Look, Listen & Live 2: Mighty Men of GOD (Long Version)
Outline: Jacob, Joseph, Moses. 24 sections. It has a picture book to go along with the recording.
|Theme:||Multiple themes; Law of God|
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
Picture 1: JACOB THE DECEIVER
Genesis 25:20-34, 27:1-29
(Abraham was the man who obeyed God. He left his own land and went to a foreign land called Canaan. There God promised that this descendants would become a great nation. Isaac was Abraham's son, born when Abraham was very old. Isaac was the son God had promised to Abraham. Isaac married Rebekah, but after many years they still had no children. Isaac prayed to God about this and then Rebekah became pregnant. When it was close to the time for Rebekah to give birth to her babies she felt two babies struggling inside her. God spoke to her and told her that her babies were two boys and that each one would be the leader of a (great) nation. The younger son, however, would rule over (be more important than) the older son.)
The boy born first was called Esau. He grew up to become a great hunter. But he didn't think much about trying to please God. As first-born son he was entitled to certain things. When his father died he would receive twice as much of his father's things as anyone else. He would also become the leader of the family (clan). He would be the one responsible for teaching his family about God and receiving guidance from God for them. (This was called his birthright).
But God had promised that the younger son would be more important. The younger son was called Jacob. Jacob was not a hunter. He was a quiet man who worked near his father's tents, looking after the flocks. He tried to please God, and wanted God to bless his life. However, Isaac preferred Esau. He liked the meat that Esau brought back from hunting.
Jacob knew that God had said he would be the most important son, but it seemed that Isaac was going to give this blessing to Esau. One day Esau came back from hunting, but he had caught nothing. He was feeling very tired and hungry. Jacob was cooking food at his tent. Esau came in to the tent and asked for some food. Jacob said he would give him some food in exchange for Esau's rights as the firstborn son. Esau was more concerned about satisfying his hunger than about his rights as the first-born son, so he promised to give these rights to Jacob.
Jacob thought this was a clever scheme, but all it did was to make Esau become his enemy. Jacob did not trust God to give him the blessing He had promised. He tried his own scheme to make sure he got the blessing. But instead of that he received sorrow and trouble.
God always keeps his promises. We can trust God to do that. It is better for us to wait for God to work in His way, than for us to make our own plans without God.
Picture 2: Jacob’s Dream
Genesis 27:1-46, 28:1-20
(Jacob's father, Isaac, became very old and thought he was going to die. He was almost blind. Isaac loved Esau more than he loved Jacob, and he wanted to give Esau a special blessing before he died. [Isaac wanted Esau to be the important person among his people. He wanted God to show His favour to Esau.] Isaac said to Esau, "You go hunting and prepare meat for me the way I like it. Then bring it to me so that I can give you a special blessing before I die."
Isaac's wife, Rebekah, heard him talking to Esau. [She wanted Jacob to receive the special blessing from Isaac rather than for Esau to receive it.] So she told Jacob to go and kill two goats from their flock. Then she prepared the meat the way she knew Isaac liked it. Then Jacob disguised himself as his brother, Esau, and took the meat into Isaac. Isaac couldn't see who it was, so he asked him. Jacob said, "I am Esau, your oldest son. Eat this food now and then bless me." Isaac was not sure it was Esau, but he took the food, ate it and then gave the blessing to Jacob. Isaac said, "May God always give you plenty of good crops. May many nations be your servants. May all your relative serve you."
Soon after Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, Esau came back from hunting. Esau prepared some meat and brought it to his father. He said, "Father, here is the meat I have prepared for you. Eat it and then bless me." Isaac was very surprised and told Esau, "I have already given my blessing. It must have been your brother who brought meat to me just now. He has deceived me and I have given him my blessing. Now there is no blessing left for you."
Esau was very upset that he had not received the blessing. He was also very angry with Jacob. He made plans to kill Jacob as soon as his father Isaac died. Rebekah heard about Esau's plans, and she thought it would be safer to send Jacob away for a while. She told Isaac that she did not want Jacob to marry any of the local girls. She wanted him to marry one of their own relatives. So Isaac told Jacob to go to the place of his mother's (Rebekah's) brother, and to find a wife there. Rebekah's brother's name was Laban. He lived a long way away, at a place called Padan Aram [Haran].)
Jacob set out on the long journey. On the first night, he stopped and made camp. He lay down and slept with his head on a rock. He had a dream that he saw a stairway going from earth up to heaven. The angles of God were going up and down the stairs. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, who spoke to Jacob. He said, "I am the God of your father Isaac, and of Abraham. This land where you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. I will bless all the nations of the world through you and your descendants. I am with you and will protect you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have fulfilled my promise."
Jacob woke up feeling amazed and frightened because he had seen the great power and holiness of God (God had visited him and talked with him). Jacob made a promise to God, that if God would care for him and bring him safely back to his land, then he would worship God, and would love and obey only Him.
Jacob had followed his own plans to try and force God to bless him. But he didn't need to do that. God was ready to bless him, just as He had promised. God's Word says, "Don't be impatient, wait for the Lord. Be brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you." Psalm 27:14.
Picture 3: Jacob and Laban
Jacob continued on his journey to Padan Aram (Haran). It took him many days. When he arrived there his Uncle Laban was very pleased to see him. He gave Jacob a warm welcome. Laban had two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Leah was older than Rachel, but Rachel was very beautiful. Jacob loved Rachel and wanted to marry her. Jacob said to Laban that he would stay and work with him for seven years if he would let him marry Rachel. Laban agreed to this, so Jacob stayed and helped Laban look after his flocks of sheep and goats.
After seven years Laban arranged a big wedding feast for Jacob. But Laban tricked Jacob. After the feast, when it was dark, he took his older daughter, Leah, to Jacob's tent. Jacob didn't realize till the morning that he had slept with Leah instead of Rachel. Jacob was very angry that Laban had deceived him like that. Laban explained that it was not their custom to marry the younger daughter first. The older daughter must always marry first. But he said that Jacob could also have Rachel as his wife if he would work for him for another seven years. So after a week, Jacob took Rachel as his second wife and then stayed and worked another seven years for Laban. Jacob was not happy about this. (Before, Jacob had deceived Esau. Now it was Jacob's turn to be deceived by Laban.) But Jacob was learning to be patient, and to trust God to care for him. Jacob stayed for many years working for Laban. Sometimes Jacob tried to cheat Laban and make his own flocks of animals become much greater. Labah too tried to cheat Jacob and many times he changed the pay he gave to Jacob. Many times they argued with each other. The flocks of Jacob and Laban became very large, and Jacob became a rich man. He was not happy about working with Laban. But God helped him, and he learned to be patient. He learned to pray to God and to wait for God to guide them.
Picture 4: Jacob Meets God
Jacob worked for many years with his uncle Laban. After twenty (many) years Jacob had many children, many flocks, and many servants. God spoke to Jacob and told him it was now time for him to return to the place of his father, Isaac. So Jacob left Padan-Aram and set off for Canaan. He took all his wives and children, servants and flocks. They traveled for many days and came close to the land of Canaan. Jacob was concerned about his brother, Esau. He wondered whether Esau was still angry with him. He was afraid Esau would try to hurt him. Jacob loved God and wanted to please Him, but he wasn't sure God could protect him from Esau and fulfill the promises of blessing He had made to Jacob before.
Jacob made up his own plan to try and overcome Esau's anger. He prepared many of the animals of his flock to give as presents to Esau. He got them ready to send on ahead of him. He hoped that Esau would receive them and be pleased with them before he met Jacob.
That night Jacob was alone. A Man came and wrestled with Jacob. Jacob realized that it was God. Jacob realized that his own schemes and plans were not important. The important thing was to have God's blessing. The man touched Jacob's hip socket and put it out of joint. Now Jacob was weak and could not wrestle. But he clung to the man and said, "I will not let you go until you bless me." The man then told him that his name was changed from Jacob, which means "deceiver", to Israel, which means "a Prince with God". (He told Jacob that) he had proved himself strong with God and so he would also be strong with people.
So Jacob went to meet Esau, and he was limping. But Jacob was a changed man. He wasn't afraid of Esau now. He knew he didn't have to reply on his own schemes, he could trust God to care for him and to guide him.
When Jacob met Esau, Esau wasn't angry with him. Esau was happy to let Jacob come back to Canaan and settle in the country with all his family and flocks. So Jacob and his family were able to settle in Canaan, just as God had promised. Jacob was also able to see his father, Isaac, before he died. Jacob worshipped God and tried to please Him in everything he did. He also taught his family to worship God. He told them to bury all the idols and items associated with false gods that they might have with them. He tried to show them that they could trust God to care for them at all times.
Picture 5: Joseph’s Dream
Genesis 35, 37:1-12
(Jacob and his family left Padan-Aram and returned to Canaan, the place of Jacob's father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham. Jacob had four wives, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah. Jacob had twelve sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, the sons of Leah; Gad and Asher, the Sons of Zilpah; Dan and Naphtali, the sons of Bilhah; and Joseph and Benjamin, the sons of Rachel. Jacob also had one daughter named Dinah.) Jacob had four wives, twelve sons and one daughter. (Rachel and Jacob's favourite wife and Joseph was his favourite son. Unfortunately Rachel died when she was giving birth to Benjamin.
Joseph grew up to be a good looking, clever young man. Jacob taught Joseph all he could about God. Joseph listened carefully. He loved God and wanted to please Him in all that he did. Jacob made a very special coloured robe and gave it to Joseph. This made the other brothers very angry. (They didn't like their father to show such favouritism to Joseph.)
Then one night Joseph had a dream. In the dream he and his brothers were in the fields harvesting grain. Joseph's sheaf of grain stood up in the center. His brothers' sheaves surrounded Joseph's and bowed down to it. In another dream Joseph saw the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing to him. Joseph told these dreams to his family and this made the brothers angrier than ever because it seemed to predict that one day Joseph would be an important person and rule over them.
As Joseph thought about this he felt that God had a special purpose for his life. Joseph was determined to please God in everything he did and to see what God would work out for his life. (Pause)
God has a purpose for our lives too. We should obey God and try to please Him in everything we do, just like Joseph did. Then we will see God working His purposes out in our lives.
Picture 6: Joseph Is Sold (Into Slavery)
Joseph's brothers were away taking care of Jacob's flocks. Jacob asked Joseph to go to them, see how they were, and report back to him. Joseph went straight away, but it took him several days to get to where they were. Joseph's brothers saw him coming. They were still very angry with Joseph and envious of Jacob's favouritism for him. They said to themselves, "Let's kill him, and then see what will happen to his dreams." But Reuben (the oldest brother) persuaded them not to do this. So when Joseph came to them they took off his special coloured coat and threw him into a deep hole (pit). Just at that time some Ishmaelite traders came by.
Judah suggested that they could sell Joseph to them as a slave. Then they would be rid of Joseph, but wouldn't be responsible for his death. Joseph pleaded with them not to do this but they didn't listen. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelite traders for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelite traders took Joseph to Egypt. (This journey took him about one month.)
The brothers then made up a story to tell to their father, Jacob. They took Joseph's special coloured coat and put animal (goat's) blood all over it. Then they took the coat back to Jacob. Jacob thought that wild animals must have killed Joseph, and he was deeply grieved.
But the brothers also felt very bad. They thought they had rid themselves of Joseph. But they could never forget what they had done. They had no peace in their hearts because of this. (Pause)
This story about Joseph reminds us of Jesus. Jesus came to live among His own people, His brothers, the Jews. But many of them rejected Him and made Him suffer. (Jesus suffered and died to pay for our sins. He did this so we could be forgiven for our sins, and so that we could know true peace in our hearts.)
Picture 7: Joseph as a Slave in Egypt
The Ishmaelite traders sold Joseph as a slave to Potiphar. Potiphar was captain of the king of Egypt's guard, the chief executioner. This was very difficult now for Joseph, to have to live as a slave. He belonged to the man who had bought him, just like an animal. He was not free to go anywhere. He had to do everything his owner said.
But Joseph did not become depressed because he was a slave. He remembered that God was with him. Joseph worked very hard for his new owner, but most of all he tried to please God in all he did. Potiphar noticed how clever Joseph was and he put him in charge of all his affairs. As a result everything went very well for Potiphar. All his business became very successful. Joseph made it known that this was because God was with him. Potiphar also realized that everything was going well because God was helping Joseph.
But then, Potiphar's wife saw that Joseph was very clever and very handsome. She tried to seduce Joseph. Every day she tried to make Joseph come and sleep with her. But Joseph refused. He told her it would be a sin against his master and a sin against God. One day when no one else was nearby Potiphar's wife grabbed Joseph by his coat and tried to force him to lie with her. Joseph ran away from her, but left his coat in her hands. Then the woman became very angry. She called for her servants and told them that Joseph had tried to rape her, but when she had resisted Joseph had run away, leaving his coat behind. She also told this story to her husband when he came home. Potiphar was very angry and put Joseph in prison. (Pause)
This was a big disappointment to Joseph. It seemed as though things were going very badly for him. But God was in control of everything. God was still working out the perfect plan for Joseph's life.
Sometimes things don't seem to be going right for us, and we can become very disappointed. But we can be sure that God is in control of all things. It is important that we try to please God in all we do, just like Joseph did. Then we know that God will work things out for good.
Picture 8: Joseph in Prison
Genesis 39:20 - 40:23
Joseph was put in prison, with chains on his feet and also around his neck. He could have been very discouraged and bitter, but instead he continued to live as he did before. He tried to please God in everything he did. The chief jailer soon noticed that Joseph was clever and worked well. He gave Joseph the work to look after all the prisoners. Soon the jailer noticed that everything was going very well in the prison. This was because God was helping Joseph. God continued to plan Joseph's life and prepare him for the work he would do in the days ahead. (Pause)
One day, the king of Egypt, Pharaoh, became angry with two of his chief servants, and he put them in the same prison as Joseph. They were the chief butler (wine taster) and the chief baker. They were both very worried about what was going to happen to them. One night they both had dreams. They thought the dreams had important significance for them (for their future), but they could not work out what they meant. So they were very sad and worried. Joseph offered to help them. He told them that God was able to give them the meaning of the dreams.
The butler told how in his dream he saw three branches which bore clusters of ripe grapes. Then in the dream the butler took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharoah's cut. Joseph said this meant that in three days Pharaoh would take the butler out of prison and restore him to his previous work as wine taster. Joseph asked the butler to try and help him once he was working for Pharaoh again.
This sounded good, so the baker told his dream to Joseph. He told how he had seen himself with three baskets of bread (pastry) on his head, all prepared for Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them up. Joseph told him that this meant that in three days Pharaoh would have him killed and the birds would come and eat his flesh.
Everything came true, just as Joseph had said. Three days later the butler returned to his old work, but the baker was executed. But the butler forgot all about Joseph.
This was discouraging for Joseph. It was difficult for him to see how God was working things out well for his future. But God was in control. The Bible tells us that "in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose". (Rom. 8:28.) And this applies for us today too.
Picture 9: The King’s Dream
One night, two years later, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a very disturbing dream. He dreamt that he was standing on the bank of the Nile river (a very big river in Egypt, sacred to the Egyptians). Suddenly, seven fat cows came up out of the river and ate grass on the river bank. Then seven more cows came up out of the river, but they were very skinny and starved. Then the skinny cows went and ate up the fat cows, but they still remained very skinny. (Then Pharaoh woke up, but he went to sleep again and had a second dream. This time he saw seven heads of grain on a stalk, and each grain was very plump and well formed. Then seven more heads appeared on the stalk, but they were skinny and shriveled up. The seven skinny grains ate up the seven fat ones, but remained just as skinny as before.)
Pharaoh wondered what the dream could mean, so he asked all his wise men, advisors and magicians. But none of them could interpret the dream for him. Pharaoh was very disturbed.
Then Pharaoh's chief butler told Pharaoh about Joseph, and how he had interpreted their dreams when he and the baker were in prison. Pharaoh quickly sent for Joseph and he was brought from prison. Pharaoh asked Joseph if he could interpret dreams. Joseph told Pharaoh that only God could interpret dreams, but he would ask God to help him. Then Pharaoh told Joseph all the details of the dreams.
Joseph explained to Pharaoh the meaning of the dreams, as God told him. The seven fat cows (and seven plump grains) meant (the same thing) - that there would be seven years of good crops and prosperity for Egypt. But the seven skinny cows (and seven shriveled grains) meant that Egypt would experience seven years of terrible famine following the good years. This famine would be so bad that all the prosperity of the good years would be forgotten.
Pharaoh was very pleased that Joseph had been able to interpret the dream so well. Joseph then suggested that Pharaoh should appoint a wise man to supervise storage of the crops during the good years. Pharaoh could see that Joseph was a very capable man and also that God was helping him. So Pharaoh appointed Joseph as his chief advisor (assistant). He put Joseph in charge of all the land of Egypt. In this way Joseph became a very important person, and the dreams that he had as a young man began to be fulfilled. (Pause).
God was in control of Joseph's situation, even when it seemed very bad. Joseph was not ashamed to speak about God to important people like Pharaoh and his officials. As a result they also acknowledged the power of God in that situation. (Pause)
We also should realize that God is in control of the things that happen to us, even when it seems that things are very bad. We should be ready to speak about God to others so that they too will come to acknowledge the greatness and goodness of God.
Picture 10: Joseph Rules in Egypt
Jacob and his sons in Canaan also felt the effects of the famine. They were nearly out of food, so Jacob sent ten of his sons to Egypt to buy food (grain). Benjamin stayed at home.
When the brothers arrived in Egypt they were brought before Joseph. He was in charge of giving out the grain. They didn't recognize Joseph, and Joseph did not tell them who he was. The brothers all bowed low before Joseph, just as he had told them years before in his dream. The brothers asked to buy food, but Joseph spoke roughly to them. He didn't want them to know who he was. He accused them of being spies. Joseph wanted to find out if his brothers were still mean and unkind men, and if they were sorry for the bad things they had done to him. He also wanted to get them to bring Benjamin to Egypt. So, he put all the brothers in prison for three days. Then Joseph bound Simeon and kept him in Egypt. He gave the other brothers the food they wanted and allowed them to return to Canaan. But he told them that the only way they could get more food was for them to bring Benjamin back with them. The brothers felt that their troubles had come because of the bad things they did to Joseph many years before.
On their journey home the brothers found the money they had paid for their food was in the top of their food bags. They couldn't understand it and they were frightened.
When they arrived home they told their father, Jacob, what had happened. He was very upset. He said, "Joseph didn't come back, Simeon is gone. And now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is working against me." And Jacob refused to let Benjamin go to Egypt. (Pause)
If we sin against other people, and we don't try to straighten it out, then this sin can become a great burden to us and cause us much sadness. But if we confess our sins to God and ask Him to take them away, He will do that. (Because Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins) He will give us peace in our hearts and make us happy again.
If we sin, this doesn't mean that God is finished with us. No. When we make things right again with God, God is ready to use us again to do good things for Him.
Picture 11: Joseph Revealed to His Brothers
The famine continued to be very bad. The food Jacob's sons bought in Egypt began to run out. Jacob told his sons to go and buy more food in Egypt. But they reminded him that the man in charge of the food had told them they could not return unless they had their brother, Benjamin, with them. Jacob eventually agreed to let Benjamin go with them, and all the brothers returned to Egypt.
They came before Joseph and when he saw that Benjamin was with them he arranged a feast for them at his house. When they arrived at Joseph's place Simeon was released and joined his brothers. But Joseph still did not tell them who he was. He was still trying to find out if his brothers had changed at all, and if they were prepared to care for Benjamin.
After the feast Joseph gave the brothers all the food they wanted and they set off on their return journey to Canaan. But Joseph also told his servants to put his own silver cup in Benjamin's food sack. After the brothers had gone a short way on their journey, Joseph sent his servants after them and accused them of stealing his special cup. They searched the sacks of all the brothers and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. The brothers were very upset and they all returned to Joseph's place.
Joseph said he would keep Benjamin as his slave because he had stolen the cup. Judah then pleaded with Joseph that he would keep him as his slave instead of Benjamin, because of what the loss of Benjamin would do to their father, Jacob.
Joseph now realized that his brothers had really changed in their attitudes. He then told his brothers that he was their brother, Joseph, and that God had put him in this position of power and authority so that his own family would not die because of the famine. The brothers were amazed and found this hard to believe. Eventually they realized this was true and they were very happy to be reunited with their brother, although they still felt guilty about what they had done to him before.
Joseph told them to return to Canaan and bring their father, Jacob, to Egypt, as well as all their families, so that he could look after them in Egypt.
It was a trying time for Joseph's brothers, but because of these trials they became much better people, and their faith in God was stronger. Trials and tests can be a great help to us too, so we don't need to be discouraged. Pray that our trials will make us better people, with a greater love for God.
Picture 12: Jacob and Joseph Meet Again in Egypt
Joseph's brothers returned to their father Jacob in Canaan, taking with them many gifts from Joseph. Jacob found it hard to believe that Joseph was alive, but eventually he realized that it was true. He was very happy and agreed to pack up all their belongings and move to Egypt.
As they were traveling to Egypt God spoke to Jacob in a dream. God said, "Don't be afraid to go to Egypt. You will become a great nation there. Later, your descendants will return to Canaan." So Jacob and all his children, and all their wives and families, moved to Egypt. They brought all their animals with them too.
It was a very happy time when Jacob met his son Joseph again. Jacob and his family (and all their flocks and herds) settled in a part of Egypt called Goshen. Joseph looked after them and made sure they had everything they needed.
Later, Jacob became very old and realized that he was going to die. Joseph brought his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim to Jacob, and Jacob gave them his blessing. Manasseh was the older son, but Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim, the younger son, and gave him the most important blessing. Jacob said that Ephraim and Manasseh would both have many descendants (and become a great nation), but the Ephraim would be greater than Manasseh. Jacob gave these blessings to Joseph and his sons to show that God was very pleased with Joseph. Joseph was very faithful to God, and God honoured him.
Then Jacob spoke to all his sons, and told them how God would bless them and their families in the years ahead. The sons of Jacob became the leaders of the nation of Israel. They became a great people and were called the people of God.
(Many years later God sent His Son, Jesus, to be born and live among the Israelite people. Jesus came to help the Israelites and to help all the people of the world. Jesus took the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross. He did this so that He could forgive our sins and give us eternal life.) (Pause)
As we think about this story of Joseph we realize that he (Joseph) was faithful to God through many times of difficulty and hardship. But God was with Joseph all the time and helped him to become a great man who could save his own people. God gave Joseph so many good things that he was able to forget about all the bad things that had happened to him. Joseph didn't ever forget his family, even though some of them had been very unkind to him. Joseph loved them and was able to help them.
We shouldn't worry about times of difficulty or hardship. We know that God loves us and He is with us to help us all the time. We should be faithful to God in all we do, and love Him with all our hearts. We should remember our family and friends, and other people too, even if they are unkind to us. We may be able to help them and tell them about Jesus.
Picture 13: Baby Moses
Exodus 1, 2:1-10
Jacob's descendants, the Israelite people, grew to be a large number of people. But the king of Egypt was afraid that the Israelites would become strong and fight against him. He treated the Israelites badly and made them his slaves. He commanded that all the Israelite baby boys should be killed. The Israelites were very sad. They prayed that God would help them to be free from the Egyptians.
Amram, an Israelite man, and Jochebed, his wife, had a beautiful baby boy. They did not want him to die. Jochebed made a basket, with a lid, that would float on the water. She put the baby in the basket and hid it in the reeds at the edge of the river. The baby's sister, Miriam, stood some distance away to see what would happen to him.
The daughter of the king of Egypt came down to the river to have a wash. She found the baby in the basket. The baby was crying and the king's daughter felt sorry for him. Miriam came to the king's daughter and asked if she would like one of the Israelite women to care for the baby for her. Then Miriam ran and brought the baby's own mother to her. The king's daughter named the baby Moses.
Later Moses' mother took him to the king's palace and he became the son of the king's daughter. Moses was trained in the best school in Egypt and became a great leader. But he did not forget that he belonged to the Israelite people.
It was a difficult time for the Israelite people. They did not understand what God was doing. But, God cared for them, and what He planned for them was good.
This is the same for us too. Sometimes we do not understand all that God is doing. His ways may seem very difficult for us. But we do know that God loves us and what He plans for us is good.
Picture 14: Moses and the Burning Bush
Moses was a great leader in Egypt. When he was 40 years old he saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. Moses killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand. Moses thought the Israelites would understand that he wanted to help them. But they did not want Moses to be their leader. The king of Egypt heard what Moses had done. He was angry with Moses and wanted to kill him.
Moses ran away and went to live in a desert place called Midian. He stayed there for 40 years and looked after sheep. God did not forget about Moses. He was preparing Moses to be the leader of the Israelite people.
One day Moses was looking after the sheep when he saw a bush that was burning. But this bush was different. The fire was in the bush, but the bush was not burning up (being destroyed). Moses went close to the bush to see why it was doing this. Then God spoke to Moses from the center of the bush and said, "Moses, I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". Moses was afraid (to look at God) and he covered his face.
God told Moses that He wanted him to go back to Egypt and to lead the Israelite people out of there. The Israelite people were suffering many bad things in Egypt and God wanted to set them free. God said to Moses, "I will go with you".
We can be sure that God never forgets us. God has work for each one of us to do. When God asks us to do something He always says, "I will go with you".
Picture 15: Moses Returns to Egypt
Moses was reluctant to go back to Egypt. He thought that the Israelite people and the king would not believe that God had sent him. So God told Aaron, Moses' older brother, to go with him. Moses and Aaron went to Egypt and spoke to the king. They said that he must let the Israelite people go free. But the king became angry and wouldn't let them go.
Moses showed the king that his message was from God by doing miracles with God's power. Aaron threw his (shepherd's) staff on the ground in front of the king, and it turned into a snake. But the king refused to listen to Moses. He was very stubborn and would not let the Israelite people go. So God worked through Moses and did many other miracles against the people of Egypt. God showed the people of Egypt and Israel his great power.
God made all the water in Egypt turn into blood. He sent plagues of frogs, lice and flies. He made the Egyptians sick with boils. He destroyed their crops with hail and locusts. Then God sent darkness on Egypt for 3 days and the people were very frightened. But these miracles did not hurt the Israelite people, or their crops, or cattle. The king of Egypt saw all these things and knew that God's power was working against him. But he was still very stubborn and refused to let the Israelite people go. (Pause)
God's power is very great. He is stronger than Satan, or the evil spirits, or any evil person. It is foolish for us to fight against God. God loves us and wants to help us. We need to listen to God's Word and obey it. God can make us strong to defeat Satan or the evil spirits.
Picture 16: The Passover
God did one more miracle to show His great power against the Egyptians. He sent an angel to kill the first born son (and animal) in every Egyptian home. At the same time He told the Israelites to kill their best lamb and put its blood on the doorposts of their house. In this way the life of the lamb was given instead of the first-born son in the home. The Israelite people who loved God and obeyed Him put the blood on their doorposts. The Egyptians didn't do this.
So the Angel of God went through the land of Egypt. Where the Angel saw that the blood of the lamb was on the doorposts of the house, the Angel passed over that house and none died. Where the house had no blood on the doorposts then the firstborn son (and animal) died.
The king of Egypt and all the Egyptian people were very distressed because so many of their people had died. They told the Israelite people to hurry up and leave Egypt. They were afraid that more of their people would die. They realized that God's power was very great. Now the Israelite people were no longer slaves of the Egyptians. They were free to leave Egypt and return to the land of Canaan. (Pause)
Many years later God sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth. He was called the Lamb of God. Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for us. We should die because of our sins, but Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. If we ask Jesus to take away our sins He will do this, and He will give us eternal life.
The Israelite people put the blood on their doorposts to show they were obeying God. We, too, should be able to show others that we love God and obey Him.
Picture 17: The Israelites Pass Through The Red Sea
Now the Israelite people were free. There were many, many Israelite people. They took all their belongings and their animals. They left Egypt and set out for the land of Canaan. God went before them in a pillar of cloud during day. At night He led them by a pillar of fire. Many years before, God had promised Abraham that his descendants would possess the land of Canaan. So this is where God was now leading them.
The Israelite people camped beside the Red Sea. Then the king of Egypt changed his mind about the Israelites. He decided he would capture them all again and make them his slaves. So the king went with his army to go and capture the Israelites again.
The Israelites were frightened. The Red Sea was in front of them and there was no way through. The Egyptians were behind them, ready to attack them. But Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid. Today you will see the great power of God, and he will rescue you. God will fight for you."
God told Moses to hold his rod out over the sea. During the night, God made the waters divide and form a wall on each side and with a dry road through the middle. The Israelite people walked through the Red Sea on dry ground and came safely to the other side. But the Egyptian army came after them to try and capture them. Then God brought the waters of the sea together again and the Egyptian army was drowned. The Israelite people were very happy. They realized that God's power was very great. They were God's people and they could trust Him to take care of them.
If we love God and obey Him we are God's people too. We can trust God to care for us. His power is very great.
Picture 18: Manna and Water in the Desert
Moses and the Israelite people had to travel a long way to get from Egypt to Canaan. Canaan was the land that God had promised to them many years before. Much of the time they had to travel through desert country where there was little food or water. There were many people and animals and often the people complained that there was not enough food and water.
Then God made food appear on the ground early in the morning. The food was small pieces of something like white, sweet bread, and there was plenty for everyone. It was plenty for everyone. It was called Manna. This happened every morning except the people's day of rest. (This was the last day of each week and was a day when the people stopped work and worshipped God.) God also sent large flocks of birds to the Israelite camp in the afternoon, so that the people had meat to eat.
At one time when there was no water God told Moses to strike a big rock with his rod. Water poured out of the rock for all the people and animals to drink. God provided everything the people needed on their journey from Egypt to Canaan.
It is the same for us. Every day God provides the things we need. If we are one of God's people, God's Spirit lives in us. He is like the water from the rock. He makes us strong to obey God's Word. God's Word (the Bible) teaches us about God and guides us in what we should do. It is like food for our spirits (souls). We should read or listen to God's Word every day.
Picture 19: The Laws of God
The Israelite people continued their journey from Egypt to Canaan. After three months they came to a mountain called Sinai. There God spoke to Moses and to the Israelite people. God came down on to Mount Sinai and caused a great storm, with thunder, lightning and a huge cloud. The people trembled as they saw the power of God. Moses went up the mountain and God spoke to him. Moses wrote God's message on some tablets (pieces) of stone. Then Moses came back and told the people what God had said. Here is some of the message:
God says, "I am the One True God. You must love Me and obey My message.
"You must not worship anything else as God.
Do not use God's Name in a bad way.
For six days do your own work. Then one day you must rest from work and work
And worship (think about) God.
Honour your parents and obey them.
You must not kill anyone.
You must not commit adultery.
You must not steal.
You must not tell lies.
You must not covet anything that belongs to someone else.
This message of God is good and true. The Israelites heard it and then they knew what were the right things for them to do (what was the right way for them to live). This is a good message for us too. If we listen carefully to God's Word and obey it, God will be pleased with us, and we will be happy too.
Picture 20: The Snake in The Desert
The Israelite people continued on their journey from Egypt to Canaan. But many of them were not happy. They complained angrily to Moses that there was not enough food or water. They said they wanted to go back to Egypt. God was very displeased with these people who complained.
So, God sent poisonous snakes among them. The snakes bit many of them and they died. The people then came to Moses and confessed that they had been very wrong to complain. Moses prayed to God on behalf of the people. Then God told Moses to make a snake out of brass and put it on a pole. If people were bitten by a snake they could look at the brass snake on the pole and they would die. (Pause)
Many years later Jesus talked with one of the leaders of the Israelite people. Jesus said, "I must be put up on a pole, just like the brass snake. Then if people put their faith in Me they won't die, instead they will receive eternal life."
Jesus wasn't talking about people dying from snakebite, but about people dying because of sin. God's book says, "If people sin, they must die". This means that they (their spirits) are separated from God forever. After their bodies die they go to a place of fire and suffering and they stay there forever. God's book also says that everyone has sinned. But when Jesus died on the cross at Calvary, He paid the penalty for our sins. Now, if people put their faith in Jesus, He takes away their sins and He gives them eternal life.
Picture 21: The Prophet Like Moses
The Israelite people thought of Moses as one of their greatest leaders. They remembered how God had given great power to Moses to do many mighty things. Moses had led the Israelites from being slaves in Egypt to being free people in the land of Canaan. In the desert place Moses had struck the rock and God gave the people water. God also had sent manna every morning for the people to eat.
Moses said that later on, God would send another great person who would come to help the Israelites. He would be a person just like Moses, but He would be even greater. Jesus was that person. He did many great things (miracles) and showed people that He is God's Son.
One day when Jesus was on the earth He was teaching God's Word to a very large crowd of people (about 5,000). At the end of the day the people still sat and listened to Jesus. Jesus knew they were all hungry. But how could He provide food for so many people? One of Jesus' friends (disciples) brought a boy to Jesus. The boy had five small loaves of bread and two small fish and he gave them to Jesus. Jesus took the bread and fish and began breaking them into pieces. The bread and fish increased and became a great amount so that there was enough to feed every person. The people (were amazed and) wanted to make Jesus their king. They could see that Jesus was a great leader like Moses, and that He was even greater than Moses. But Jesus did not become their king.
Jesus taught them that they should not just think about getting things like bread. Those things do not last very long. But if people will love Jesus and obey His teaching then He gives them life that will last forever. (He will come and live in their hearts, and he will stay with them forever.)
Picture 22: Jesus Speaks with Moses
Moses taught the Israelite people many things about God, and the way God wanted them to live. After Moses died there were other men like him who told God's message to the Israelite people. They were called God's messengers or prophets. One of the great prophets of the Israelites was named Elijah.
The prophets said that one day God would send a great person to help the Israelites. Jesus was the person that both Moses and the prophets spoke about.
One day when Jesus was on the earth, He took three of His friends with Him to the top of a high mountain. There they prayed together. While they were praying Jesus' friends saw the appearance of Jesus change. His face and clothes shone like a very bright light (the sun). Then two men appeared with Jesus. They were Moses and Elijah. Their faces and clothes also shone brightly. Jesus' friends were amazed. They heard Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus about how He would die at Jerusalem and also rise again. Then a bright cloud came down around them all and Jesus' friends were afraid. They heard a voice speaking to them and saying, "This is My Son, whom I love very much. You listen carefully to everything He says".
Then the cloud disappeared, and Jesus' friends saw Jesus standing on His own (alone). Jesus' friends realized that God was speaking to them in a special way. God was showing them that Jesus was the person Moses and Elijah had spoken about many years before.
Moses and Elijah were great men, but Jesus is much greater than they are. Jesus is God's Son. We need to listen carefully to what He tells us to do.
Picture 23: Jesus Died for Us
When Jesus was on earth He did many wonderful things. Many people wanted Jesus to be their king (leader). They thought that Jesus was the person Moses said would come to help the Israelites. But, the Israeli leaders did not want Jesus to be their king. Finally they persuaded the government leader to kill Jesus on a cross.
Jesus died on the cross, but it wasn't because of any wrong that He had done. Jesus died to bear the punishment (penalty) for the sins of all people, everywhere.
When Jesus died on the cross it reminds us of some things that Moses did. Jesus was called the Lamb of God. A long time before, Moses told the Israelites to kill a lamb and put its blood on the doorposts of their houses. If they did that no one in that house would die. God's Word says that if we sin we must pay the penalty for our sin. That penalty is that we must die and be separated from God forever. God's Word also says that all people everywhere have sinned. This means that all of us should pay the penalty for our sins. But when Jesus died He paid the penalty for our sins. (Jesus was like the lamb that gave its life as a sacrifice so that people would not die.) If we ask Jesus to take away our sins He will do this and He will give us eternal life. (Pause)
When Moses and the Israelites were in the desert Moses struck a rock and God made water come out of the rock so that the people had water to drink, and they didn't die of thirst. Jesus is like a strong rock. When Jesus died on the cross it was like God had struck the rock. Because Jesus died He is able to give us eternal life. (Jesus said, "Whoever believes in Me, streams of living water will pour out from his heart.) (Pause)
Moses put a brass snake up on a pole, and people bitten by snakes could look at it and not die. Jesus is like the snake on the pole. Jesus died on the cross for us. We should die because of our sin. But if we come to Jesus and ask Him to forgive us, He will take away our sin. Then we will be able to live forever with Jesus in Heaven.
Picture 24: Jesus Is Alive Today!
Moses talked about a great person who would come many years after him. He would be a great prophet, just like Moses. Jesus is that person. Jesus is the Son of God, but He came to earth as a man (human baby). He gave God's message to the people. Then He died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. But He didn't only die. No. He rose again from the grave. Jesus showed that He is stronger than the grave. After He had risen from the grave Jesus talked and ate with many of His friends.
Before this, Jesus had said to His friends, "In my Father's place are many houses. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back again and take you to be with Me. I will not leave you on your own. I will send God's Spirit to you and He will stay in your hearts forever. He will teach you all about God's Word, and He will make you strong to defeat Satan."
Then forty days (one and a half months) later He went with some of His friends to the top of the hill. Jesus said to them, "Take My message to all the people of the world, and remember, I will always be with you". Then Jesus rose up from the ground and went up into a cloud. Now Jesus is in Heaven, and He can help each of us.
Jesus' power is very great. He can make us strong to overcome sin. He can make us strong to defeat Satan and the evil spirits. He can make us strong to obey His message. Then we will be strong to do good things for other people.