Now after Moses let the Israelites through the Red Sea he took them to the Desert of Shur. They traveled for three days in the desert but found no water.
Then they came to Marah, where there was water. But they could not drink it because it was too bitter. That is why the place was named Marah, because in their language it meant bitter.
The people grumbled to Moses. They asked, “What will we drink?”
So Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree.
Moses threw the tree into the water. And the water became good to drink.
At this place the Lord gave the people a rule and a law to live by, which Moses told them.
He said, “You must obey the Lord, your God. You must do what the Lord said is right. You must obey all his laws and keep his rules. If you do these things, I will not give you any of the sicknesses I gave the Egyptians. I am the Lord. I am the Lord who heals you.”
Then the people traveled to Elim and there were 12 springs of water and 70 palm trees.
So the people camped there near the water.
Then the whole Israelite community left Elim and came to the Desert of Sin. By this time they had already travelled 75 days since they left Egypt.
Now once again the Israelites grumbled to Moses and Aaron in the desert. This time they said to them, “It would have been better if the Lord had killed us in the land of Egypt. There we had meat to eat. We had all the food we wanted. But you have brought us into this desert. You will starve us to death here.”
And Moses prayed and talked to the Lord and God said to Moses, “I will cause food to fall like rain from the sky. This food will be for all of you. Every day the people must go out and gather what they need for that day. On the sixth day of each week, they are to gather twice as much as they gather on other days. Then they are to prepare it.”
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites: “This evening you will know that the Lord is the one who brought you out of Egypt. Tomorrow morning you will see the greatness of the Lord. He has heard you grumble against Him. You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” And Moses said, “Each evening the Lord will give you meat to eat. And every morning he will give you all the bread you want. He will do this because he has heard you grumble against him.
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them, ‘Meet together in front of the Lord because he has heard your grumblings.’”
So Aaron spoke to the whole community of the Israelites. While he was speaking, they looked toward the desert. There the greatness of the Lord appeared in a cloud.
The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel. So tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat. And every morning you will eat all the bread you want. Then you will know I am the Lord, your God.’”
That evening, quail came and covered the camp and they ate.
And in the morning dew lay around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost were on the desert ground. When the Israelites saw it, they asked each other, “What is that?” They asked this question because they did not know what it was.
So Moses told them, “This is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded, ‘Each one of you must gather what he needs. Gather about two quarts for every person in your family.”
So the people of Israel did this. Some people gathered a lot, and some gathered little.
However, each person gathered just as much as he needed.
Moses said to them, “Don’t keep any of it to eat the next day.” But some of the people did not listen to Moses. They kept part of it to eat the next morning. But it became full of worms and began to stink. So Moses was angry with these people.
Every morning each person gathered as much food as he needed. But when the sun became hot, it melted away.
On the sixth day the people gathered twice as much food. They gathered four quarts for every person. So all the leaders of the community came and told this to Moses. Moses said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded. Tomorrow is the Sabbath, the Lord’s holy day of rest. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil today. But save the rest of the food until tomorrow morning.”
So the people saved it until the next morning, as Moses had commanded. And none of it began to stink or have worms in it. But this only happened on the Sabbath, the Lord’s day of rest. So you will not find any out in the field today. You should gather the food for six days. But the seventh day is a Sabbath day. On that day there will not be any food on the ground.”
On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather food, but they couldn’t find any. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will all you people refuse to obey my commands and teachings? Look, the Lord has made the Sabbath a day of rest for all of you. So on the sixth day he will give you enough food for two days. But on the Sabbath each of you must stay where you are. Do not leave your house.” So the people rested on the Sabbath.
Then the whole Israelite community left the Desert of Sin. They traveled from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim. But there was no water there for the people to drink. So they again argued with Moses. They said, “Give us water to drink.”
But Moses said to them, “Why do you argue with me? Why are you testing the Lord?”
But the people were very thirsty so they were mad at Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Was it to kill us, our children and our farm animals with thirst?”
So Moses cried to the Lord, “What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to kill me with stones.”
The Lord said to Moses, “Go ahead of the people of Israel. And take some of the elders of Israel with you. Carry with you the walking stick that you used to strike the Nile River. Now go! I will stand in front of you on a rock at Mount Sinai.
Hit that rock with the stick, and water will come out of it. Then the people can drink.” Moses did these things as the elders of Israel watched.
And water came out of the rock and all the people could drink.
* * * * * * *
Good bye, until next time when we will learn what happened next.
Until then, remember to say your prayers obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * *