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A Kid's Portion

Gathering manna


Our Spiritual food is having a daily Quiet-time to read God's Word, pray, and listen to Him.

Bible Text:

Ecclesiastes 12:1a.


A Kid's Portion:

What is a kid's portion of food?  Can you imagine peeping into the dining room and gasping - the table is groaning under a huge pile of food that reaches to the ceiling!  "Who's going to eat all that food?" you ask.  "You are!" comes the reply, "And tonight's supper is going to last you for the whole year!"   Your mother exclaims, "And you are going to sit here until it's all gone!"

Whew!  You wake up with a fright and realise it was only a dream!

Today's lesson is all about greed and disobedience and is based on the story of the Israelites finding manna in the desert (Exodus 16:1-20).  Our text is from Ecclesiastes 12:1a which says:

"Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth."

Sparkling Flakes:

Joanna looked at the rolling sand dunes of the desert and thought how pretty the sparkling white flakes looked in the early morning sun.  They were everywhere and covered the desert sand as far as she could see.

"What is it?" she asked her mother as she collected a handful from around her feet and poured it into her mother's clay jug.   "Moses said it is called manna," replied her mother, "And it's the bread God has sent for us to eat."

Greedy People:

Just then some strangers came running up to where their friends and neighbours were busy filling pots and basins with the strange white flakes.  The men roughly pushed the women aside and even punched one of the men who tried to stop them from grabbing all the manna they had collected.

Do any of you children fight for the biggest piece of cake or sweets?  (Let the children respond).

"What greedy and rude people they are!" exclaimed Joanna, "They didn't have to do that because it's lying about everywhere."  Her mother led her away and said, "There's more than enough for all of the people of Israel, for God always provides our needs.  Come, let's go back to our tent as we have enough for today's portion."

Enough for Today:

As Joanna followed her she asked worriedly, "But what about tomorrow, shouldn't we gather more for it?"  Her mother shook her head, "No, Moses commanded us to collect just enough for the day and not to try and save any for the next day, because then it would turn bad."

"But why did God make that rule?" Joanna wanted to know.  Her mother sat down under the shade of a tall palm tree and patted the sand next to her.  "Sit and down next to me and I will explain it to you."  Joanna did so as she popped a handful of manna from their jug into her mouth.  As she chewed she laughed, "It's delicious, it tastes just like honey!"

Thinking About God:

Her mother smiled at her enthusiasm and said, "I'm glad you like it because we are going to eat it for many days."  She thought for a moment, "God told us to collect just enough for our portion every morning.   And then we will think about Him every day and remember to thank Him for His care for us.  It's not enough if we only think of Him on a Sabbath or a feast day".

Joanna thought about the kindness of God all that day.  Each time they sat down for a meal she would look at her mother, and then bow her head to say a big 'thank-you' to God.

How can we think about God?  (Let the children respond)   Yes, we can think of all the good things that God does for us and gives us.  We can also think about Jesus and how He loves us and died for us on the cross.

And there are many other things that we can think about God, and what He does in our lives!  Children, can you suggest some things that we should think about?  (Let the children respond).

Result of Disobedience:

Next morning Joanna and her mother awoke to shouting and anger in the camp.  "What a dreadful smell," exclaimed her father.  All around people were throwing spoilt manna onto the rubbish heap.  "So!" came an angry voice, "You refused to pay attention to me!  And now the manna you kept overnight is rotten and full of maggots.  It's stinking out our campsite!"

A shiver ran down Joanna's back as she watched an angry Moses waving his arms about as he stalked round the camp shouting at the disobedient people.

Is is good to be disobedient and greedy, and does that please God?   (Let the children respond).  No, God wants us to be obedient and kind, and care for other people, and that means we should share things and not be greedy.

God is a Gracious Giver:

Next day as Joanna walked into the desert she whispered, "Mother I'm so glad we obeyed Moses.  He was awfully angry at those disobedient people.  We must make sure we gather new manna every day!"  Her mother nodded as they started to gather manna to refill their empty jug.

She gave Joanna a hug and replied, "Daughter, I am proud of you.  You must never forget that your name means, 'God is a gracious Giver,' and that He can be trusted to meet our daily needs."

Well, Joanna grew up and eventually went into the promised land with the Israelite people.  But she never forgot to take time to think about God and His kindness.  And she thanked Him for their food every day, because she knew that He loved her.

A Daily Portion:

And that's why God wants you boys and girls to have a daily personal Quiet-time when you can read His Word and pray to Him.  I hope you will remember this lesson and know that we serve a wonderful God who still graciously protects us and gives us our daily needs.  And remember to listen, for God may whisper something in your heart!

It's your daily portion - a kid's portion.  Make sure you get it!

God bless.

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