Lesson 3: September 15, 2019

Exodus 16:1–8, 13–15 People are often unhappy with what they have in life. How can people be truly satisfied? Despite the complaining of the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness, God provided meat and bread for them.

Bread from Heaven

Bible Background • EXODUS 16
Printed Text • EXODUS 16:1–8, 13–15 | Devotional Reading • 2 CORINTHIANS 8:9–15

Aim for Change

By the end of the lesson, we will: CONTRAST God’s provision in the wilderness with Israel’s former slave masters in Egypt, CONSIDER the times we have complained about God’s provision, and EXPRESS thanks for the many ways God takes care of us.

In Focus

Hot days, warm evenings, or cool breezes were easier for outdoor living than harsh winters. Mr. and Mrs. George had lost their jobs and home, and their three children— twin girls and a boy—were in foster care. They would stay there until the Georges found jobs and a place to live. It was a terrifying and extremely tearful day when the social workers came and took the children away.

The cold winter snow and storms had begun. Mr. and Mrs. George had both found part-time jobs, but finding a place to live was hard. One evening, they decided to stay at a shelter because the bitter cold air and winds were too much to endure. The family shelter was filled with children, teens, adults, parents, and even some grandparents. This particular evening, the shelter provided light snacks and hot chocolate for an event everyone was invited to attend about job training, legal assistance, and housing opportunities. The best part was that the legal program would help them with having their children returned to them after finding them housing and jobs The Georges talked about things and prayed. They accepted the offers and were counting the days until they would hold and kiss their children again.

Why do you trust God to answer your prayers? How do you respond when God does not answer your prayers the way you want?

“And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat” (Exodus 16:15, KJV).

“The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. And Moses told them, “It is the food the LORD has given you to eat” (Exodus 16:15, NLT).

The People, Places, and Times

Aaron. The son of Amram and Jochebed, and brother of Moses and Miriam, Aaron was Israel’s first high priest. Aaron’s family was descended from the Levites, Israel’s first priests. Later all Levites were subordinated to Aaron and his descendants within their tribe. God commanded Moses to set apart Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites to serve God as priests by a perpetual ordinance. Moses ordained Aaron and his sons as God had instructed to make sacrifices, offerings, and atonement at the altar in the sanctuary. Prior to being consecrated as the high priest, Aaron served as Moses’ spokesman before Pharaoh in Egypt, as Moses had protested that he was not able to speak directly to Pharaoh (Exodus 4:10–14). One of Aaron’s shortcomings was yielding to pressure from the Israelites to make a golden calf for worship at Mount Sinai, also called Mount Horeb (Exodus 32:1–4).

Background

The Israelites were delivered from 400 years of bondage in Egypt and escaped with great wealth because of the power of God and His judgment against the Egyptians and their false gods (Exodus 15:1–21). They sang a song of God’s glory and mercy toward them and celebrated as God now traveled with them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night on their way to Mount Sinai where they would worship God as free people. On the journey, they had seen God part the Red Sea to allow them to walk through on dry land while the Egyptians pursued them. Yet when the Egyptians arrived at the sea, it closed, drowning Pharaoh and his armies. On the other side of the sea, they traveled for three days without water and stopped at a place called Marah. The water there was bitter, unfit for drinking, and they complained to Moses that God is going to have them die of thirst. God set up an agreement there that if they obey Him, He will continue to provide for them and make the bitter waters drinkable. They leave there and then set camp at a huge oasis called Elim where they can get water and rest before they continue their travel.

How has God shown His provision in your life? Did any provisions feel miraculous?