Youth Ministry Lesson on Numbers 21:4b-9 and Psalm 98:1-5: Transforming Complaints into Praise

As teenagers navigating through the challenges of life, it’s easy for us to get caught up in complaining about our circumstances. We often overlook the blessings in our lives and fail to recognize the power of praise. In today’s Sunday school lesson, we will explore Numbers 21:4b-9 and Psalm 98:1-5 to understand why it is crucial for us to overcome complaints and cultivate a heart of praise. Let’s dive into this important topic and discover how it can help us grow in our faith.

Bible Reading: Numbers 21:4b-9

“But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’ Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” (NIV)


  • The Israelites grew impatient and complained against God and Moses.
  • Their complaints led to severe consequences, as venomous snakes were sent among them.
  • When the people acknowledged their sin and asked for forgiveness, Moses prayed for them.
  • God instructed Moses to make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole.
  • Anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed.

Youth Group Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever found yourself complaining, like the Israelites in this passage? What were you complaining about?
  2. Why do you think complaining is such a prevalent response when we face difficulties or challenges?
  3. How do you think the Israelites’ complaints affected their relationship with God?
  4. When the Israelites repented and asked for forgiveness, how did God respond?
  5. What can we learn from the bronze snake on the pole? How does it relate to our relationship with Jesus?

Bible Reading: Psalm 98:1-5

“Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing.” (NIV)


  • The psalmist calls us to sing a new song to the Lord, expressing gratitude for His marvelous deeds.
  • God’s salvation and righteousness have been revealed to all nations.
  • The psalmist emphasizes the importance of joyful praise and making music to the Lord.

Youth Group Discussion Questions

  1. What are some “marvelous things” that God has done in your life or in the lives of those around you?
  2. How does praising God through song impact your faith and perspective?
  3. Why do you think the psalmist encourages us to shout for joy and burst into jubilant song?
  4. In what ways can we express our gratitude and praise to God in our everyday lives?
  5. How can cultivating a heart of praise help us overcome complaints and grow in our faith?

Youth Group Game: Praise Relay

Divide the youth into two or more teams. Set up stations with different objects related to praise, such as musical instruments, praise flags, or worship songs written on cards. Each team member takes turns racing to a station, grabbing an object, and returning to their team. The team that collects all the objects first wins. This game encourages teamwork and reinforces the importance of praise.

Closing Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this time to gather and learn about the power of overcoming complaints and cultivating praise. Help us to recognize the blessings in our lives and to focus on praising You, even in difficult circumstances. Fill our hearts with gratitude and joy as we continue to grow in our faith. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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