3: The Birdcage-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class July 16, 2022.

Main Theme: God leads His people into situations where He knows there will be suffering, for a greater good.

Read in Class: Exodus 14. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: Why did God bring the Israelites to a place where He knew they would be terrified? In verse 31 what lesson did the Israelites learn from this experience? 

Apply: Why is trusting God sometimes so hard, even though we may know many of the wonderful promises He has for us? Recount some difficult situation you believe the Lord led you into in order to teach you to “believe” in and to “fear” Him.

Share: Your friend says, “In the Bible we read about faith moving mountains, and God opening up the sea, but we never see that today.” How do you reply to your friend?

Read in Class: Exodus 15:22-27 and Exodus 17:1-7. What common thread do we find in these passages?

Study: What did God reveal to Israel about Himself at Marah and at Rephidim? What lessons should they have learned?

Apply: In Rephidim, what question did the children of Israel ask? Exod. 17:7. Have you ever asked the same question? If so, why? How did you feel, and what lessons did you learn after you had it answered? How many times do we need to get it answered before we stop asking it altogether?

Share: Your friend says she wonders how a piece of wood made the water sweet. Any ideas? Here is one idea.

Read in Class: Luke 4:1-13. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What lessons can you learn from this account about how to overcome temptation and not give in to sin?

Apply: What resources did Jesus use to overcome temptation? Which of these resources have you used to overcome temptations?

Share: Your friend asks you why the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted? Does God lead us into temptation? What do you share with your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Peter 1:6-9. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What ultimate assurance does Peter seek to give these people amid their trials? What does this hope mean for us, too?

Apply: How have you benefited by your trials?

Share: Can you think of someone going through a particularly difficult trial? Can you reach out to them this week with a visit, phone call, or card, offering them encouragement and hope from the Bible?

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NLT

How a Tree Made Life Sweet Again

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And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they [were] bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, [which] when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.  Exodus 15:23-26

Why did God have Moses put a tree in the bitter water? How did a tree make the water sweet? In 1 peter 2:24, Peter refers to the cross as a tree.

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

In a world of hate and bitterness, Jesus died on that tree to save us from a bitter world. Sin has caused suffering and bitterness but Jesus was lifted up on the cross to make our lives sweet again. I and many others believe this is why Moses used a tree to make bitter water sweet again.

If life has made you bitter, Jesus is offering living water that can make your life sweet again.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 14:13-14 NKJV

I would like to invite you to find the sweet life through fellowship with Jesus and other believers, by finding a Christ-centered Bible based church in your area. You can find one here.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.