Moses and the Exodus

Lesson 1 – Moses and the Exodus

Old Testament Heroes Series:

Key Point: God gives me courage

Bible Story: Moses

Bible Reference: Exodus 2-14

Challenge Verse: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7


NOTE: The story of Moses contains so much material that one could spend several weeks teaching it. Our desire today, though, is to give our children an overview of the entire story with particular emphasis on the deliverance from Egypt.


Each class needs the following:

Each class needs 1 beanbag

Each word of the challenge verse on a piece of paper for the Bean Bag Blast Game.

2 twin-sized sheets

Signs for the following: Moses, Pharaoh, Cloud, Pillar of Fire

Memory Verse Poster


For the Bean Bag Blast place a small tape line on the floor before class begins and prepare the Challenge Verse words from the bag in your Resource Box. Also put small tape lines or X’s to mark the beginning and ending points for the Chariot Races.


Control Tool

Anytime you say, “Who does Jesus love?” students should say back, “Me-e-e-e-e-e-e!!”

Leader: Who does Jesus love? / Students: Me-e-e-e-e-e-e!

Body Spellers

(NOTE: This is the same opening as last week except you are only going to spell the word once to lead into a review session.)

In this activity students will work together to use their bodies, lying on the floor, to create certain letters of the alphabet. If you have a large class, split them into two groups and have the two teams race against each other to see who can form the letter the fastest.

Spell each of the following letters one-at-a-time: C / O / U / R / A / G / E


(Divide your class into two teams and have a competition using the following review questions.)

Ask the studentsWhat word did we spell? (Courage)

Ask the studentsLast week we talked about courage. Who remembers what we said courage is? (Courage does not mean that you’re not afraid; it means that something is more important to you than your fear—For example, living for Jesus is more important than the fear of what people will say.)

Ask the studentsWho showed courage in last week’s lesson? (Joseph.)

Ask the studentsHow did Joseph show courage? (He trusted God and did what was right even though bad things kept happening. He also didn’t hold a grudge against his brothers for selling him into slavery.)

Ask the studentsWhat were some of the bad things that happened to Joseph? (His brothers threw him in a well, then they sold him to traders who sold him as a slave in Egypt to Potiphar, who liked him, but when he wouldn’t do something wrong, Potiphar’s wife told lies about him and Potiphar sent him to prison. He spent years in prison before God opened the door to use him in a special way.)

Ask the studentsHow did God bless Joseph? (God blessed everything he did and helped him interpret Pharaoh’s dream and Pharaoh made him second in charge over all Egypt.)

Ask the studentsWhy did God bless Joseph? (Because no matter what happened, Joseph kept trusting God.)

Ask the studentsDid Joseph ever see his family again? (Yes, when a famine hit the land and there was a shortage of food, his family came to Egypt to ask for help from Joseph. But so many years had passed that his brothers didn’t even recognize him.)

Ask the studentsWhat did Joseph tell them about the wrong things they had done to him? (He said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” [Genesis 50:20])

Ask the studentsDid Joseph treated his brothers badly because of what they had done to him? (No. He helped them and Pharaoh brought his whole family down to Egypt and gave them the best lands.)

SAY:  Joseph had courage and trusted God even though bad things kept happening. He also treated his brothers kindly even though they had treated him terribly.

Moses Who?

(Continue the team vs. team competition with your class.)

SAY: Today we will learn about another man who had courage and trusted God but today’s story happened 430 years after Joseph. Remember how Pharaoh gave Joseph’s family, including his father Jacob (also known as Israel), lands in Egypt. As time passed their family grew in number and in time a new king came to Egypt that didn’t remember Joseph or what he had done. This new king saw the Israelites and how many there were and felt threatened by them. He was afraid that if war broke out they might join his enemies, so he made them all to become slaves and forced them to work for him. The Egyptians treated them terribly and worked them hard. Then the king decided to get rid of all the baby boys. That’s when Moses was born. Today were going to talk about Moses but first let’s see how much you know about him.

Ask the studentsWhy did Moses’ mother hide him when he was born and then put him in a basket and send him down the Nile River? (Because Pharaoh had given a command to get rid of all the baby boys. She hid him to save his life.)

Ask the studentsWho found Moses as he was floating down the river? (Pharaoh’s daughter. She adopted him as her own son.)

SAY:  When Moses was a man he left Egypt and became a shepherd in the wilderness, but one day he saw a burning bush.

Ask the studentsWho knows what happened with the burning bush? (God spoke out of it and told Moses to return to Egypt and to tell Pharaoh to release His people from slavery and to let them go.)

SAY:  It took courage for Moses to go back to Egypt and to tell the king that God wanted his people set free.

Ask the studentsWhat did Pharaoh say to Moses’ request? (He said no and every time he refused, God sent a plague (or a terrible tragedy) against the land and every time he refused the plagues grew worse.)

Ask the studentsThere were 10 plagues. How many of them can you name? (The water turned to blood, a plague of frogs, of gnats, of flies, all the Egyptian livestock died, the plague of boils, of hail stones, of locusts, of darkness so that all of Egypt was covered by total darkness for three days, and only when all the first-born people in Egypt died, including Pharaoh’s oldest son, was he willing to let Moses and the Israelites go.)


Tell your students that whenever you say, “Pharaoh,” they are to say, “Let my people go!”

Have a quick competition between the two teams to see which team can be the loudest.

Choose 2 volunteers—Give one the Moses sign. Give the other the Pharaoh sign.

SAY: Every time Moses had gone to Pharaoh (Let my people go!) and had said, “Pharaoh, (Let my people go!) Let my people go!” Pharaoh (Let my people go!) had said “No.” After ten terrible plagues, finally Pharaoh (Let my people go!), let God’s people go. All the Israelites gathered together with Moses and began the journey out of Egypt

Choose 2 volunteers—Give one the Cloud sign. Give the other the Pillar of Fire sign.

Tell the following story:

God led the Israelites toward the Red Sea. In the daytime, God led the way through the desert with what looked like a cloud or a bunch of smoke. At night God led them with a pillar of fire. At all times there was either a cloud or a fire in front of them, guiding them in the right direction. Behind them, though, Pharaoh (Let my people go!) was getting angrier and angrier. Pharaoh (Let my people go!) couldn’t believe he had let the Israelites go. He had lost his slaves. Who would do the hard labor now? So Pharaoh (Let my people go!) called his army together and sent them to catch the Israelites. The army caught up to them by the Red Sea.

The Israelites turned around and saw all Pharaoh’s (Let my people go!) horses and chariots and troops coming toward them. They were terrified! They cried out to Moses (Have your class repeat this), “Why did you bring us to the desert to die? What have you done? It would have been better for us to be slaves than to die here in the desert!”

But Moses told them not to be afraid. (Have Moses say, “Don’t be afraid.) He told them God would not bring them so far out of Egypt just to leave them.

God told Moses to raise his staff and stretch his hand over the Red Sea. So Moses lifted up his staff and the waters parted, leaving a path down the middle. The people of Israel walked across on dry land!

Behind them the pillar of fire that had been leading them blocked the Egyptians from attacking. (Move the Pillar of Fire volunteer between Moses and Pharaoh.) But once it lifted, the army charged into the sea after the Israelites.

Ask the studentsDo you think Moses was afraid? (No, he wasn’t trusting in chariots or horses. His trust was in God.)

SAY:  After all the Egyptians got into the sea and the Israelites got out, God told Moses to lift his hand over the waters. The walls of water crashed in together and swept all the Egyptians away. That day God saved the Israelites from the Egyptians and everyone saw His awesome power.

Control Tool

Leader: Who does Jesus love? / Students: Me-e-e-e-e-e-e!

SAY: Because Jesus loves you, you can trust Him just like Moses did.


Chariot Races

Divide your class into two teams. Have each team form a line behind the START line you marked out using tape before class. Two or three children from each team will serve as horses by grabbing the corners of the team’s blanket while one student rides by sitting on the other half of the blanket. The student riding on the blanket should hold onto the sides of the sheet for safety. When you say go, the “horses” pull the “rider” around the other tape line or X’s you placed before class (about 8 to 10 feet) away and back to the beginning point. The first team to have every member complete the race wins. Also, tell your students to be careful not to swing the riders off and tell the riders to hang on tight but if they fall off, to let go of the sheet so they won’t get any carpet burns. Also, be sure to clear away any chairs or tables in the vicinity of the races.

After the races, call your class together and point them to the challenge verse poster for today. Have them repeat today’s verse after you.


Bible Drill

Ready…Psalm 20:7…Go!

Bean Bag Blast

Have your students line up behind the tape line you put on the floor before class began. Lay out the words for the Challenge Verse in the correct order about five to eight feet away. Give each student an opportunity to throw the beanbag at a word on the floor. When a bean bag lands on a word, remove that word and repeat the entire verse. Continue throwing the beanbag onto the words, repeating the verse as each word is taken away. Continue playing until all the words are gone and the children can repeat the verse from memory.

Control Tool

Leader: Who does Jesus love? / Students: Me-e-e-e-e-e-e!


Ask the following review questions:

– Whom did Pharaoh send to catch the Israelites? (The Egyptian army)

– What did Pharaoh make the Israelites do while they were slaves in Egypt? (Hard work—slave labor.)

– What did God use to guide the Israelites by day and night? (A cloud and a pillar of fire.)

– What did Pharaoh do after he let the Israelites go? (He became angry and sent his army after them.)

– Why was Moses not afraid of the Egyptians when they chased after them? (He trusted God.)

– What did God tell Moses to stretch out over the water in order to part it? (God told Moses to stretch out his staff over the Red Sea.)

Life Questions:

– Tell about a situation when you were afraid to face someone.  (Remember, God gave Moses the courage to face Pharaoh time and again, even though he kept refusing to let the Israelites go.)

– Why did the Israelites say they would rather be slaves in Egypt than fight the Egyptian army? (They knew they couldn’t win against the Egyptians and they weren’t trusting in God.)

– Can you think of a time when you were scared to do what God wanted you to do? Did you still obey Him? Why?


Take Prayer Requests

Pray that your group will have the kind of courage that Moses had.

List Prayer Requests Here

Be sure to pray specifically for each request above.


– Help your students memorize the verse for today

– Practice extra Bible Drills by looking up the Challenge Verse for previous weeks.

*Adapted from Word Action’s Extreme Team: God’s Power in High Gear, VBS Curriculum, 2004.

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