My Sunday School lesson for this week comes from Exodus 16:1-36 — when God provided food for the grumbling Israelites.
I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I can’t help but wonder increduously at these Israelites. They had just been rescued from a life of slavery in Egypt. We tend to focus on the miracle of God changing Pharoah’s mind. We just see the plagues as “bad” and they were, but we forget how supernatural these plagues were. The very fact that the Israelites saw those plagues in person should make them believe anything God says or does without question.
Then, move on a bit. They watched God roll back the waters of the sea. They watched as He allowed them to cross safely then brought the waters crashing back in as Pharoah’s army tried to follow them.
These are the same people we find in Exodus chapter 16. They should be looking for devils to step on, shouldn’t they? They should be on top of the world! It reminds me of the new Chris Tomlin song:
The Israelites should have been able to rest confident in the knowledge that the one God who holds all power — the one God who commands armies of angels — the one God who was on their side — would take care of all their needs. It should have been easy for a group of people who had already seen the miracles that God had just done for them, shouldn’t it?
But, what did those Israelites do? They worried and grumbled and complained. They were afraid that the God who commands angels didn’t have enough power to keep them from starving. They started to wonder if they should have stayed with Pharoah — if he could have taken better care of them than God.
You know what God should have done? He should have just waved His hand in dismissal and wiped them out. Look at everything He had already done and they still ignored it. They still couldn’t find it in themselves to be thankful. All they could do was grumble and worry. He should have just been done with them.
But what did He do?
He did what He always does. He provided. He provided for a group of grumblers and complianers. He provided for a group of doubters.
Athiests are fond of talking about how mean God is. But, do you know what I see? I see a God who forgives and forgets and shows mercy and grace when we don’t deserve it. I see a God who knows all our faults and still loves us and still provides for us. I see a God who knows every time we’ve rebelled and still gives us another chance.
This week we will be teaching kids to trust God — even when the situation seems impossible. We will be teaching them to be patient and know that God is concerned about their situation. Most of all, we will be teaching them to be thankful when God provides.
Watch the list below for future posts with activities for this lesson.