Today’s lesson is based on Exodus 15:22-17:7
- Do you know the difference between a want and a need? A need is something you can’t live without. A want is something you’d really, really like, but it isn’t a necessity.
- Watch the video below with your family and decide whether each item is a WANT or a NEED. *Hint: you might not all agree on the answers and that’s ok!
- Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between wants and needs. When you really, really want something, it starts to feel like a need! And sometimes what you want or need changes, or is different from someone else’s needs. For instance, a shiny red bike might be something you really want – if you need the bike to get to work so that you could make money to buy food for your family, well, then that want becomes a need!
- Sometimes we don’t think we need something, but we do! (like when we want to stay up late and don’t think we need sleep!)
- But, even if we can’t always perfectly tell what we need, there’s someone who ALWAYS can. Do you know who? God!
- Let’s find out what happened to the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt, and how God met their needs!
- Why did God bring His people out of Egypt? (Ex. 5:1) He had heard their cries when they were in slavery, and he wanted them to be free to worship Him.
- When they got to the Red Sea and it looked like there was nowhere to go, what did God do? Parted the waters of the sea and they walked through on dry land
- Woah. You’d think the Israelites would have trusted God then, right? After all – He had done all kinds of crazy things in Egypt through plagues to prove His power, and then they were set free, and even the sea couldn’t stop them! But did they trust Him? No.
- What did they complain about? (Ex. 15:24, 16:3) They were hungry and they didn’t have much food.
- Is food and water a want or a need? A need
- Did God know what they needed? Yes!
- How did God give the people the food and water they needed? (Ex. 15:25, 16:3, 17: 5-6). He provided manna on the ground that they could make into bread, and meat, He even made fresh water flow from a rock.
- God even provided a day of rest! Can you remember what that was called? (Ex. 16:23). A Sabbath.
- Even though the people were wandering through a desert, God provided for all their needs. He led them with a cloud and a pillar of fire. He gave them water and food and rest. Have you ever seen God provide for you and your family? How?
DID YOU KNOW: One time, the Israelites came upon a spring of water but the water tasted bitter. God told Moses to place his staff (like a walking stick) into the water and it became sweet and good to drink! Today we’re going to pretend to make some water sweet by playing a fun game (don’t drink it though!!)
What you need:
- Plastic cups (or containers, totes or buckets)
- Masking tape
- Wooden craft sticks (or find some small sticks outside)
WHAT you do:
- Set up two cups filled about halfway with water (if dividing your family into two teams) or use one cup per child.
- Note: you could also use small bins or plastic containers, you just want something that won’t dump over easily.
- Make a tape line a few feet away from the cups where you want child(ren) to stand.
- When you say “go” each team or child starts throwing craft sticks towards the containers. The first team or child to have all their sticks in their container wins!
** Before you start, make sure that each person has a blank piece of paper to write on. You’ll also need a special snack (maybe a bowl of popcorn or a plate of cookies)!
- What happened when the Israelites tried to gather too much food and save some for the next day? It went bad / it was full of bugs.
- Why do you think God didn’t want them to gather food for other days? He wanted them to trust Him. If they only gathered enough food for one day, it meant they trusted that God was going to provide for them the next day too!
- It was hard for the Israelites not to worry that there wouldn’t be enough food. After all, they were in a desert! They wondered if God really saw them and really cared about them. Sometimes, we worry about things too. We might worry if we’ll have enough food, or if someone will get sick, or if we’ll mess up in school and everyone will make fun of us.
- On your strip of paper, write or draw something that you’re worried about. If you don’t want to write it, you could just think about it as you hold your paper. “What have you been worrying about? What’s been bothering you?” (parents, allow some time for them to think and write/draw!)
- God sees you too, and He cares about your worries! Do you know what the best part is? He wants you to give them to Him! He wants you to trust him just like the Israelites did – because He loves you.
- But, sometimes, instead of trusting God, we take our worries and we hold onto them tightly (have child(ren) tear their papers in half and then crumple them and hold each piece tightly – one in each hand). What happens to our worries when we hold them tightly? Do they disappear? No! Eventually, it’d hurt your hand to squeeze that paper so hard, right?
- The Bible says that God is a good God and he wants to give good gifts to his children. So now, without letting go of your paper, I want you to try and hold this good gift. (have child try to take a snack from the bowl or eat a cookie with their papers still in their hands).
- That’s hard to do with your worries crumpled up in your hands, right? God knows that too. So he wants us to give our worries to Him. He wants us to trust Him because He is our provider and He will take care of us too!
- As a family, open up the papers and talk about the things you’ve been worrying about. Then, bring those worries to God together in prayer. When you are done, have each child take their crumpled papers and toss them into a garbage can.
Parents, end your prayer time with the following blessing: