BIG IDEA: GOD’S WORD IS SWEET!
AIM: The aim of the ‘Sweet!’ Childrens Lesson on Manna in the Wilderness is to help children understand that the bible is our spiritual food and to inspire them to read it more often. This is the first session in the ‘Sweet!’ teaching series.
Alternatively if you want to help the children remember or recognize books from the bible use one of these fantastic Books of the Bible songs.
- Candy Catch. (widescreen/regular) Have teams stand in a line. The first player must stand on the other side of the room with a tub of candy (with wrappers). The first player must grab a candy from the tub and throw it to the next player in the line. If the player catches the candy they can run to the back of the line and sit down. If they do not catch the candy they must try again with a new candy until they finally catch it and the next player can begin to try and catch. The team that catches their candy and is sat down first is the winning team.
- Candy Throw. (widescreen/regular) Have a leader throw up in the air as many candies as they can. Two children must compete to pick up the most candies. The winner is the child with the most candy at the end. Play a few rounds and give more of your children a chance to win.
- Sweet Surprise. (widescreen/regular) Buy some round candies with wrappers. Take out some of the candy and wrap up grapes [or any other food that looks similar] instead. Have two players compete to pick a candy wrapper and eat what is inside; showing what they have picked. The child that picks the most candy is the winner.
BIG VERSE: O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the one who trusts in him. Psalm 34:8.
SET the Scene:
Read Exodus 16. Explain that God had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt yet they had been complaining. God provided manna for the children of Israel even though they were not faithful to God. God was faithful to them.
- ‘Moses in the Wilderness’ by Saddleback Kids
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) FOOD HELPS OUR BODIES GROW HEALTHY AND STRONG
Play the Taste Test game where children must try and guess what the food is that they are eating. You will need to blindfold your contestants so that they cannot see the food. Then ask them what they think they are eating.
Say: We all need to eat to make us healthy and strong. What was the last thing you ate? [Get feedback] The type of food we feed on will either make us healthy or ill. As much as I LOVE candy [or insert food of your choice!] I would be ill if that was all I ate.
The people of Israel started to get mad and complain when they were hungry. They knew they needed food to stay alive. They had eaten lots of nice food in Egypt. What kind of food do you like to eat? [Get feedback] Would you be sad if you couldn’t eat it anymore? [Get feedback] Yes, me too! Yet God is a good God and He gave them all the food they needed each day. He provided them with food so that they didn’t even need to hunt or search for their food!
Eating good food helps our bodies to grow healthy and strong. The people of Israel knew this and I’m sure your parents know it too! Do your parents or those that look after you make sure you eat your dinner? [Share your own experience of how your parents/guardians encouraged you to eat well.] They do that because they know that to for our bodies to grow healthy and strong we all need food.
2) GOD’S WORD HELPS ME GROW STRONG
This object lesson is aimed at younger children. You will need a plant and some plant food (some flowers and plants come with plant food when you buy them, or you could simply use water) and a bible.
Say: I have a plant here that I really want to see grow. What does it need to make it grow? [Get feedback] That’s right! [Feed or water your plant] Just as this plant needs food/water to grow the bible says that for us to grow in God we need food too. The bible is like food for us to grow strong in God. Now that doesn’t mean I am going to start eating my bible [play act eating your bible – the kids should have a giggle at this!] No, I don’t want to eat my bible! That’s what normal food is for.
When I read my bible the words that I read are so good that the bible tells me it is like honey to my lips. It’s so good! The words are so good that I get filled up on how good God is! That makes me grow strong because now I know who God is and what He can do! I start to believe that He is with me and that makes me grow strong in knowing that I can do anything with Him.
In Matthew 4:4 it says;
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
When I don’t read my bible I might feel weak. Just like when I don’t eat anything or don’t eat healthy food. But it’s a different kind of weak feeling. I start to forget who God is and how much He loves me. I stop believing that He is good and I start doing things I know He wouldn’t like because I have forgotten what His Word says. So the Bible helps me to grow in God. To grow in love for Him. To grow strong in my faith in Jesus. I want to grow strong in God so that’s why I read God’s Word. And it’s so good! It’s so sweet to me!
2) THE BIBLE HELPS OUR SPIRIT GROW HEALTHY AND STRONG
[This object lesson is aimed at older children.] It is a more in depth look at how the bible helps us to grow strong. Use the Body, Spirit, Soul picture (regular/widescreen) to help you talk and have a bible in your hand to show or pass around to the children.
Say: The bible tells us that there are 3 parts to a person. We each have a body, a spirit and a soul. What is our body? [Get feedback] Yes! Our body is what we can see and touch. [Touch your own hair or your own face] Yet there are parts to us that we can’t see. What does it mean for us to have a soul? [Give space for the children to think]
Our soul includes our mind – the things that we think. We can’t see or touch our thoughts. That would be silly! Nobody else can see our thoughts either. Yet these help to make up who we are. Our soul also includes our will – what we want. Maybe you have said “I will have this…” or “I will have that…” Our soul also includes our feelings; when we are sad, happy, excited… can you think of any others? [Get feedback] Yes that’s right!
Our spirit is the part of us that connects with God. Our spirit will live forever with Jesus if we ask him to be our Lord and Savior; if we ask him to be the number 1 person in our lives. When we read the bible our spirit gets stronger. Just as our body needs food, our spirit needs the Word of God to help it grow. Our spirit grows in faith, love and hope for God. When we read the bible we read the truth of who God is and all that He has done for us. It helps our spirit to grow strong in faith, believing that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Sweet Sensation. (widescreen/regular) Have a number of different sweet foods out on a table in bowls for your players to try. They should all be yummy! Only have one bowl of each food. On the bottom of each bowl stick a bible verse reference about the bible. The children can eat whatever is in the bowl to win the bowl for their team. If preferred you can invite them to get their team to help them eat it faster. The player with the most bowls at the end of the game is the winning team.
Encourage the children to find the bible verses and to sit and discuss what they mean.
- What does this verse tell me about the Bible?
- What does this verse make me feel?
- Is God speaking to me through this verse? What is He saying?
SENSE How You Feel:
Depending on which aspect of the session you would like to focus on, here are a few ideas for activities to help the children to reflect. As they are doing the activity you may want them to think about the following question:
What does the Bible mean to you?
GROWING IN GOD ACTIVITIES:
- Plant a seed and decorate the plant pot with candy wrappers. Attach the ‘Big Verse’ to the side of the plant pot.
GOD’S WORD IS SWEET ACTIVITIES:
- Paint or decorate an apron with the ‘Big Verse’ and lots of tasty treats.
- Create a candy photoframe and print the ‘Big Verse’ inside the frame. Simply encourage the children to stick candy or candy wrappers around the sides of the photoframe.
- Paint or decorate a wooden spoon that children can use when baking to remind them of the goodness of God’s Word.
- Create labels with the ‘Big Verse’ for packs of candy and have the children pick their own candy and stick the label onto the pack. They could keep it themselves or make some for their friends and family.
- Make this fantastic bible snack by using fig newton, icing and a fruit roll.
MANNA FROM HEAVEN ACTIVITIES:
- ‘Manna From Heaven’ craft by Crafting the Word of God.
- ‘God Sends Quails’ craft by Crafting the Word of God
Say: In what area of your life do you need to know the sweetness of God’s Word? Is there a part of your life that feels sad or confusing? God says that He is good and His Word is good for us. Tell Him what you are finding difficult or sad today. [Leave some space for the children to pray.]
God wants to speak to you afresh today. He wants you to remember that He is good. Listen to what He is saying to you. Is He asking you to do something today? His Word is sweet – it is not sour – He doesn’t come to condemn you and make you feel bad. He wants you to know His love today. Let’s spend a few more moments listening to what he might have to say.
[Hand out the empty ‘Sweet Sense’ sheet. The words ‘what does God’s word taste like to you?’ are on the sheet. Encourage the children to think about how they think the bible is to them. Is it fun? Boring? Exciting? Good? Ask them to think of a food that best describes that word. Give them some time to finish the sheet. Ask if they would like God to change how they feel about the Bible or if they are happy with how they see it in their lives. Then pray over the children that they would know God’s sweetness in those areas of their lives.]