The Bread-Picking Sinners #1

Monday, January 30, 2012

“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” (Exodus 16:4 KJV).

Here, we find the nation Israel, just one month after her deliverance from Egypt (verse 1). For the past few weeks, the Jews have annoyed Moses by “murmuring” (complaining) that the LORD has not provided water for them to drink (Exodus 15:22-24). Despite their ungratefulness, God gives them potable water (verses 25,27), but when they bicker about lack of food, God then proceeds to “prove” (test) them again (Exodus 16:2,3). He wants to see if Israel will listen to Him regarding manna (bread) collection. Will they?

In today’s Scripture, God promises to feed Israel by raining down manna (bread) from heaven. He then gave Israel very clear instructions about gathering that manna. Firstly, per day, each man was to gather “one omer” of manna for each person in his tent (verse 16). Secondly, on the sixth day, they were to gather two omers per person (verse 5), for there would be no manna given on the seventh (Sabbath) day (verse 26).

What do you suppose Israel did with God’s simple instructions? Verse 17 explains: “And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.” Those sneaky rascals—some individuals were picking less than an omer of manna for each person, and some were picking more! Surprised? Do not be: these sons of Abraham were like us in that they were also sons of Adam. They were sinners.

God knew what they were doing, and He compensated. Miraculously, “And when they did mete [measure] 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” (verse 18). Even though they did not listen to God, He still took from those who gathered too much, and gave to those who gathered too little.

Sadly, Israel had failed God’s test, for they were bread-picking sinners.