April 18, 2021: God Dwells with His People

Today’s lesson is based on Exodus 25-40

Let’s Start!   

Let’s Watch!

We’ve been following the story of Moses and the Israelites for a few weeks now. Last week, we talked about how God made a covenant with his people – He would be their God, and he would bless them as His people; and they agreed to live the way He wanted them to. For a long time, it was just Moses who talked to God and spent time with Him – Let’s watch a video to see how, and then we’ll talk about what changed!

Woah, pretty cool for Moses, right? But, God had made a covenant with all of His people. He wanted to be in relationship with them (not just with Moses). So he told the people to build a tabernacle. What is a tabernacle? Glad you asked!!

Parents, if you want to explore the idea of a covenant relationship and the tablernacle God asked His people to build in more depth, check out this video from The Bible Project.

Let’s Talk!  

For today’s lesson, grab a large blanket or sheet and some tall chairs to make a tent while you are talking about the tabernacle!

  • Open your Bible to Exodus 25 and read verses 8-9
  • What is a tabernacle? A tent
  • With the tabernacle, God would dwell with his people! Now, do you think God actually lives in a tent or a house? He’s God, so he’s everywhere! He can’t just be in only one spot.
  • That’s right! But, when he chose to dwell among his people, his presence came to the tabernacle. He came close to his people there so that they could spend time with Him.
  • Have you ever built something out of legos? When you open up a new box of legos, what else is in the box besides the bricks? (the instructions!)
  • You can build some pretty cool things out of legos on your own, but you won’t be able to build exactly what the set is supposed to be unless you follow the instructions, right?
  • The Tabernacle was the same way! God gave his people specific instructions for how to build his tabernacle. They brought fabric to make beautiful curtains to hang inside, they brought incense and spices to burn to create a nice smell, and olive oil to put inside lamps and burn, kind of like a candle.
  • The people could come inside the courtyard of the tabernacle (or the outside area) to spend time with God. Who do you like to spend time with?
  • Then, God told his people to make something else. Let’s read Exodus 25:10-11 to find out what it was!
  • So the Ark of the Covenant was like a huge, shiny gold covered box. God’s presence would dwell above the box in the tabernacle.
  • But the ark sat in a room called the Holy of Holies and a thick curtain separated it from everything else. What does holy mean? Holy means set apart, which means that God, because he is Holy, can’t dwell with sin.
  • In the Old Testament, when the tabernacle was built, Jesus hadn’t come to defeat sin yet, so the big curtain separated God’s presence from most of the people. He was too holy for them to come too close to Him. But God had a plan. One day, Jesus would come so that we didn’t have to be separated from God’s presence. And when he died and rose again, that big thick curtain got torn in two. Now, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell inside everyone who chooses to trust in Jesus.
  • God dwells with US!

Let’s Do! 

God chose to dwell with his people in the tabernacle – and gave them some pretty specific instructions for what it was supposed to be like! Think about your perfect place to live (or dwell), what would it be like? Would it be a house, a tree house, a huge building, a large tent?

  • Grab a piece of paper and draw your ideal dwelling place!

Let’s Memorize!

Let’s Pray! 

  • God wanted to be with his people, so he asked them to build the tabernacle. But that wasn’t all. He wanted to be even closer to us than in a tent, and he knew that our sin would get in the way. So Jesus came to die for our sins. So that we don’t have to be separated from God. When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us! We are never alone because he is ALWAYS with us!
  • Is there anything you want to talk to Him about today? Tell him what’s on your mind, and then thank Him for always being with you!

Let’s Bless!

Parents, end your prayer time by praying the following blessing over your child(ren):

May you know that God dwells with you no matter where you go. May you sense Him with you today, and every day!