God will provide our needs as we serve him
Manna: a sweet food God provided each
morning for the Israelites
Murmur: complain, mutter, talk rebelliously
When you take a long trip, where do you get food to eat?
Usually you stop at a restaurant and buy some. Or sometimes you pack your
lunch in a picnic and take it along. The Israelites were on a really long
trip. Where were they going to get food? They couldn't carry enough to last
them. They didn't stay any place long enough to grow any. There were no stores
to stop at. And they numbered a million or more people. That's a lot to feed.
It wasn't too long before the people began to complain, "We
wish the Lord had killed us in Egypt, where we had plenty to eat. You brought
us out to the wilderness to die of hunger." The Israelites tended to
concentrate on their current troubles rather than look to the past for
encouragement. Instead of remembering the great things God had done to free
them from slavery, they complained about their hunger. Do you think God went
to all that trouble, just to watch them die for lack of food?
God told Moses he would "rain bread from heaven" for them. He
provided Manna, a new food that appeared with the dew each morning as small,
white, round pieces. The Israelites were to gather each day the amount of food
they needed for that day. No more, no less. Each day God would give them that
day's food. They were to trust him each day for the very food they ate. On the
sixth day, he would provide two day's food, so no one would work to gather it
on the Sabbath. If one of them was mistrustful, and tried to stock up, the
food would melt or rot away. The Israelites baked, boiled and prepared the
manna several ways. It tasted sweet, like wafers made with honey.
Discuss the many ways the Israelites benefited from the manna.
They didn't have to grow, buy or carry their food. They could travel in
otherwise uninhabitable places. Enemy nations were not provided for as they
were. The food was always fresh and sweet. They never had to worry about being
He's got the whole world in his hands
Bring black and white (or tan) colored play clay. Prepare the white
clay in small balls. Have the students "gather" manna and prepare it
several ways. Make pots, pans and plates from the black clay. Have
the students "boil", "fry" and "bake" the manna in the pots.
Make your own clay:
Combine flour, salt, and alum in a bowl. Add vegetable oil.
Stir in boiling water. Stir vigorously with a large spoon until mixture holds
together. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Divide the dough into several
lumps. Add a few drops of food coloring or poster paint to each lump and knead
to mix the color into the dough. Makes 3 cups.
Activity: Play a quick game of
Simon Says to reiterate how God gave specific instructions on how
the Israelites were to gather and use the manna.
True or False
God didn't realize the Israelites needed food until they
God showed his love to the Israelites every day by sending
God sent the manna already cooked and ready to eat.
The manna could be prepared several ways.
God requires us to provide everything we need.
Exodus 16:4a I will rain bread from heaven for you.
Exodus 16:8 The Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to
eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the Lord hears your
murmurings which you murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are
not against us, but against the Lord.
Deut 8:16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something
your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it
might go well with you.
Deut 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then
feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach
you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from
the mouth of the LORD.
Review Questions for
What does it mean to murmur?
Which book of the Bible is this story in?
Recite the memory verse.
What do people murmur about today? Act out a person
murmuring about modern problems.
Find Exodus 16:4 in your Bible.
Play a quick game of follow-the-leader. Note that the
Israelites followed the cloud wherever it went.
How do you suppose God felt when the people accused Him of
trying to kill them?
What were the Israelites afraid of?
How do you suppose the greedy Israelites felt when their
stores of manna melted away?
How should we feel when God provides what we need?
The Israelites complained to Moses, but who were they really
When we are scared, what can you remember to encourage us?
(ways God has provided for us in the past, ways He has provided for all His
Can we depend on God to provide for us?
What did manna taste like?
In what ways could it be prepared?
When did it show up?
Name two ways that manna benefited the Israelites.
What happened if the people tried to stockpile manna?
Why did God give the people extra food on Friday?