Numbers 21:9 “And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.”


 More murmuring by the Israelites led to punishment from God in the form on snakes.  People were dying.  They cried out to the Lord, and He told Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole and lift it UP.  Those who looked at this were saved.  It wasn’t the snake on a pole that healed them.  That would have led to idol worship.  It was obedience to the Lord that led to their salvation.

In the same way, we don’t look at a wooden cross to save us.  We look at the obedience of Jesus on the cross to lay down His life for us.  His shed blood paid the price that was required of us.  We look UP to Him for our salvation.  It comes from no one or nothing else.


 Now this story may be a little tricky to teach your kids.  I don’t suggest getting a stick and taping a snake to it.  LOL.  But the story is kind of cool.  Snakes everywhere!  Kids will listen up when they hear this story.  But make sure you tell them why they were there.  The real story is they were disobedient.

Now I know your children have been and will be disobedient.  You are not going to ask God to send snakes to bite them.  But there are consequences to disobedience.  All disobedience is an affront to God.  That’s the first part of the message.  But it continues.  There is also forgiveness after repentance.  Bam!  That’s the key!

Are you disobedient right now?  Have you confessed that to the Lord?  Are you looking to Him?  He stands ready to forgive and restore.  Let Him.

Lord, thank You for healing and forgiveness.  Convict me, Lord, when I grumble and complain.  Let me set the right example for others, especially my children.



 Numbers 17:8 “Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.” 


 What a way to show the people whom God had chosen to lead!  There had just been the uprising.  People had died.  They were grumbling about who was in charge and who was holy.  God decided to show them whom He had chosen to lead.  But why didn’t God just tell them?  He wanted to give them a reminder for the coming generations.

Now, you may not think it too extraordinary for an almond stick (not the tree) to sprout, produce blooms and then ripe almonds overnight.  Did you know that it normally takes about six months from the time of the blooming until there are ripe almonds?  So, an overnight production would have been amazing.  God wanted this rod put in the ark as a reminder to them and future generations.


Have you ever had your children question your authority as a parent?  If you haven’t, I pray you don’t.  But remember this – no amount of questioning can change the fact that YOU are the parent and YOU are in charge.  Children have to be reminded of that sometime, especially as they enter those teenage years.

This would be a great passage to show them.  God has established roles for each of us to fill.  Parents lead children, not the other way around.  Parents, especially fathers, have the responsibility to train their children.  Sometimes that is not easy.  That doesn’t diminish the responsibility.

Are you leading well?  Do you lead by intimidation or by love?  That is the key to leading your children.  I haven’t said this in a while, but you are not just raising children.  You are raising child raisers.  You are raising your grandchildren’s parents.  Remember that.

Holy Father, remind me daily of my responsibilities to lead my children.  Teach me to lead as You lead me.  Let my children rise up and call me holy because of You.



 Numbers 14:11 “The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?’”


We can all agree the Israelites were a little stubborn, right?  They had witnessed all the miracles God had done to free them from bondage, but still they murmured and moaned against God.  How dare they?  Were they just plain stupid?

Hold on now!  We are the same.  God does amazing things in our lives, beginning with salvation, and we still doubt His sufficiency.  We still question His power.  Well, maybe not in those words, but by our disbelief.  Surely a God who can save us from eternal damnation can take care of the day to day things we face.


Your children will learn to trust Him and be less stubborn as they watch you do the same.  Do they hear you worrying about paying that bill on time or do they hear you asking God for wisdom about it?  Do they witness you to trying to “make something happen” or do they watch you pray and leave it to Him?

Our children are little sponges and will soak up whatever we squeeze out.  What are you squeezing out right now? Is it something you want them repeating?  If not, then stop.  Point them to Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I can be very judgmental of the Israelites.  I think I would have acted differently.  But when I get honest, I am just like them at times.  For that, I am sorry.  I desire to live in a way that is totally dependent on Him.  How about you?

Eternal God, show me how to trust You more?  I believe You are able to do all things in and through me. Let me show that by my actions.



 Psalm 46:10a “‘Cease striving and know that I am God;’”


 Have you ever felt like living the Christian life is too much work?  Most of us, at one time or another, have probably felt that way and maybe even said it.  But this verse speaks to that perfectly.  When we realize it is NOT up to us, we can rest and “cease striving.”

We will never walk perfectly with God.  We are going to have ups and downs.  We are going to fall flat on our face.  We are going to do or say things that aren’t godly.  Not on purpose, mind you, but accidentally (sin for a believer should always be an accident and not planned).  God tells us to let Him work through us.  He can do all things.


This is one of the best lessons we can teach our children.  When little Gertrude or Elrod realize that they cannot live the Christian life on their own, they will have learned the secret to holy living.  It’s Christ IN us, the hope of glory.  He is the one who will live through them.

When they mess up point them back to Him.  When they feel like a failure, point them back to Him.  When they make a real stupid mistake and are afraid to tell you, point them back to Him.  He is their source of faith, not you.

Have you ceased striving?  Or are you still trying to get it all done through your strength or intellect?  Stop it – NOW!  Let Jesus live in and through you by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He can do it.

Lord of glory, teach me to rest in You.  Help me to let go of my striving.  Take my hand and lead me into the green pastures



 Numbers 10:35-36 “35 Then it came about when the ark set out that Moses said, ‘Rise up, O Lord! And let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.’ 36 When it came to rest, he said, ‘Return, O Lord, to the myriad thousands of Israel.’”


 Every time the cloud or pillar of fire moved, Moses would say these words.  Every time!  Now they didn’t move every day, but I just wonder how many times Moses said this.  Remember, Moses wasn’t just talking to a cloud.  He was talking to Jehovah God, the same God who spoke to him above the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies.

Can you picture the scene?  If you were a pagan living in the land and saw this happen, what you have thought?  I would think I would have wanted to know more about these people and their God.  How about today?  Do people observe you and say the same thing?  Or do you look any different?


 I am thankful my two children and all four of my grandchildren are different.  They are all unique individuals.  But what I desire most for them is that they walk differently than the world.  I want others to see Jesus in them.  I pray they see that in me.

It is so easy for our children to blend in with the world.  We need to look different.  We need to act different. We need to sound different.  We don’t have a cloud or a pillar of fire leading us around, but as believers we do have the Holy Spirit leading us.  He is the same Spirit that led the Israelites.  He is just as powerful.  Our children need to understand that.

Are you living and behaving in such a way that others around you  ask you about it?  Do they wonder what is different about you?  They should.  They should see that you are very different.  Tell them why.

Lord, You make us different because of Your Spirit that lives within us.  Peel back my flesh and let it shine through.  Help me to tell others today about You and all You have done for me.



 Numbers 8:21 “The Levites, too, purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes; and Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the Lord. Aaron also made atonement for them to cleanse them.”


 Numbers chapter 8 is a detailed description of what the Lord told Moses and Aaron to do to the Levites to prepare them to serve Him.  Cleansing their bodies, sacrifices to make and what to wear.  But verse 21 says, “The Levites, too, purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes.”  You see, preparation wasn’t just done to them or for them.  They had to prepare themselves to serve the Lord.

What do you do to get ready to serve?  How do you prepare your heart and mind?  I am amazed sometimes at the amount of effort or the lack of effort that goes into getting ready physically for worship.  Some people come dressed like a fashion magazine.  Others look like they just rolled out of bed.  But have they prepared their hearts?


 Children watch us in regards to how we serve and how we prepare to serve.  We model this for them.  Worship and service to our Lord is a holy thing and should not be taken lightly.  So how do our children see us doing that.  Do they hear, “Kids, get a move on.  We can’t be late or we’ll miss the doughnuts.”  Maybe they hear us behind closed doors say, “I really don’t want to go church tomorrow.  There are so many hypocrites there.”

Your little Susie or Johnny need to know that our privilege to worship and serve our Savior is a high calling.  It is something they should want to emulate in us.  They should see joy radiating from us as we prepare ourselves to serve.

If you, like me, sometimes dread church, repent.  I’m not saying not going to church is a sin.  But I am saying our negative attitudes about church is.  Remember, Christ died for the church.  We should love the Body of Christ as much as He did and desire to see it flourish and grow.

Forgive me, Father, for my negative attitude at times about church.  Forgive me of not being full of joy.  Help me show others how to worship and serve through my obedience.



 Numbers 4:20 “‘but they shall not go in to see the holy objects even for a moment, or they will die.’”


I bet most people have heard their momma say, “Don’t run with that stick, or you’ll put your eye out.”  Or you remember the famous line from “The Christmas Story” from Ralphie’s mom, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”  We can laugh at those examples, but this verse today was no laughing matter.

When the Lord gave Moses the directions for the Kohathites to pack up and carry the tabernacle, He was specific about who did what and who saw what.  This stern warning was to protect them from the extreme holiness of the objects.  Don’t you wish your life was that holy?  I mean, don’t you wish people could just see the holiness of God glowing on you?


 The trouble with our world today is nothing is seen as holy.  I know that the church building is just a building, but there seems to be no respect for it anymore.  I remember a room in my home church that was set aside for prayer.  When you entered that room it seemed you could just feel God’s presence.  It almost demanded a reverence and awe.  We need to teach our kids that same respect for God’s stuff.

What do I mean by that?  Let me name a few:  1) Taking care of the equipment in the church 2) No writing on the walls 3) If you spill something, clean it up.  Now don’t think I am getting legalistic.  Just teach your children that God’s House needs to be cared for and protected.  After all, it is His House.

What can you do to show your respect for God’s House?  Is there a project you could get your kids involved in to help clean or repair something?  More importantly, is your bodily temple of God resembling Him or the world?  Are others drawn to you or repelled by you?  Let them see His holiness shining through.

Lord of Hosts, I know Your holiness is blinding.  I know Your presence is beyond description.  But Lord, let others see You in me.  Let them see Your holiness.



 Numbers 3:12 “‘Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine.’”


In the previous chapters God gives Moses a command to take a census of all the tribes, except the Levites, to count the number of men twenty years of age and older who could go to war.  But He specifically left out the Levites.  Here is why!

God had set them apart as His very own tribe to serve Him in the tabernacle and eventually the Temple.  This tribe would be the one who would also be claimed by God to take the place of the first born of the rest of the tribes.  So the Levites were not only God’s chosen special tribe, but they also represented the rest of the nation while serving God.


 Our children represent us, don’t they?  I remember my dad telling me, “Don’t shame the Willis name.”  I represented not only him, but the Willis family.  But, as believers, we also represent a bigger family, the family of Christ.  Our actions and our service should always be done with that in mind.

Little Gertrude is going to mess up.  Elrod is going to blow it.  When we correct them (and we must) we need to remind them that they represent something much bigger than themselves.  Their actions could influence a non-believer to turn even further away from Christ.  That’s the last thing we want, right?

Are your actions as a member of the body of Christ drawing people toward Christ or pushing them away?  How about with your own family?  Do they see you and know you as a true follower or as someone who just pretends?  Commit yourself today.  Allow Christ to reign supreme in you!

Father, I know I am a representative of Christ in this dark world.  Help me always reflect Him and not me.  Show me how to live that each day to influence others to live for You.



 Leviticus 26:1 “‘You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.’”


Most of us will say very quickly, “I don’t have an idol in my house!”  And that would be true, if you are talking about a statue or something like that.  But we, at least we Americans, have the other less obvious ones.  We make technology an idol.  Take away someone’s IPhone or IPad and watch them go mad.  But take away their Bible, and you will get little response.

God is warning the people to make sure nothing comes between them and Him.  He is the only one worthy of worship and reverence – the ONLY thing.  They were just as tempted as us to place other things above God.  So, God gave them fair warning.


Teaching about the dangers of idols may seem like a worthless task to you.  But it is so important.  Children can place things above God just as much as the pagan who bows down to an idol in a remote village.  We, as parents, must teach them to keep the Lord first in everything.

What is your child’s obsession?  Is it video games?  How about sports?  You see, these things, though they are fine if kept in perspective, can become their idol, their god.  And the sneaky thing about it is your child won’t even recognize it.  He must be first in all things, not just some.

What do you have on your shelf of worship?  Men, is it your work and career?  Women, is it your children or your wardrobe?  I’m not trying to be stereotypical here in these examples, just making a point.  Clear your life of anything that resembles an idol and put Jesus first.

Father of all, I bow only to You.  You are my only object of worship.  You deserve all my praise.  Help me show others how to truly worship only You.



 Leviticus 24:23b “Thus the sons of Israel did, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”


 Man, this was a hard command to follow.  A man was overheard blaspheming God’s name and cursing (even back then this was going on).  God had given the command earlier in the ten commandments about this.  Command number 3 addresses it.  Look it up!

The punishment?  Death!  Wow!  Pretty harsh.  How many of us would have survived this?  Probably not many.  But God was firm!  An example had to be set. He was serious!  And so “the sons of Israel did, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”


Now, don’t think I am saying we should stone someone who curses.  Jesus fulfilled the Law, so the Lord doesn’t expect us to do that.  But, taking the Lord’s name in vain is still not permissible.  This is one of those things we should correct IMMEDIATELY with our children.  Read them this story – not to scare them – but to show them the seriousness of the offense.

God’s name is precious, holy and to be revered.  When we call His name it should be in prayer or worship, not in anger or rage.  Our children should cherish the name of Jesus and God.  They learn that from us, their parents.  If you hold His name dear, they will learn also.

Are you doing that?  Do you hold His name dear?  When you call His name, do you do it with love and respect?  That is the only way to address Him.  Call His name.  He is listening.

Your name, O Lord, is precious to me.  I hold it dear.  I call it Holy.  Help me teach my children to love it, too.