Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manna in the Wilderness

The story of the Lord providing manna and quail for the children of Israel shows us not only how the Lord provides for His children but also how He teaches them to work.

Exo 16:2-3  And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

The children of Israel had a big problem; they had nothing to eat.  Unfortunately, instead of asking the Lord for something to eat, they were just like a typical child, they started to whine and complain.

Exo 16:4-12  Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.  And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:  And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?  And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.   And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.  And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.

In these verses we see the Lord explaining that He would be providing for the needs of the children of Israel in the morning as well as in the evening.

Exo 16:13-15  And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.   And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.   And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

The Lord provided for the needs of the children of Israel in a miraculous way.  In the morning the ground was covered with manna and in the evening the camp was covered with quails.  The food that was provided had some instructions that had to be obeyed.

Exo 16:16-21 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.   And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.  And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.  And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.   Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.  And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.

The first part of the instructions was that the children of Israel gathered just what they needed for the day.  If they did not gather enough for the day they went hungry.  If they gathered more than they needed, the next morning they found a bowl full of worms that stunk.

Ex. 15:22-29  And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.   And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.   And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.   And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.   Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.  And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.   And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?   See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.

The second part of the instruction was that on the day before the Sabbath the children is Israel were to gather enough for two days.  In this story we see that both parts of the instructions were not obeyed by all of the people.  In order for the people to get the manna obedience was required.  The Lord gave the provisions, but the children of Israel had to get up early to gather it, if they didn't they would go hungry.

So let's apply this story to our lives.  Do our children have everything handed to them on a silver platter, or do we make them work for things?  The Lord provided the manna, but the people had to work to get it.  The Lord didn't fill their manna pots every morning(something He could have easily done); He made them work for it.  We need to start teaching our children as soon as possible how to work.  A simple example: if they want to eat dinner they need to help set the table, even a one-year old can carry a plastic cup to the table!  Let's consider how we are teaching our children to work.

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