Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Manna and Quail

By Mary Vee
Exodus 16:11-21

My father, mother, cousins, and well, the whole family came together yesterday and complained to Moses about the wilderness. 

As long as I can remember, all nine years of my life, I lived near Egypt in a city called Goshen and worked with other Israelite boys as a slave making bricks.   I've never been to the wilderness before. 

Back in Goshen, I had a bed, food, a roof over my head, and I knew what to do each day:  get up, eat something, make bricks all day (get yelled at and beaten by guards), come home, eat something, do chores, go to bed. 

A couple of days ago all the Hebrew families crossed the Red Sea--on dry ground.  If you look back in the stories, you can read about it.  Anyway, we brought food and drink, but a few days ago the people noticed the water was almost gone.

That day we found the waters of Marah.  We all ran to the shore and splashed water in our mouths.  It tasted bitter. Something was wrong with that water. Many men, including my father complained to Moses. Their faces turned red and they held up their fist as they shouted at him. It wasn't Moses' fault, but they yelled at him. 

Moses walked away from us like he usually did when he wanted to talk with the Lord.  A little while later he came back, pushed a tree in the water and said the we could drink. A few men tasted the water then nodded. I don't know what the Lord did, but it tasted delicious.

We refilled our water supplies, walked a ways then camped by some wells.  After resting a few days, the Lord led us further into the wilderness.  I heard new sounds each day and wished I could see the animals. Once in a while I'd see something scamper behind a tree.

This is where my story started at the top of the page.  The families gathered together and complained to Moses about food and water.  Some shouted about meat. Some even said they wished they'd stayed in Egypt where they had food.  I don't understand.  Why would they want to be slaves again?

Moses walked away again and talked with the Lord. When he came back, I saw him whisper to his brother, Aaron. Aaron raised his hands to quiet everyone. "At twilight you shall eat meat and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. This is how you will know the Lord, He is our God."

That night a heavy wind blew quails to our camp. The birds covered the ground.  The meat tasted wonderful.  Aaron told us God's rules for the bread that would come in the morning.  He said the bread would rain down to the ground from heaven! We were to gather one omer for each person living in our tent and leave none for the next morning. 

I helped gather the bread.  It was thin and tasted a little sweet.  The sun melted any bread left on the ground.

I wasn't sure if we would get more bread so I hid some of what I collected in the corner of the tent.  The next morning when I woke, the tent stank. My father sniffed around and found the bread I hid.  It had worms crawling in it. 

He made me show the wormy bread to Moses.  I didn't know what to say.  Moses shook his head when he saw the bread and closed his eyes.  How could I disappoint the man whom the Lord chose to lead could I disobey God?

I decided right then I would never take extra bread again.  The Lord promised to take care of me, and I believe Him.

1.  What food did God give the Israelites?
2.  How did God get the food to them?
3.  What did the boy do wrong?
4.  What did the boy do right?

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