Use this Moses and the Bronze Snake Sunday School lesson to teach kids to be grateful.
Lesson: (Note: Always students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Ask students, Have you ever just had a bad day, when it seemed like nothing was going right for you?
What should you do on a day like that? Should you complain about things and get all grumpy? What should you do?
One thing you can do when you’re having a bad day is to think about all the good things you have in your life and thank God for those good things. Then maybe that will help you to stop thinking about the couple of bad things that are happening that day.
Today, we’re going to learn about a group of people who just liked to complain.
Summarize Numbers 21, asking questions as you go.
One day, when Moses and the Israelites were walking in the desert…Why are Moses and the Israelites walking in the desert? Can anyone tell me? The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, but God used Moses to rescue the Israelites from slavery. They were walking through the desert to their new home in Canaan, but when the people got to Canaan, they were afraid to go attack the people living there and take over, even though God had told the people that He would help them. So to punish the people for not trusting Him to help them, God told them that they could not go live in Canaan. They had to wait until every adult at that time had died and then God would take their children into Canaan to live there. So now in our story, the Israelites still have to live in the desert until all those adults, who didn’t trust God to help them, are dead.
So one day, when Moses and the Israelites were walking in the desert, the people started to complain. “Why did you bring us out of slavery in Egypt just to make us walk around in the desert?” they said. “There’s no food here, there’s no water, and we’re sick and tired of this manna bread that God keeps giving us to eat!”
Do you think the people should be complaining about things like that?
Which do you think would be better – to have to work all day as a slave or to live in the desert? Living in the desert would be much better than being a slave, but the people are complaining that they’re not still slaves in Egypt!
What would have happened if the people had trusted God and gone in to attack the Canaanites and taken over their land? The people would be living in their new homes by now instead of living in the desert. So the people created their own problems by not trusting in God.
But did you notice what God was still doing for the Israelites? He was still giving them manna bread to eat everyday.
Did God have to give them food? No, he could have let them starve and die in the desert, but instead, God loved the people and took care of them by giving them the manna bread.
So because the Israelites were complaining and not being grateful to God for rescuing from slavery in Egypt or for giving them the manna bread everyday, God decided to punish them. He sent poisonous snakes to slither in among the complaining Israelites and bite them. Many of the people died from the snake bites and said to Moses, “We’re sorry for complaining against God. Please pray for us so that God will take the snakes away.”
Do you think it was good for the people to say they were sorry for complaining? Yes, they did the right thing by saying they were sorry. God always wants us to admit what wrong things we did and say that we’re sorry for them.
Then Moses prayed and God told him, “Make a snake out of metal and put it high up on a pole. Then, when a snake bites someone, that person can look up at the snake and I will heal them from their snakebite so that they won’t die.”
Do you think it’s nice that God said He would heal the people from their snakebites? The people said they were sorry for complaining, so God forgave them and gave them a way to be saved from the snakes.
God gives us a way to be saved, too, doesn’t He? How can we be saved when we do wrong things? God says that if we believe in Jesus and ask God to forgive us for the wrong things that we’ve done, then He will forgive us and save us from going to Hell when we die. All we have to do is look up to Jesus, who died on the cross for us.