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The Israelites Complain Sunday School Lesson

The Israelites Complain Sunday School Lesson
Check out our FREE The Israelites Complain Sunday School Lesson. Teach kids to stop their whining, trust God, and enjoy the ride! And by the end of this lesson, kids will learn to stop grumbling and enjoy life and the things God has given them. This lesson is great for every Children's Ministry, Kids Church, and Sunday School! The most common phrase uttered on a road trip (after “I need the potty!”) is “Are we there yet?” How many good times are spoiled by grumbling and complaining? Instead of whining all the time, we need to learn to trust God and enjoy the ride. When we remember that God loves us and is faithful, we can let go of our frustration. Whatever we are going through, it will pass, and God will lead us to our next destination. You don’t need all the answers. You don’t need to know how God is going to meet your needs. You simply need to trust him and obey. And while you’re at it - give Mom and Dad a break too. Your parents love you, and if they’re taking you on a vacation, it’s because they love you. Complaining never made anyone less hungry. It never got anyone any closer to their destination. Let go of the spirit of complaint and trust the Lord. He won’t let you go hungry, and even if you don’t know where you’re going, he will get you there safe and sound. And, if you like this lesson we have over 100 more free Sunday School Lessons for Kids! Take a look at our Summer Vacation 8-Week Children's Ministry Curriculum.

The Israelites Complain Sunday School Lesson:

BOTTOM LINE:

Stop your whining, trust God, and enjoy the ride!

OBJECTIVE:

Kids will learn to stop grumbling and enjoy life.

KEY PASSAGE:

Exodus 16:1-16. The Israelites grumble against Moses.

MEMORY VERSE:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23

SUMMARY:

The most common phrase uttered on a road trip (after “I need the potty!”) is “Are we there yet?” How many good times are spoiled by grumbling and complaining? Instead of whining all the time, we need to learn to trust God and enjoy the ride.

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

Teach us to be grateful at all times and not to grumble. Help us to enjoy the blessings you give us every day.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

MEMORY VERSE

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

“Work at everything you do with all your heart. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23 (NIrV)

LARGE GROUP:

Put the verse on the big screen and read it aloud with the kids.

SMALL GROUP:

Ask the kids what they think the writer was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SKIT

ARE WE THERE YET?

ITEMS NEEDED:

6 chairs

Steering wheel (optional)

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

3M/3F

CHARACTERS:

Moses

Sarah, George, Sharon, Brian, and Julia- Ungrateful brats

Six chairs are arranged on stage facing the audience in three rows of two like a mini-van. Moses is in the driver’s seat. Sharon’s in the front passenger seat. Julia and Brian are in the middle, and Sarah and George are in the back.

SARAH: Are we there yet?

MOSES: No.

SARAH: Are we there yet?

MOSES: No.

SARAH: Are we there yet?

MOSES: No.

BRIAN: I need to go potty.

MOSES: We just stopped for a potty.

BRIAN: Well I need to stop again!

GEORGE: I’m hungry!

JULIA: Can you turn the radio on?

MOSES: No.

JULIA: Why not?

MOSES: Because we’re in the middle of the wilderness! There’s no radio out here.

SARAH: Are we there yet?

MOSES: No!

GEORGE: I need a drink!

SHARON: Do you even know where we are?

MOSES: Sort of.

SHARON: What do you mean, sort of?

MOSES: We’re going to the Promised Land.

SHARON: How far is it?

MOSES: I don’t know.

SHARON: How long til we get there?

MOSES: I don’t know!

BRIAN: I need to go potty!

MOSES: We’ll stop for a potty in a little while.

JULIA: Can you put in some Van Halen? I love Van Halen.

MOSES: I don’t have any Van Halen.

JULIA: What about Bon Jovi?

MOSES: I don’t have Bon Jovi.

JULIA: Well what music do you have?

MOSES: I don’t have any music!

JULIA: (groans) This is so boring!

SHARON: So you have no idea where this land is?

MOSES: No.

SHARON: Then how will we get there?

MOSES: God will show us.

SHARON: You know who else could show us? On-Star! You press that button, and a nice On-Star rep will tell us where we ARE!!

SARAH: Are we there YET??

MOSES: No!!

BRIAN: I need to go potty!

MOSES: I don’t need On-Star, okay?

SHARON: Do you have a map?

MOSES: Do you see that pillar of cloud out there? God’s in that cloud, and that’s how I know where to go.

GEORGE: Does the pillar of cloud know where we can find a McDonalds?

MOSES: There are no McDonalds out here!

GEORGE: But I’m starving!

MOSES: God will provide our food!

GEORGE: He better have fries with it!

SARAH: Are we there yet?

MOSES: NO!!

BRIAN: I need to go potty - NOW!!

SHARON: So what happens when it gets dark? Hmm? You can’t see a pillar of cloud at night.

MOSES: Then God will give us a pillar of fire.

SHARON: Oh that sounds safe. Tailgating a pillar of fire as we blaze down the Interstate?

JULIA: AC/DC wrote a song about that. Do you have any AC/DC?

MOSES: NO!!

JULIA: I want some music!!

GEORGE: If I don’t get anything to eat, I’m going to die!!

SARAH: Are we there YET???

MOSES: NO!!!!

BRIAN: I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!

Moses slams on the brakes. Sound effect of squealing brakes. Everyone dips forward and then back.

BRIAN: Never mind, just went.

MOSES: All right, I’ve had about enough of this. I took you people out of slavery and bondage! I’m taking you to the land God promised our ancestor Abraham, a land of milk and honey! And what have I heard ever since we left? I wanna eat! I wanna go potty! I wanna hear the radio! Are we there yet?

SHARON: On-Star.

MOSES: God has promised to give us a home, food, security, and yes, there will be toilets and radio! But if you all don’t stop whining and crying and complaining, so help me I will turn this van around and take you all straight back to Egypt!

ALL EXCEPT MOSES: GOOD!!!!

End.

OBJECT LESSON

ITEMS NEEDED:

GPS

Show the kids the GPS. Just for fun, let them pick a few places and have the GPS give directions. How far is Disney World?

When Moses and the Israelites traveled the wilderness, they had no maps to guide them. Only God’s presence in a pillar of cloud and fire. People complained.

Years later, people traveled the ocean by boat to America. The trip was long, and they went for days with no land in sight. People complained.

When the people traveled west in the wagon trains, they had nothing to guide them - no maps, no road signs, nothing. People complained.

Today, we have this, a global positioning device. This little device uses satellite technology to tell you where you are, how to get to your destination, and where the nearest place is to sleep, grab a burger, or use a potty. GPS has changed the way we travel and the way we take vacations. It’s taken the mystery out of where we are and when we will get there. And yet even with all this information at our fingertips - people still complain.

It’s sad how much we complain, especially when you consider all that we have been given. God loves us so much, and he is always faithful to meet our needs. Instead of focusing on all the things we wish we had, we should turn our eyes to the many blessings he’s given us.

The next time you start to complain, stop yourself. Think about where you are. Think about what God has given you. It’s a great cure for complaining, and a great step forward to enjoying more of life.

LARGE GROUP GAME

ROAD TRIP

ITEMS NEEDED:

2 Chairs

Cards (see below)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Choose two teams of two. Send one team out of the room where they cannot hear what is going on.

The game is a cross between Password and I-Spy. Have the two teammates sit back to back. One teammate is shown a series cards with something that might be seen on a road trip. (See below.) They will start with, “I spy with my little eye something that starts with ___.” Their partner will ask a set of yes or no questions to try to guess the object. If they guess correctly, the team moves on to the next card.

Each team will have 60 seconds to play. The team with the most correct guesses in 60 seconds wins.

Items for the cards:

Stop sign

Roller coaster

McDonalds

Gas Station

Taco Bell

Hotel

Water Park

Zoo

Museum

Beach

VARIATION:

For younger kids, pick two players and have an adult give all the clues.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

Don’t get impatient with God; sit back and enjoy the ride.

LARGE GROUP LESSON

BOTTOM LINE:

Stop your whining, trust God, and enjoy the ride!

OBJECTIVE:

Kids will learn to stop grumbling and enjoy life.

KEY PASSAGE:

Exodus 16:1-16. The Israelites grumble against Moses.

INTRO

Millions of families in this country will leave home this summer on vacation. They’ll travel to places like Disney World, Six Flags, and the beach. When they get there, they’ll visit museums, ride on sightseeing bus tours, ride roller coasters, make sandcastles, play in the water, or just lie in the sun.

But standing between those families and those happy memories is the road trip, the long journey from your driveway to the vacation paradise of your dreams. That means long hours in the cars, listening to mom and dad’s old music, restroom stops, and that age old question: “Are we there yet?”

There’s an old saying that says it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters. But most people would just as soon skip the journey because they can’t stop complaining. They need a potty. They want something different on the radio. They want something to eat. They want to know where they are, where they are going, and when will they get there!

Even though cars and road trips are a fairly recent invention, complaining about the journey is nothing new. In fact if we go back to the book of Exodus we’ll see that Moses dealt with more than his share of complainers. Take a listen to what Moses had to deal with on that long road to Canaan.

READ EXODUS 16:1-16

MAIN POINT

If you don’t remember the story, the children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt. They had worked for centuries under the cruel hand of the Egyptians. Their children had been murdered by their cruel masters, and the Lord had performed great miracles to set them free. But when their bellies started to growl in the desert, what did the people say? “We were better off in Egypt, where we were slaves!”

The Israelites were a truly ungrateful lot, but sometimes, we sound just as bad. Mom and Dad go to all the trouble to plan a fun family get away, and all we do on the way is complain about being hot, being hungry, or not getting to listen to our music. And it’s not just with Mom and Dad on road trips, where we complain. We complain in school, we complain at home, and we complain to God.

This is not what God wants for his followers. God wants us to be people who embrace the journey, who don’t mind a little delayed gratification. He wants us to trust him, and he has given us plenty of reasons to do so!

DRIVE IT HOME

First of all, we can trust God and let go of our worries because he loves us enough to meet our needs. When the Israelites complained about the food situation, God didn’t just tell them to suck it up until the next exit. He sent them all the food they would need.

God isn’t going to neglect us any more than he did Israel. He won’t always answer in the way we expect, but he never fails to give us what we need.

The second reason we have to trust God and not complain is the Bible itself. In the Bible we find story after story that prove God’s faithfulness. God promised Abraham a son in his old age and delivered. God stuck by Joseph in prison and eventually led him to the throne of Egypt, where he saved his family from famine. God heard the cries of his captive people and sent Moses to set them free.

The children of Israel had these stories too, but they seemed to ignore them. Instead of trusting the God of Abraham and Joseph who had already delivered them from slavery, they cried and complained for the few creature comforts they missed in Egypt.

We need to remember these stories of faithfulness, especially the one about Jesus coming to die for our sins. When we remember these moments, we are reminded of God’s goodness. We may not see what God is doing, but the stories of God’s faithfulness can carry us through those times until his perfect plan is revealed.

Finally, we need to trust God and not complain so we can enjoy the journey. God doesn’t want us to only live for the best of times. We can have joy every day - even in those long car rides.

When we remember that God loves us and is faithful, we can let go of our frustration. Whatever we are going through, it will pass, and God will lead us to our next destination.

You don’t need all the answers. You don’t need to know how God is going to meet your needs. You simply need to trust him and obey. And while you’re at it - give Mom and Dad a break too. Your parents love you, and if they’re taking you on a vacation, it’s because they love you.

Complaining never made anyone less hungry. It never got anyone any closer to their destination. Let go of the spirit of complaint and trust the Lord. He won’t let you go hungry, and even if you don’t know where you’re going, he will get you there safe and sound.

CLOSE WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Teach us to be grateful at all times and not to grumble. Help us to enjoy the blessings you give us every day.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened on a road trip with your family?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

Colossians 3:23

Ask the kids what they think the writer was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY

Play a game of musical chairs with the kids.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read Exodus 16:1-16

Where were the children of Israel?

What complaints did they have about their situation?

What did the Israelites start saying about the time when they lived in Egypt?

How did God provide bread for the Israelites to eat?

How does this story remind us of God’s goodness?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for your awesome love. Thank you for providing for us and meeting all our needs. Forgive us for the times we have complained, and teach us to remember all your blessings.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH)

ICEBREAKER

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened on a road trip with your family?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

Colossians 3:23

Ask the kids what they think the writer was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY

Have some of the kids teach the others their favorite road trip games.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read Exodus 16:1-16

Why were the children of Israel complaining?

How did God provide for the Israelites?

Did the manna and quail stop the complaining?

How does this story remind us of God’s goodness?

Why is it important to remember these stories when we want to complain?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for your awesome love. Thank you for providing for us and meeting all our needs. Forgive us for the times we have complained, and teach us to remember all your blessings.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

For your convenience, you can also download the entire PDF version of this The Israelites Complain Children's Ministry Lesson (just click the link). 

Here's a video from Saddleback kids that you might find helpful to go along with your Sunday School Lesson on the Israelites Complaining. 

Take a look at the links below for other ideas for teaching the Israelites Complain Sunday School Lesson: 

 

God Provides in the Desert (Exodus 16-17) Sunday School Lesson

 

 

Moses and the People of Israel: Children's Bible Lesson

 

 

Lesson: Manna from Heaven - Sunday School Sources