Children's Lessons

Wilderness Wanderings

Exodus 16-17 & Numbers 20-21


Lesson Goal

To help children understand some of what the Israelites faced while wandering in the wilderness. This lesson will also help children to understand how God led the Israelites and occasionally punished them for their disobedience.


Lesson Overview

Read Exodus 16–17 and Numbers 20–21: The Israelites spent 40 years in the desert. They kept on sinning, and God kept on showing them that they should follow Him and trust Him. God's provision, protection, and punishment are part of their experience.


 Today's Bible Story

  Video Courtesy of Sharefaith


Memory Verse

Psalm 119:10 (ERV)

10 I try with all my heart to serve you.  Help me obey your commands.

Meaning:  The Israelites witnessed miracles every single day while they were in the wilderness, and yet they often disobeyed God's commands. They often complained about their living conditions and wished to return to Egypt, meaning they would rather be slaves if it meant they were comfortable than follow the Lord and live in a tent. The things of this world often tempt us to stray from the path of the Lord. As King David said in this psalm, we should seek God with all our hearts and obey His commandments.


The Big Idea

God is our gracious and merciful provider and protector.  Despite all of their complaints, God provided for His people as they journeyed to the Promised Land and during their years of wandering the desert.

1. Provision: God ensured that everyone had enough to eat by sending them manna each day and even some quail. He also provided them with water to drink and to care for their livestock. God also miraculously maintained their clothing. The Israelites' clothing didn't wear out during their entire 40 years of wandering through the wilderness.

2. Protection: The Israelites were an enormous group of people. Many of the neighboring nations were unhappy with so many people traveling through or even near their territory. God protected them and made them victorious over their enemies.

3. Punishment: Despite witnessing miracles on a daily basis, the Israelites complained about their situation and were often disobedient. God punished their behavior on a number of occasions. One such punishment was a swarm of poisonous snakes that bit the people and made them ill and die. God sent this punishment, but also the cure. God loved His people and was merciful.



Dear Lord, thank You for leading Israel, and thank You for leading us today. Help us to follow You. We ask these things in Jesus' name, Amen.


Fun Activities

40 Years In The Wilderness Bible Word Search Puzzles
40 Years In The Wilderness Bible Mazes
40 Years In The Wilderness Bible Bookmarks
40 Years In The Wilderness Kids Spot The Difference
40 Years In The Wilderness Sunday School Coloring Pages
40 Years In The Wilderness Sunday School Crossword Puzzles