What most occupies your mind these days, my friend? Safety? Health? Finances? Food?! What catches your attention? Covid news? Marketplaces? What to eat? What to cook? To cook or to buy? Perhaps where to buy? How to cook/buy? For moms/homemakers like me, planning and prepping meals can be stressful or draining even for some of my friends who like cooking.
Exodus 16 tells of the food crisis of the Israelites in the desert 1.5 months after they left Egypt. They grumbled (complained) to Moses/Aaron: “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread until we were full, now you’ve brought us here to kill us with hunger!” (vv1-3)
The Lord said to Moses “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My
instruction. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”
God wanted to test if they would obey his instructions to gather enough for each day, 2x as much on the 6th day so they could rest on the Sabbath.
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening you will know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt; 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, for He hears your grumblings against the Lord; and what are we, that you grumble against us?”
8 And Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, ‘Come forward before the Lord, for He has heard your grumblings.’” 10 And it came about, as Aaron spoke to the entire congregation of the sons of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
Lessons to learn:
1) Grumblings/grumble: 7x this word came up. The people complained of no food. They forgot how God provided for water in the previous chapter. Complaining- that’s my sin too. How many times do I take for granted the blessings God granted even and esp those that I did not ask for? I often forget his provisions in the past and complain about the present, what could have been, could be better or if only this or that. Beware of ungrateful discontentment.
2) God heard: 4x this phrase tells us God hears. God sees. God knows all the spoken and unspoken grumblings of my heart. God hears, listens and answers before I ask. What should I do more so that He will hear and know that I remember His grace and mercy for the things He gave that I did not ask and for those He withdrew from me that I did deserve. Grace and mercy: these are the responses of God in all that He heard and saw in my heart.
3) Daily bread: God is testing the Israelites if they would follow his instruction: to gather enough for each day, 2x on the 6th day so they could rest on the Sabbath. More than just a lesson from the Lord’s prayer: Give us this day our daily bread, God wants me to live a life of trust and obedience everyday, one day at a time.
As He said to the Israelites, He is telling me: At twilight, you shall eat meat, in the morning you shall be filled with bread, and you Shall Know that I AM THE LORD your GOD!
Lord, help me today to obey you, test my heart that I will follow your ways. Give us this day our daily bread. Thank you for your provisions one day at a time. Enable me to live each moment in grateful contentment and joy knowing that you are Lord and God even in the pandemic! Amen.