By Brooke Holt
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.’ So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, ‘At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?’” Exodus 16:4-7
Yesterday, we read of the Israelites complaining about Moses, Aaron, and the Lord. Due to their great hunger pains, they felt certain the Lord had brought them out of the bondage of Egypt and into the desert so they might die of hunger. It seems preposterous to us, but just consider your responses to God when life did not turn out the way you expected. Did you think he failed you or fooled you? Did you feel abandoned or forgotten, unworthy, unseen, or unloved?
Challenging times test your faith as these times in the desert tested the Israelites. They knew how to survive their bondage in Egypt. They did not know how to live as children of the Almighty God. Just as they were on a journey to the Promised Land, so they were also on a spiritual journey to know and trust the Lord their God.
God’ revealed his faithfulness to his children yet again in the daily provision of food. Each morning, he provided exactly what they needed. They only had to gather enough food for each person in the family for that day, no more and no less. Then, the Lord wanted them to trust him to send food again tomorrow and the next day. He commanded them not to hoard food; rather God gave a daily invitation to see his goodness and provision.
The sixth day of the week offered the only exception to the daily gathering. On that day, God told them to gather twice as much. The Sabbath day was a holy day on which they were to worship and not work. God was not only to be trusted but praised for he was above all things. As he demonstrated in the Israelite exodus from Egypt, he was the Lord of all nations, rulers, nature, and his beloved people.
In today’s reading, we find the Israelites in the early part of their physical and spiritual journey. They would learn many lessons and face many tests as they followed God through the wilderness. While God would prove himself faithful at every stage of the journey, the Israelites would fail to fully trust and obey the Lord. Thankfully, God was merciful and patient with his children.
You, too, will fail on your journey to the ultimate Promised Land. Just as God was merciful and patient with the Israelites, he will continue to be merciful and patient with you. Yet, you have God’s word; you have the lessons of those who have gone before. Will you learn from their mistakes and from the faithfulness of the Lord your God? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Come explore the grand story of God as the one who knows and loves his people. In one of the greatest love stories ever told, The Book of Exodus reveals God as Yahweh, the Great “I AM.” He is the transcendent, all-powerful creator of all things who defeated the greatest powers of the earth. This same God would have his people know and love him in an intimate and personal way. The Great “I AM” – A Study of the Book of Exodus is a 9-week study consisting of a small group study guide combined with weekly video teachings. Come and meet The Great “I AM”.
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