Summary: To lead the people to understand that just as the Lord provided manna for the Israelites in the Old Testament so He provides Christ as our New Testament manna.
Food for Hungry Travelers (Exodus 16:1-20)
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand that just as the Lord provided manna for the Israelites in the Old Testament so He provides Christ as our New Testament manna.
Illustration:One morning R.C. Chapman, a devout Christian, was asked how he was feeling. "I’m burdened this morning!" was his reply. But his happy countenance contradicted his words. So the questioner exclaimed in surprise, "Are you really burdened, Mr. Chapman?" "Yes, but it’s a wonderful burden--it’s an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enough time or words to express my gratitude!" Seeing the puzzled look on the face of his friend, Chapman added with a smile, "I am referring to Psalm 68:19, which fully describes my condition. In that verse the Father in heaven reminds us that He ’daily loads us with benefits.’"
2. Explanation of the Aim: When the Israelites complained that they wish they were back in Egypt so they could have good food, the Lord miraculously provided for their needs.
God sent down food from heaven, which the Hebrews called manna, or what is it. When people encounter difficult circumstances they should not follow their natural tendency to complain.
Instead, they should pause to thank God for the opportunity to trust Him and then humbly make their requests known to Him. Just as the Lord provided man for the people of God in the Old Testament so He provides New Testament believers with manna in Christ Jesus. We will examine several ways that Christ is willing to provide our spiritual sustenance in our lesson.
3. The Bible Story: Whenever people run out of fleshly resources it is a great opportunity to rely on God’s all sufficient riches through Christ. Paul wrote, My God will supply all you need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
This is a rock solid promise that assures us God will never leave us empty handed. Yet, the Israelites grew so ungrateful and bitter against God that they cried,
It would have been better if the Lord had killed us there in Egypt! At least then we would have plenty to eat. But now you Moses have brought us to the desert to starve to death. (Ex. 16:3)
People who undervalue their previous deliverance often forget how trustworthy God truly is. If people are not grateful for the riches they have in Christ now, they should not expect the Lord to give them anything new. Let us seek to realize and utilize the riches we have in Christ so we do not misappropriate any benefit we enjoy through His grace.
4. Explore some of the reasons why the Israelites so quickly forgot the power of God’s deliverance, provisions and love. Even though the Israelites had just been delivered from 400 years of cruel slavery in Egypt they moaned bitterly accusing Moses of trying to starve them in the desert.
Why do you think people so quickly forget God’s goodness to them?
Why do people choose to complain rather than thank God for all of His benefits they enjoy?
The BIBLE STORY helps us understand some of the ways that Christ provides our New Testament manna just as the Lord provide manna for the Israelites in the wilderness.