records that the children of Israel “murmured,” or complained, about Moses and the Lord when they had a problem. It is hard for us to understand how they could have complained so quickly after the great miracle of the Red Sea. We must remember, however, that although slavery limited the Israelites’ freedom, slavery also provided the Israelites’ necessities of life in a way similar to that of a person in prison. Because the children of Israel had limited freedom to make choices, they were spiritually immature. Because the Lord is interested in our growth, He wants—even requires—that we make choices. As we need His help, He provides help for us in a way that requires us to do difficult things that build and strengthen us. To murmur against the Lord is to show that we lack faith that He knows what is best for us.Exodus 16–17
contains much murmuring by the children of Israel. As you read these chapters, look for what the Lord taught the children of Israel to strengthen them and give them greater reason to trust Him.
Studying the Scriptures
Do activities A–C as you study Exodus 16.
What Was the Purpose of Manna?
According to Exodus 16:4, what was one of the purposes of manna?
Based on what you read in chapter 16, how do you think manna could accomplish the purpose verse 4 gives?
Manna Was a Type of Christ
Read John 6:31–35, 48–51 and write about how manna is like Jesus Christ and how we are like the children of Israel. You may be interested to know that in Hebrew Bethlehem (the city where Jesus was born) means “house of bread.”
Who Are You Really Complaining Against?
When you murmur against your leaders, who are you really murmuring against? (see Exodus 16:8; D&C 84:36).