|They had brought some food with them
from Egypt, but soon that food was gone, and again they blamed Moses. But Moses was very
patient and he would always find out from God what to do. And God always knew what to do.
And what do you suppose God did about the food
shortage? He caused food to drop right down out of the sky! Wasn't that wonderful?
The Israelites called it manna. It came in little
white lumps, like great big snowflakes. It was sweet, and very good to eat. The Hebrews
had to gather the manna every day, as it wouldn't keep for two days, except at the end of
the week. Then they could gather enough for two days, and it would last them over the
Yes, the Hebrews had many wonderful experiences, and
they didn't have any reason to doubt that God loved them and that he would take care of
them. But they did doubt, and ever so many times they blamed Moses for bringing them out
of the land of Egypt. That should be a good lesson for us. Let us never, never doubt God!
As I started out to say, it was necessary that the
Israelites be told what to do and what not to do. If one were alone in the world, it
wouldn't make so much difference what he did, because if he did wrong, he would be the
only one to suffer. Even then it would be best to do right, and it is always right to love
God and do whatever will please him. It is never right to do wrong.
There were thousands and thousands of the Israelites
out there on the desert together, and if they didn't do the right things, they would be in
trouble all the time, wouldn't they? So God gave them a Law which told them just what to
do, and how to get along with each other so they would be happy and he could bless them.
God gave his people the Law at Mount Sinai, or Mount Horeb, as it is sometimes called. It
was a wonderful Law. Moses received it from God up in the mountain, and when he told the
people about it, they said, "All these things will we do."
The most important thing in the Law was that they
were never to serve other gods. That was very important, because from now on they would be
meeting people who served other gods. Of course there is really only one true God, but the
heathen nations have what they call gods. Some think the sun is a god, and others think
the moon is a god. Some have a fish god, and some have gods of wood, and gods of stone.
These are no gods at all, really!
The God who made the sun and moon and stars, the God
who made us, is the only real God. He was the God who gave such wonderful promises to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was the God who delivered the Hebrews from their bondage in
Egypt. Surely it was the very best thing for the Hebrews that they should love their God,
and do all that he wanted them to do.
He is our God, too, and he wants us to obey
him, because it will be good for us. Let us always remember that God wants us to obey him
because it is good for us to do so. And besides, it makes God very happy when we do the
things which please him.
It was also important that the Israelites should do
the things that would be best for one another. You see, boys and girls, sometimes when we
do just as we please it may injure someone else, and that would be wrong, wouldn't it? Oh,
I know, sometimes we may think we have no liberty, that our fathers and mothers are too
strict with us. But we will eventually learn that there is only one way to be really
happy, and that is to be obedient, both to our parents and to God.
The Israelites had a very hard time out there in the
wilderness; but it would have been much, much worse if they had all done just as they
pleased. So God's Law told them just what they should do, and what they shouldn't do. When
they were obedient to that Law they got along very well. They were to love one another,
and were not to be jealous of the good things enjoyed by others.
They were told not to steal what belonged to others.
That is something we should always remember. We must not think we have a right to take
what belongs to someone else just because we want it very badly. That would be wrong,
because it would be robbing someone else of what belonged to him. You see everything that
God asks us to do is for the benefit of all, and if we obey his Law and try to make other
people happy, we will be happy ourselves. You just try to make others happy, and see if it
won't make you happy, too.
Yes, when God gave his Law to the Israelites he even
told the children what they should do. And what do you suppose that was? Why, they were to
honor and obey their parents. That is the right thing to do even now. No one likes a boy
or girl who is disobedient to his father or mother. When fathers and mothers try to please
God, and their children obey them, then, you see, the children are obeying God too, and
God is very much pleased.
It was long ago when God gave his Law to the
Israelites, then they had no governments such as we have. We think that the people who
make laws for us are very wise. But, do you know, the Law which God gave to Moses, and
which Moses gave to the Israelites, was better than any of our laws today? As a matter of
fact, our very best laws are copied right from the Bible. Isn't that wonderful? That
means, you see, that God was very wise, wiser than all the wise people who have ever
lived. No matter how wise people may think they are, they cannot make laws as good as
those God gave to Moses for the Israelites.
GOD GIVES LAWS TO HIS PEOPLE
How did the Hebrews know what was right for
them to do, and what was wrong?
Who made the laws which Moses gave to the
Hebrew people, and what did one of these laws say about children?