God had sent him to lead his people out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land. And, until now, things were going pretty well. Pharaoh finally let Moses and his people go. The Egyptians were so glad to see them leave, they piled their wagons and carts with treasures of silver and gold. And God himself was leading the way to the Promised Land as a great cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
But now Moses was standing on the shores of the Red Sea.
Behind him was the great multitude of God’s people.
And behind THEM was the roar of Pharaoh’s army, charging at them in a thundering cloud of sand and dust.
Pharaoh had changed his mind, and he was coming to take the Israelites back into slavery in Egypt.
God's people were trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh and his army!
What was Moses going to do?!
Well, God had a plan. God ALWAYS has a plan. In fact, nothing happens in this world that ISN’T part of God’s plan!
Once again, God raised his mighty arm.
He made a great wind come up to dry a path right through the middle of the sea. A great wall of water was on their right, and a great wall of water was on their left - but the Israelites walked right through the middle on dry ground!
When the last foot of the last old man of God’s people stepped onto the shore on the opposite side (he was walking kind of slow - and he wasn’t in all that a big a hurry - this was something you don’t see every day!), God made the walls of water came crashing down on Pharaoh and his army.
The mighty Pharaoh, and all his chariots, horse and rider, were tossed into the sea.
It was an awesome miracle of God.
A few thousand years later, someone would make a great movie about it, with all sorts of spectacular special effects. But the real thing was much more spectacular than any movie could ever be!
After they were all safely across the sea, Moses led the Israelites on - straight into the desert!
Now, the desert is not exactly the place you would want to take a bunch of people for lunch. It wasn’t like there was a Dairy Queen, or a Pizza Hut, or even a McDonald’s every ten miles! Just think if there WERE a McDonald’s up ahead - and you pulled in just after the Israelites...
You’d be at the end of a line over a million people long. Yikes!!
You probably couldn’t even SEE the McDonald's, you’d be so far away! And WAY up ahead, some kid would be changing the sign out front.
That morning it said;
“Over Three People Served!”
Now he was changing it to,
“Over One Million served.”
(Maybe that’s how that got started.... maybe not!)
But there wasn’t a McDonald’s. Just hot, dry sand for as far as the eye could see. There wasn’t even a pop machine to stop and get an ice cold Coke (if there was, one poor little pop machine, standing out in the desert - how in the world could it take over two million quarters?!).
It wasn’t long before the people started grumbling.
They were tired and hot and hungry. So they whined to Moses, “So, what’s the deal? Did you lead us off into the desert so we could starve to death?! We would have been better off in Egypt! At least there we had bread to eat!”
Isn’t that how it goes sometimes? God can bless us in amazing and wonderful ways, but the moment things aren’t going the way we want, we start complaining - like God doesn’t love us any more or something.
So Moses had a chat with God. God said to him, “I have heard my people’s complaints. And so that they will know that I am God, I will send them food from heaven.”
The next morning, God did just that. He sent them bread from heaven.
Well, it didn’t fall from the sky all sliced and wrapped in plastic - that could have hurt somebody! No, this stuff looked more like a flaky, white frost that covered the ground. The Israelites took one look at it and said, “What’s this stuff?!” So that’s what they called it, “manna,” which meant, “What’s this stuff?!” Really!
But it was good stuff!
Of course it was, it was angel food!
Even in desert times, God loves and cares for his people.
God told them to gather as much as they wanted - there is always enough with God - it’s not like he ever runs out of ANYTHING. But there must not have been any preservatives in it, because if they kept any to have some extra for the next day, it was all full of worms and rotten by then. Yuck! Except on the Sabbath. God told them to gather up twice as much the day before, so that they wouldn’t have to work on the Sabbath. And the bread always kept just fine then.
This was all God’s way of teaching them to trust in him each day for the things they needed - and to show them that he would always provide just what they needed for that day. But they should always trust in God, and not in their own doing.
That's how it is with God. He gives us all that we need each day, and what we have each day is all that we need.
And so, God delivered bread from heaven every morning. Every morning, some gathered a lot, and some gathered a little. But those who gathered a lot, never gathered too much, and those who gathered less never had too little. It was sort of like Goldilocks and the three bears - it was always just right!
There was always enough for all of Israel to eat their fill.
Who else but God could do such an amazing, wonderful thing?!
There was a prophet named Elisha.
God had chosen him to tell the people about the things of heaven. And so one day Elisha invited one hundred of his closest friends over to teach them all that he knew.
God decided to provide a visual aid.
He was going to show Elisha’s guests that everything Elisha was teaching them about him was true.
It just so happened that there was another famine in the land. It was too dry for much to grow, and there wasn’t a lot of food to be had. And Elisha had a hundred guests to feed!
“How in the world are we going to feed all these people?!” Elisha’s poor, frazzled servant said to him.
Elisha said, “There is a man here who has twenty loaves of bread and some grain. That will be enough.”
“For a hundred people??!!!” Elisha’s servant fretted. “And where are we going to find enough plates?!!”
“With God, all things are possible,” Elisha calmly said. “We will see what God can do. He has promised that we shall eat, and that we will have more than enough left over... and, what are plates??!!”
So Elisha’s servant took the twenty loaves of bread and began to hand them out to their guests.
The more he handed out, the more there was to hand out!
He kept handing out bread, and handing out bread. Elisha’s guests kept eating and eating - until everyone was full!
And even then, there was more left over.
What amazing things only God can do!
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Bible Stories for Kids by Paul Dallgas-Frey
. Copyright © Paul Dallgas-Frey. All rights reserved.