A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Food and water in the desert and the first Covenant


As the Israelites escaped from slavery in Egypt, travelling into the desert, they soon started to complain again. First, they ran out of food.

‘At least in Egypt we had enough to eat,’ they said.

So God sent quail around their camp each evening and each morning the Manna from heavenground was covered in manna. Next, they could find no water. So God told Moses to strike a great rock with his staff, and fresh water flowed out for the Israelites to drink.

Three months after they left Egypt, the Israelites came to the Desert of Sinai. There, God made a covenant, a solemn agreement, with them:

‘You have seen how I brought you out of Egypt. Now, if you keep all my commandments, I will make you my treasured possession. The whole earth is mine, but you will be my own nation.’

The leaders of the people agreed that they would do everything that God required of them. So Moses went up Mount Sinai to meet with God and he gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  

The story illustrates:

  • God’s miraculous provision for his people
  • God’s desire and promise to commit himself to his people.

Bible References

Exodus 16:1-36, Exodus 17:1-6, Exodus 19:1-8
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