Chapter 4 - Out of Egypt
Timeless Truth: God is the ultimate Deliverer.
Bible Basis: Exodus 1—16:15
Key Verse: Moses answered the people. He said, “Don't be afraid. Stand firm. You will see how the Lord will save you today” (Exodus 14:13, nirv).
Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 4
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity is designed to help your family look to God during hard times and follow Him. The Extra Mile idea will help your family relate to the Israelites and benefit your church.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God sent Moses to bring his people out of Egypt. God will always help his people—including me.
Elementary: God watched over Moses and his people. God watches over me, too.
Middle School: God is the God over all gods. He sees and hears everything. He can overcome any power on earth to help me.
High School: Jesus is the new Passover sacrifice.
Say: God provided for Moses through his entire life, and He provides for our family today. Share a story of God’s provision in your life and then ask
• How did God care for Moses when he was a baby? (Pharaoh’s daughter finding him in Nile River; being raised by his own mother as an infant; growing up in the palace)
• How did God provide for Moses when he was asking Pharaoh to let the Israelite people go? (He protected Moses and gave him his brother Aaron to speak.)
• How did God provide for the Israelites when they left Egypt? (Guiding them with a pillar of fire or cloud; parting the Red Sea; manna in the morning.)
• How does God provide for you?
Say: Pharaoh was very stubborn and hardened his heart against God. Share a story where God was working in your life or trying to get your attention, but you didn’t see it until later. Ask
• Do you know a friend, teacher or relative who’s hardened their heart against God and refuses to see Him?
• Why do you think people stubbornly refuse to see God when He makes himself known in creation and everyday circumstances?
• What can you do to open people’s eyes to the truth about God? (Share the good news about Jesus with them; pray for them; be their friend.)
• If somebody totally refuses to acknowledge God, what should you do? (Pray that the Holy Spirit softens their heart; continue to show them God’s love.)
Grab a flashlight and bring your family to a dark room or into the basement. This activity can also be done outside on a dark night. Explain that according to the Bible, God led the Israelites at night with a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21). By following the pillar of fire at night and the pillar of cloud during the day, God’s people always knew exactly where to go. Tell your family that you’re going to play a game of “Reverse Hide and Seek.” Instead of one person counting and everybody hiding, the person holding the flashlight will hide and everybody else will count. Have a parent hide first. After everybody counts to 20, let them search for the person hiding. Once that person is found, let him hide again. This time after everybody has counted, wait a couple minutes and then turn on the flashlight before anybody finds you. With the flashlight on, allow every family member to get to you. Let other family members take turns hiding.
When you’re finished, ask:
• Were you ever scared being stuck in the dark and not knowing where to go?
• Was it easier to find the hidden person when the flashlight was on or off?
• How does God shine His “flashlight” today, so it’s easier for us to follow Him? (He gave us the Bible; instruction from parents; youth leaders at church.)
• How does God’s light deliver us and keep us safe?
• God’s “flashlight” is on all the time. How does it make you feel to know you can go to Him whenever you’re in need?
• The Bible says, “You are in the light because of what the Lord has done. Live like children of the light” (Ephesians 5:8). What are some ways we can live as children of the light?
On a Sunday night (or early on a Monday morning if you wake up before your kids), tell your family that you’re going to eat breakfast like the Israelites did when they escaped Egypt. The Bible says that thin flakes of bread appeared on the ground every morning (Exodus 15:15-16). The Israelites would gather up enough for their family and eat it throughout the day. The next morning a whole new crop of manna, which comes from the Hebrew words “What is it?” would be waiting for them to eat. Instead of manna, explain that your family will eat oatmeal every morning. Calculate the cost savings of eating oatmeal instead of cereal, doughnuts or eggs (whatever is your family’s normal breakfast food) and have your children donate that money to the church the following Sunday to do God’s work.
At some point during the week, ask your family what the Israelites must’ve felt like after eating manna every day for years.
Chapter 3 - Joseph, From Slave to Deputy Pharaoh
Bible Basis: Genesis 37–47:11
Key Verse: Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. … You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good.” —Genesis 50:19–20, nirv
Resource: The Story: Teen Edition, The Story for Kids/Children/Little Ones: Chapter 3
Use the Table Talk questions to start a discussion around the dinner table during the week. The Living Faith activity is designed to help your family discuss the pitfalls of favoritism. The Extra Mile idea will get your family into your neighborhood as you meet the needs of hungry people in your community.
Get the Point:
Preschool: God took care of Joseph. God also takes care of me.
Elementary: God worked things out for Joseph’s good. God knows what’s good for me.
Middle School: Through the difficult times in life, God is with me and has an ultimate purpose for my life.
High School: Joseph’s life shows that good decisions don’t always result in positive earthly consequences. Following God is it’s own reward—but sometimes these rewards are limited to spiritual rewards.
• Can anybody remember a funny or weird dream you’ve had recently? (If nobody remembers one, share one of your own to get the conversation started.)
• Do you think that dream has any chance of coming true? Would you like it to come true?
• What do you think is the difference between your dreams and Joseph’s dreams?
• What are your hopes and dreams for your life? (Let children share and then tell them some of your hopes: that they’ll always follow God; that you’ll always have a strong relationship and love them; that they’ll use their talents to serve God.)
• Has anybody told lies about you and gotten you in trouble, like Potiphar’s wife did to Joseph?
• What did it feel like? Did you do anything to get even?
• Has anybody made promises to you and then not followed through, like the drink-tester did to Joseph?
• How did that make you feel?
• What can you learn from Joseph about patience and continuing to believe in God’s plan during difficult times?
Instruct each family member to bring his or her favorite possession to the living room. It must be only one thing, such as a toy, golf club, stuffed animal, photo, Wii gaming system or car (of course, this would require a trip outside). Once everybody has chosen something, start with the youngest family member and have her explain why that item is her favorite. Continue around the room until each person gets to share about his possession.
After everybody is finished explain that it’s natural to have a favorite thing. Some items just fit your personality and specific tastes better than others. Some things have more sentimental value and mean more to you. But when it comes to families, favoritism can cause some problems.
• How did it make Joseph’s brothers feel that Jacob “loved Joseph more than any of his other sons” (Genesis 37:3)?
• Were Joseph’s brothers justified in selling him into slavery?
• Who was more at fault—Jacob or Joseph’s brothers—for what happened to Joseph?
• If Jacob would’ve acted differently, do you think Joseph’s life would’ve been different?
• Have you ever been in a group or team where somebody else was the favorite?
• Have you ever been treated as the favorite? How did that make you feel?
At the end, pray for God to give your family the wisdom and ability to love each other fully and unconditionally without showing favoritism.
God gave Joseph wisdom to prepare for the coming famine. Through God’s provision, people were saved when there was no food. Take an evening as a family to go door-to-door in your neighborhood to gather nonperishable food for a community or church food bank. Have your children explain to the neighbors exactly where the food will go and who it will benefit. Make sure to visit the houses of people you don’t know. Bring a wagon or shopping bags to collect food donations. After delivering the items to the food bank, write a thank-you note to the neighbors that contributed and revisit those homes to let them know the results of your family food drive.