Power

Exodus 3:1-4:31- The Burning Bush

Theme: God is powerful and nothing is too hard for Him.

Key Verse: Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV)- “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”

Introduction:

          Can you think of something that is powerful? (Discussion)

          Today we’re going to talk about something that is more powerful than all of those things—God’s power.

         Bible Story:

          It was hard to find grass for the sheep to eat in the desert. Maybe it was time to go home.

          Moses walked ahead of his flock. All around him he heard the baa-ing of the sheep. He felt bad that he hadn’t found better pasture for them today.

          He had never dreamed he would be a shepherd. As a boy, he had been raised in the luxury of Pharaoh’s palace. He had expected to live there forever.

          But then he did a dumb thing. One day he saw an Egyptian taskmaster cruelly beating an Israelite slave. Because he himself was an Israelite, Moses was so angry that he killed the Egyptian and had to flee for his life. He ended up in the desert of Midian. He married and cared for his father-in-law’s sheep.

          Sometimes he felt sad that he wasn’t still in Egypt where his real mother and father and sister Miriam and brother Aaron lived as Israelite slaves. But he had lived here now for many, many years.

          Suddenly he saw something bright out of the corner of his eye. He looked again. Fire! A bush was on fire in the middle of the desert.

          Fire spelled danger for his sheep. He had to get them out of here.

          But as he watched, it was very odd. Although the bush was on fire, it didn’t burn up. Moses moved closer to look.

          Suddenly a voice thundered from the burning bush, “Moses! Moses!”

          Moses jumped back. Was there a man in there? How did he know his name?

          “Here I am,” Moses said.

          “Do not come closer,” the voice said. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.”

          Moses quickly unfastened his sandals.

          “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

          This was God? Moses threw his arms over his face. He was afraid to look.

          “I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have seen them crying because of the slave drivers, so I am going to rescue them and take them to a beautiful land flowing with milk and honey. Go now. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.”

          Me? Moses gulped. He couldn’t do that. It had been many years since he had been in Egypt. No one knew him any more. No one would listen to him.

          “I can’t,” Moses said.

          “I will be with you,” God said.

          “What if I go to the Israelites and they ask me your name? What shall I tell them?”

          “Tell them I AM has sent me to them.”

          God told Moses that the Israelite leaders would listen to him, but Pharaoh would not let them go. “So I am going to show my power until they will be glad to let you go.”

          It was too big a job. Moses couldn’t do it. “The people won’t believe me. They won’t listen to me. They’ll think I’m making this up.”

          God said, “What is that in your hand?”

          “A staff.”

          “Throw it on the ground.”

          Moses threw his shepherd’s staff on the ground. Instantly, it turned into a live, writhing snake.

          Moses jumped back, ready to run.

          God said, “Grab it by the tail.”

          Moses didn’t want to touch it, but he lunged for the tail. Immediately the snake turned into his staff again.

          “When the Israelites see you do that,” God said, “they will know that I have sent you.” Then God told Moses, “Put your hand under your coat.”

          Moses did, and when he pulled it out, it was white with leprosy.

          Moses gasped. People who had leprosy had to live far from their families and would eventually die.

          “Now put your hand back inside your coat,” God said.

          When Moses pulled out his hand again, the leprosy was gone and his hand was fine.

          “If you do both these things, and the people still do not believe you,” God said, “take some water from the Nile River, and pour it on the ground. The water will turn to blood.”

          Moses still didn’t want to do it. He was afraid to speak in front of people. “Oh, Lord, I’ve never been good at speaking. I stammer and stutter.”

          “Go, Moses, I will be with you. I will tell you what to say.”

           “O, Lord, please send someone else!”

          The fire crackled and leaped higher. Moses had a feeling that God was angry with him. But he couldn’t help it. He just couldn’t do what God asked.

          God said, “Your brother Aaron speaks well. Tell him what to say, and he will speak for you.”

          So, Moses and Aaron went to the Israelite leaders and told them what God had said. Moses turned the staff into a snake and his hand became leprous. The leaders believed them and were happy God was going to take them out of slavery to their own beautiful land. They bowed down and worshiped God for His power and love.

Application:

          God is a powerful God. Nothing is too hard for him.

          How did God show Moses His power? (Discussion-Burning bush, snake, leprosy)

          Why did God do it? So that Moses would trust Him.

          God is still just as powerful today. You won’t see God change a staff into a snake, but God can do amazing things for you when you pray to Him and trust Him. God will answer your prayers, not always the way you want, but in the way that’s best for you. (Give an example of how God answered prayer for you.)

          Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV)- “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”

          Moses didn’t think he could do what God wanted him to, but when God helped him, Moses did mighty things.

          Trust God and see what He will do for you.

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Beth Livingston

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