When Pharaoh and his men drowned, the Israelites sang and danced. They were so happy to be safe. Miriam, Moses’s sister, led the women in a dance. They went in and out, weaving their way between the camp fires. She played the tambourine as all the women followed her.
Moses sang a song about God’s mighty power and strength. Moses thanked God for saving his people and for bringing them out of Egypt. Soon the day came for them to start traveling again. They followed God’s pillar of cloud.
For three days they wandered through the desert. All that time they found no water to drink. They stopped by a pool of sour water. They drank that water, which made them sick. To see the water and know they could not drink of it, just made the people even more thirsty.
Two million thirsty people began to grumble. They yelled at Moses, “What have you done to us? Here we are in the desert; dying of thirst, we could have been home, safe in Egypt. At least there we had water, fruit and fish. Here we have nothing!” Already the people had forgotten God’s promise to care for them.
Moses called out to God. The Lord showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw the wood into the pool. The water became sweet and fresh. The people dashed into the pool, splashing and laughing. Now they could drink their fill.
Moses told the people, “Always remember, the Lord will take care of you.” As if to prove this, God led the people to where water came out of the ground in twelve different places. There were palm trees to shade their tents. It was a perfect place to set up camp. The Lord had taken care of them again.
Soon it was time to break camp and travel on. It was not long after that the people started to complain again. They did not like the hot sun, the lack of water and food. The babies cried, the women moaned and the men grumbled.
When they had been out in the desert for about two months, the Israelites ran out of food. They yelled at Moses, “What have you done? There is nothing out here. Now we will all die. It’s your fault!”
Moses said, “God will take care of you. Trust Him!” They would not listen. They were stubborn and wanted to feel sorry for themselves.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses. “I will give the people bread in the mornings and meat in the evenings. They will rely on me for what they need. They will learn to trust me.”
The next morning, the ground was wet with tiny drops of dew. When the sun dried the dew, the people saw small white flakes of bread resting on the ground.
In the evening, a flock of quail birds landed around the camp. The people were able to catch as many as they needed. They roasted the birds and ate them. Thanks to God, for as long as they would travel through the desert, the people would always have enough to eat.