This story is featured in a collection of Bible stories for kids called Take and Eat: Bible Stories for Kids about the Eucharist.
Exodus 16:1–21; Numbers 11:4–9
After the Israelites were freed from Egypt, they wandered in the wilderness. God provided for them a bread from heaven called manna when they were hungry.
As you read this story, pay attention to the instructions that God gives to the people about gathering the manna each day.
The Israelites were glad to be freed from slavery in Egypt, but as they wandered the wilderness, they started to realize how much they missed the comforts they had left behind. They were hungry. They started to grumble.
“Remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt? Remember the cucumbers, melons, onions, and tasty garlic we had? If only we had meat to eat!” they said.
So the people went to Moses and Aaron to voice their complaints. “Did you bring us out of Egypt into this wilderness to die of hunger?” they asked.
Then God spoke to Moses, saying, “I am going to rain down bread from heaven for my people. Each morning, they must go out and gather enough to last only for one day and no more.”
So Moses and Aaron went to the Israelites and said, “In the morning, you will see the glory of the Lord, because he heard your complaints. Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
The next morning, when the wet dew on the grass lifted, the Israelites saw a flaky substance that looked like frost.
“What is it?” the people asked Moses.
“It is the manna. This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat,” Moses replied. “The Lord commands you to go out each morning and gather only what you need for the day and no more.”
Some of the Israelites didn’t listen. They worried that the manna would not be there the next day. They did not have faith in the Lord. When they took more than they needed, God punished the people for their lack of faith, and the leftover manna went bad.
As they continued to wander through the wilderness, the Israelites survived on the bread sent from heaven.
- Why did the Israelites complain in the wilderness?
- Why did some of the Israelites take more manna than they needed each day?
- When do you worry that there will not be enough food, toys, time, money, or other things for yourself? How can you have faith that God will help you?
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