Christian Churches of God

No. CB45_2




Complaining and Rebellion


(Edition 1.0 20060218-20060212)

In this Lesson we will review the study paper Complaining and Rebellion (No. CB45) with a view to helping children understand the concepts involved in this sort of behaviour and the consequences of disobedience to God.



Christian Churches of God





(Copyright ã 2006 Diane Flanagan, ed. Wade Cox)


This paper may be freely copied and distributed provided it is copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher’s name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.

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Complaining and Rebellion



To review the basic concepts related to the complaining and rebellion of the Israelites and the consequences of this type of disobedience to God.


Children will be able to understand the meaning of complaining and the implications of complaining and rebellion.

Children will be able to name at least one time in Israel’s history when someone complained and what happened as a result.


Complaining and Rebellion (No. CB45)

Relevant Scriptures:

Numbers 11:33-34; Psalm 111:10


Open with Prayer.

Ask the Children what they think the stories of the Israelites’ complaining and rebellion about the manna represent.

Read the Bible Story (No. CB45).

Activity associated with Lesson (No. CB45_2) on Complaining and Rebellion.

Close with Prayer.

Lesson Introduction:

Read through the paper Complaining and Rebellion (No. CB45), unless it was read as the sermonette.

Review the basic concepts of the paper with the children. Children’s questions are in bold.

Q1. Who is holy, righteous, goodness, perfect and truth?

A. God. See Leviticus 19:2; Ezra 9:15; Psalm 34:8; Matthew 5:48; Deuteronomy 32:4.

Q2. Can God make mistakes if He is prefect?

A. No.

Q3. Can people make mistakes or sin?

A. Yes, see Romans 5:12.

Q4. What does it mean to complain?

A. To utter grief, pain, uneasiness, resentment, to lament, to murmur, to bewail, to make a formal accusation or charge against a person (Living Webster Dictionary 1977). This could also mean bringing an accusation or charge against God.

Q5. Why is it wrong to make accusations or charges against God?

A. Because we are not trusting and believing God is doing what is best for us. Yet God is perfect and not capable of sinning; humans sin frequently. When we accuse God we are rebelling or being disobedient to God and His government. It shows God we are not obedient and loyal to Him.

Q6. What were the consequence for some of the complaining people?

A. They were burnt by the fire of the Lord (Num. 11:1-3).

Q7. Did this stop people from complaining?

A. No (see Num. 11:4-6).

Q8. What did they complain about then?

A. Food. Their hearts were turned back to wanting cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic and fish that they had in Egypt. Spiritually this can happen too. When people come into the Truth they give up the pagan holidays of Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc., but over time some people go back to the world and neglect or forget and disobey the Laws of God for the desires of their hearts.

Q9. Had God given them all the food they needed? If so what was it?

A. Yes He had; it was manna.

Q10. Did the manna sustain, or keep the Israelites alive and healthy?

A. Yes. Israel lived on it for the 40 years they were in the wilderness (see also Caleb and Joshua).

Q11. Did the people stop complaining or did it get worse and worse?

A. The level of the people’s complaining grew and grew, just like a root of bitterness grows if it is not taken care of. It is the same with God’s Spirit. If we obey God and His Law, He gives us more and more of His Holy Spirit. But if we rebel and complain more and more, we partake more and more of Satan’s spirit, and in the end it will overtake us and take us out of God’s Church.

Q12. Did God send meat to the Israelites?

A. Yes.

Q13. What meat did God provide for them to eat?

A. Quail.

Q14. How long did God provide the meat?

A. 30 days (see Num. 11:18-23).

Q15. Once the people got the meat were they happy and healthy?

A. No, they ate so much they got sick and some died and were buried there (Num. 11:31-34).

Q16. Was Moses feeling discouraged and/or frustrated as the people complained more and more?

A. Yes (Num. 11:10-15).

Q17. What did God do?

A. God directed Moses to bring 70 elders to the tent of meeting and God placed His Holy Spirit on the 70.

Q18. What else do you know of that has 70 in its number.

A. There are 70 in the Council of God (see the paper The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4). The Sanhedrin (LXX or Seventy) functioned as the governing council of the people. The Seventy were given the same spirit that rested on Moses and that pointed towards the time when Messiah appointed seventy of the elect, who became the new elders of Israel. They were sent out two by two (Lk. 10:1), as were the twelve apostles sent out two by two (Mk. 6:7).

Q19. Were Moses’ sister (Miriam), and his brother (Aaron), always supportive of Moses?

A. No, they also accused or brought charges against Moses (Num.12:1-15).

Q20. What was the result of Miriam’s accusatory or rebellious attitude against God’s Anointed?

A. She became sick or leprous; her skin was frail and white. She would have died alone with the disease of leprosy except Aaron asked Moses to intervene and ask God to heal their sister. Moses did so, but for seven days Miriam was put outside of the camp of God while she was contagious. This gave Miriam time to think and thankfully repent of her wrong actions against God’s Anointed. Miriam learned the lesson that all should learn – that speaking evil of the servants God has chosen to work for, or represent Him, is indirectly speaking evil of the One who created the whole universe and everyone of us.

Q21. Can you think of any time you complained, disrespected or disobeyed your parents?

A. Ask the children for examples or instances of disobedience and disrespect.

Q22. Why is this a big problem?

A. The children can supply their own answers to this following on from their examples.

Q23. Whom must we first respect and obey no matter who we are?

A. God. God tells us that wisdom begins with respect for Him (Psa. 111:10 and Pro. 9:10).


Throughout the activity help the children to see whatever we feed tends to grow larger and larger. If it is our anger, it too grows larger and larger, but if it is a peaceful helping spirit we become more and more peaceful and helpful.


One package or 2½ teaspoons of yeast per child, one cup and spoon per child, sugar, measuring spoons, water at various temperatures and a warm room or range with the oven on.

Hand out supplies to each child. The older children could be paired with the younger ones to assist them.

Divide the children into four groups and label the cups based on what group the children are in. One group adds the yeast and sugar to warm water (the temperature you would give a baby a bath in). The second group uses only yeast and warm water. The third group uses yeast, sugar and very cold water. The fourth group uses yeast and cold water. With the yeast and water, and if necessary added sugar in their cups, the children can set their cups on the stove top or a counter close to the stove.

Ask the children what they think will happen to the four experiments. The experiment is to help show us what happens if a root of bitterness, complaining or rebellion is found in us.

Relate the common items: yeast and water. Yeast is a live organism though it does not look like animals or us. We too are alive and exposed to certain things – some good and some bad – but we can choose how to handle things. Explain to the children that the yeast feeds on the sugar and given the right environment (i.e. warm water and sugar) it quickly grows and overtakes its container. Just as with us, if we get a negative or bad thought, and keep thinking about it, the bad thought will get worse and worse and before we know it our bad thought becomes an action and we hurt someone else. The cups with the cold water and sugar will also grow but at a much slower rate. The cups without sugar may or may not grow because the yeast really was not given a food source to consume. The same holds true for us. If some try to get us to be part of a rebellion, or if we have negative thoughts, and we switch our thinking to "whatsoever things are good, whatsoever things are true", we can stop the negative thought and prevent the rebellious or bad thoughts from turning into actions or habits.

Review the concept with the children of how yeast is a leavening agent and why at Passover we are commanded to put it out of our homes and dwellings, because it represents sin. Yet at Pentecost two leavened loaves are waved and here we see that the leaven represents the Holy Spirit. Not only is Christ taking the Gospel to the World but also the Church is now given the Holy Spirit and more people are able to teach others about God’s Plan.

The yeast that had sugar and warm water added to it can be used to make pizza dough, and the children can learn how leavened bread feels in contrast to the unleavened bread they made a Passover.

Pizza ingredients: mix 2½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons oil. Once the yeast and sugar has started to bubble and grow, add the water, sugar and yeast mixture to the other ingredients and stir. Flour your hands and knead the pizza dough, then roll into the desired shape and top with your favorite ingredients.

Close with Prayer