Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20060621.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
D. Learning To Heed God's Word By Doing So For Each Day's Living Needs
(Exodus 16:4, 13-36)
Lesson: The WAY God provided manna for Israel taught the people to obey His Word for the meeting of EACH DAY'S food NEEDS for FORTY YEARS! Thus, God wanted the people of Israel ALWAYS to TRUST His GOODNESS and ABILITY so that they ALWAYS OBEY His WORD!
- The tendency exists for us to become lax in focusing on and heeding God's Word. It is easy to get so involved in other activities that we amble down life's path somewhat ignorant of the Lord's directives.
- Of course, living independent of God's leading violates Jesus' call in John 15 that we focus on the Word so as to heed it at all times. For this reason, God allows trials to arise that force us to heed Scripture just to survive in this life, an experience Israel knew in relation to having her daily livelihood met (as follows):
- Learning To Heed God's Word By Doing So For Each Day's Living Needs, Exodus 16:4, 13-36.
- After Israel left Egypt (Exodus 12:34), the people soon ran out of food. Well, faithlessly assuming God had abandoned them to die of hunger, they complained to Moses and Aaron as if it was their fault, 16:1-3.
- God responded to say He would supply food in a way that would test their obedience to His Word, 16:4-5:
- On each regular day, God promised to provide from heaven the food Israel needed for that day, 16:4.
- Yet, the day before the Sabbath, God pledged to supply a double portion for that day and the next, 16:5.
- This program would force Israel to have to heed God's words about it just to survive, Exodus 16:4c!
- Moses and Aaron told Israel that God would reveal His ability and goodness to meet their food needs; they told how the next evening God would give meat and the next morning, bread to reveal the people had sinned in murmuring in unbelief against God in doubting His goodness and ability to provide, 16:6-12.
- As He had said, God ably provided quails that evening, Ex. 16:13a. In that era, quails were "a delicacy," so God showed He had the ability to feed Israel the best food, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV , 1978 ed., ftn. to 16:13.
- However, the next morning, God supplied small, round, thin wafers on the ground for Israel's food, 16:14. Since many asked what it was, it was called "manna," or "what's-its-name"! (Ibid., ftn. to Exodus 16:15)
- Moses then gave God's directions on this daily provision that Israel might heed His Word (Ex. 16:4d):
- The people were to gather up the manna each day for their daily food needs, Ibid., ftn. to Exodus 16:16.
- When they actually picked up the manna, some had more and others less, so they pooled what they had collected and took what each needed so that no one went hungry, Ex. 16:17-18; Ibid., ftn. to Ex. 16:18.
- Moses told Israel not to save the manna that was collected on each regular day for the next day, 16:19.
- However, some disobeyed God's directive, so what they kept spoiled and bred worms, Ex. 16:20!
- The people had to show initiative and rise early to gather the manna every day before the sun became hot or it would melt away, leaving them without food for that day, Exodus 16:21!
- On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much in accord with God's Word to keep the people from having to work in gathering food the next day, the Sabbath. God caused the manna collected the sixth day not to spoil for the Sabbath so they could later observe the Sabbath Day's rest, Exodus 16:22-26.
- Yet, some folk faithlessly feared God either would not or could not keep the manna overnight from the sixth day, so they did not store any, but went out vainly looking for food on the Sabbath Day, 16:27!
- This made God angry as he wondered how long the people would refuse to heed His Word, 16:28-30! The verb for "you refuse" is plural in form (may'antem), indicating God accused the people as a whole for disobeying Him rather than charging Moses with personal disobedience, Kittel, Bib. Hebr., p. 104.
- God told Moses to save one person's daily manna allowance in a pot in the tabernacle as a witness of this daily miraculous food provision from God for Israel all during the nation's wilderness journey, 16:31-34.
- The Lord provided this manna in accord with this daily provision program faithfully all during the forty years Israel was in the wilderness until the day after she entered Canaan, Exodus 16:35-36; Joshua 5:12.
Application: May we ALWAYS FOCUS on TRUSTING God's GOODNESS and ABILITY to help us so that we ALWAYS HEED His WORD, and that THROUGHOUT our EARTHLY LIVES! Only then will we find blessing and peace with God in living this life for Him, cf. John 15:4-7.