We are so grateful that you have chosen to take advantage of the resources on this page! Here you will find things like the Bible memory verse, discussion starter questions, and an activity or two that you can facilitate at home. This is your chance to get a feel for what it’s like to be one of our small group leaders, and we hope that you’ll embrace this unique time in the life of your family. As always, we are available to help in any way we can – let us know if there are other resources that would be beneficial to you and your family.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION:
Who can keep God’s law? No one can keep God’s law perfectly except Jesus.
God told His people to build the tabernacle so He could dwell with them.
Leviticus 11:45 - “I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy.”
Look up a drawing of the tabernacle, so the kids can visualize what it looked like. Invite them to explore the details of it together while you read through Hebrews 9:1-12. Encourage them to point to the room or object on their paper whenever you read about it. Before you begin reading, remind them that Hebrews is a book in the New Testament that was written thousands of years after Moses lived. It was even written after Jesus died and rose again!
- Holy Place—lampstand, table, presentation loaves, priest Heb. 9:2,6
- Most Holy Place—second curtain, ark of the covenant Heb. 9:3-4
SAY: The author of Hebrews tells us that the offerings given in the tabernacle were not enough to pay for sin forever. We needed a better kind of offering— Jesus’ offering. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price to set us free from sin. Have you ever trusted in Jesus? Do you want to know more about following Him?
Option 1: Build an indoor fort
Provide several bedsheets or large blankets. Consider providing clothespins to help kids secure the sheets in place. Explain that kids will work together to build an indoor fort, but their fort must meet the following requirements:
- Each section of the fort must have at least two walls.
- No section may be completely enclosed; it may have no more than three walls.
- The fort must have an entrance large enough for two or more kids to enter at the same time.
- The fort must have at least one exit, apart from the front entrance.
SAY: God gave His people instructions for building a tabernacle. God’s instructions were very detailed, but they had a purpose. Not only did they show that God is holy and has authority over His people, they showed that each part of the tabernacle had a purpose. The parts of the tabernacle taught God’s people about God’s relationship to them. For example, the veil that separated the holy place from the most holy place was meant to show that God, who is holy, is separated from people, who are sinful. Our forts are fun for playing in, but the tabernacle had a very important purpose. It was a place for people to worship God and give offerings and sacrifices. God told His people to build the tabernacle so He could dwell with them.
Option 2: Construction paper curtains
Read Exodus 26:1 aloud. Explain that cherubim are angels. Invite kids to design their own “curtains” using blue, purple, red, and white construction paper. Tell them no one knows for sure what the curtains looked like, other than the fact that there were cherubim, or angels, in the pattern.
SAY: The tabernacle required many curtains. The 11 goat hair curtains formed a tent over the outside. There were also 10 linen curtains for inside. (These were made of the blue, purple, and red yarn.) Another curtain separated the holy of holies from the rest of the tabernacle. God’s presence was in the holy of holies, above the ark of the covenant. God told His people to build the tabernacle so He could dwell with them.
The Israelites were supposed to listen very carefully to God’s instructions for building the tabernacle. How closely did you listen to the Bible story today? Let’s see how many of these questions you can answer!
- Why did God want the people to build the tabernacle? (so He could dwell with them, Ex. 25:8)
- Could the people take down the tabernacle and carry it with them? (yes, Ex. 40:36) 3. What did God give Bezalel (BEHZ uh lehl) and Oholiab (oh HOH lih ab)? (He gave them special skills for building and creating, Ex. 35:30-35)
- What did Moses tell the Israelites to stop doing? (to stop bringing their offerings, Ex. 36:6-7)
- Some of the curtains were made of what type of hair? (goat hair, Ex. 36:14)
- What did the movement of the cloud mean? (If the cloud covered the tabernacle, the people stayed. If the cloud lifted, the Israelites moved; Ex. 40:36-37)
- Who can keep God’s law? No one can keep God’s law perfectly except Jesus. Why do you think we don’t need a tabernacle today? [Allow kids to respond.]
The tabernacle was a place where God could dwell with His people. God showed His people how much He loved to be with them. But when God sent Jesus, He demonstrated how much He wanted to be with us in an even greater way. God the Son became a man and lived among us. Jesus returned to heaven, and God gives the Holy Spirit to live inside everyone who believes in Him. Now we can worship God anytime and anywhere!
Stretch a length of yarn or string across the room. Write the words of the key passage on various colors of construction paper. Lay the pieces of paper in the middle of the floor. Give each participant a clothespin. On your cue, they will run to the middle and grab a word. They will work together to pin the words in the correct order on the Clothesline. Guide kids to read the key passage aloud. Then mix up the words and play again to allow everyone a chance to participate.
God saved His people from slavery so they could worship Him, the one true God. One way the people could worship Him was by obeying His commands, which we learned about last week. Another way was through praise and offerings given at the tabernacle. We will learn more about offerings next week. God told His people to build the tabernacle so He could dwell with them. God loves to be with His people!
Invite the kids to write words of worship to God on their journal page.
SAY: God is not distant. God loves to dwell with His people. As part of His plan of salvation, God sent Jesus to “tabernacle,” or dwell, with people on earth. Guide kids to write a few sentences on their journal pages, describing how they feel knowing that Jesus brings people back to God. Through Jesus, believers are no longer separated from Him! Explain that God is always with us, dwelling with believers through the Holy Spirit.