October 28, 2018
God Provides Food and Water
Exodus 16: 1-8, 13-15; 17: 1-7
This week’s story…
With Moses’ leadership, God had led the Hebrew people safely out of Egypt. God saved them from Pharaoh and his army. They had escaped from slavery. Now they had a long, long way to go before arriving at their new home, the land God promised them.
Day after day, Moses led the people further away from Egypt. Soon they came to a great desert. There in the wilderness, the people started to grumble. They had left Egypt in such a hurry, they had no more food left.
The people forgot how unhappy they had been as slaves in Egypt. They were hungry now and remembered the food they had in Egypt. They complained to Moses.
“Why did you lead us here to the desert? We are starving and there is no food here. We had plenty of food in Egypt. Oh, why did you bring us here!”
God heard the people’s complaints and told Moses that food would be provided for the people. God said there would be small birds called quails for them to catch. There would be bread from heaven each morning for the people to gather. God was taking care of them!
The next morning the people woke up to find the ground covered with thin white flakes that looked like frost on a cold morning.
“What is it?” they asked each other.
“It’s the bread God has given you to eat,” Moses told them.
They called the bread manna, which means “What is it?”
God provided quail and manna each day throughout their journey. God was taking care of them.
But then one day, there was no water to drink. Nowhere. No water.
The people complained to Moses.
“We’re thirsty. We need water. Why did you bring us here to die of thirst? We had plenty of water in Egypt. Had God forgotten us?”
Moses went to God for help. He asked God what he should do.
God said, “Go ahead of the people to the big rock. Take your walking stick and strike the rock with your stick.”
Moses did waht God said to do. Crack! The rock split open and water came gushing out – clean, refreshing water for all the people to drink! It was water from a rock and enough water for everyone!
The people knew God was with them and God was taking care of them.
Recognizing God’s Grace…
- Read and enjoy the story with your children – imagine and wonder.
- Recall that the Israelites had left Egypt in a big hurry and did not take a lot with them. Pretend you are Israelite children who have been wandering for days and weeks and even months in the desert. Your supplies have run out. Wonder: What is it like to be wandering in the desert? Do you ever complain? What is your biggest worry?
Responding to God’s Grace…
- God sent manna and quail to reassure the people that God was with them on their journey. God nurtured Moses and the Israelites. Explain that to nurture someone is to give that person loving, compassionate care and support so she/he can grow into a healthy, whole person. Plan a project to nurture other children. For example, children might clean up a park; work at a food bank; or play with a child who is always left out.
Celebrating in Gratitude…