March 28, 2021 – Exodus 4

Lesson Date: March 28, 2021

Focal Scripture Passage: Exodus 4:1-31

AIM: To lead students to discover how God addressed Moses’ feelings of inadequacy, and to encourage them to ask God to give them victory over their fears and feelings of inadequacy so they can effectively serve Him.


Before class: Read the notes on Exodus 3 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Enlist three class members to help you with the brief role-playing activity described below. Prepare enough of the index cards described in the “Conclusion” step for your anticipated attendance. Write the lesson title, “God’s Sufficiency,” on the marker board or chalkboard.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Do the following role-playing activity:

  • Tell the students you will be out of town next Sunday and ask class member number 1 to teach in your place. He should refuse, saying he doesn’t know enough about the Bible to teach.
  • Next, ask class member number 2 to teach. He should also refuse, saying he is not a good enough speaker to teach and often “freezes” when asked to speak in front of a group.
  • Finally, ask class member number 3 to teach. He should refuse, saying the class isn’t interested in anything he has to say.

Tell the class this was actually just a role-playing activity and that you will be present to teach next Sunday. Ask: “In the role-playing activity, what was the general reason all three class members refused to teach?” (they felt inadequate to serve the Lord because of their limitations).

Direct the class’ attention to the words written on the board. Tell them today’s lesson from Exodus 4 is titled, God’s Sufficiency. We will learn about another man who felt inadequate to serve the Lord: Moses. We are going to look for ways God dealt with Moses’ feelings of inadequacy and then see if we can apply those ways to our own feelings of inadequacy.



  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the book of Exodus.
    • Remind the students that Israel was in bondage in Egypt and Pharaoh sentenced all Israelite baby boys to death (Ex. 1), but God miraculously preserved Moses’ life (Ex. 2).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God called Moses, established a personal relationship with him, and gave him a job to do).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Ex. 3:14).
  2. God Overcame Moses’ Fear.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 4:1.
    • Ask: “What fear did Moses express?” (he was afraid the Israelites wouldn’t believe him, doubting that God had appeared to him).
    • Tell the class that God did three things to overcome Moses’ fear.
    • Read Exodus 4:2-9.
    • Ask: “What did God do to quiet Moses’ fear?” (gave him three miraculous signs he could perform at will to authenticate his message).
    • Ask the students to identify those three signs (his rod turning into a snake and back into a rod, his hand turning leprous and back clean again, and water turning into blood).
    • Explain the following:
      • God often did supernatural signs to authenticate the message of His prophets.
      • This continued into the First Century.
      • Since the completion of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind in the Bible, miraculous signs are no longer necessary to authenticate God’s message.
    • Summarize: God overcame Moses’ fears by giving him three miraculous signs he could perform to prove that he was God’s messenger doing God’s work.
  3. God Overcame Moses’ Insecurity.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 4:10.
    • Ask: “Why did Moses feel insecure and inadequate?” (he was not an eloquent speaker).
    • Read Exodus 4:11-12.
    • Ask: “What did God ask Moses?” (Who made your mouth?).
    • Explain the following:
      • God said He made Moses exactly the way He wanted Him – poor speech and all.
      • Moses had not yet learned the lesson the Apostle Paul learned when Paul begged God to take away an infirmity he felt hindered his ability to serve God.
      • Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
      • Paul learned that his weakness showcased God’s strength.
    • Ask: “What did God promise Moses in verse 12?” (to be with his mouth, enabling him to speak the right words).
    • Read Exodus 4:13.
    • Ask: “What did Moses ask next?” (he begged God to send someone else instead of him).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 4:14-17.
    • Ask: “How did God feel about Moses’ objections?” (He was angry).
    • Ask: “What did God do to overcome Moses’ feelings of insecurity and inadequacy as a speaker?” (He appointed Moses’ brother Aaron to be Moses’ spokesman).
    • Summarize: God overcame Moses’ insecurity about his lack of eloquence by appointing his brother Aaron to be his spokesman.
  4. God Corrected Disobedience in Moses’ Life.
    • Read Exodus 4:18-23.
    • Explain the following:
      • After God dealt with Moses’ fears and inadequacies, Moses obeyed God.
      • Moses left his father-in-law, took his wife and sons, and started toward Egypt.
      • In verses 21-23 God told Moses what to say to Pharaoh and what to expect.
      • He even told Moses that Pharaoh would not free them until He killed Pharaoh’s firstborn son.
    • Read Exodus 4:24-26.
    • Explain the following:
      • Moses had not been obedient to circumcise his son.
      • This would have hurt his influence and credibility with the Israelites: why should they obey God’s instructions through Moses when he had not obeyed God in one of the foundational rituals of Judaism?
      • Moses realized God would kill him if he didn’t obey.
      • Moses’ wife circumcised the boy and they continued their journey.
    • Summarize: God corrected an area of disobedience in Moses’ life so his ministry among the Israelites would not be hindered.
  5. Moses Obeyed God and the People Believed.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 4:27-28.
    • Explain the following:
      • The Lord sent Aaron out into the wilderness to meet Moses.
      • Moses told Aaron all God’s words and demonstrated the miraculous signs.
      • Moses and Aaron went to Egypt.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Exodus 4:29-31.
    • Tell the class that Moses and Aaron gathered the elders of Israel. They told them everything God had said and did the miraculous signs to authenticate their message.
    • Ask: “How did the elders receive their message?” (they believed it).
    • Ask: “What did they do when they realized God had heard their cries and was going to deliver them?” (they bowed their heads and worshiped God).
    • To emphasize the importance and effects of Moses’ obedience in spite of his feelings of inadequacy, ask the following questions:
      • “What happened when Moses obeyed God in spite of his fears and feelings of inadequacy?” (the people believed him and worshiped God).
      • “Would that have happened if Moses had not obeyed God?” (no; Moses would still be in Midian and the Israelites would still be slaves with no hope of help).
    • Summarize: Moses obeyed God and carried the message of deliverance to the Israelites in Egypt, who believed Moses’ message and worshiped the Lord.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students that Moses, one of the greatest heroes of the Bible, was actually a man crippled by fears and feelings of inadequacy. If we were to ask him to teach our Sunday School class next Sunday he would probably refuse.

Summarize the ways God worked in Moses’ life by asking the following questions:

“How did God overcome Moses’ fear that the people wouldn’t believe him?” (by giving him miraculous signs to perform to prove that his words were true). While God can certainly do any miracle He chooses, we don’t need such miraculous signs today because we have the written Word of God to authenticate the things we say.

“How did God overcome Moses’ worries about his poor speaking ability?” (by reminding him that He made Moses’ mouth just the way He wanted it and by appointing Aaron to be Moses’ spokesman).

“What did God do about an area of disobedience in Moses’ life that would have hurt his testimony and influence with the Jews?” (He oppressed Moses to make him aware of the problem and used his spiritually sensitive wife to correct it).

Ask: “Do you ever have feelings of doubt, fear, or inadequacy?” (yes). Ask: “Do you think God’s sufficiency can enable you to overcome those feelings so you can serve Him?” (yes).

Read Philippians 4:13. Tell the students that God can overcome our doubts, fears, and inadequacies with His sufficiency. If time permits, ask volunteers to very briefly tell how God has overcome fears in their lives and enabled them to serve Him. Ask: “Are there areas of disobedience in your life, hindering you from serving God?” Tell the class if we are open and honest with God He will reveal areas of disobedience in our lives.

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Encourage them to ask God to give them victory over their fears and feelings of inadequacy so they can effectively serve Him. Urge them to correct any areas of disobedience in their lives. Voice a closing prayer, admitting our inadequacy and asking God to demonstrate His sufficiency.


CONCLUSION: Ask the students to memorize Philippians 4:13. Give them each an index card on which you have printed or written the text of that verse. Ask them to place the card where they will see it often and to recite it whenever they feel incapable or ill equipped to serve God.


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