Going Astray

Monday: Going Astray
Story Passage: Numbers 20:1-13
Other Passages: Isaiah 53, Romans 3:23, 6:23, Exodus 17:1-7
Objectives: Everyone has sinned. 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.]
What does it mean for sheep to go astray? (They wander off.) What happens when sheep go astray? Can the shepherd take good care of them, if they have wandered off? (No.) What can happen to them then? (Get lost, get caught by wolf, fall off cliff, etc. -- they can get hurt.) Why do sheep wander off? (They don't understand how dangerous it is.) The Bible says that we are like sheep and that we go astray. What does that mean? (We don't follow God, our shepherd.) How do we do that? (We sin. Sin is when you don't follow God.) What happens when we turn away from God, go our own way, and sin? (We can get hurt, just like sheep.) Today's Bible story is a true story about a man most of you have heard of who sinned. His name was Moses.

Story: Moses and the Rock.
Who was Moses? (Accept some answers from the children.) Was Moses a Godly man, usually? (Yes, a great man.) Did Moses follow God? (Yes.) Did Moses ever disobey God and go astray? (Yes.) One time, Moses did something so bad, God had to punish him.
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. Moses was leading them through desert, and they needed water. Have you ever had to go all day without a drink, when it's hot? They were thirsty, and they got grouchy and complained, Why did you bring us out here in the desert to die without water, Moses?
God heard the people complaining, and he told Moses how to get some 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, and he yelled at the people, and told them he would get water out of the rock. Then he raised his arm, and hit the rock twice with his staff. Thunk! Thunk! Not just once, but two times. Is that what God told him to do? (No, God said to speak to the rock, and Moses hit it.) The water gushed out of the rock anyway, and all the people and animals drank the water. Do you think they were glad to have that water, since they were in a hot desert, and thirsty? It probably tasted pretty good! But God told Moses that because he didn't trust God enough to obey and talk 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. Is Moses the only one who sinned? (No.) We all sin. Remember the verse? We all like sheep have gone astray. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that everyone has sinned. What happened when Moses sinned? (God had to punish him.) If God punished Moses when he sinned, will he punish us when we sin too? (Yes.) Why does God punish us when we sin? (So we can learn to do right.) 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.

Invitation: Salvation.
Invite any children who want to find out today how Jesus can take away their death penalty for their sin, or who want to invite Jesus into their lives today, to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

No comments: