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I love when the Bible itself makes clear what first seemed so confusing. Our bible story today continued in the Book of Numbers. In chapter 20, Moses and Aaron are told by God to speak to a rock so that water will flow out of it - remember, the Israelites are wandering in the desert, and they are thirsty. Moses strikes the rock twice, and water flows. But God is displeased that Moses and Aaron did not trust Him; after all, He didn't say to bang the rock with the staff. Because of their distrust in this moment, Moses and Aaron will never enter the promised land. That seems harsh right?! Then in chapter 21, the Israelites are again complaining about being brought out of Egypt (will they ever learn), so God sends poisonous snakes to attack and bite many of the people. They are quite sorry and beg Moses to ask God for relief. The Lord tells Moses to make a bronze snake, put it on a pole, and then tell anyone bitten to look at it. Of course those, who follow these instructions are forgiven and healed. So, what do we do with these two potentially confusing stories? Well, first we learn that God takes sin very seriously, and He does not appreciate when we do things our own way, i.e. differently than how He has instructed us. Second, in John 3:14, we read, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up." Looking at the snake was the way for the Israelites to receive God's rescue from the punishment for their grumbling, but it points to someone so much better, Jesus. When we look to Jesus on the cross, our sins can be forgiven. He came to this world to save us, and this story in Numbers points right to Jesus Christ. This week, be willing to share with your kids if you have ever been confused or unsure about what Scripture means, and remind them that your confusion doesn't make God any less perfect or any less loving.

Some starter questions for you:


  1. How does it make you feel that Moses and Aaron wouldn't get to see the promised land? Do you think the penalty was too severe?
  2. The Israelites complained that things were not just as they wanted. And this was not even close to the first time they complained since leaving Egypt. Do you think they deserved the snakes attacking them? Did they deserve the forgiveness God gave them with the bronze snake? 


  1. The Israelites complained about their circumstances. Have you ever complained or grumbled about anything, forgetting how blessed you are? Not having the dinner you want? Wanting a different/better toy? Wishing it was your birthday instead of a sibling's?
  2. Who is the one who forgives? Does He always forgive? 

Don't forget... our next family service opportunity is in connection with our local mission partner, School Works. The School Works Book Fair will take place at IBC on Sunday, March 24th. If you and your family are interested in helping set-up and prepare for this fantastic event on Saturday, March 23rd, please click this link to sign up. 

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