Kids ministry

During our Sunday worship gatherings we provide a safe, fun and gospel-centered ministry for children 6 months old through 6th grade.


In offering kids ministry, our goal is to foster an intentional time of discipleship for children and parents. Everything our children do in their classrooms – from crafts to story time – reflects the gospel. Jesus is the heart and soul of our theology, and it is His message, the gospel, which informs and transforms everything, including the hearts of our children and families.


Children, just like adults, need Jesus’ saving love (Romans 3:23; 6:23), and just like us, they need God’s gospel truth applied to their hearts in all things. So with great joy, we realize the most important thing we can do in The Mountain Church Kids Ministry is to teach the gospel.


Below, you'll find resources to use at home in conjunction with our PreK+ classroom and beyond! 

  • If you are looking for ways to incorporate family worship at home, create a FREE account on ministry grid to gain access to The Gospel Project at Home! This resource comes free and follows along with our PreK+ Kids Ministry classrooms. However, it can be used with, and is helpful for all ages in the family!

  • Moses’ life was in danger from the moment he was born. He was an Israelite—a descendant of Israel (Jacob)—living in Egypt after Jacob’s family had moved there, seeking food during a famine.

     

    Four hundred years later, this family had grown and multiplied. Moses’ parents, Amran and Jochebed, likely lived in fear of the pharaoh who ruled Egypt and took drastic measures to oppress the Israelites. Could God’s promises for His people stand against such opposition?

     

    Jochebed hid her baby boy as long as she could—about three months—before she put him in a basket among the reeds of the river. She couldn’t have known that Pharaoh’s daughter would find him and want to raise him as her own, or that the princess would let Jochebed care for him until he was old enough to be raised as an Egyptian prince. She couldn’t have known that her son would grow up to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. But God knew. All along, God had a plan for Moses and His people.

     

    God appeared to Moses years later. Moses was a shepherd then, having grown up in Egypt’s royal household only to flee as a murderer to Midian. There, Moses started a family and worked as a shepherd, perhaps never imagining he would see Egypt again.

     

    But one night, God drew a curious Moses to Himself and spoke through a burning bush. You see, God remembered the promise He made to Eve in Genesis 3. He remembered His covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12, which He repeated to Isaac and Jacob. So many years had passed, but God remembered His promises.

     

    Moses was inadequate for the task of rescuing the Israelites, but God promised His power and presence. So in the early chapters of Exodus, we see Moses return to Egypt to confront Pharaoh—acting as a mediator between the Israelites and their burdensome king.

     

    As you consider Moses’ calling, look forward to an even greater calling and rescue—the call of Jesus to come to earth to save God’s people from their sin. Jesus is greater than Moses. Moses delivered God’s people from physical captivity; Jesus delivers God’s people from captivity to sin and death.


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God saved Moses’ life and called him to rescue God’s people from slavery. The calling of Moses points to a greater calling and rescue—the call of Jesus to come to earth to save God’s people. Jesus gave up His life to save us from slavery to sin.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Does God keep His promises? Yes, God always keeps His promises because He is faithful.

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? — Numbers 23:19

  • God’s heart is for His people. When the Israelites cried out to the Lord, He heard them and had a plan to rescue them from their suffering.

     

    That’s why God called Moses back to Egypt. Though Moses had been raised among the royal household in Egypt, his heart was for his own people too. God chose Moses to deliver the enslaved Israelites after a series of plagues

     

    God’s purpose in sending the plagues was not only to get His people out of Egypt; the plagues would put God’s power on display and stand as acts of judgment against the Egyptians. (See Ex. 7:4-5.) The plagues made life in Egypt uncomfortable. In some instances, the people suffered terribly.

     

    The plagues did convince some of Pharaoh’s officials to take God’s word seriously, but other Egyptians—including Pharaoh—refused to humble themselves. It was the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn, that finally got Pharaoh to send the Israelites out of his land.

     

    The heart of the gospel is found in the story of the Passover. The Israelite people were sinful; they deserved death just as much as the Egyptians did, but God graciously provided a way out to keep the promises He made to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and to Abraham in Genesis 12 and 15.

     

    At the Passover, the Israelites killed a lamb instead. By marking their doorposts with the blood of a lamb, the Israelites were spared from the judgment and death they deserved.

     

    God kept His promise to rescue His people from the power of the Egyptians. Each year, the Israelites remembered this miraculous event by observing the Passover festival.

     

    Jesus never sinned, but He was crucified for our sins. We too are deserving of death, but the blood of Jesus—the Lamb of God—covers all who trust in Him and sets us free from sin and death.

     

    God is faithful to keep His promises. He calls us to remember that Jesus has freed us from slavery to sin so we are free to live for His glory.


    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    By His grace, God spared the Israelites from judgment by requiring the blood of a lamb. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. His death was the ultimate sacrifice, and those who trust in Jesus are under His saving blood and will be passed over in the final judgment.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Does God keep His promises? Yes, God always keeps His promises because He is faithful.

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? — Numbers 23:19

  • God’s people were finally free. After 430 years of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites—now numbering 600,000 men plus their families—were on their way out with Moses as their leader. God had promised to give them a new land: “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex. 3:17).

     

    What did sudden freedom feel like? Did the Israelites feel strong and courageous? Did they feel nervous and vulnerable? Regardless of their thoughts and emotions, one thing was certain: God was with them.

     

    We see in the story of Exodus 13–15 that God directed His people, fought for His people, and ultimately delivered His people.

     

    First, God directed His people. We see this clearly in God’s choice of the route for the Israelites. God knew if the Israelites took the road into the land of the Philistines, they would face war and decide to go back to Egypt. So God led them toward the Red Sea. He knew Pharaoh would pursue them.

     

    Would Pharaoh stop God’s plans? No. On the contrary, the threat of Pharaoh and his army would bring God glory and cause the Egyptians to know that the God of the Israelites is the Lord.

     

    The Egyptians pursued the Israelites, and God fought for His people. Imagine the Israelites’ fear in seeing their oppressors approaching. They were terrified! First, they cried out to God for help. Then they turned to Moses with accusations. Had Moses brought them there to die? Moses was confident: “Don’t be afraid. … The LORD will fight for you” (Ex. 14:13-14).

     

    And He did. God parted the waves of the Red Sea for the Israelites to walk through. When the Egyptians followed, God threw them into confusion and let the waters crash back over them.

     

    God delivered His people. The Israelites saw God’s power and did what Pharaoh and the Egyptians refused to do: They feared the Lord. Exodus 15 records their song to God, reflecting on His power and faithful love for His people.

     

    In an even greater display of His power and faithful love, God provided His Son, Jesus. Jesus is greater than Moses.

     

    Through faith in Jesus, God delivers us from sin and death.

     

     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and God provided a way for them to escape through the Red Sea. The Bible says that Jesus is greater than Moses. (Hebrews 3:3) People who trust in Jesus escape the penalty of sin and have eternal life.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Does God keep His promises? Yes, God always keeps His promises because He is faithful.

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? — Numbers 23:19

     

  • God’s faithfulness is present throughout the Bible, but the theme is prominent in the Book of Exodus. God is consistent and unchanging. Even when the Israelites are faithless, God is faithful. The Israelites regularly celebrated God’s miraculous acts like the Passover and the parting of the Red Sea to remember that God keeps His promises.

     

    As you read and teach from the Old Testament, keep in mind this point on the horizon: God’s keeping His ultimate promise to send a Rescuer to deliver His people from sin. God spoke to His people through the prophets to remind them of His good plan.

     

    When would the promised One come? How would He come? Would God’s people recognize Him? The prophet Isaiah—who lived hundreds of years before Jesus was born—brought a message of hope to God’s people.

     

    Isaiah spoke specifically of the Messiah’s birth: “The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). He described the birth of a “Prince of Peace”—a Son of David who will reign forever. (Isa. 9:6-7) Isaiah said that He would be a King! (Isa. 11:1-5)

     

    Jesus fulfilled God’s promises spoken by the prophet Isaiah. He is the child who came into the world. He is the Wonderful Counselor who leads us with wisdom. He is the Mighty God who fights for and protects us. He is the Eternal Father who loves us. He is the Prince of Peace who brings us into a right relationship with God.

     

    Isaiah’s prophecies from God did not speak just to the people of his time; they also speak to us. Hundreds of years before it happened, Isaiah told of how Jesus would be born and how He would suffer and die to take away the sins of His people.

     

    We respond to God’s faithfulness with trust, remembering His past miraculous acts and looking forward to the day when King Jesus will come back and rule forever. Jesus is the promised Messiah. He makes all of God’s promises come true.

     


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God keeps His promises. He remembered His promise to send a Rescuer and sent His Son, Jesus, into the world as a baby. Jesus grew up and provided salvation for sinners by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Does God keep His promises? Yes, God always keeps His promises because He is faithful.

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? — Numbers 23:19

  • The Israelites had personally experienced God’s faithfulness as He directed them out of Egypt, fought for them as He parted the Red Sea, and then delivered them into the wilderness with the promise of a land of their own. What happened next is retold as a cautionary tale in both the Psalms and Book of Hebrews.

     

    The Israelites tasted freedom for the first time in 400 years, but their stomachs still rumbled. Maybe the Israelites had expected to go straight to Canaan. Instead, they were in a dry wilderness without water or food. They began to think of Egypt in a warmer light. Maybe slavery hadn’t been that bad.

     

    Isn’t that the lie that causes us to doubt God’s goodness? God saves us from slavery to sin; is following Jesus worth it? We know the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But when life is hard and sanctification is trying, we—like the Israelites—sometimes stop trusting God. We grumble and complain.

     

    God, the faithful keeper of promises, did not bring His people out of Egypt to let them die in the wilderness, nor does He abandon His children today. God sent His own Son, who gave up His life to free us from sin. He promises us a new home with Him forever.

     

    If you had been among the Israelites, how do you think you would have responded? Can you think of a time your own circumstances had you questioning God’s goodness? Let the truth of Psalm 95:7 comfort you: “For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care.”

     

    Israel’s history is given to us in the Bible because it reflects the Christian experience. We are to learn from it. (See 1 Cor. 10:1-11.) God cares for His people. He is faithful and keeps His promises. Our journey toward our new home of eternity will be challenging and trying, but we can rely on God—trusting His leading and provision.

     

    The Lord is worthy of our trust and worship. The Israelites needed this reminder, and so do we. Trust Him and obey Him because His way is better than any plan you can conceive. He is a providing shepherd who will lead us.

     

     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God provided water and manna for His people’s physical hunger. Later, He provided His Son, Jesus, for our spiritual hunger. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35). The Israelites needed bread to live for a little while, but whoever has Jesus will live forever.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care. — Psalm 95:6-7

  • As the rescued people of Israel traveled toward the promised land, God met with Moses at Mount Sinai and made a covenant with the Israelites. We refer to this covenant as the Mosaic covenant. God promised five things in this covenant: 1) Israel will be God’s own possession; 2) Israel will be God’s kingdom of priests; 3) Israel will be a holy nation; 4) God will defend Israel from her enemies; and 5) God will be gracious, merciful, and forgiving to Israel.

     

    Unlike His covenant with Abraham, God’s covenant with Israel was conditional: “Carefully follow every command I am giving you” (Deut. 8:1). “Be careful that you don’t forget the LORD your God by failing to keep his commands” (Deut. 8:11). “If you ever forget the LORD your God … you will certainly perish.” (Deut. 8:19). Isn’t it interesting how remembering God and obeying Him are so closely linked? You spend the most time thinking about that which you most care about. What occupies the most space in your mind? If we aren’t thinking about God, we aren’t loving Him. And if we aren’t loving Him, we aren’t obeying Him.

     

    We can group the Ten Commandments into two categories: The first four deal with a person’s relationship with God (love God), and the last six deal with a person’s relationship with others (love others). These laws encompassed every part of the Israelites’ lives and showed what righteous living looks like.

     

    Some people think of the Ten Commandments as a burden, but God’s rules are good and are meant to help us. The Bible is clear that we are all sinful and fall short of God’s standard for holiness. Why should we seek to obey God? Consider Jesus’ words: “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15).

     

    Read the Ten Commandments with Jesus in mind. Our obedience cannot earn us God’s favor, and our disobedience does not separate us from Him. 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 TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God’s law shows us what He requires. Our sin separates us from a holy God, but Jesus came to bring us back to God. When we trust in Jesus, He takes away our sin and gives us His perfect righteousness.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care. — Psalm 95:6-7

  • After all God had done for the Israelites, the story of the Israelites’ worshiping a golden calf may seem surprising. How could God’s people turn so quickly from God, who delivered them from slavery and provided for them, even after they explicitly agreed to do everything He had commanded? (See Ex. 24:3.) When we think about the reasons why Israel fell into idolatry, we recognize that we are vulnerable to the same follies.

     

    First, we fail to obey God’s Word. The Israelites disobeyed the second of the Ten Commandments: “Do not make an idol for yourself.” This might sound like an easy commandment to keep; you aren’t crafting little statues to worship, right? Idolatry is dangerous because it’s rooted in the heart. Our idols don’t always look like golden calves. Idols are anything or anyone our sinful hearts look to, seeking what only God provides—such as true joy, meaning, or hope.

     

    Second, we distrust God’s purposes. The Israelites stopped trusting in God, who showed Himself to be powerful and good. They wanted their false god to save them. They thought God’s plan wasn’t working, so they made a plan of their own. Are you ever tempted to do the same? When we forget who God is and think too highly of ourselves or others, we put a person in the place of God.

     

    Third, we forget God’s grace. Aaron gave credit to the man-made idol for bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. We might convince ourselves that our success comes from the work of our own hands or the favor of other people. When we forget that every good gift comes from God, we fall into idolatry.

     

    Finally, we fail to use our gifts to the glory of God. Don’t miss that the Israelites used the plunder from Egypt—God’s provision to them—to make the calf.  We too can often use the gifts God has given us for our own satisfaction and to draw attention to ourselves, rather than to the One who gave them to us.

     

    God was angry with the Israelites. He is a jealous God who will not give His glory to another. (See Isa. 42:8.) Yet we see how Moses stepped in between God and the people to intercede on their behalf. As those who have Jesus Christ as our Mediator, we trust in His power to overcome our idolatries and empower us for His mission.

     

     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    Moses acted as the people’s 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.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.


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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care. — Psalm 95:6-7

  • One of the key themes of the Bible is God’s desire to live with the people He created. We see this first in God's creating the garden of Eden, placing Adam and Eve into this paradise, and then presumably coming down regularly to be with them.

     

    But when Adam and Eve rebelled against Creator God, one consequence of their sin was expulsion from the garden. No longer would God live with them as He had before.

     

    Generations later, God instructed His people to do something curious: build a tent. Why? This tent, the tabernacle, would not be a place for treasures or food; no animals or people would live in it. This would be God’s tent, where He would dwell among His people, pointing back to Eden.

     

    Whenever the Israelites traveled, they broke down this tent and carried it with them. Then, when they arrived at their destination, they set up the tent once more—strategically and meaningfully placed in the center of the camp. God was not just with His people, He was at the center of His people. That was the place He deserved.

     

    Note one feature of the tabernacle that would later give way to the permanent temple built in Jerusalem: the veil, or curtain. The innermost chamber of the tabernacle was called the holy of holies, or most holy place. This is where God’s presence would be manifested above the ark of the covenant and mercy seat. This sacred area was separated from the next outer chamber—the holy place—by a heavy curtain.

     

    We later learn in Leviticus that only the high priest could enter into the holy of holies once a year—on the Day of Atonement. This curtain, then, was a picture of the ongoing separation between humanity and God because of sin. God wanted to dwell with people, but sin was preventing that from happening in full.

     

    When Jesus came and paid the sin penalty for people, that curtain tore from top to bottom, symbolizing that entry into the holy of holies had been made through Jesus. But sin continues to corrupt the world, which is why one day Jesus will return, put an end to sin and death, and renew creation.

     

    This is how the story of Scripture ends in Revelation—with Christ establishing His kingdom in a new heavens and earth and dwelling with His people forever. What God intended from the beginning will mark the beginning of eternity.

     


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God told the Israelites to build a tabernacle where He would dwell with them. God wants to be with His people. As part of His plan to save sinners, God sent Jesus to dwell on earth with people.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care. — Psalm 95:6-7

  • Think back to Eden. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, their eyes were opened and they realized their nakedness. What was once no problem in their innocence had become shameful in their sinfulness. So the couple took leaves to try to cover their bodies and their shame. But what did God do just before expelling the couple from Eden to face a fallen world on their own? He made clothing for them out of animal skins. (See Gen. 3:21)

     

    Why? God may have had a practical reason; leaves would not last very long as clothing. But there is likely a deeper, spiritual reason for what He did. In order to clothe Adam and Eve with animal skins, animals would have to die. God had told Adam and Eve that death would result from the Fall, and this was a way to affirm God’s word. As Adam and Eve exited the garden, then, they wore on their bodies an ever-present reminder that sin leads to death—perhaps not immediately, perhaps indirectly, but always.

     

    Fast forward to Leviticus. By this time, we have seen animal sacrifices offered to God (e.g. by Abel, Noah, Abram, and the Israelites during the Passover). But now, God was taking the next step and sharing His requirements of how sacrifices were to be made. Leviticus gives great detail of what specific sacrifices were to be offered for what purposes. Some of the sacrifices were voluntary, but some were not. Blood must be shed because of sin, as God had promised would happen.

     

    But, we have to be careful not to go too far with these animal sacrifices. These sacrifices themselves could not save anyone. (See Heb. 10:4.) So what did they do? Why were they needed then? When God commanded His people to perform these sacrifices, He was calling them to act upon their faith in Him. This faith was anchored to the awareness that their sins had separated them from a holy God and that God’s word is true: death was required because of sin.

     

    God had promised that a Person—a descendant of Eve—would be the snake crusher. This is the faith that Israel’s sacrifices pointed to: a future once-and-for-all death of a Savior, a sacrifice that was made by Christ Jesus.

     

     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God deserves our worship. He created us to be in a relationship with Him, and He has provided salvation from sin through His Son, Jesus. We can worship God by loving and obeying Him as we live to give Him glory.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    Come, let’s worship and bow down; let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker. For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep under his care. — Psalm 95:6-7

  • If you’ve ever bought a house, you likely know that even the “most perfect” house really isn’t perfect. There seems to always be some compromise that must be made: location, yard size, location of a bathroom, school district, price, and so forth. The choice is then ours to make: do we live with the compromises we need to make, or do we pass on the house—no matter how perfect it is in other ways—and keep looking?

     

    When the Israelites reached the border of the land of Abraham and their ancestors, they sent in twelve men to scout the territory. The report was glowing: The land was amazing—plenty of room and abundant crops. It was perfect in almost every way. There was a concern, and it was a big one: the people living there were scary-big.

     

    Think back to that house you had fallen in love with. You were already imagining what it would be like to live in it. You were deciding where your furniture would go. It seemed too good to be true. But then, you discovered that imperfection, and your hopes and dreams came crashing down. Now magnify that many times over, and you can begin to relate with what the Israelites must have felt like in that moment. Now where would they go? What would they do?

     

    The tragedy of this account is not found in what the people felt in that moment; rather, it is found in their failure to recognize that the land was indeed perfect in every way. There was no drawback or compromise. The people living there were inconsequential.

     

    Why? Because this was the land of promise—of God’s promise. The same God who had promised this land to them and to their ancestors before them was the same God who had revealed His infinite power in rescuing them from the Egyptians. He was the same God who was with them at that moment. Did they believe the people were too big, or did they believe God was too small?

     

    Joshua, Caleb, and Moses would try to plead with the people to trust in God, but the people refused. Instead of entering the land in faith, they turned from the land in fear. Not one of the adults of that generation, except Joshua and Caleb, would step foot into that land. Instead, they were forced to wander in the wilderness of judgment because of their rebellion against God. That is the tragedy of this account.

     


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    The Israelites did not trust God. They rebelled against Him. Jesus trusted God perfectly. He came into the world to take the punishment we deserve for our own rebellion against God. When we trust in Jesus, God forgives our sin and invites us into His kingdom forever.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? — Exodus 15:11

  • Many of us categorize sins, whether we intend to or not. There are the major sins—the really bad ones like murder that are clearly wrong. Thankfully, few of us are prone to commit these sins, so we are pretty safe from them.

     

    Then there are the significant sins, like getting angry or lying. We know these are harmful, but we don’t see them on the same level as the major ones. These are the sins that trip us up. If it weren’t for these sins, we would be such good people. 

     

    Then there are the little sins, like jaywalking or taking some paper clips from work. We know these are wrong, but they are so innocent and do so little harm that we tend to excuse them. In fact, we often live as if these sins are not really sins—they don’t feel wrong to us. 

     

    Sound familiar? There’s a big problem with this though. While sins might have different consequences, the Bible teaches that all sins are serious because they are rebellion against a holy God. If all we ever did was jaywalk, God would be just to pour out His wrath on us.

     

    If we approach Numbers 20 with a flawed categorization of sin, we will likely walk away from this passage confused. What did Moses do that was so wrong? All he did was hit a rock instead of speaking what God said, right? And for that, God would not allow Moses to enter the promised land. After all that Moses had been through, this was how his story would end?

     

    But we must remember that all sin is rebellion against God and is therefore serious. Moses’ rebellion here is quite serious. Notice what Moses, with Aaron standing next to him, said just before striking the rock: “Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” Who was Moses crediting for the miracle that would transpire? Surely not God.

     

    That water flowed from the rock even in Moses’ disobedience shows once more that God is a God of mercy and grace. But there is another way we see God’s mercy and grace in this account, only we need to turn to the Gospels to see it. God graciously allowed Moses to enter the land long after this generation had died off. At the Transfiguration (Matt. 17), Moses stood in the land—along with Elijah—and Jesus, the One who had come to provide living water to God’s people.

     


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    Moses disobeyed God and did not enter the promised land. We all have disobeyed God by sinning. But God gave us His Son, Jesus. Jesus always obeyed God. When we trust in Him, Jesus brings us into God’s kingdom forever.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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


    KEY PASSAGE


    LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? — Exodus 15:11


  • If there was one thing the Israelites were good at, it was grumbling. They weren’t just good; they were experts: “We have no food. We have no water. Why are we in the wilderness left to die? The land has big people in it.” And on and on and on. We have to wonder how Moses put up with it all.

     

    In Numbers 21, we encounter another time when the people grumbled—once again about food and water. Each time they doubted God’s goodness and truthfulness, God had shown them mercy and grace. But on this day, He sent serpents into the Israelites’ camp to strike them for their unfaithfulness. Many people died.

     

    We might not like to think of it, but this is what the Israelites deserved all along. Their sin earned them judgment and death. God was perfectly just and righteous to give His people what they deserved.

     

    Yet, as we have seen so often in the Old Testament and will continue to see throughout the rest of Scripture, God extends grace and mercy along with judgment. When the people pleaded for Moses to intercede on their behalf, God instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent and lift it on a pole. Whoever looked upon it would be healed.

     

    Notice two things. First, God’s response was not to remove judgment but to provide salvation through judgment. This is another theme we have seen throughout the Scriptures (e.g. Noah, the plagues).

     

    Second, God’s instructions made little to no sense. Imagine you are an Israelite and were just bitten by a serpent. Although other serpents are all around still, you are to take your eyes off of that threat and turn them upward to look at a bronze serpent on a pole—an image of the very thing that has brought death to your door?

     

    This detail in the story is a foreshadowing of what God has called us to do in Christ. While our faith is far from blind, it always has an aspect of not making sense, at least to the world around us. But this is how we are saved too: by taking our eyes off of the sin in and around us, and looking upon Christ lifted up on the cross—He who became sin (2 Cor. 5:21). We too are saved through judgment, for our judgment has been placed on Christ.

     


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    God sent snakes to punish the people, but anyone who was bitten could look at the snake on the pole and live. We deserve to die because of our sin, but anyone who looks to Jesus on the cross and trusts in Him will live forever with God.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? — Exodus 15:11

  • Peter began his first epistle by reminding believers that we are not of this world; our true citizenship is found in God’s kingdom. As such, we live in the present world as exiles and ambassadors—representatives of our true King.

     

    With this reminder established, Peter explained how Christ’s ambassadors are to live, which can be summed up in God’s words recorded at the end of 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, because I am holy.” Peter draws this imperative from Leviticus 12:44-45, where God had told the Israelites this twice in rapid succession.

     

    To be holy is to be set apart, to be different in a good way. As such, holiness is at the core of the Old Testament law. The reason behind many of God’s commands that may make us scratch our heads is holiness. These commands were to teach Israel what it means to be holy and to model holiness to the watching world. All of this points us to the even greater idea of God’s holiness. God’s people—His image bearers–are to imitate God.

     

    So far so good, right? But this is where the wheels fall off of the cart. When we turn our attention to God’s holiness, we quickly come to the point of recognizing that this is an impossible standard. God is perfectly holy. There is absolutely no sin in Him. He is perfectly loving, kind, and good without an ounce of hate or evil. How are we supposed to be this holy? Why would God command us to do something we cannot do?

     

    The answer to that last question is that God gave this command exactly because we cannot do it. We cannot be holy enough—not even close. Not on our own, that is. But the beauty of the gospel shows us another way. We can indeed be holy as God is holy because Christ is holy. And when we trust in Christ, our sin is removed and in its place we are credited with Christ’s perfect righteousness. (2 Cor. 5:21) We obey this command of God by trusting in Christ!

     

    But it doesn’t end there. We are holy in our identity in Christ, but each day we are to strive to live out our new, true holy identity. Every day, our goal is to live as who we now are, rather than who we were. Even this though, is done not in our power, but in Christ’s power. No one is like God in His fullness, but in Christ, we as His children are called and empowered to be like Him in many ways.

     


     

    FAMILY TALKING POINTS


    CHRIST CONNECTION

    This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

     

    No one is like God. God is holy, good, and loving. Jesus shows us what God is like and gives us hope. God can make us more like Jesus. We can trust Him and live joyfully for Him.

     

    BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER

    This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

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

     

    KEY PASSAGE

    This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

     

    LORD, who is like you among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders? — Exodus 15:11