For the last two weeks, FaithKids took their worship online and joined their families instead in the main sanctuary for two very special joint Sunday worship services.
As we concluded our last unit with God parting the Red Sea and leading His people out of Egypt, we resume our Sunday School this week by seeing how God continues to provide for His people as He leads them into the wilderness. How will God remain faithful in keeping His promises to a groaning group of Israelites? How will the people faithfully trust in God, even when they are wandering in a place where there are food and water supply shortages?
At the start of today’s lesson, FaithKids played a game called “Would You Gather?” where they were presented with two food options from which they had to choose one they would prefer over the other. For example, if they were asked, “Would you gather pizza or hamburgers?” those who would rather gather pizza would stand on one side of the room while the remaining who chose hamburgers would stand on the other side.
In today’s Bible story, the Israelites were not given as many choices. They were in the wilderness and they had to eat whatever they could find. But what happens if our preferences are taken away from us? What happens if we don’t even have an opportunity to be picky and choosy because there is simply no food available to gather?
When the Israelites grew hungry, they complained to Moses, saying that he brought them to the wilderness to starve and they even wished they had died in Egypt!
But God, who rescued them out of slavery, made another way to rescue them, another way to provide for His people so that they wouldn’t die. God’s people were ungrateful and had forgotten about God’s mighty deeds right after He led them from captivity… But our God is a patient God, slow to anger, and abounding in love and grace. While the people groaned with ungrateful and untrusting hearts, our God who is faithful sent the people bread that looked like fine flakes of frost falling from the sky. They called it manna, which means, “What is it?”
This led to the next activity. FaithKids played a game called, “What is it?” by taking turns guessing what was inside a brown paper bag with their eyes closed and using only their hands to feel the object.
God gave the people manna every morning and told them to gather just enough for the day, and double the portion on the sixth day so that they could have the seventh day as a Sabbath rest day. In the evening, God also provided quail. If the people gathered too much food on the regular days, the leftovers would go bad. If they gathered too little on the sixth day, they would not have any extra food to gather on the seventh day, because that was God’s holy day of rest. For 40 years, the Israelites had to learn to follow God’s instructions and trust in His providence as they would gather just enough quail and manna to sustain them each day.
To give FaithKids somewhat of an idea of what manna was like, we used a paper shredder to let them feel light, fluffy, scraps of paper. Manna was light, flakey, and sweet, even lighter and flakier than these shreds. But it is the food that sustained God’s people for those 40 years. Day after day, that is what they would eat.