Moses: God Is with Us When We Can’t Help Ourselves (Martin Wiles’ Lessons for Youth and Children)


Scripture Reference: Exodus 2:1-10

Memory Verse: Exodus 2:10

This week, children will learn how they can trust God even when they can’t help themselves.

Today’s story is about a baby boy named Moses who was almost killed but whom God miraculously saved.

Our memory verse is found in Exodus 2:10: The princess named him Moses, for she explained, “I drew him out of the water.”

Icebreaker Questions:

Can you think of a time when you couldn’t help yourself and someone else had to help you?

What are some things your parents had to do for you when you were a baby because you couldn’t do them for yourself? What are some things they have to do for you now?

How does it make you feel not to be able to do things you would like to?

Activity Time:

Every church has members who are sick and at home or in the hospital. Churches also have members who have physical limitations that keep them from being able to come to church. Help children select one or more of these persons and then make a “Get Well” or “Thinking of You” card. Teachers can ensure the cards are mailed or hand delivered. Remind children that they are helping those who can’t help themselves.

Bible Story Time:

Reflection: Suppose you or your wife just had a baby, and the ruler of the land said you had to kill it if it was a boy. What do you think you would do?

God’s people had been living in Egypt for hundreds of years and in slavery for 400 of them. They became slaves because the ruler of the land saw how quickly they were multiplying. He was afraid that when his country went to war with another country that they would help his enemy. He thought he could solve the problem by making them slaves, so this is what he did.

As slaves, God’s people were miserable. They had mean slave drivers who ruled over them. They forced them to build cities and do many other things they didn’t want to do. But the more miserable they made their lives, the more they multiplied. There were thousands and thousands of them. So the slave drivers made their lives even more miserable. They made God’s people make their own bricks and mortar to build cities. They also made them work long hours in the fields tending to the crops.

Reflection: How do you think you would feel if someone was mean to you every day but you couldn’t do anything about it? Remember to pray for children who live in homes where their parents or others abuse and hurt them.

Finally, the king came up with an idea he thought would keep the Israelites from multiplying anymore. He gave an order to the Hebrew women who helped deliver babies. If the baby was a boy, they were to kill it. Only the girls could live. The Hebrew women knew this would be wrong, so they disobeyed the king’s order. The king was furious. Since the women who helped deliver babies wouldn’t help him, he tried to get his own people to. He gave a command to all people that they were to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the Nile River so they would drown.

Reflection: How do you think the king’s command made the moms and dads feel? Had you been a mom or dad, do you think you would have obeyed the king’s command? Is there ever a time when we should disobey a law? (Only if obeying it causes us to disobey God)

Moses’ parents, Jochebed and Amram, decided they were not going to obey the king’s order. They tried to hide their baby, and for three months they did. But the time came when they couldn’t hide him any longer. He was making too much noise. So Moses’ mother took papyrus reeds from near the river and made a basket. After placing Moses in the basket, she set it afloat near the edge of the Nile River. Moses’ sister Miriam stood nearby to see what would happen to her brother.

Reflection: How do you think Moses’ sister felt when her parents had to give her brother away? How would you feel if you had to be separated from your brothers or sisters and never got to see them again? (This is a good time to remind children to pray for orphans.)

Before too long, Moses’ sister saw the king’s daughter—the princess—coming to the river to take a bath. The princess saw the basket floating in the water and sent one of her servant girls to get it. When she opened the lid, she saw the little Hebrew baby. Even though she knew her father had said to kill all the baby boys, she just couldn’t do it.

Reflection: The Bible tells us to obey our parents, but what if they tell us to do something God tells us not to do?

Moses’ sister saw her chance to help her brother. She went to the princess and asked if she wanted her to find a Hebrew mother to nurse the baby so he wouldn’t die. The princess said yes, and Miriam took her brother back to her mother. Later, when Moses was older, his mother took him back to the princess who adopted him as her son. Moses eventually grew up as the grandson of the king who gave the order that he and all other boy babies be killed.

God is powerful enough to help us when we can’t help ourselves. Moses was a baby. He couldn’t do anything to keep himself from being killed, but God used Moses’ sister and the king’s daughter to save his life. God saved Moses’ life because he planned to use him in the near future to lead his people out of Egyptian slavery. Now—and as you grow older—remember God can always help you when you can’t help yourself. Even when we can help ourselves, he still wants us to depend on his help as well. The Bible says we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength.


Martin Wiles
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