There are three segments to our Legacy Lesson:
2. Legacy Lesson–Bible point: Aaron lies to Moses
3. Wrap-up: Apply the message to our own lives; work on memory verse
I. Icebreaker: Peer Pressure
Briefly recap last week’s lesson on the 10 Commandments, specifically Commandment #9:
Thou shalt not bear false witness. Another translation I like is this: “You must not tell lies about other people.” (ERV)
Rehearse your memory verse again from Proverbs 12:22: Lips that lie are disgusting to the Lord, but honest people are his delight.
Discussion Questions to get your people thinking about today’s topic:
*What is peer pressure?
*I would give a few examples of it first, and then ask them: What are some types of peer pressure that you hear about?
*Have you ever felt peer pressure?
*This is where you can talk about a time or two you felt the pressure of your peers.
Few points to make about pressure:
*It happens to everyone
*You have to make up your mind in advance to NOT give in to peer pressure (to not lie, to not cheat, to not steal, to not smoke, etc.)…no matter WHO is pressuring you. (Close friends included!)
*It’s what happens in those moments of peer pressure that can really define your character. Take caution: People are more apt to remember your bad decisions, those moments of caving into peer pressure, then anything else. Scary, but true.
Questions to think about concerning peer pressure:
What if you gave in to every peer pressure that came your way? To lie. To cheat. To steal. To smoke. How would that affect your life?
What are some specific peer pressures that you have determined to NOT give in to?
Peer pressure will happen to everyone, many times. You have to make up your mind NOW how you will react when others are wanting you to do something you know or feel isn’t right. If you don’t mentally prepare yourself to take a stand against them, you can easily fall prey to them. Sadly enough, people are remembered often for their failures rather than their successes.
How do you want to be remembered?
2. Transition over to Legacy Lesson: Aaron lies to Moses
You will need a Bible to read our focus story. Feel free to modify for your sphere of influence. Add, revise, or delete sections that would help keep attention for 30 minutes or less. (For younger audiences, I would aim for 10-15 minutes!)
You know who else felt peer pressure in the Bible? A man named Aaron. Aaron was Moses’ Brother . . . and not just that, Aaron was a priest of the Israelites (kind of like a preacher). Aaron’s job was to establish formal worship of God. He also helped Moses and was his spokesperson many times. (Interesting tip: Moses stuttered and that made him nervous to speak publicly.)
Do you remember last week’s lesson about the 10 Commandments? Well, we are going back to that moment today.
Tip: You could stop the lesson right here and introduce those 10 hand motions to remember your 10 Commandments or you could do it later on in the week. I promise, you will NOT forget your commandments again after learning this. It’s fun for any age!
Moses, the man who rescued the Israelites out of slavery and became their leader, got those 10 Commandments straight from God. He went to the top of a mountain (called Mt. Sinai) and spent time with God. In fact, God wrote those commandments with his own finger upon the stone tablets! While Moses spent time with God on top of that mountain, he left his brother Aaron in charge of the Israelites.
Crazy fact: Moses was gone for 40 days and 40 nights!! Boy, wouldn’t you like to see what was happening on that mountain for that long? I sure do! How do you think the Israelites reacted to their leader being gone so long? I think it would be similar to a teacher being gone from his/her class for a while…or a parent being gone from his/her kids for a long amount of time. The kids may be good at first, but after some time, they may act in ways they normally wouldn’t when their teacher or parent is around. SAME THING WITH THE ISRAELITES.
At first, the Israelites didn’t know what to do. The man who always led them was gone. After some time, they went to the man who was 2nd in command, Aaron. They were angry. They were upset. And they put the pressure on Aaron to do something about Moses’ long absence.
Let’s see how Aaron reacted to their pressure.
Read Exodus 32: 1-6.
So, what happened? What did Aaron do when he was under pressure from the Israelites?
Sadly, he caved in and broke #1 and #2 of God’s Commandments:
#1–There is only ONE God (not “gods,” not a statue of a golden calf)
Yikes. And the sad thing is that Aaron was a priest…he KNEW the commandments, he KNEW the right thing to do…and he didn’t do it. HE GAVE INTO PEER PRESSURE.
I can relate. Several times in my life, I KNEW the right thing to do, I KNEW the rules, and I still gave in to peer pressure.
Meanwhile, God saw all that was happening and told Moses to get back to camp ASAP. So, Moses took the stone tablets that contained the 10 Commandments and rushed back. Joshua, his sidekick, was waiting for him halfway down the mountain. Together, they went down the rest of the way and were greeted with a shocking sight: a WILD PARTY with people acting inappropriately and worshipping a golden calf. (Can you imagine Moses’ jaw hitting the ground in disbelief?)
Read Exodus 32: 19-24.
Uh, oh. What just happened?? (Reread verses 22-24 if your people don’t know!) When
Moses questioned Aaron about this shocking sight, what did Aaron say?
Let’s check it out:
So, when the pressure is on Aaron (this time by Moses), Aaron crumbles under the pressure (again) and lies.
How can we tell?
Back in Exodus 32:4, the scriptures say that Aaron took the gold from the people, melted it in the fire, and made a statue of a calf. He finished it with a tool.
But, in verse 24, Aaron told Moses he got the gold jewelry from the people, threw it into the fire, and out came this golden calf! (PS: This always makes me laugh. Can you visualize such a ridiculous sight?)
When the heat was on, he crumbled under pressure AGAIN.
Proverbs 10:9 says “the dishonest will be caught” and Aaron was, well, BUSTED.
What do you think Aaron was feeling at this moment?
Better yet, how do you think Moses felt about it? Or even God?
What IF you caved into pressure and lied, how would you feel if you were caught?
3. Wrapping-Up: Applying it to our lives
Peer Pressure can be a good thing. It can test our character to see if we would “pass” that test. It can chisel our character if we “fail” our test, helping us learn and grow from it. Aaron failed…not once but twice. But, the beautiful thing is this: God didn’t kick him out of priesthood or fire him. He allowed him to stay as priest.
Why would God allow this?
Well, let’s look at your past history: How many times have you caved into some sort of pressure and “failed” the test? Did God ditch you? I am so thankful He didn’t leave me. Did I suffer consequences? YOU BET. But did I learn a hard lesson? YOU BET. Aaron, along with other Israelites, did repent from their sins, and I bet Aaron had a change of heart.
Recite-it moment: You share about a time in which the pressure was on and you were brave and told the truth, or like Aaron, caved into peer pressure and lied to try to avoid getting into trouble. (Or it could be something you personally witnessed!)
God is a forgiving God, but He is also a God who desires to see us learn from our mistakes and grow stronger, leaning on Him for help. In fact, there is a verse you can pray for such help. You can say it or pray it when you need strength telling the truth…or when you need protection from others you could be spreading lies about you. Either way, God is rescuing you from lying!
So, let’s memorize Psalms 120:2 this week. Here it goes:
“Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.” Psalm 120:2 (NIV)
Thought to end on:
Anytime you feel the pressure to lie, say this verse! It can help strengthen you to tell the truth and face the consequences. Anytime people are spreading lies about you, say this verse. Calling on our God to save us is a waaaaay better solution. I will take God fighting for me ANY DAY!!
Copyright © 2021 by Amber Spencer @lionesslegacymama. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.