Serpent in the Wilderness: Numbers 21:4-9

Sometimes the adjustment from school time to summer time can be a difficult one.  Do you have any complainers in your family?  This might be just the right time to study this story of the complaining Israelites as a family!

Supplies:  God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), a family Bible with this story or access to the internet, cardstock, markers

Gather:  We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time.  Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable.  My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose!  Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).

Story:  Read the story of the Serpent in the Wilderness from your Bible, or you can check out this version: Numbers 21:4-9

Discuss:  What were the Israelites complaining about?  What happened to them after they complained?  What did God tell Moses to do?  After he did this, what happened to the Israelites?  What do you think of snakes?  How would you have felt if this happened to you?

Song:   I Will Call Upon the LordFind the music and lyrics here: Sometimes I teach a song, sometimes we just sing a song we know, and sometimes we have a dance party to the youtube video, which my kids especially love.  The dance party usually leads to playing the same video over and over, and they start singing the song on their own!

Activities:  We were fresh out of bronze poles, but since it is almost always windy where we live, we decided to make kites with serpents on them.  You can find kite-making instructions at: If you don’t have time to do this, you can always have your kids make pictures of a snake on lightweight paper and attach them to a kite you already own.  Here are some pictures of our project in process and completed:

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Prayer:  (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, sometimes we don’t like what is happening, and we complain.  When we feel like complaining, help us to look to you, and live.  In your name we pray, Amen.