God's Eternal Plan - Lesson 4

By Stafford North

The Nation

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can explain about Joseph going to Egypt and how a new dynasty arose that, wanting to weaken the Israelites, put them into slavery.
  2. The student can tell the story of Moses from his birth to his fleeing into the desert.
  3. The student can tell about how Moses delivered the Israelites from Egypt and how God gave instructions to this nation about their worship.
  4. The student can tell about the nation of Israel with its judges, and kings, and can share two lessons God wanted to teach through this nation.
  5. The student can repeat the memory verse of Joshua 1:7.


  1. Each student should have a Bible, the written review, and the worksheets.
  2. The teacher should have access to a board where he can review the four pictures used to this point.


God will use the nation of Israel to demonstrate that it is better to obey God and that no one can keep the law to perfection.

Lesson Plan for Teaching the Class

Introduction: (10 minutes)

  1. Introduce visitors and make them feel welcome.
  2. Give answers to the written review.
  3. Practice any memory verses you wish.
  4. Sing the song "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" if you have time.

Learning Experiences: (30 minutes)

  1. Q: About what year did Joseph go into Egypt? A: 1700 BC. Q: Where in Egypt did the Israelites live? A: Land of Goshen, an area in the northeastern part ofEgypt, well watered by the Nile tributaries. Q: What happened to put theIsraelites in disfavor? A: There arose a new king-likely a new dynasty-that didn't remember what Joseph had done and he saw the Israelites as a threat incase there was an invasion or other uprising (Exodus 1:8-11). Q: What was the nature of their oppression? A: They were made slaves to make bricks of mud and straw which were used in large numbers in Egyptian construction. Then the Pharaoh tried to get all the male children killed to reduce the rate of their growth.
  2. Q: Tell about the birth of Moses and efforts to hide him. A: His mother kept him for two months and then put him in a basket in the Nile River. The princess found him and decided to keep him so Moses, an Israelite, grew up in theEgyptian court. Q: What event caused Moses a problem and how did he handle it? A: He saw an Egyptian overseer mistreating an Israelite slave and Moses killed him. Knowing that the word was out, he was afraid for his life and fled to the desert. He met a man named Jethro and became a sheepherder for him, also marrying his daughter.
  3. Q: What strange event drew Moses into a remarkable encounter? A: He saw a bush burning that did not burn up. He went to see it and there had an experience with God who told him to go lead His people out of Egypt. God had to convince Moses that He was the person to do the job (Exodus 3 and 4). Q: How does this event play a part in the unfolding of the mystery? A: God needed a nation through whom to work and delivering the Israelites from slavery and getting them into the land He had promised to Abraham was an important step in that plan.
  4. Q: How did God get the Pharaoh to release the Israelites? A: God sent ten plagues on the Egyptians-everything from turning the Nile into blood and sending flies, gnats, frogs, and darkness on the land to killing the first born child in every Egyptian family. Q: When the Israelites go into the desert, what does God do to give the people directions for how to be the nation he wants them to be? A: He gives them the ten commandments and other instructions including all the details of how they, as a nation, are to worship Him. They are to build a tabernacle with an altar for offering sacrifices and a Most Holy Place where the Ark of the Covenant stays with its cherubim, representing to the people the presence of God with them. Q: After Moses dies, who is the new leader? A: Joshua, who leads Israel into the land God promised Abraham and they take control of most of it and divide it among their twelve tribes.
  5. Q: What kind of rulers do the Children of Israel have soon after entering the land of Canaan? A: They have ten judges who come from time to time usually to rescue the nation from oppression. During this time the cycle is the people drift into worshipping idols, God punishes them by bringing a nation to oppose them, then the people cry to God for help and promise to do better, and He raises a judge to free them from their enemies. After a while they drift back into idolatry and the cycle begins again.
  6. Q: What happens next with the leadership of the people of God? A: About 1050BC the people ask Samuel, a judge, for a king and God grants them that request. Thus begins a time of three kings, Saul, David, and Solomon over the UnitedKingdom. Then in 930 BC, the kingdom divides into ten tribes on the north,called Israel, and two tribes on the south, called Judah. All the kings of Israel and most of the kings of Judah depart into idolatry.
  7. Q: What does God eventually do with these people who constantly wander into idolatry and other sins? A: The northern Kingdom of Israel is carried into captivity by the Assyrians in 722 BC and are so scattered among various locations that they disappear as a people. The southern Kingdom of Judah is taken into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in three different stages-606 BC, 597BC, and 586 BC. In 536 BC, a new Persian king, Cyrus, allows them to return to their homeland and to rebuild their temple. This Kingdom of Judah is now God's nation to carry out His plan.
  8. Q: What are the primary lessons God wants the world to learn from the nation stage of His Eternal Plan? A: (1) First, sin brings harmful consequences. When Israel followed the teachings of God, they had good times, but when they departed into idolatry and immorality, harmful consequences resulted: oppression by outside forces and eventually being carried away into captivity.(2) The second lesson God especially wanted to teach the world through the nation stage is that no person under the law can keep it to perfection. And neither can those living without a specific law but general moral principles. As Paul said in Romans 3:20: "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law, rather through the law we become conscious of sin. "Since no one can live perfectly, then, all are sinners. Even those not under the law the Israelites had, called Gentiles, were expected to follow moral laws that were evident and no one among them could live to perfection (Romans 1 and 2).Q: So where does that leave us all spiritually? A: (3) Third lesson from the nation period. We are all separated from God by sin and are stuck there. We cannot do anything on our own to take our sins away and thus to be reconciled to God. If anything happens to improve our lot, God must make the move.
  9. Q: So how long did this nation stage last? A: About 1450 BC, God began to treat the Israelites as a nation of people to be freed from Egypt and set out on their own and under a law He would give them at Mount Sinai.


  1. Q: If we were at the end of the story now, what would our condition be? A: We would be sinners with no way out. Separated from God forever.
  2. Learn the memory verse for this lesson which has the words God gave Joshua as he led the people of Israel into the land: "Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave to you, do not turn to the right or to the left that you may be successful wherever you go" (Joshua 1:7).

Assignment and Evaluation:

  1. Use the worksheet to review this lesson and to prepare for the Written Review to be given at the next class session.
  2. Practice drawing the four pictures given so far, and write their statements and the verses that show they are from the Bible.

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