Kids Talk About God
Chapter 13 cover: What Is That?

What Is That?

Exodus 16:1-7, 11-17

Israel Complains, So God Sends Food

16 1Then the people left Elim and came to the desert of Zin, between Elim and Sinai. They arrived at that place on the 15th day of the second montha after leaving Egypt. 2 Then the whole community of Israelites began complaining again. They complained to Moses and Aaron in the desert. 3 They said, “It would have been better if the Lord had just killed us in the land of Egypt. At least there we had plenty to eat. We had all the food we needed. But now you have brought us out here into this desert to make us all die from hunger.” 

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will cause food to fall from the sky. This food will be for you to eat. Every day the people should go out and gather the food they need that day. I will do this to see if they will do what I tell them. 5 Every day the people will gather only enough food for one day. But on Friday, when the people prepare their food, they will see that they have enough food for two days.”b

6 So Moses and Aaron said to the Israelites, “Tonight you will see the power of the Lord. You will know that he is the one who brought you out of Egypt. 7 You have been complaining about the Lord, and he heard you. So tomorrow morning you will see the Glory of the Lord.c You have been complaining and complaining about us. Maybe now we can have a little rest.”d 

 

11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the Israelites. So tell them, ‘Tonight you will eat meat. And in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know you can trust the Lord, your God.’” 

13 That night, quails (birds) came all around the camp, and in the morning dew lay on the ground near the camp. 14 After the dew was gone, something like thin flakes of frost was on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they asked each other, “What is that?”e because they did not know what it was. So Moses told them, “This is the food the Lord is giving you to eat. 16 The Lord says, ‘Each of you should gather what you need, a basketf of manna for everyone in your family.’”

17So that is what the Israelites did. Some people gathered a large amount, some people gathered a little.

_______________

a 16:1 15th day of the second month That is, the 15th of Iyyar. The Israelites had been traveling for a month.
b 16:5 Friday, … two days This happened so that the people would not have to work on the Sabbath (Saturday), the day of rest.
c 16:7 Glory of the Lord One of the forms God used when he appeared to people. It was like a bright, shining light. In the book of Numbers it might have been a bright light or a tall cloud.
d 16:7 You … rest Or “Who are we that you should be complaining about us?”
e 16:15 What is that? In Hebrew this is like the word “manna.”
f 16:16 basket Literally, “1 omer” (2.2 l). Also in verses 32, 33.
What is God’s favorite food in heaven?

“God’s favorite food was the fruit that was growing on the tree in the middle of the garden. God didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat it because it was his tree.” Laia, 14

“God’s favorite food is goldfish because the streets of heaven are paved with gold.” Kate, 6

“God doesn’t have a favorite food because he doesn’t eat because he is always watching over us.” Philip, 12

“God’s favorite food is bread because he saved the Israelites with manna (a kind of bread). And, he had the Passover with his disciples sharing the bread, which was the symbol of his body. That was the last food he ate before he died on the cross to save us from our sins.” Emily, 12

We really don’t know what God likes to eat, but we do know that the Bible talks a lot about bread. When the Israelites were in the wilderness and hungry, they cried to God and he sent them manna, a kind of bread. Every day God sent the manna from heaven and every day the people collected it and ate it. This special bread from God saved the people.

In the New Testament, Jesus called himself the bread of life that saves us. In Jesus’ last meal, he broke bread and gave it to his disciples to eat. The breaking and tearing of the bread was a symbol of what was going to happen to Jesus on the cross. His body was broken and torn when Roman soldiers nailed his hands and feet onto a wooden cross. One of the soldiers took a spear and split open Jesus’ side.

When you believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead, you are eating the bread of life. Only Jesus can give you life that will last forever because he has that kind of life. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way into God’s kingdom. But did you know, it’s also the best way to live your life? Just as God provided manna in the desert for the Israelites, he will provide for you. Try chewing on that idea.

One time when Jesus’ followers asked him to eat some food, he said, “My food is to do what the one who sent me wants me to do. My food is to finish the work that he gave me to do” (John 4:34). Pleasing his heavenly Father was more important to Jesus than eating food. He lived to do God’s will.

Just as God the Father lived his life through his Son, the Lord Jesus wants to live his life through you. Yes, pleasing God can become more important than eating food. Just as you need food to live, you need the Lord Jesus to live a full life. Jesus came to give us a life with him forever, but he wants us to enjoy that life now. God will give a full life with many blessings for those who allow Jesus to live through them.

Think About This: God will supply what you need in your journey to the place where he will bless you. If you complain along the way, you may find yourself wandering for a long time.

Memorize This Truth: “My food is to do what the one who sent me wants me to do. My food is to finish the work that he gave me to do” (John 4:34).

Is doing God’s will like food to you? If so, how?
What work do you think God wants you to finish?
Chapter 13: Draw a picture to illustrate the headline.
Chapter 13: Manna, What Is That? coloring page

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