The Bronze Snake
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Last week, kids learned that the Israelites believed the discouraging report of the land of Canaan instead of Joshua and Caleb’s good report. As a result, God punished the Israelites for their lack of faith. The Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness when they complained to Moses and to God. God had done some pretty amazing things for the Israelites—He rescued them from the hand of Pharaoh, He parted the Red Sea so they could safely cross, and He provided manna for them to eat. But to the Israelites, this wasn’t enough.
God disciplined them because He knew their dissatisfaction was a sign of a bigger issue: a heart problem, a sin problem. They stopped believing that God is good. In their hearts, the Israelites believed the same lie that rattled Eve in the garden. Maybe God isn’t interested in giving us what is best. Maybe He is holding out on us.
God sent venomous snakes that bit the people and killed many of them. The Israelites repented. They wanted Moses to ask God to take away the snakes.
God provided a solution. He told Moses, “Make a snake image out of bronze and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover.”
In John 3:14, Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.” What was Jesus talking about? Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” So Jesus invites us, “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God, and there is no other” (Isa. 45:22).
As you talk to your kids this week, help them understand that the Israelites faced a huge problem because of their sin. God sent snakes to punish Israel, but anyone who was bitten could look at the bronze snake on the pole and live. Because of our sin, we face a huge problem: we are separated from God. We deserve to die, but anyone who looks to Jesus on the cross and trusts in Him will live forever with God.
Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
- God’s people complained that they did not have food or water.
- God made water come from a rock.
- God sent snakes because His people sinned.
- God told His people to look at the bronze snake to be healed.
KEY PASSAGE: Proverbs 3:5
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
- What does it mean to sin? To sin is to go against God and His commands.
FAMILY DISCUSSION STARTERS:
- What are things we are tempted to complain about? What is a better response than complaining?
- Why was it good that God disciplined Israel for their sin? Why is discipline a good thing?
- Who can we look to to save us and give us life with God forever?
- Purchase and distribute bottles of water to people who are homeless.
- Research snakes. Make sure family members are educated on how to respond when they see a snake.