Use this Moses and the Burning Bush Sunday School lesson to tell children the story of God talking to Moses from out of the burning bush.
Needed: volunteer to play Moses (you can be Moses if you want), long stick for a staff
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Ask students, What are some things that you’re good at?
What are some things that you’re not very good at? (The teacher should also share something they’re not good at.)
What would you think if God told you it was really important for you do something that you weren’t very good at? Would you try to do it or would you tell God that you’re not good at that thing and that He should ask someone else to do it?
Well, today we’re going to meet a man who did ask God to find someone else to do it, and we’re going to see what God said to him.
(Ask Moses to come in.)
(Moses reads the following script based on Exodus 2:11-4:17.)
Moses: (enters, carrying a staff) Well, hello everyone! My name is Moses. You might remember that I was the baby who the princess found by the side of the river. My mom put me there because Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had told the Israelites to put all of their baby boys in the river and let them drown. But my mom didn’t put me in the river. She put me in a basket by the side of the river so that I wouldn’t drown. That’s when the princess found me and adopted me as her own baby.
I grew up and was a prince. How would you like to be princes or princesses?
Well, it was pretty nice. But then I started thinking about the Israelites. I was an Israelite and I had become a prince, but the rest of the Israelites were still slaves. Would you like to be a slave?
No, being a slave is no fun. Your masters are mean to you and you have to do hard work all day long. I went out one time and saw one of the slave bosses beating up an Israelite slave. It made me really mad to see that Egyptian slave boss beating up an Israelite slave. So I looked around and didn’t see anyone else. I went up to the slave boss and killed him. I know I shouldn’t have done it. I should have just broken up the fight. But I let myself get too angry and I killed him.
The next day, I went out again and I saw two Israelites fighting. I told them that they should be friends and not fight and one of them asked if I was going to kill him like I killed the Egyptian slave boss.
I didn’t think anyone had seen me kill the Egyptian, but I guess the Israelite the slave boss was beating must have told what I did. When Pharaoh heard about what I did, he tried to kill me, but I ran away.
I went to another country called Midian. When I got there, I saw these shepherds picking on some girls and their sheep. The girls were just trying to get some water out of the well for their sheep, but these other shepherds came up and cut in line and made the girls leave so that the shepherds could give their own sheep some water. Do you think that was very nice of the shepherds to do that?
I didn’t think it was very nice either. So I fought the shepherds and let the girls come back. They were so thankful that I helped them that they invited me to go stay at their dad’s house and work for him. Eventually, I married one of those girls and had two baby boys with her.
I stayed in Midian for many years and helped the girls’ father, Jethro, take care of his sheep. I became a shepherd like them. But one day, when I was taking care of the sheep, I saw something strange. Up on the mountain, there was a bush on fire. But the bush wasn’t burning up. It was like the fire wasn’t doing anything to it. So I thought, I have to go up and get a closer look to see why the fire isn’t burning up the bush.
I climbed up the mountain and when I got close to the bush, I heard God talk to me out of the bush. He told me to stop and take off my shoes to show respect for Him. He said, “I am God. I have seen how mean the Egyptians are being to the Israelites by making them be their slaves. I have come down to rescue the Israelites out of Egypt and take them to their own country. And I want you, Moses, to be their leader. I want you to go talk to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.”
I couldn’t believe what God was saying. I was so afraid and I said, “God, what if the Israelites don’t believe that You sent me to be their leader?”
God said answered, “What do you have in your hand?”
I said, “My staff.”
God said, “Throw your staff on the ground.” I threw it on the ground (throw staff on ground) and God turned it into a snake! He said, “Pick it back up.” I picked it up and God turned it into a stick again.
Then God said, “Put your hand inside your robe.” I put my hand inside my robe and when I pulled it out. God had made my hand all scaly and gross, like I had a disease on my hand. He told me to put my hand back in my robe, and this time when I pulled it back out, it was totally normal again.
God said, “If the Israelites don’t believe I sent you to be their leader, turn the staff into a snake and make your hand turn gross and then normal again, and they will believe you.”
But I was still afraid and nervous and I said, “But God, I can’t be the leader. I’m not a good speaker. I get nervous when I have to talk in front of big groups.”
Then God said, “Don’t worry. I will help you.”
But I said, “No, God. Let someone else be the leader. I don’t want to do it.”
Then God got really mad at me. He said, “You’re the person I chose to be the leader. Now stop making excuses. I told you I would help you. I’m also sending your brother to help you, but you’re the person I chose to be the leader. Now do it.”
And that’s how God made me the leader of the Israelites. I’ll come back next week and tell you how God helped me and the Israelites escape from Egypt.
(Have the students thank Moses.)
God told Moses that He had come to rescue the Israelites out of Egypt because the Egyptians were being mean to them and making them be their slaves. God cared about the Israelites. Do you think God cares about you when people are being mean to you or when bad things are happening to you? (Yes.)
God always cares about us and He will always help us, just like He said He was going to help the Israelites. Sometimes God wants us to help other people, though, just like God wanted Moses to help the Israelites. So if you see someone that needs help, remember that God wants you help them.
What did God say when Moses said he didn’t want to be the leader because he wasn’t good at it? (God said he would help Moses.)
Do you think God can help you with the things you’re not good at? (Yes.)
If God tells you to do something, He will always help you to do it.