Manna From Heaven

To Remember: 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.

Discussion points:

Moses bingo and concentration game printableDiscuss 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 hungry.

Sing: He's got the whole world in his hands

Craft: 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:

  • 2.25 cups non-self-rising wheat flour

  • 1 cup salt

  • 1 tbsp powdered alum

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1.5 cups boiling water

  • food coloring or poster paints

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

  1. God didn't realize the Israelites needed food until they complained.         F

  2. God showed his love to the Israelites every day by sending food.            T

  3. God sent the manna already cooked and ready to eat.                              F

  4. The manna could be prepared several ways.                                              T

  5. God requires us to provide everything we need.                                         F

Memory Work:

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 gameboard

 linguistic questions

  1. Describe manna.

  2. What does it mean to murmur?

  3. Which book of the Bible is this story in?

  4. Recite the memory verse.

  activity questions

  1. What do people murmur about today? Act out a person murmuring about modern problems.

  2. Find Exodus 16:4 in your Bible.

  3. Play a quick game of follow-the-leader. Note that the Israelites followed the cloud wherever it went.

  emotion questions

  1. How do you suppose God felt when the people accused Him of trying to kill them?

  2. What were the Israelites afraid of?

  3. How do you suppose it felt to those who tried to store extra manna, when they discovered it had melted away?

  4. How should we feel when God provides what we need?

application questions

  1. The Israelites complained to Moses, but who were they really complaining about?

  2. 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 people)

  3. Can we depend on God to provide for us?

fact questions

  1. What did manna taste like?

  2. In what ways could it be prepared?

  3. When did it show up?

review questions

  1. Name two ways that manna benefited the Israelites.

  2. What happened if the people tried to stockpile manna?

  3. Why did God give the people extra food on Friday?