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6. Songs of Praise and Manna and Quail (Exodus 15-16)

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Main Point: God faithfully supplies the needs of His people.


Key Verse:

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. - Psalm 55:22a


Say: God showed His mighty power by freeing the Israelites and destroying the Egyptians who had held them as slaves for 430 years.

Every Israelite crossed the Red Sea. Every single person knew that GOD was fighting FOR the Israelites. Each person saw God’s mighty hand at work that day.

Songs Of Praise (Exodus 15)

Say: When all God’s people had crossed safely, and when they saw what happened to Pharaoh’s army, the Israelites broke out in praise and worship. With tambourines and dancing, the Israelites praised God! He was their Deliverer! God was the Hero!

I will sing to the Lord.
He is greatly honored.
He has thrown Pharaoh’s horses and their riders
into the Red Sea.
The Lord gives me strength. I sing about Him.
He has saved me.
He is my God. I will praise Him.
He is my father’s God. I will honor Him.
- Exodus 15:1-2

But soon, their attitude changed.

Manna & Quail (Exodus 16)

Moses led them through the desert, and for three days, they did not find water. When they finally did see water in Marah, they discovered that the water was bitter. What did they do? They GRUMBLED. Do you know what it is to grumble? It means to complain. They cried out to Moses who cried out to God. Listen carefully to what God said:

Then Moses cried out to the Lord. The Lord showed him a stick. Moses threw it into the water. The water became sweet.

There the Lord made a rule and a law for the people. And there he put them to the test. He said, “I am the Lord your God. Listen carefully to my voice. Do what is right in my eyes. Pay attention to my commands. Obey all of my rules. If you do, I will not send on you any of the sicknesses I sent on the Egyptians. I am the Lord who heals you.” - Exodus 15:25-26

This incident was a test. Do you like tests? No. Neither do I. But God allowed this to show the Israelite people that their hearts were hard, like Pharaoh’s.

Can you imagine having a hardened heart after seeing what happened to the Egyptians? We are much the same way. We see God do many wonderful things for us. We see Him set us free from our sin. We see Him do mighty things in people’s lives all around us, yet when something goes wrong, we complain. Complaining against God is a VERY serious sin. God wants us to always TRUST HIM and listen to Him.

So now He was telling the Israelites – If you listen to Me and obey Me, then I will not send plagues upon you.


God ALWAYS keeps His promises. Some of God’s promises are based 100% on Him. Another type of promise is called an “If - then” promise. If you do something, then I will do something. This was an example of an “If - then” promise. If you listen and obey, then I will be your Healer.

Ask: Do you think that the Israelites will listen to God and obey Him?

Say: Once Moses listened to God, and put the stick into the water, God made the waters sweet, and the people and animals had plenty to drink. God led them to camp at Elim where there were 70 palm trees and twelve springs.

A month had now passed from the time that the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea. Water had already been a problem, and now they were hungry. “Their growling stomachs soon produced grumbling lips.”

The people complained against Moses and Aaron. They said that they would have rather died in Egypt than starve to death out here. They even said that they had “pots of meat and all the food they wanted in the land of Egypt.” - Exodus 16:3

Ask: This is hard to imagine, isn’t it? They were SLAVES. Do SLAVES get to eat as much as they want? No. Did the Israelites forget how bad their lives were in Egypt? Did they forget that the Egyptians KILLED their baby boys? How could they ever want to go back there? They were living in a fantasy, for Egypt was never like anything they were imagining.

Say: Remember, God was leading the Israelites. He led them by pillars of clouds by day and pillars of fire by night. They were in the EXACT place where God led them. To complain against Moses and Aaron was ultimately to complain against God. Grumbling against God is very serious, and grumbling spreads like a contagious disease. The message here is very clear: do not be a complainer! Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without complaining and arguing.”

God is rich in mercy and undeserved grace. He was patient in teaching the Israelites to trust Him. God did two things:

1. He revealed His glory in a cloud (16:10) - God showed His glory in the desert. (Note to teacher: There are times when God takes us into the desert - into a dry and barren place, and there, God promises to be with us.)

2. He provided for the Israelites’ physical needs - water, meat, and bread (16:11-14).

In the evening, God sent quail (birds) for the people to eat. This was the meat that God promised to send. In the morning, God sent manna. The manna covered the ground and looked like thin flakes of frost. The word manna means, “What is it?” Moses told the people that this manna was bread from the Lord.

Teaching Idea: Give the children some Frosted Flakes to eat.

God’s grace came with a test. God tested the people again by giving them clear directions:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses. He said, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people must go out each day. Have them gather enough bread for that day. Here is how I will put them to the test. I will see if they will follow my directions.” - Exodus 16:4

Say: Again God gave clear directions. He did not do this to impose needless rules upon His people, but rather to show the people that it is more important to obey God than to obey your physical needs. God was showing His people that HE ALONE would supply their needs. In the desert, there is no food. Just as He provided their escape from Pharaoh through the Red Sea, He would provide their bread every day in the desert.

Here is what the Lord has commanded. He has said, “Each one of you should gather as much as you need. Take two quarts for each person who lives in your tent.” - Exodus 16:24

The people of Israel gathered only what they needed. Then Moses said to them, “Don’t keep any of it until morning.” But some of them didn’t pay any attention to Moses. They kept part of it until morning because they did not trust that God would provide more bread for them the next day. But, in the morning, it was full of maggots and began to stink. So Moses became angry with them.

On the sixth day, God had special instructions about the manna.

On the sixth day, they must prepare what they bring in. On that day they must gather twice as much as on the other days.” - Exodus 16:5

(Moses) said to them, “Here is what the Lord commanded. He said, ‘Tomorrow will be a day of rest. It will be a holy Sabbath day. It will be set apart for the Lord. So bake what you want to bake. Boil what you want to boil. Save what is left. Keep it until morning.’ ”

So they saved it until morning, just as Moses commanded. It didn’t stink or get maggots in it. - Exodus 16:23-24

This was the first time God instructed His people to observe a Sabbath day. On the Sabbath, the manna did not spoil. God even provided a day of rest for His people.

Whatever God says will happen. God’s word is ALWAYS true (John 17:17). Just as the Israelites should have listened to God, so should we! God was leading His people, and God provided everything they needed. God is always showing His grace to us; the biggest grace of all is that He sent His Son, Jesus, to take away our sin. God is the Provider and the Savior!


Main Point: God faithfully supplies the needs of His people.

© 2007  All rights reserved worldwide. May be reproduced for personal, nonprofit, and non-commercial uses only. 

Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures taken from: Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, (NIrV®)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society  /  Used by permission of IBS-STL.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Special thanks to John R. Cross, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, GoodSeed International.

Related Topics: Children, Children's Curriculum

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