One way to keep the interest of even the youngest child when teaching the Bible is to keep the stories character-driven. It’s important to make certain you know the truth about the character you are teaching, however. You may or may not use all the information you glean about a person from the Bible, but the more you know, the better you understand that person’s motives and personality and can more easily convey this information to the children. I will use Moses as an example and present a character sketch of him.
Moses is a man of many firsts–a man blessed by being used of God in many mighty ways. He is considered Israel’s greatest prophet. Moses was the first to proclaim God’s Word to whole nations rather than just to his own family or individuals. While Abraham is the father of the faith, he did not prophesy. While Joseph led the nation of Egypt and of Israel, he was a secular ruler, not a prophet. Moses is the first to declare God’s Word to both Israel and Egypt as nations.
Moses was the first leader of the new nation of Israel. When the children of Israel entered Egypt, they were not a nation, just a very large family. They were considered part of the nation of Egypt until Moses lead them into freedom.
Moses was the first law-giver to Israel. God choose to entrust His Law to Moses to be declared to the people.
Moses was the first man entrusted with putting God’s Word into writing, inscribing the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
Moses was the first human used by God to do miracles. God had previously performed miracles independently of man, but chose to perform His miracles at this time through Moses.
There are many parallels between the life of Moses and that of Messiah:
Satan tried to kill Moses at birth by moving Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys in Goshen.
Satan tried to kill Messiah at birth by moving Herod to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem.
Moses had to leave a life of ease and great privilege in order to save his people.
Messiah had to leave the right hand of the Father in order to save His people.
Moses saved his people from slavery to Egypt.
Messiah saved His people from slavery to sin.
Moses was a shepherd for 40 years in preparation for shepherding his people.
Messiah is the Great Shepherd of His people.
Moses gave the Law to his people so they would know how to live to please God.
Messiah gives us the Holy Spirit so we will know how to live to please God.
Moses set God’s Word down in writing for all generations to come.
Messiah is God’s Word, showing us God’s message for all time to come.
Aside from parallels between Moses’ life and Christ’s, there are many types of Christ which God reveals through Moses’ ministry. The first and most obvious one is God’s Word itself.
All of the sacrifices made in the tabernacle are types of Christ.
Everything in the tabernacle and even the materials the tabernacle is made of are pictures of Christ.
The manna, the bread of heaven sent to feed the Israelites, is a picture of Christ which He Himself mentions in the Gospel of John chapter 6. If Jesus felt it important enough to preach a sermon on, we must certainly take it seriously and teach it to our children.
The rock Moses strikes in the wilderness to bring water is a picture of Christ–water is always a symbol of the Holy Spirit and we received the Spirit from Christ. Moses is told to bring water from a rock twice during his 40 years of wilderness wandering. The first time he is told to strike the rock–a picture of Christ being stricken by God for our sins. The second time he is told only to speak to the rock. Christ was only stricken once; after that, we need only ask to receive from His the living water. Moses disobeyed and struck the rock a second time, and for that act of disobedience he is not permitted to enter the Promised Land. The fact that the punishment for this seemingly small infraction is so severe tells me how seriously God takes His pictures. Moses had no idea in the world that he was creating pictures of a future Messiah and yet was held accountable for messing one of the pictures up. How much more accountable will we be held if we don’t teach about God’s pictures which we have the privilege of knowing about. We must be faithful to teach our children about these pictures of Jesus in the Old Testament.