The BackDoor Bible Series
The Journey - Lesson 7
(The Tree that became Aaron's Staff)
One upon a time long, long ago there lived a young almond tree named Oswald in a desert near the land of Egypt. Now even though Oswald was young, all he could think about was how some day he would blossom and bloom and have lots of little almond nuts for children. Now if you know anything about almond trees, you know that when they are young they are very straight and very stiff so they make great walking sticks. Well, Oswald was no exception and when he was only 2 years old a man who liked to walk in the mountains ruined Oswalds hope for the future for he cut him down and made him into a walking stick.
Now there is something else you need to know about Oswald. See, Oswald was a chicken… Well, not a real chicken. What I mean is that Oswald was not very courageous. In fact he was afraid of just about everything. Whenever Oswald would get scared he would moan "Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my I'm surely, surely going to die"" . So as you can image, when the man chopped Oswald down, he started to moan "Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my I'm surely, surely going to die" and while he was doing it he mourned for he would never have any children.
(teach kids the rhyme and ask them to recite Oswalds moan with you each time it occurs)
Anyway, the next day the man took Oswald and went out to tend some sheep close to a nearby mountain. Now tending sheep can be pretty boring so while he was there Oswald started checking out the other trees and bushes that grew on the nearby mountain. As he was looking suddenly he saw a bush catch fire and start to burn. The man saw the bush burning too and he picked up Oswald and went over to investigate. Oswald being the fearful one, immediately began to worry that he might catch fire too. As the man carried Oswald toward the bush he once again started moaning "Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my I'm surely, surely going to die
When they reached the burning bush, Oswald noticed that the bush was not actually being burned up by the fire. Now this made Oswald curious and he began to feel a little less afraid. He was almost feeling normal again when suddenly the bush started to talk. Immediately Oswald tried to scream and tried to run. But of course trees can't talk nor can they run, so he couldn't do either. Nope, all he could do was stand there moaning "Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my I'm surely, surely going to die" while he listened to what the bush had to say.
First the voice from the burning bush called the man who cut down Oswald by name. The voice said "Moses, Moses, don't come any closer." Then the voice told this Moses fella to take off his shoes because the ground there was holy. Both Moses and Oswald were still trying to figure out how a bush can talk when the voice explained that it was not the bush that was talking but God himself. I only took Moses 3 seconds to take off his shoes after he heard this and he covered his face with his hands too. As he did, he let Oswald go and before he knew it Oswald found himself laying flat on his face. As he clattered to the ground can you probably guess what he moaned. Yup your right, "Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my I'm surely surely going to die"
Within a few minutes, Moses regained his composure and picked up Oswald. As he did the voice of God went on to tell them why He was there. God said that He had seen how badly the Egyptians were treating the Israelites and he wanted to rescue them and bring them to a new land. See back in this time, Jewish people were called Israelites and they were being forced to be the Egyptian's slaves. God also told Moses that he was going to send Him to the king of Egypt, who was called the pharaoh, to tell him to let the Israelite people go. On hearing this, Oswald started to worry even more. He didn't want any part of going down there to Egypt. He'd heard about the cruelty down there and he wanted no part of it. He thought, Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my, if I go to Egypt I'll surely die.
Now Moses apparently didn't like the idea either because he started trying to talk God into sending somebody else. He told God that he was not big or strong enough to go down there and rescue the Jews. This made Oswald feel a little better because if Moses was too scared to go them maybe God would choose somebody else. Then Oswald could go back to tending sheep. Oswald had just stopped whining, when he heard God said "Moses, what is that in your hand. As Moses answered, "this is my staff", Oswald turned white as a sheet and what happened next changed Oswald life forever.
You see God told Moses to throw his staff on the ground. Oswald immediately started to moan "Oh me, O my, Oh me, O my I'm surely surely going to die". Now Moses did exactly what God said and in 2 seconds Oswald found himself flying through the air. As Oswald braced himself for impact his body suddenly started to feel really weird. Instead of his body being stiff he suddenly felt all wiggly. Instead of his bark being all rough and brittle, he felt his skin turning into smooth scales. And instead of feeling all weak and afraid inside, he suddenly began to feel strong and powerful. Oswald had expected to hit the ground with thump, but instead he landed softly like a spring, all coiled up. For during his fall, Oswald had changed into a snake!
As soon as he landed, Oswald hissed, flicked his new tounge and barred his big teeth. This made Moses immediately jump back and he started to run away …. But as he did, God spoke again from the burning bush. He said "Moses, pick up the snake by its tail". Moses thought twice about that, as scared as he was, but when God spoke he had a way of claming your fears so he went ahead and did it. And as he slowly reached down and picked up Oswalds tail, Oswald stopped his hissing and straightened back into his old self, a staff of almond wood. His wigglyness went away and his scales turned back into bark. But once thing did not change back. Oswald's fearfulness and worry did not return. No, instead he still felt strong and powerful.
Over the next few minutes, God showed Moses all sorts of other miraculous signs. Signs that God was going to let Moses do to show the Pharaoh how powerful God was so he would let the Jewish slaves go. The last things God told Moses that day were that his brother Aaron would also be going with him to Egypt and that he was to take his staff with him. For it would would be with Oswald, that Moses would be able to do the miracles that would show Gods power. As Moses and Oswald set off that day for Egypt, Oswald was no longer moaning. Instead he singing a new chant. One that went something like this. "Oh my, O me, Oh my, Oh me, I'm surely going to set them free."
…. (have kids try this new rhyme)
Moses and Oswald were successful in their mission to Egypt and just as God had said. He did many mighty miracles through Oswald and freed the Jewish people. And if that were not enough, over the next 40 years, God continued to use Oswald to demonstrate his power to the Israelites and to rescue them from all sorts of attacks. You see not only was Oswald the staff that Moses used to bring the bring plagues on Egypt but Oswald was also the staff he held high above the Read Sea when it parted and let the Jewish people escape the Egyptian army. Oswald was the staff that made drinking water come out of a rock when the Isrealites were thirsty and Oswald was the staff that helped the Israelite army defeat the Amalekites. You see Oswald became the most powerful tree that ever lived. I guess Oswald lived up to his name, do you know what it means? It means "Powered by God".
But that is not all, for one day near the end of Oswald life. God granted Oswald a special miracle. For on that day, despite the fact that Oswald had not been planted in the ground like a living tree in almost 40 years, God made Oswald blossom, bloom with beautiful flowers and even produce a crop of beautiful almonds.
by David C Klem .. Copyright 1998
Kids, our world is full of things that can make you worried and afraid. But our Saviour Jesus Christ is not just the man who died on the cross for us many years ago. He is also the Lord your God, the most powerful being in the universe. And he has some wonderful things that he has already had planned to do with his power though each one of you. Now a good verse to memorize is Philippians 4:13 which says " I can do everything through him who gives me strength." But I like the following verse that says kind of the same thing even better.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Eph 6:10