When the nation of Israel came out of Egypt and met God at Mount Sinai, there was a political transaction taking place. Israel had belonged to the pharaoh of Egypt. Now she belonged to God. God had fought the pharaoh for the right to own and care for Israel, and he had won. Just as prior to the Exodus the pharaoh had specified the contours of his relationship with Israel, so now God did the same. At the top of Mount Sinai, God and Moses hammered out the political, social, and religious covenant that would determine the character of Israel’s future existence.
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The scriptures for today bind together the beginning of sin in the world, our salvation from sin, and Jesus’ own vulnerability to the temptation of the devil. We see that the devil is very clever (or that we can be very clever in fooling ourselves about our motives and the possible ramifications of our attitudes and actions).
Jesus sets the bar high by resisting temptation even from the imagination of the devil. To show just how amazing that accomplishment is this lesson will put temptation in each kids’ hands. You may have seen the videos of kids in a room alone with a marshmallow. They are challenged to not eat the marshmallow then left alone in the room. The kids obviously struggle with the temptation to eat the marshmallow. For this lesson you can use marshmallows or Oreos, both are relatively allergen free.
We in the West have an interesting culture in which we quite like to be shocked. Many of us enjoy films which are shocking to a greater or lesser degree, and it sometimes seems to be that the higher the rating, the more popular the film. Even huge natural or man-made disasters have a worrying degree of entertainment value in the way they are presented to us over and over again on our television screens. We meanwhile sit in our armchairs munching our chocolates feeling scandalised or shocked or disturbed, but seldom switching off the set.