|Story Passage:||Numbers 20:1-13|
|Other Passages:||Isaiah 53, Romans 3:23, 6:23, Exodus 17:1-7|
|Objective:||Teens should learn that everyone has sinned and that sin has a penalty.|
|Memory Verse:||Isaiah 53:6, |
We all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him all our sin.
Introduction: Wandering Sheep
[Read Isaiah 53:6 (above). This is today's memory verse.]
When sheep wander off, the shepherd cannot take proper care of them, so he has to hunt them down and bring them back. The Bible says that people are like sheep, in that they wander off, and God is our shepherd who has to bring us back, so that he can protect us. He has designed our church to be like a sheepfold, a safe haven from false teachers and the other influences of the world. However, even the most righteous of us can go astray from time to time. Today's Bible lesson is about Moses and is an example to us of a godly man who sinned.
Story: Moses and the Rock.
Our story begins when Moses had lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and they were now wandering about through the desert - whole families of people: kids, teenagers, adults, grandparents, everybody. As can occasionally happen in the desert, they needed water. Think of a time when you were out in the hot sun all day walking a lot without anything to drink. I'm sure you can guess what it was like. They were thirsty, and they got grouchy and started complaining, asking Moses why he brought them out into the desert to die.
God heard the people complaining, and gave Moses a plan to get water. He said,
Take your staff, stand in front of the people, and talk to that rock over there, where the people can see you. The rock will pour out water for the people and their animals.
But Moses was grouchy too, and he yelled at the people, called them rebels, and asked them if he had to get water out of the rock (as they had seen him do once before, in Exodus 17). Then he raised his arm, and hit the rock twice with his staff. Not just once, but two times. That's what he'd done before, but it's not what God told him to do this time - and he knew it. God said to speak to the rock, and Moses hit it, because he was angry. The water gushed out of the rock anyway, and all the people and animals drank the water, but God told Moses that because he didn't trust God enough to obey and speak to the rock in front of the people, Moses would not get to lead the people into the promised land. Moses had always wanted to lead the people into the beautiful promised land, but now he would not get to do that, because he didn't obey God - he sinned, and this was his punishment.
The Point: Universal Sin and Penalty.
Moses was a great, godly man, but he sinned. He's certainly not the only one. We all sin. Remember the verse? We all like sheep have gone astray. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that everyone has sinned. When Moses sinned, God had to punish him. If God punished Moses when he sinned, he will punish us when we sin too. We will not be able to enter heaven, just as Moses could not enter the promised land. God punishes us when we sin so that we can learn to do right, and also because sin cannot enter heaven. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that when we sin, the penalty we earn is death. Ouch! But that's not all it says. The Bible also tells us that Jesus can take away our penalty and give us life. Tomorrow's lesson tells all about how Jesus does that for us.
Talk to me today before you leave, if you want to find out today how Jesus can take away your death penalty for sin, or if you have anything else that you need to talk about.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.