Scripture: Exodus 32-34
- Students will learn God has some rules that are non-negotiable. He expects us to obey them no matter when or where we live.
- Students will learn God expects people to love and obey Him with all of their hearts, souls and minds.
- Students will learn when people disobey God and/or worship things besides Him, they have sinned. God will forgive Christians if they repent, but they must often face earthly consequences for their disobedience.
- Students will come up with coping strategies to deal with times when they have little patience.
Guiding Question: How does impatience lead to bad choices?
Materials: Posters, large construction paper, drawing utensils
Procedure: Share the story of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32-34. Focus especially on the concept of disobedience to God resulting in negative consequences on earth. (Make sure older students understand that God doesn’t always “punish” us with negative consequences when we disobey. They need to begin to understand even if nothing “bad” happens when they disobey God, it doesn’t mean God is happy with their choice or that there will not be other consequences later.) Discuss why Aaron should have encouraged the people to obey God rather than helping them disobey.
Introduce the activity. Explain that sometimes God makes us wait like He did the Israelites while He was giving the Law to Moses on Mt Sinai. The Israelites became impatient waiting and made some bad choices to try and make themselves feel better. Sometimes we can be like Sarah in the Bible and become impatient and try to “help” God make things happen faster and not wait for God’s plan to unfold. Talk about better coping strategies when God makes you wait for something: praying, journaling, etc. Have students make posters for their rooms at home listing strategies and they may want to include Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Additional Questions: How can students apply coping strategies?
Supplemental Activity: Have students pair up and model coping strategies for different situations where they may struggle with impatience.