Friday, November 1, 2013

God Is with Us: When We Are Afraid - Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)



Theme: God is with Us: When We Are Afraid

Scripture Reference: Exodus 1-5

Memory Verse: Exodus 3:12

(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objective:
During the months of January and February, children will explore the theme: God Is with Us. Each week, a familiar story from the Old Testament will be studied and a particular lesson examined. This week, children will learn how they can be assured God is with them when they are afraid.

Say:
(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. God answered, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12 NLT


Icebreaker Questions:

Tell about one time when you were afraid.


What are some things you or other people might be afraid of? Why do you think people are afraid of these things?


What are some things people might do when they are afraid?

Say
For eight weeks, we will talk about the theme “God Is with Us.” We will learn eight different stories from the Old Testament—some of which you might already know, that will show us different occasions when we can be assured God is with us. Jesus promises never to leave or forsake his followers, and these stories will teach us how God didn’t with men and women who lived a long time ago.


Bible Story Time:

Reflection: Do you think kids are the only ones who are ever afraid, or do you think grown-ups get scared too sometimes? If you were a grown-up, what might be some things you think you would fear?

Many, many years ago, the Jewish people were slaves to the Egyptians. The Egyptians were very mean to them and made them work very hard. The ruler of Egypt, Pharaoh, became frightened of them. Even though they were slaves, there were millions of them. He was worried they might one day rebel against the Egyptians and try to escape and go back to their homeland in Israel. So the king of Egypt decided to do something very bad. He gave an order for all of the baby Hebrews boys who were born to be killed. Eventually, there would only be girls, and no more babies would be born.

Reflection: How do think women who were soon to be moms felt when they heard about this? How would you feel if you knew your baby brother would be killed?

One mom decided she wasn’t going to listen to what the evil king said. She was going to hide her baby boy so he wouldn’t be killed. She named him Moses, and for three months she hid him from those who were trying to kill the babies. When she couldn’t hide him any longer, she made a large basket, lined it with cloths, placed baby Moses in it, and took it to the Nile River. She placed her son in the basket among the reeds that grew near the edge of the river. She hoped someone would find him and take care of him.

Sure enough, not long after she had put him there, one of Pharaoh’s daughters came down to the river to bathe. She saw the basket, and sent one of her servants to get it. When they opened it up, they saw a beautiful little Hebrew baby. Now it happened that Moses’ sister was standing nearby and asked the princess if she could get a woman to nurse him. As you might imagine, she took her brother back to his mother.

Reflection: Do you think Moses’ sister might have been afraid to go up to the princess and ask if she could help her brother?

Later, Moses was returned to Pharaoh’s palace where he was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and grew up as Pharaoh’s grandson. Moses, however, knew he wasn’t an Egyptian; he was a Hebrew. He saw how terribly the Egyptians were treating his people. One day, he saw one of the Egyptian masters beating one of the Hebrew slaves. Moses looked around to see if anyone was watching. When he didn’t see anyone, he killed the Egyptian. But somebody did see, and when the king heard about it, he gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed. Moses ran for his life to the land of Midian. Here he married the daughter of one of the priests who lived in the land and settled down to life as a shepherd.

Reflection: How do you think Moses felt when he heard the king had given orders to kill him? In some countries, if people say they are a Christian, they will be killed? How would you feel if you lived in one of those countries?

One day while Moses was tending the flocks of sheep, he saw a strange site. A bush was burning, but it wasn’t burning up. When he walked over to see this mysterious sight, he heard a voice say, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.”  The ground was holy because God was there.

Reflection: What do you think you would have done if you had seen such a site? Would you have run away or checked it out as Moses did?

God appeared to Moses because he had something he wanted Moses to do. He wanted him to go the Egyptian king and tell him to let the slaves go. As you might imagine, Moses wasn’t too excited about what God asked him to do. After all, he had a death sentence on his head, and why would Pharaoh listen to him anyway? Moses was afraid and began to make excuses why he couldn’t do what God asked of him?

Reflection: Have your parents ever asked or made you do something you didn’t want to? How did you respond?

Moses told God Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to him. Then he asked God what would happen if the people didn’t believe God had sent him. So God gave Moses the power to perform two miracles to prove he had been sent by God: his staff turning into a snake and his hand becoming leprous. Moses wasn’t finished offering excuses. He told God he wasn’t a good speaker, so God said he’d send his brother Aaron to speak for him. Finally, Moses just pleaded with the Lord to send someone else. Reluctantly, Moses finally agreed to do what God asked him.

Reflection: Can you think of one thing God might ask you to do now or when you’re older that you would be afraid to do? Why would you be afraid?

God told Moses not to be afraid because he would be with him. God promises us the same thing. Whatever he asks us to do, he will help us do. We don’t have to be afraid. If we give in to our fears, we won’t do what God asks, and that would be disobedience.

Activity Time:

Materials:
Balloons
String
Marker

Directions:
Blow up balloons. With a marker, write something on the balloon a child might be afraid of. Tie a piece of string to the balloon, and then tie a balloon to each child’s ankle. With supervision for the children’s safety, have each child step on another child’s balloon and try to pop it. Explain that this is what God can do to our fears.


Transition:
Let’s sing about God’s power to help us overcome our fears.

 

Song:  

My God is so Big,
So strong and so mighty,
There’s nothing my God cannot do.
(clap – clap)

My God is so Big,
So strong and so mighty,
There’s nothing my God cannot do.
(clap – clap)

The mountains are His,
The rivers are His,
The stars are His handiwork too.

My God is so Big,
So strong and so mighty,
There’s nothing my God cannot do — for you!


Activity Time:
The Bible says, The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart Psalm 28:7. Soldiers once carried shields to protect themselves when their enemies were trying to kill them with their swords. God promises to be our shield to protect us from those things that might harm us as we do what he asks us to do. Since he is our shield, we don’t have to fear.

Have children write things they are afraid of on the shield and then color the shield.

Wrap Up:
Let each child tell one thing they learned about fear from the story of Moses.   

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