Tuesday, January 31, 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).
Once God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, the Jews began to complain that they lacked water and food. After God provided water, He then decided to “prove” (test) them again, to see if they will follow His instructions about collecting the manna (bread) that He will rain down (today’s Scripture). He commanded them not to gather more than “one omer” of manna per person or a non-sixth day, yet the Bible says that they gathered “some more, some less” (verse 17). While Israel disobeyed God’s simple instructions, He will test them again using the manna. Will they listen to God now?
Verse 19 explains, “And Moses said, Let no man leave of it [the manna] till the morning.” What do you suppose Israel did? Verse 20 tells us, “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.” Now, the Jews were not only ignoring God’s instructions; they were also disregarding Moses’ orders… and the camp began to stink because of it. Just imagine the putrid smell of unbelief and sin that filled God’s nostrils!
Moses then told Israel, “Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none [no manna]” (verse 26). How did Israel respond? “And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none” (verse 27). How sad!
Verse 28 says, “And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye [Israel] to keep my commandments and my laws?” For the next forty years, Israel ate that manna (verse 35), constantly disobeying God throughout that period.
Although Israel failed God’s test again and again, God in His mercy and longsuffering tolerated those bread-picking sinners.