This Week's Lesson Preschool and Elementary School

This Week's Lesson

Each week parents can come to this portion of our website to see which lesson we will be teaching on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights.  Parents will be able to know what their children are being taught, and most importanly teach the same truths at home through the resources found on the Link to Information about The Gospel Story Curriculum

God Heals Israel with a Bronze Snake

The Story

Sunday, May 20, 2018 God Heals Israel with a Bronze Snake Numbers 21

Teaching points 

1) God delivers Israel in response to their faith

While traveling through the wilderness, the Israelites are attacked by the king of Arad, a Canaanite. The Israelites call out to God for help. They make a vow to destroy the king of Arad if God will give them victory. The Lord gives them victory, so the Israelites keep their vow and name the place of their victory Hormah.

Their choice of the name Hormah is important. Israel had been defeated by the Canaanites many years earlier when they tried to attack without God’s blessing. That defeat was suffered by the generation of Israelites who refused to enter the Promised Land because they did not trust God, and it happened at a place called Hormah. By now, that generation is dying out in the wilderness. Already, Aaron and Miriam have died. So, the name Hormah, which stood for the defeat and disobedience of the older generation, now stands for the victory and obedience of the younger generation.

2) Israel grumbles in unbelief again and is judged by God

Not long after their deliverance from the king of Arad, the Israelites begin to complain about a lack of water and about food they don’t like. Because of their unbelief and ingratitude, God sends a judgment of snakes to bite the people, and many people die. Once again, Israel has quickly fallen into the sin of complaining and grumbling.

3) God raises up salvation for Israel

When the Israelites realize they have sinned, they ask Moses to pray to God to remove the snakes. But God does not take the snakes away. Instead, he instructs Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone bitten looks up at the snake on the pole and is saved from death.

This is an amazing foreshadowing of how salvation would come through Jesus. Up until now, God has mostly dealt with the Israelites not as individuals but as a group. But through the bronze snake, he deals with them as individuals. This is how it is with us and Jesus: each of us must look to Christ individually in order to be saved.

Where Is Jesus?

How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?

Read John 3:14–15.


The Old Testament is filled with stories that point to Jesus. Here we see sinners healed of the snakebites sent to them as judgment when they look to the upraised snake. It was God who told Moses to put the bronze snake up on a pole.

The snake on the pole pointed forward to Jesus who would one day be lifted up. Because of this, God healed the people and did not count their sins against them. Isn’t it interesting that this Old Testament story precedes the most quoted verse of the entire New Testament? When we read of the bronze snake being lifted up, we should think of Christ.

SWORD Bible Memory | May

Preschool: Blue Dot

1st - 4th Grade: Blue Dot and Green Square

5th - 6th Grades: Blue Dot, Green Square, and Orange Triangle

SWORD Bible Memory Card

 Link to Information about The Gospel Story Curriculum