VERSES: Numbers 20:14 through 21:9
MEMORY VERSE: Numbers 21:9 "And Moses made a serpent of brass and put it on a pole..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 2 Corinthians. Write "2 Corinthians" on slips of paper and pass out to students at the end of class.
PRAYER: May we all look to Jesus and, by obeying Him, may we be cured from sin.
SPECIAL SONG: Jesus Loves Me (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2 on this blog).
VISUAL AID: Serpent on a Pole (See Activity below, using a broom handle or shovel handle and enough foil to form into a snake. Attach serpent around 'pole' with a small piece of tape.)
- The children of Israel kept walking and walking, wandering through the wilderness. They wanted to go through a place called Edom, but when Moses sent messengers to ask permission for the people to walk through the land, Edom said no. When Moses told Edom that they would not drink the water or bother any fields or vineyards, Edom still said no. In fact, Edom said the people of Israel could not pass through and if they did, Edom would fight them with swords. So, Edom did not give Israel permission to pass through Edom even though Edom was another name for Esau and Israel was another name for Jacob. Who were Jacob and Esau? That's right! They were brothers, but Edom did not help out his brother.
- During this time, Aaron, Moses' brother, died up on the Mount Hor. Aaron's son, Eleazar, took Aaron's place in the priesthood and wore Aaron's priestly clothing. The Bible says that all of the people of Israel mourned for Aaron for thirty days. It was a sad time.
- As the people of Israel traveled away from Mount Hor, the people became very discouraged. Guess what? The people began complaining against God and Moses again! They complained that Moses had taken them out of Egypt and had brought them to die in the wilderness where there was no bread, no water, and they hated the manna. We have read this before, haven't we? The people sure seemed to complain A LOT!!
- Because of the people's complaining, the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people and many people died. Now, the serpents were not made out of fire; the bites the serpents made the people hurt like fire! The people were sorry again and came to Moses and said that they had sinned and had spoken again the LORD and against Moses. They asked Moses to ask the LORD if He would take away the snakes and Moses did.
- God told Moses to make a fiery serpent or snake out of brass and to set it up on a tall pole. Whenever anyone who was bitten by a fiery serpent, all they had to do was look up at the brass serpent and they would live. The people continued on wandering in the wilderness.
"Older Student" Tips;
- John 3:14 tells us that just like Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, Jesus had to be lifted up on the cross. Just as looking on the serpent cured the bite of the fiery serpent, looking to Jesus and obeying Him cures the bite of sin. Both the serpent and sin can kill.
- In 2 Kings 18:4, we find that Hezekiah broke down the idol, Nehushtan, which was a brass serpent that Moses made in the wilderness and the children of Israel burned incense to it. From this verse, we learn that Israel was worshiping idols made with men's hands and the one of idols was this brass serpent that we have read about today.
ACTIVITY: The Brass Serpent (Notes: Be careful of the sticks for the small ones! Maybe foam would be better. Also, please inform the students that foil is not the color of brass. Perhaps the Bible teacher can find brown foil, but I could not.)
Materials needed: 4" x 7" piece of aluminum foil, stick, 3" x 2" scarp of any color paper, one 4" strand of leftover twine, marker, scissors.
- Pass out a piece of foil to each student.
- Fashion the foil into a 'serpent.'
- Pass out sticks.
- Before carefully rolling serpent around stick, form the foil in a loose coil, then roll around and secure to stick, using only foil and stick.
- Pass out scraps of paper.
- Write "The Brass Serpent" and "Numbers 21."
- Poke a hole in scrap of paper with scissors or have Bible teacher do it if this seems dangerous for the students.
- Using one thin strand of twine, tie paper on to stick.