Last week in Kids City, we jumped right into our new unit – learning that God is holy. In the lesson, we learned about the last six of the Ten Commandments that God wrote and gave to Moses, and how they teach us how we are supposed to love Him and one another. But those Ten Commandments weren’t the only rules or instructions God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. That’s where we pick up this week.
As we continue following the story of Moses and the Israelites, we now get to learn about the instructions that God gave Moses and the Israelites to build a tabernacle (a “dwelling place”). On Sunday, we learned how the Israelites were given instructions for how to build the tabernacle and then they obeyed God and built it. God continue giving the Israelites laws and instructions to guide them in how to live and to help them understand God’s holiness. This ties in with our key verse for this unit, which is, “I am the Lord, who brought you up from Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:45)
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
As we continue this unit, we continue asking and answering our big picture question every Sunday. We want to encourage you to ask this question throughout the week, as well as during this devotion time. Now is the perfect time to ask your children our big picture question: Who can keep God’s law? No one can keep God’s law perfectly except Jesus.
We love getting to learn more and more truths about who God is every week through the main points of our lessons. This short statements will help us all to remember the story better. Share with your children that the main point for this week is that God told His people to build the tabernacle so He could dwell with them.
While most of the last several chapters of Exodus lay out the instructions for building the tabernacle, we want to focus on Exodus 35:4-40:38 this week. Take some time to read these verses with your family now. (If you’re using the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook, this can be found on page 38).
BIBLE STORY SUMMARY:
To follow along with the story, you can also refer to this Bible story summary.
When Moses was on Mount Sinai with God, God said, “Tell the Israelites to make a tabernacle for Me so that I may dwell among them.” Then God gave Moses the instructions for building the tabernacle, or tent of worship and everything that went inside of it. The tabernacle would be where God would meet with His people.
Moses went down the mountain and gathered all the Israelites together. He told them everything that God had said and asked them to bring materials, such as gold and silver or animal skins and wood, to build the tabernacle. Before long, so many people brought materials that Moses said, “The people are bringing more than enough. We don’t need all of this.” So Moses told the Israelites to stop bringing their offerings.
God gave two men, Bezalel and Oholiab, special building skills to help build the tabernacle. Together, they and the rest of the skilled people worked together to build the tabernacle for God just as God had instructed. Every part of the tabernacle had its special purpose according to God.
When the time came, God told Moses how to set up the tabernacle. God told him how to anoint, which means to pour oil on, the tabernacle so that it would be holy. God told Moses to bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tabernacle. Aaron put on the holy clothing that the workers made and Moses anointed him to be priest. Aaron’s sons were anointed to serve God as priests too.
Moses did exactly what God commanded, and the tabernacle was finally finished. God’s glory filled the tabernacle. God was in a thick cloud and He made a sign for people: If the cloud covered the tabernacle, the people would stay where they were. When the cloud lifted from the tabernacle, the Israelites would move and take the tabernacle with them. The cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle during the day, and fire was inside the cloud at night. All of the Israelites could see it as they traveled.
Now that you’ve read the Bible story, take a minute to review the story with your children by asking these questions.
- What did God tell the people to build? (God told His people to build the tabernacle.)
- What did God give the people so they would know how to build the tabernacle? (instructions)
- What did the people do when the cloud lifted from the tabernacle? (They moved with it.)
- What was inside the cloud of the Lord at night? (fire)
1st-5th grades questions:
- What did God want the Israelites to build? (a tabernacle)
- What were some of the materials needed to build the tabernacle? (gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn; fine linen and goat hair; animal skins; wood; oil; spices; and gemstones)
- Whom did God give special skills for building the tabernacle? (Bezalel and Oholiab)
- What did God command Moses to do to the tabernacle once it was finished? (anoint it with oil)
- What were the Israelites supposed to do about the cloud of God’s presence when it rested or lifted from the tabernacle? (follow the cloud wherever it guided them)
We have such a great time in our big group worship times on Sunday mornings, so we would like to invite your family to spend a little time worshiping through song right now. It’s important for children to see parents singing praises to God. You can sing one of your favorites or use this lyrics video to sing God With Us.
Before you end this devotion time in prayer, we want to encourage you to make this Christ connection with your children. This Christ connection is important because it ties our Bible passage for the week to the Gospel. It connects Jesus with things that happened many years before He came to earth as fully God and fully man, showing that God has been preparing us to have a relationship with Him since the beginning of time.
God told the people of Israel to build a tabernacle. The tabernacle was like a big tent where God met with His people. As part of His plan to save people from sin, God sent Jesus to earth to “tabernacle”, or meet with us.
God instructed the Israelites to build a tabernacle so that He could dwell with them. God desires to be with His people. As part of His plan of salvation, God sent Jesus to “tabernacle”, or dwell with people on earth.
Pray and thank God for teaching the Israelites how God dwells with them. Thank God for sending His son, Jesus, to die for our sins and dwell in our hearts. Now He doesn’t need a physical tabernacle anymore.