Bible Stories, meditations, activities, crafts, games, outreach projects and more to do together. Three weeks at a time are posted.
Week of August 9
Summer is coming to a close, but not our Liturgical Season. Sunday is the Ninth Sunday in the Season After Pentecost. The liturgical color of green still fills our churches.
For the last few weeks, we have heard how God chose the unexpected or someone seen as the other to do his work and help his people. This week, we are going to hear how God chose, not the most eloquent speaker or gifted person, but a stutterer to do his most important work of speaking. God chooses by the heart.
Bible Story: God Chooses Moses, a Stutterer (and someone who ran away) Moses was born to a Hebrew slave. In order to save baby Moses, his mother put him in a basket and floated him down the Nile (river). The Princess found the basket and baby. She adopted Moses as her son. After Moses had grown up, he was getting fed up with how his people were treated by Pharaoh. They still had to work so hard all these years later. Moses never really felt he belonged to either the King’s people or the Hebrew Slaves. He felt different than everyone else. He had a stutter that made speaking hard for him. He was unsure of himself and his place. One day Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people, and he became so upset that he killed the Egyptian. Moses ran away from Egypt. He knew his adopted family would not understand why he should care what happened to the slaves and the slaves saw him as part of the bad guys, who hurt them. Moses went into the desert and ended up in a place called Midian. He had stopped to rest by a well when seven sisters came by to give their father’s sheep some water. In the middle of feeding the sheep some shepherds came by and started to become very rude. They pushed the women aside and told them to get out of the way, that they needed the water more than they did. Moses saw all this and said to the shepherds, “These women were here first and they need the water just as badly as you do. If you have a problem take it up with me, but leave them alone and wait your turn.” The shepherds listened to Moses, and Moses stayed and helped feed the sheep for the sisters. When the sisters got home their father asked them, “How did you get done so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from some shepherds, and he even drew the water out of the well for us and watered the whole flock.” “Please, go and get him and invite him for supper,” the father said. When they found Moses, and had talked with him for a while, they realized he had no place to stay. He ended up staying with them, and later married one of the sisters whose name was Zipporah. Moses became a shepherd, and took care of many animals. He found a place he thought he belonged. As the years went by the Pharaoh in Egypt died, but the Hebrews were still slaves and they prayed to God for help. God heard them and felt bad for them, He knew just what He was going to do next…(after all God had a plan.) One day, Moses was out looking after some sheep and after a while ended up near a hill. He was just talking to the sheep, like he always did when there was no one else to talk to, when he noticed a bush on fire. Moses sat and watched it for a while because something wasn’t right. The bush was completely on fire, but it wasn’t burning up the bush; there was no smoke, just fire. The leaves stayed green. The branches did not scorch. Moses decided to get closer and take a better look. As he approached the bush a voice came from the inside of it, “Moses! Moses!” Moses thought that this might be God, after all who else could speak from a bush that was on fire, yet not burning. Moses replied, “I am here.” He continued to walk closer to the bush but as he got closer God said to him, “Don’t come any closer, take off your sandals because you are in the presence of God. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” These were men that Moses had heard about. He knew that God had done great things for these men, and He believed in their God. So, when Moses heard God say these words, he was afraid and covered his face with his cloak. He thought that if he saw God’s face he would die because God is so bright and powerful. God said to Moses, “I have seen all the pain my people have had to go through in Egypt. I have heard their prayers and want to save them from their slavery. I want to take them to another place where there is lots of good land and plenty of milk and honey. Moses, I am sending you to free the Israelites from Pharaoh.” “Um, pardon me God, but I think you are talking to the wrong person. This is just me, Moses I’m just a regular guy, Pharaoh won’t listen to me. No one will listen to me. Besides, I am not one of either people.” Moses said in disbelief. And God said, “I will be with you and will help you. Go to the Israelites and tell them I have sent you and I have heard their prayers, and will send them to a better place. Don’t worry they will listen to you. But be patient because Pharaoh won’t listen until he sees many signs and is punished, but after that he will let you go.” Moses still didn’t think he was the right man for the job. “God what if the Israelites don’t believe me, what if they say, ‘I think you’re lying; God didn’t talk to you. They do not like me or trust me. No one will listen to me.'” Then the Lord said to him, “Throw your staff on the ground.” Moses did as he was told and his staff became a snake right before his eyes. Moses even jumped out of the way, the snake almost slithered right over his foot. Then the Lord said, “Pick it up by the tail.” Moses didn’t really like snakes but he quickly grabbed it by the tail and it turned from a limp yucky snake, to his smooth wooden staff right in his hand. God continued to show Moses signs he could show the people so they would believe. Moses would even be able to turn water into blood because God would do it for him. Even after all these signs, Moses still didn’t think he could do it, and God was starting to get frustrated with his lack of trust. Moses would be able to do anything with God’s help. Finally, God said to Moses, “I will send your brother Aaron, in fact he is already on his way to see you. I will help both of you, and give you the words to say.” After that the bush stopped burning and God was gone. Moses put his sandals back on and made sure to take his staff of God, and went to get his wife and children to go to free the Israelites. When Moses and his brother Aaron got to Egypt the Lord told them what to do. He said, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Israelites go. He will be very stubborn and it will take many signs and miracles before he will let you go; but everyone will know that I am God when he finally frees the Israelites.” It took a long time before Pharaoh would free God’s people. It took a long time for the Hebrew people to trust Moses. Through, Moses, God did as he promised and the Hebrew people were free!
Meditation: Moses had a lot going against him, yet God was leading him on a path. Moses’ mother was not the first mother to try to save her baby, yet God guided the basket to the princess. It was Moses’ feeling of not belonging and running away that led him to his destiny. God’s plan for Moses is one of the greatest stories ever told. It takes place over several books in the Bible. We will all face times in our lives when we feel we do not belong, or are not the right person to do the challenge, or are afraid to do the challenge because we believe someone else is better. When it is over, we can see God picked the right person in Moses and when our challenge is over, we can see how God guided us through. We just have to trust him. God could have chosen the most beautiful person, the strongest person, the richest person, the most well-spoken person, the most confident person, but he did not. He picked the one, who, when he looked into his heart, God knew he was the right one. God has looked into our hearts too. He sees us. He sees all we can be and all we can do. He sees the beauty of who we are. I wonder what the world would be like, if we tried to look into people’s heart and see them the way God sees them? What would each person accomplish if he or she knew we believed in them?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for having a special plan for each of us! Help us learn from Moses by choosing to trust in you and see ourselves and others through your eyes. Give us courage to believe in ourselves and others when the world says we should be afraid. Through Jesus Christ, your Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Activities (choose one or more to do during the week. For links, copy and paste):
- Discussion questions- Why do you think Moses had to be a prince before he went into the desert? How do you think Moses stutter affected the way he thought of himself? Do you have something you wish was different about yourself? How could God see that and use it to love others? Have you ever felt you did not belong? What do you think Moses felt, growing up, not really being Egyptian or Hebrew? Do you think it was hard to not belong to either group? Have you ever wished you belonged, but did not feel welcomed? How can you help someone who is feeling like they do not belong?
- Musical response: Song of Moses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB_zYT76Og8 and Go Down Moses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpczZWBAemM
- Craft response: Baby Moses Paper Craft: http://www.dltk-bible.com/crafts/mpapermoses.htm Simple Basket Weaving out of paper: https://www.123homeschool4me.com/moses-bible-crafts-for-kids_67/
- Outreach/community service response: Who around you, in your neighborhood or in your church, might be feeling lonely or like they do not belong? Make them a card or write them a letter saying they are your friend. Tell them one thing you noticed that you like about them (how they always smile, how they laugh, how they care for their garden, etc.)
- Activity response: Using sidewalk chalk, make up an obstacle course of Moses life. Start with having to jump from basket to basket to get through the river, then make a palace but have to walk around it, then a desert and avoid the snakes to a burning bush, then back to Egypt with frogs and other animals that you have to avoid. Most of the fun is in the drawing.
- In-reach response: Take turns at dinner saying one thing each person really likes about one person in their family. Each evening, switch to a different person. Encourage the children to think about it before they come to dinner. Start by saying, “I am glad you are in my family. “
- Game response: Come on up, Moses https://biblegamescentral.com/come-on-up-moses/, Burning Bush Word Puzzle https://www.biblewise.com/kids/fun/burning-bush-gods-name.php
- Watching the story: Moses grows up a Prince https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAWh3992Ves , Moses and the Burning Bush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omn08jyfN3s, The story of Moses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL7B_W8Pld4
- Flat Jesus activity: Use Flat Jesus to play hide and seek. God sees us and finds us in the most unusual places.