Lessons from Numbers

Overview: The book of Numbers in Hebrew actually means, “In the Wilderness.” This book details the Israelties wanderings in and through the wilderness, after leaving Egypt.

This pilgrimage from Egypt to the Promised Land should take them only about 2 weeks, but instead it takes them 40 years.

The book is broken up into 5 sections:

1.Wilderness of Sinai (1-9)

2.Travel (10-12)

3.Wilderness of Paran (13-19)

4. Travel (20-21)

5. Wilderness of Moab (22-26)

In chapter 1 a census is taken of all the tribes. This was to count how many they had in each tribe. In chapter 2, they were told were they were to camp, who they’d camp next to, and so forth. Chapter 3 details how the Israelties were to care for the Levites, (these were like the pastors and Christian teachers of today). In chapter 4, the Koathites a Levite tribe were instructed with their duties for when they set up camp, and when they packed up. Chapter 5 explains the necessity of the people to be pure to enter the Lord’s presence, and in chapter 6 the Nazarite vow is explained (this was the vow Samson’s parents made for him). In chapter 7 and 8 the offerings are explained along with how to set up the temple. Then in chapter 9, instructions are given for remembering the day of Atonement. Finally as the tabernacle is set up as God instructed, the cloud settled over the tabernacle. At night, this cloud looked like fire, during the day they could see the cloud. When the cloud moved, the Israelites set out. When it stood still, they set up camp. Sometimes they set up camp in the morning, then set out at night or vice versa. Sometimes they set up camp for a week or a month before moving on. Yet, they followed the cloud by day and the fire by night, as the Lord led them.

In chapters 10-12, as the cloud moved, so did the Israelites. It was during this time that the Israelites began to complain and grumble. And when Aaron and Miriam question Moses and his leading. Which leads Miriam to be struck by leprosy.

Chapters 13-19 find the Israelites camped at Paran. It is during this time that the 12 spies enter the promised land, to see what they can find. It is also during this time that the 10 spies report back the message that the people are like giants, and strike fear in the hearts of the people. So much fear in fact, that they refuse to enter in. Only Joshua and Caleb gave a good report.

In chapter 14 the people rebel and refuse to enter the promised land and because of this, the will spend the next 40 years wandering in the wilderness, until all those who refused have passed away.

In chapter 15, more instructions are given to the people which are to set them apart from the rest of the world and make them holy.

In chapters 16-17 again the people rebel against their authorities, and God makes it clear who He has chosen as His servants.

Chapters 18 and 19 are filled with more instructions for the priest and the people.

In chapter 20-21 they set out once more headed towards the promised land. And once more the people complain and grumble. When Moses becomes angry and looks to himself rather than the Lord, he is told that he will not lead the people into the promised land.

Chapter 22-26 we find the in Moab, as they prepare to enter into the Promised Land. More rebellion takes place, more instruction is given. The prophet Balaam is called to curse the Israelties, but is unable to do anything but bless them.

In chapter 25, the Midianites lead the Isrealites to sin, and many more die.

In Chapter 26 the Lord instructs a second census to be taken of the Israelites. In chapter 27, the Lord appoints Joshua to succeed Moses as leader. Chapters 28-29 Moses reminds the Israelites of the specific offerings and festivals they are to keep in honor to the Lord. In chapter 30-33, the Israelites are given more instruction concerning vows, and God has vengeance upon the Midianites. In chapter 33, a review of their journey is given. In chapter 34, the boundaries for the land of Cannan are given, and in chapter 35 the tows for the Levites are instructed, as well as the need for cities of refuge. Finally in chapter 36, final instructions are given through Moses to the people about the inheritance of the tribes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zebxH-5o-SQ (link of overview to play for kids by the Gospel Project)

Lesson 1:

Lesson Aim: To teach children that God desires that we be obedient to follow Him no matter where He leads us. That we are ready and willing to obey His directions for our lives.

Bible Passage: Numbers 9:15-23

Bible Memory: At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses (Numbers 9:23)


For the next few weeks we will study the book of Numbers. Who knows what the book of Numbers is all about? Allow kids to answer.

Give a brief review of what has taken place in Numbers 1-8

In chapters 1-8 a census of all the tribes is taken, and instruction to each tribe is given.

Our first lesson will pick up in Numbers chapter 9.

Ask kids what a compass does – Explain to the kids that a compass is what guides us and keeps us on the right track. If you go out hiking and get lost, a compass helps to tell you which direction to go. In the Christian life, God and His Word are our compass. They guide us and helps us to know where to go.

The Book of Numbers in Hebrew means “In the Wilderness.” And as mentioned before, it is the story of the wanderings of the Israelites. You may wander, how did they know where to go, and who led them. Which is what today’s lesson is all about.

Bible Study: Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 9:15-23

Here in verse 15, we find that as the Israelites set up the Tabernacle the cloud covered the tabernacle. Now can anyone tell me what was the tabernacle?

Yes, The tabernacle was similar to what we call our church building. The difference is, it was portable. Yet, God’s presence rested above the tabernacle as a cloud by day, and a fire by night. God used the cloud by day, and the fire by night to lead the Isreaelites through the wilderness.

The Israelties never knew how long they would be in one place. Sometimes they would settle for a day, other times a week, and other times months. But they always knew when it was time to move on, because the cloud by day and the fire by night showed them the way.

And every time they moved, they had to take down the tabernacle according to God’s instructions and when they got to their next place, they had to set it up according to God’s instructions. And they always had to be ready to move onward, never knowing for how long they’d stay in that place.

I bet it got old moving from one place to another. I am sure they got tired of the constant change, and that they longed for a place to call “home.”

Yet, God was leading them to the Promised Land, and He was teaching them to trust Him along the way. He wanted their obedience, and their devotion. He desired their willingness to follow Him.

At this point in their journey, they were well on their way to honoring and obeying God. Though God could have taken them the shorter way to the promised land, He took them the long route to teach them to trust Him. He took them the long way, because He knew if they faced the giants immediately they’d want to rush back to Egypt.

God knew what was best for them, and He led them step by step.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if God made it so obvious to us what we should do or where we should go. I have often thought, Lord, a cloud or a fire to show me the way would be nice right now.

Yet, God has given us something better than a cloud by day and a fire by night. As Christians He has given us His Spirit, who leads us, convicts us, and teaches us. He has given us His Word, which He uses to speak to our hearts. The Bible says, that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God has given us spiritual leaders who can offer us godly advice on making the right decisions.

The Israelties had none of these things, which is why God led them the way He did.

So what can we learn from Numbers chapter 9?

1. That God desires our obedience even when it isn’t easy and even when it doesn’t make sense. Can you imagine setting up camp in the morning, and having to set out that same night. I’m sure there were times when the cloud and fire moved, that the Israelties wanted to ignore it. Yet, they obeyed. Similarly, God wants us to be willing to obey no matter what.

2. God desires to teach us to trust Him as we journey through this life. Each day, the Israelties had to trust God and His direction. They didn’t have a map, they didn’t even know exactly where they were going, but they still trusted God.

3. God wants us to be quick and ready to obey no matter what He ask of us. What He ask won’t always make sense, and sometimes we won’t like what He ask of us, but because He is Lord, we are to obey.

4. Just as God knew the short way would lead the Israelites to want to flee back to Egypt, God knows what is best for you and me as well. God sees the full picture, while we only see a tiny part, so we can trust Him and follow Him knowing He knows best.

5. Finally, God wants us to learn to follow Him as we seek His will for our lives through prayers, Bible study, His Spirit, and the godly counsel of others. God has given us our own cloud and fire markers, and He wants us to learn to discern His will through these things.

Play follow the leader: Choose a leader and everyone has to follow and do exactly what he says or does. Take turns allowing each to have a chance to be the leader.

Bible Memory:

Word Scramble: Pass out a word scramble worksheet to each child, race to see who can unscramble the Bible verse first. Then practice repeating it until all kids can say from memory.

Additional Class Resources: file:///C:/Users/Asus/Pictures/lesson_48_the_israelites_follow_god.pdf

Close in prayer.

Lesson Two: Numbers

Lesson Aim: To teach the children that they should be content and thankful for what God has given to them. To help them understand that when they complain and grumble they are complaining against the Lord.

Bible Passage: Numbers 11

Bible Memory: Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation (Phil. 2:14-15).”


Which is easier to give thanks or to complain? You got it, it is easier to complain. Why do you think this is so? That’s right, because we are quick to recognize what we don’t have rather than remembering what we do have.

Yet, when we complain, it displeases the Lord.

Why does our complaining displease the Lord? Because, when we complain we are ultimately saying, “God what you have given me is not good enough. We are expressing our displeasure to the Lord and acting as if we deserve, and that He is holding out on us.

In today’s lesson, we will see that the cloud and fire have moved, and the Israelties have set out into the wilderness. As they journey along, they grow tired, weary, and hungry. And rather than be thankful for what they have, they begin to complain.

Bible Lesson:

Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 11. Take turns reading and explaining as you go.

Read Numbers 11:1-3

Explain: The Israelties began to complain and grumble and the Lord heard it. And His anger burned against them, so much in fact that He sent fire from Heaven. It was only because of the prayer of Moses that the fire did not consume them.

Truth: Did you know that when you complain and grumble it displeases the Lord. And whether you say it aloud or think it, God knows.

Read Numbers 11:4-9

Explain: The Israelites began to think they would have been better off in Egypt. They began thinking back to all the good things in Egypt but were quick to forget their slavery. They were tired and weary of eating Mana, and had stopped being thankful that they even had food to eat.

Truth: Often when we think back to our past, we like the Israelites remember only the good. Yet, all of life has a bit of each. There is always good, and always difficult. Many times people think the grass is greener on the other side. They think if they just moved, if they just got married, if they just got into college, if they just had kids, then life would be perfect. Yet, there is no such thing. Life on this earth will never be perfect. Only once we reach Heaven, will that take place.

And like the Israelites, we need to be thankful for what we have. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have. Having grateful hearts for the provisions of the Lord.

Read Numbers 11:10-15

Explain: Now Moses has had enough. He wonders why God made him lead the Israelites. And even He begins to complain.

Truth: Our complaining and grumbling will always affect those who are around us. Usually, it has a negative effect on all those who hear us. Yet, when we are joyful it also affects others with joy.

Read Numbers 11:16-20

Explain: When the Lord heard the complaints of the people and Moses, He says He will send meat and that they will eat it for a month until they are so tired of it, it is coming out of their noses. Because they have rejected the Lord, and longed for Egypt.

Truth: Our grumbling and our unthankful hearts please not the Lord. He will give us what we want, but in the end we will suffer the consequences for wanting what we want rather than what God wants.

Read Numbers 11:21-23

Explain: When Moses heard the Lord say He would give them meat enough for a whole month, Moses doesn’t believe it is possible. Basically he tells the Lord that what He says He will do, He can’t do. Moses has forgotten that He is talking to the One who parted the Red Sea, and who sends Mana enough for the people each day.

The Lord ask Moses, is my arm too short? Basically He ask, is there really anything I can’t do Moses?

Truth: We should never doubt the Lord. For absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him. Nothing is too hard. And whatever He says He will do, He can and will do.

Read Numbers 11:24-28

Explain: Two men from the camp begin profasying because the Spirit of the Lord came upon them. When the people saw this, they told Moses to stop them, but Moses refused, saying He only wished others would do likewise.

Truth: The Work God gives us to do is often meant to be shared. It is too much for one person. We should be quick to see how we can be a help and of service to others.

Read Numbers 11:29-35

Explain: The Lord sent the Quail, so much meat that it was lying on the ground about 3 feet deep. The people rushed out to grab it, and the Lord’s anger burned against the people. So that He sent a plague upon them for their desire and longing for other food than what God had given.

Truth: As mentioned before, often when we long for something not from God, and we keep praying and asking Him for such. He will give it to us, but we will suffer the consequences. For example, when the Israelites wanted a King, so they could be like the other nations. God gave them a King, King Saul, but they suffered the consequences of his leadership.

God wasn’t happy with the Israelites, because they had failed to be content with what He had given to them. Wanting more, and complaining about what they had.

God isn’t pleased when we act this way either. He wants us to be happy with what He has given us, with all He provides us with. He wants us to have grateful hearts that do not complain.

Bible Memory: Have kids make a poster of today’s Bible verse, decorating it with symbols representing the words.

For Puzzles and crosswords about lesson go to: http://www.joyfulmeditations.org/downloads/kids/worksheets/calvarychapel/en/ot/curr048.pdf

Close in prayer

Lesson 3: Numbers 13-14

Lesson Aim: To teach children that God wants us to make the right choices, and to be led by faith not by fear. For children to understand that our choices today will affect our lives tomorrow, and that bad choices lead to consequences.

Bible Memory: “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it!!!” Numbers 13:30


Who likes to wait? Anyone????? Not me. I don’t like to wait in line at the store, I don’t like to wait to do something fun, I don’t like waiting period.

Yet today we will learn that the bad choices of the people led the Israelites to have to wait 40 years before entering the promised land. Because of their fear of man, instead of faith in God, they’d suffer the consequences.

Have dominoes set up and tip one over so it affects all the others.

Bible Lesson:

Today’s story is very familiar story of when God sent in 12 spies to see the promised land. 2 spies were ready to enter, but the other 10 were afraid.

Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 13

Numbers 13:1-25: In this section God instructs Moses to choose one person from each tribe to be sent as spies into the promised land. The 12 spies go into the land, they explore the land, and then after 40 days they return back to the wilderness to where the others are.

Take turns reading their report:

Read Numbers 13:26-29

Explain: when the spies returned they showed everyone the large cluster of grapes, and told them that the land does flow with milk and honey. They talk about the good, and then they say but..

But, they tell everyone how big the people are, that they are powerful.

Truth: Rather than focusing on the good, and God’s promise, they focus on the bad, and are led by fear.

Read Numbers 13:30

Here, Caleb steps in and tells the people they should go in and take the land that God has given them.

Truth: Caleb unlike the others was led by faith, believing God would give them the land.

Read Numbers 13:31-33

Explain: As Caleb is speaking it seems the other 10 step in and say no way. They spread a bad report among all the people, so that everyone is afraid, and everyone refuses to step out in faith.

Truth: Our actions always affect others. They have a dominos affect.

Summarize Numbers 14

That night the people were so upset. They began to weep and wail about how God had brought them out of Egypt only to kill them.

Joshua and Caleb tried to reason with them, explaining that God would deliver them, that He would fight for them, and that He would give them the promised land just as He said. But the people refused to listen.

The Bible tells us that God was so angry at their unbelief that He wanted to strike them all dead. Yet, Moses interceded on behalf of the people. So rather than strike them all dead, God tells Moses, that because of their unbelief. None of these who have refused to believe and trust Him, will enter the promised land, that instead they will wonder in the wilderness for 40 years, until all of them have died.

But those who have given the bad report, they will die. And only Joshua and Caleb will enter into the Promised land.

When they heard this, they tried to make amends, saying they would go up and take the land. Moses warns them, but they refused to listen, and some went up, and they were killed for their disobedience.

Lessons Learned:

1. Our actions, our attitudes, our doubts, and our unbelief will affect those around us.

2. God desires that we be led by faith and not by fear.

3. We can believe that what God says He will do.

4. We should not listen to naysayers, but instead listen to the Lord.

5. God is serious about sin, and we will always face the consequences for our sins.

6. Oftentimes our sins have negative effects and consequences on those around us well.

Bible Memory: Have kids act out the verse and say it like they mean it!

Game: As time allows play “I Spy with my little eyes….”

Close in Prayer

Lesson 4: Numbers 16

Lesson Aim: To teach children that God expects us to respect the authorities He has put in our lives.

Bible Memory: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account” (Hebrews 13:17a).


Do you ever feel like you don’t want to obey your parents or your teachers? Why should we obey them even when we don’t feel like it? God expects us to show respect for and to obey our parents, teachers, elders, and others that God has put in charge, because they are responsible for us and are trying to help us. Today we are going to learn about some men who decided they did not need to listen to the man God chose to lead His people. Let’s see what happened

Numbers Review:

1. Census take and instructions given

2. Following the cloud by day and fire by night

3. God hates when we complain

4. Rebellion and unwillingness to believe God leads to Israelites spending 40 years in wilderness

Turn to Numbers 16-17

Summarize the points of the story

In Chapter 16 we come upon a group of Israelites who lead others to rebel against Moses.

Some of the Israelites didn’t like the idea that they would have to move around in the wilderness for such a long time. They wanted to go into the Promised Land without waiting. They decided they were tired of Moses being their leader. One man in particular, Korah, wanted to take Moses’ place; he thought he was just as good a man as Moses.

Korah and some of his friends (Dathan, Abiram, and On) convinced 250 leaders of the people that Moses needed to be replaced. They went to Moses and listed their complaints. They rebelled against Moses and Aaron’s leadership (Numbers 16:11). God was very angry because of Korah’s actions and words. He had specially chosen Moses and had given him the authority to lead the people. No one had the right to tell God that He had made a mistake

Moses sent word to Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and the others to stand in front of their tents the next day so that God could show all the people who He wanted to be their leader. The next day, God caused the ground to tremble and split open in front of the men’s tents. The troublemakers and some of their families fell into the huge cracks in the ground, and the ground closed over them.

Then God sent fire to kill the 250 men who had followed Korah. The rest of the Israelites were terrified by what they saw. Nothing like that had ever happened before!

God punished Korah and the others because they rebelled against a decision (choice, law) made by God, against the leaders He chose, and against God Himself. [Give some examples of how we rebel against authority, i.e. parents, policemen, teachers, etc.] God knows that there must be people in charge in our homes and schools and towns and churches. Without people in charge, everything would be confusing and chaotic. God expects us to follow their rules and guidelines, even if we don’t like them, because God has given them the right (the authority) to lead us.

To further emphasize whom His chosen leaders were, God told Moses to take a rod (staff) from the head of each of the 12 tribes and write the men’s names on their rods. God said to put the rods inside the tabernacle until the next morning. He said He would show the people again who He wanted their leaders to be. Moses put the 12 rods, as well as the rod of Aaron (which he had carried before Pharaoh), inside the Tabernacle. The next morning, Aaron’s rod (a dead piece of wood) had miraculously sprouted leaves and had ripe almonds on it. When Moses brought all the rods out before the Israelites, he showed them Aaron’s rod. That was a sign that God had chosen Moses and Aaron to be their leaders; no one but God had the right to choose their leaders.

Aaron’s rod was put into the Ark of the Covenant (along with the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments) to remind the Israelites for generations to come about this lesson on authority and obedience to God.

In the Church, God planned for us to have pastors and deacons to lead us. His Word tells us what kind of men they are to be and how they are to lead us. God expects us to show them respect, and to obey the elders. If we rebel against authority of any kind, we are rebelling against God Himself

Of course, if an authority told us to do something wrong, God wants us to obey Him rather than the authority (Acts 5:29). We are to obey our parents always, as long as their commands are “in the Lord” or according to His will (Ephesians 6:1)

Review Game:

Divide class into two teams for Tic Tac Toe

Questions for game:

1. What is the name of someone who openly disobeys a recognized authority? (Rebel)

2. What was the man’s name that lead the rebellion? (Korah)

3. Whose rod came to life? (Aaron’s)

4. What tribe was Korah from? (Levi)

5. What were the names of Korahs’ friends? (Dathan, Abiram, and On)

6. What tribe were Korah’s friends from? (Reuben)

7. In what book of the Bible can this story be found? (Numbers)

8. How many people did Korah convince that Moses needed to be replaced? (250)

9. Whose son was Reuben? (Jacob or Israel)

10. From what tribe was Aaron? (Levi)

Lesson and game information taken from: http://www.apcurriculum.com/dcirfol/2-11-12-76L.pdf

Bible Memory: Bean Bag Toss

With Bean bag, have kids toss the bean bag from person to person, whoever catches the bag, has to say the next work of the verse or the verse in entirety, until it has been repeated again and again.

Close in Prayer

Lesson 5: Numbers 20:1-13

Lesson Aim: To each children that they are to honor God, and that when they fail to do so, there are always consequences to follow.

Bible Memory Verse: “To obey is better than sacrifice.” I Samuel 15:22


Can anyone tell me what is the 5th commandment? Yes, to honor our mother and father. But did you know that just as God wants us to honor our parents, He expects us to honor Him as Holy as well.

How do we honor someone?

- Show them respect

- Do what they ask of us without complaint

- Not question our authorities

So likewise we dishonor someone if we:

- Disrespect them

- Don’t do what they ask

- Or question what they say.

Today, we will study, a difficult passage about Moses and the disobedience that leads to him never entering the promised land.

Bible Study:

Take turns allowing the kids to read the verses aloud.

Explain: It has been almost 40 years by this point in time. Most everyone who had refused to enter the promised land because of the bad report has died. As they wonder about, the Israelites do what they do best, they begin to grumble and complain. They are tired, hungry, and thirsty, and they begin repeating the very words they have heard their parents say for years. “If only we had died in Egypt, we would have been better off there.”

Immediately Moses and Aaron seek the Lord.

God instructs Moses to take the rod and speak to the rock. We are not told why God told Moses to take up the rod, when He only wanted him to speak to the rock. Perhaps to show that the power was not in the rod, but in the Lord Himself.

Whatever the case, Moses chose to do this his own way and not follow the instructions of the Lord. He and Aaron took the staff and gathered the people together but then Moses delivered an angry lecture to them. Instead of giving the glory to God, Moses expresses his disgust and asked, “must WE bring you water out of this rock?” Seeming to get carried away in his anger, Moses then proceeded to lift his arm and strike the rock. Still angry, he struck it a second time.

The people needed water and the Lord caused the rock to gush forth with it despite Moses’ failure. Even so, Moses had sinned and the Lord rebuked and punished him. Moses was a great leader and a man of faith but he still had to bear the consequences of his actions. He would not be allowed to lead the people into the Promised Land.

It seems pretty harsh huh? I mean Moses was called by God to lead the Israelties. He was used by God to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and He led them through the wilderness for 40 years. Yet, now just on the brink of going into the Promised land, God says, sorry you can’t enter.

Wow! Was God being mean or what?

No, God is not mean. Everything God does He does out of love for us, and for our good. Moses failed to honor God as holy, and because of this, He had to face the consequences. The Lord could not let Moses get away with sin, and failing to honor God as holy is a serious matter.

But you know what, not only did Moses not enter, but Aaron did not enter either. What had Aaron done wrong? He was guilty simply by association.

Truth: Sometimes our sins, affect others around us. Which is why we must be careful of what we see, hear, say, and do.

Bible Memory Verse: Have kids make up a song concerning the verse with motions.

Review Game: boys against girl, ask review questions from lessons from Numbers.

Close in prayer.

Lesson 6: Numbers 21:4-9

Lesson Aim: To teach children that only Jesus and Jesus alone can save.

Bible memory: Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life (John 3:14-15).


Who likes snakes? Who is afraid of snakes?

In today’s lesson, God sends snakes to bite the Israelites because once again they are back to their old ways, and are complaining.

Now, I don’t know about you, but being around someone who complains a lot is not fun. Can you imagine what it has been like for Moses to listen to the people complain for 40 years? Pretty bad right. But you know what is worse, the Lord, having to listen to us (His children) complain each and every day.

Bible Lesson: Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 21:4-9

Take turns allowing kids to read the verses.

Explain: The cloud has lifted and the people have set out. Yet, somewhere along the way, they grow impatient, and they begin to complain. Saying, “If only….”

They ask Moses why he has brought them out into the wilderness just to kill them. Why did he bring them out of Egypt where there is no bread and no wate.

Now you have to remember that it has been almost 40 years by now, and the Israelites have learned the lingo of complaint from their parents. Most of these were never in Egypt, many were born while in the wilderness, and yet they have become just like their parents and continue in their bad example.

Truth: We become like those we hang around with. If you want to be joyful and kind, hang out with those who are. The Bible teaches that bad company corrupts good character. If you hang around negative people who grumble and complain, you will most likely learn from their bad example and do likewise.

Explain, this is what had happened with the Israelties. They never learned their lesson so it seemed. Even though they had seen God provide food and water again and again, they failed to remember He could do it again. Instead of being thankful for what they had, they grumbled and complained.

Because of their complaint, God sent venomous snakes among the people, and many died. And just like in the past, when God sent punishment upon them for their sin, they pleaded with Moses to pray on their behalf.

They weren’t actually sorry for their sin, they were simply sorry they got caught, and didn’t want the punishment.

Truth: There is a big difference between repenting of sin because we know we have done wrong, and need the Lord’s forgiveness, and saying sorry for something simply because we got caught. True repentance means turning from the sin we have committed and going in a new direction. Being sorry, is simply being upset you got caught and trying to get out of trouble. This does not please the Lord.

Explain: Though the Israelites were simply sorry they got caught and wanted the punishment gone, the Lord had mercy on them. He told Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole, and to tell the Israelites that if they looked at the snake, they would be healed.

So Moses did as the Lord said, and all who looked at the snake were healed.

Truth: Those who refused to look at the snake, and who failed to believe what Moses told them to do, died. The same is true today. In John 3:14-15, Jesus said, that just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that all who believe in Him will have eternal life.

Those who look to Jesus for salvation can and will be saved. Yet, those who fail to do so, or fail to believe that He is the only way to salvation, will die and be separated from Him forever.

We can’t make people believe, but we can tell them the truth.

And when we look to Jesus, we too can be saved.

Close in prayer.


Bible Memory: Word Toss

Stand in a circle and have children toss the ball. When child is tossed the ball they have to say the next word of the verse until verse has been completed. If they can’t remember the next word, they are out. Continue playing until verse is complete. Play a second round tossing the ball and having child say the entire verse from memory. If they can’t they are out. Continue until all kids have chance to say verse from memory.

Lesson 7: Numbers 22-24

Lesson Aim: To teach children that greed will lead us to do things contrary to the Lord. And that God will allow us to go our own way, but we will suffer the consequences of our sin.

Bible Memory: He answered, “Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?” Numbers 23:12


Have you ever wanted to do something you know your not suppose to do? Been tempted to sin even though you know God hates sin? Allow for discussion.

Have you ever had an animal talk to you? No! Well, in today’s lesson, we will encounter a talking donkey. Who has heard of the donkey? This donkey keeps his owner from being killed. The funny thing is that when the donkey speaks, Balaam speaks back.

The reality is the prophet wanted to do things his way rather than God’s way, and God allowed it, but he would indeed face the consequences.

Bible Lesson: Numbers 22-24

In our passage today, we encounter a prophet named Balaam. This prophet seems like a man of God. At first we might be tempted to believe he really wanted to do what God wanted him to do. And maybe he did. Yet, later we will see that the temptations of this world would lead him astray.

Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 22:

Summarize: King Balak was the king of Moab and the Moabites were terrified of the Israelites. So king Balak calls for Balaam to put a curse on the people. Balaam says he will pray about it, and see what the Lord says. God tells Balaam he is not to go with the King of Moab, and Balaam tells the king what God says.

But then the King of Moab offers him great wealth if he will come along. Although God has already told him not to go with them, he tells Balak to wait until morning and he will await God’s instruction. Basically he was hoping God would change his mind, and allow him to go.

Truth: God knows our hearts. He knows when we are offering only lip service, and when we are truly being obedient. Balaam wanted what he wanted more than what God wanted. We all sometimes end up in similar positions, tempted to go our own way. May we learn from Balaam and obey even when it is hard.

Explain: That night God told Balaam to go along and go with them. Now, it is important to note here that God did not change His mind. Rather, God knew Balaams heart and was going to allow Balaam to learn his lesson the hard way.

Explain: In verses 21-41 we find our talking donkey. The next morning Balaam sets out with King Balak, but God was angry with him. Remember God had told him not to go, and the only reason he says go, is because He knows the sinfulness of Balaam’s heart. So when Balaam tries to go on his donkey, the anel of the Lord is there ready to strike him dead. This however is hidden from Balaam, but Balaam’s donkey can see it, and tries to protect him.

This is where it get’s interesting. Three times, Balaam tells the donkey to go, and strikes him. After the third time the donkey has had it. He opens his mouth and ask why have you beaten me three times. Interestingly, Balaam answers the donkey saying if he had a sword he’d kill him. The Lord opened Balaams eyes then to the angel of the Lord, and Balaam realizes his donkey was trying to save his life.

Then the angel of the Lord instructs Balaam to go, but to only speak what He instructs him.

Truth: God will allow us to go our own way, and often times we may think we have gotten away with doing what we wanted. But the Bible makes it clear that our sins will find us out. And there are always consequences for sin.

The next day Balak takes Balaam up to a high point and expects him to curse the Isreaelites, but instead he speaks a blessing. Furious Balaak ask why he has blessed them, when he was suppose to curse them. To which Balaam replies, “Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”

Seven messages Balaam gives, and each time he speaks, God speaks blessings upon his people. And each time Balaak grows angrier. And because Balaam refused to bring curses on the people, Balaak refuses to pay him.

They each depart to their own way.

Turn to 2 Peter 2:15-16, here we find reference to the greed of Balaam and a comparison to the people of Peter’s day who had a love for money.

Truth: God allowed Balaam to go his own way, but he almost was killed, and then in the end the promise of riches proved untrue.

Teach: Though you may be tempted at times like Balaam to want to do things that God has said not to do, you should remember the lesson of Balaam, whose disobedience almost cost him his life.

Ask: What are things we may be tempted to do that we know are not the right things?

Ex: cheating on a test, telling a lie, being a bully, hurting someone’s feelings, taking revenge on someone who hurts you… etc.

God has given us instructions in His Word, about how we should act, what we should and shouldn’t do, what we should and shouldn’t say etc. And though we may be tempted to do what is wrong, God always provides us with a way out.

Rather than giving into our flesh we must yield to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to help us each and every day to live not for self, but for the Lord.

Balaam, though a prophet of the Lord, wanted to do what pleased himself, rather than what pleased God.

May we learn from his mistakes, and try each day to please God.

Truth: Though Balaam deserved God’s wrath, God had mercy on him, and used his donkey to save his life.

Though we fail daily, the Lord is there ready and willing to forgive us, if we ask. We will mess up, but praise God, He is faithful to forgive us when we ask!

Bible Memory: Puzzle race. Write the verse on a4 paper, make 2 or 3 copies depending on class size. Cut the verse apart into puzzle pieces. Pass a set out to each group, and allow kids to race to see who can put it in the correct order first. Play multiple times, repeating the verse with each group each time verses are complete.

Lesson 8: Numbers 27:12-23

Lesson Aim: To teach children that they should finish well what God calls them to do, but also to prepare someone else to take there place.

Bible Memory Verse: Then he laid his hand on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses. (Numbers 27:23).


Bring a handmade baton to class (two toilet paper tubes taped together with paper covering on outside). Ask how many of you have ever watched a relay race or participated in one? In a relay race, there is usually 3 or 4 people on a team. One will run the race, and then pass the baton to the 2nd person, who will run and then pass it to the 3rd and then the 4th person. Each player depends on the one who goes before them, and the one who goes after them. The one can not win the race on their own, everyone has to work together. In today’s lesson we will see how God leads Moses to prepare and call Joshua to finish the race.

Bible Lesson:

Turn in Bibles to Numbers 27:12-23, take turns allowing kids to reach passage.

Explain: Moses had gotten pretty old by this point. He had led Israel for many years. He led them out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness. He has listened as they have complained and grumbled. He has seen them turn away from the Lord, and turn to Him. Moses has been with them through it all. Yet, his time to die is drawing near.

And just as God had told him he would not lead the Israelties into the Promised Land, Moses realizes someone else will do so.

God tells Moses to anoint Joshua as the next leader. To bring him up before the people and lay hands on him. He instructs him to give him some of his authority, which is striking. Moses did not simply anoint Joshua the next leader, and die. Moses anoints Joshua the next leader, and together they work together in the years to come until the death of Moses.

Explain God wanted the Israelites to see and recognize Joshua as the next leader, and He did this by allowing Moses to slowly give his authority over to Joshua until the time of his death.


Just as the Israelites needed a new leader, who would guide them to the promised land, pray on their behalf, instruct them in the ways of God, and pray for them. You need godly leaders in your life who will do the same.

God has given you godly influences in your life. He has given you your parents, your pastor, your teachers etc. They are put in your life to help you. So when you have questions, when you need guidance, seek them out.

Sometimes God puts people in your life for a short time, and then puts someone new in your life. This is okay too. Embrace those He places in your life, learn from them, so that someday you can lead and teach others as well.

Bible Memory: Word erase. Write the verse on the board, allow kids to take turns erasing words, one at a time, repeating the verse as a whole each time, until verse is completely erased.


Take kids to the roof and using the relay batons, divide group into two teams, and have kids race, passing the baton. Remind them they must depend on each other, they can’t win alone.