalel and Oholiab to oversee the building of the tabernacle, giving them wisdom, understanding, and craftsmanship. Every skilled person “whose heart moved him” eagerly worked on the tabernacle of the Lord. (See Ex. 35:30-35; 36:1-6.)

God gave the Israelites the tabernacle as a visual picture of His dwelling with them. The tabernacle—and later the temple that replaced it—was a temporary place for God’s glory to dwell until the coming of Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6) Every part of the tabernacle was designed to illustrate God’s relationship with His people.

Jesus is the New Testament fulfillment of the Old Testament tabernacle. John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh and took up residence among us.” Jesus made His dwelling with people.

As you talk to your kids about the building of the tabernacle, show them God instructed the Israelites to build a tabernacle where He would dwell with them. God desires to be with His people. As part of His plan to save sinners, God sent Jesus to “tabernacle,” or dwell, with people on earth. Emphasize that in the future, He will dwell with us forever. (Rev. 21:3)

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

○     God is holy.

○     God wanted to be with His people.

○     God told His people how to build a special tent.

○     God sent Jesus to earth to be with His people forever.

Preschool

○     What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

○     God told His people to build the tabernacle.

Kids

○     What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

○     God told His people how to build the tabernacle where He would dwell with them.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

●     Matthew 22:37-39 (Matthew 22:37 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

NEXT WEEK

●     “Rules for Sacrifice” (Leviticus)

Unit 6, Session 1: The Golden Calf

God led His people into the wilderness, but He did not leave them there alone. The Lord was with His people. He provided meat, bread, and water. He guided them to Mount Sinai, where He met with their leader, Moses. The Lord came down on the mountain in fire, and He spoke through thunder. The Israelites could not have ignored His presence.

But when Moses went up on the mountain and did not return for several weeks, the Israelites felt abandoned. They appealed to Moses’ brother, Aaron: “Come, make gods for us who will go before us because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!” (Ex. 32:1)

Aaron’s response led the people to commit a terrible sin. He gathered gold from the people and made an image of a calf, and the people worshiped the golden calf. God saw what the people were doing, and He told Moses to go down the mountain at once. Moses confronted his brother. Aaron claimed that when the people gave him the gold, he threw it into the fire, and “out came this calf!” (Ex. 32:24)

God punished His people for worshiping a golden calf, and Moses returned to the mountain to ask the Lord to forgive the Israelites’ sin. Moses could not atone for the people’s sin; God said He would hold the people accountable for their sins, but the Lord did not abandon the Israelites.

Introduce your children to the concept of idolatry. An idol is anything a person puts in the place of God. Explain that idolatry is a sin. The Israelites deserved to be punished for their sin. In the same way, we deserve to be punished for our sin. Point out that God’s people sinned against God, and Moses asked God to forgive them. Moses acted as their mediator, standing for them before God. Moses could not do anything to make up for their sin, but we have a better Mediator—Jesus. Jesus paid for our sin on the cross and stands for us before God. When we trust in Jesus, our sins are forgiven.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

Babies and Toddlers

○     God is holy.

○     God’s people worshiped a calf made of gold.

○     Moses asked God to forgive the people.

○     God forgives people through Jesus.

Preschool

○     What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

○     God’s people worshiped a golden calf.

Kids

○     What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

○     God disciplined His people for worshiping a golden calf.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Matthew 22:37-39 (Matthew 22:37 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Unit 5, Session 3: The Ten Commandments

As the rescued people of Israel traveled toward the promised land, God gave them laws to guide them in how to live and to help them understand God’s perfect holiness. God’s laws covered every part of their lives and were summed up in the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments can be grouped into two categories: The first four laws deal with a person’s relationship with God and the last six laws deal with a person’s relationship with others. God did not give laws for the sake of giving laws; the laws had a purpose. Not only did they show what righteous living looks like, they were part of the covenant God made with Israel, known as the Mosaic covenant. (See Ex. 19:3-8.)

God had promised Abraham that all the peoples on earth would be blessed through him. (See Gen. 12:3.) “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3). God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled in Jesus. But God gave the law to guide people until Jesus came.

As you talk to your children this week, avoid presenting the Ten Commandments as a burden—a list of laws they must try to keep to earn God’s favor. God is holy and separate from sin. His law shows us what He requires—perfect righteousness. Our sin separates us from God, but Jesus came to bring us back to God. Jesus is perfectly righteous. When we trust in Jesus, He takes away our sin and welcomes us into God’s family.

Point your kids to Jesus and help them understand that God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned. Because of Christ, we have a right relationship with God. He gives us power through the Holy Spirit to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers

    • God is good.

    • God gave us rules to love Him and others.

    • People do not always obey God’s rules.

    • Jesus always obeyed God’s rules.

  • Preschool

    • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.

    • God gave rules to show how to love Him and others.

  • Kids

    • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.

    • God gave rules to show how to love Him and others.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Matthew 22:37-39 (Matthew 22:37 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Parent ResourcesAndrea Gooch
Unit 5, Session 2: Jethro Helped Moses

Moses and the Israelites had experienced a harrowing journey from Egypt into the wilderness. They made their way toward Midian, a land familiar to Moses. As a young man, Moses had fled from Egypt to Midian after he killed an Egyptian. (See Ex. 2:11-15.) Exodus 2 describes Moses’ first interaction with Jethro (also referred to as Reuel, Ex. 2:18), the priest of Midian. Moses rescued Jethro’s seven daughters from some shepherds at a well and drew water for their sheep. Jethro invited Moses to dinner. Moses stayed with Jethro and married his daughter Zipporah.

Moses and Zipporah had two sons. Moses’ family had been staying with Jethro, and now they were coming to meet with Moses in the wilderness—at the same place where God had spoken to Moses through the burning bush. Moses told Jethro about all the good things God had done for Israel, and Jethro rejoiced.

As the leader of God’s people, Moses had the job of judging the people. Anyone who had any reason to complain stood around Moses all day, waiting to present their case. Jethro observed Moses’ long and lonely work, and he confronted Moses about it. Judging all the people was too much responsibility for one person.

Jethro gave Moses advice about leading the people. Simply, don’t lead alone. He encouraged Moses to choose trustworthy men to act as judges over smaller groups of people. These men would judge the minor cases and bring the major cases to Moses. Then Moses would not have to work so much, and the people would not have to wait so long to solve their problems. Moses followed his father-in-law’s advice.

Moses needed others to help him lead God’s people and teach them God’s laws. God does not want believers to follow Jesus alone. He gives us brothers and sisters of faith who can help us love God, obey God, and tell others about Him. As you spend time with your kids this week, emphasize the importance of cooperation and humility in wisely carrying out God’s mission of making Jesus known.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers

    • God is good.

    • Jethro came to see Moses.

    • Moses needed help to lead God’s people.

    • Moses chose men who loved God to help him.

  • Preschool

    • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.

    • Moses needed help to lead God’s people.

  • Kids

  • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.

  • Moses needed help to lead God’s people.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Matthew 22:37-39 (Matthew 22:37 for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers)

Parent ResourcesAndrea Gooch
Unit 5, Session 1: Bread from Heaven

The Israelites’ future looked bright. The Lord, through Moses, had rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He fought for them, displaying His power by parting the Red Sea and subsequently destroying Egypt’s army. God was working out His plan to bring the Israelites to the promised land, the land God promised to Abraham’s family.

But the journey from Egypt to Canaan was not direct. The Lord led His people into the wilderness. The Israelites’ bright future seemed to fade. Their dry mouths and rumbling, empty stomachs produced complaints and accusations. They doubted the Lord’s goodness.

The Israelites traveled three days into the wilderness and were unable to find water. When they found water at Marah, they must have rushed to it—only to find the water was too bitter to drink. The people grumbled to Moses. Of course, Moses had no power to change the water. But the Lord did. Moses cried out to the Lord, and He showed Moses a tree. Moses threw the tree into the water, and the water became drinkable.

Then the Israelites moved farther into the wilderness. Their hunger produced despair: “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt … Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to … die of hunger!” (Ex. 16:3).

Again, the Lord gave the Israelites what they needed. Moses and Aaron explained the purpose behind the Lord’s provision: “You will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Ex. 16:6). God sent bread from heaven and quail for the Israelites to eat. They ate manna in the wilderness for 40 years.

As you talk to your children this week, remind them that the Lord is our Provider. In the New Testament, Jesus said that He is the Bread of life. (John 6:31-35) God provided manna from heaven for His people’s physical hunger, and later He provided His Son, Jesus, for our spiritual hunger. The Israelites needed bread to live for a little while, but whoever has Jesus will live forever!

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers

    • God is good.

    • God’s people traveled in the wilderness.

    • God gave His people food and water in the wilderness.

    • God sent Jesus because He loves us.

  • Preschool

    • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.

    • God gave His people food and water.

  • Kids

    • What is God like? God is holy, loving, and good.

    • God provided for the physical needs of His people.

Parent ResourcesAndrea Gooch