Read Exodus 16
Focus on verse 18
One of the world’s wealthiest men was once asked about how many dollars he would need before he would have enough; his answer apparently was, “just one more”. It would seem that it is in our nature as humans to never be satisfied with what we have. There is an old saying, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence”, which accurately describes our tendency to be consistently envious of what is just out of our reach. What we fail to realize is that when we actually manage to get to the other side of the fence, we realize that from this side the grass on the side we just came from actually looks greener.
In today’s reading Moses instructs the people about how God will provide food for them in the wilderness. In the morning as the dew lifts there will be “manna” – little flakes of sweet bread like food on the ground for them to collect. In the evening, quail fly in and land in the camp, which they can kill and prepare for meat. This was a test of faith, as well as one of obedience. They were to collect only what they needed for one day on the first five days of the week, on the sixth they were to gather two days worth since there would never be manna on the seventh day.
But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. (v. 18)
Not surprisingly some of the people tried to collect more than they needed only to find that it would spoil over night…except on the sixth day. For forty years they gathered “manna”, the bread of heaven that the Lord provided for them in the wilderness on every day except the seventh. This was a lesson for Israel not just in trusting the Lord to provide for them, but also in obedience in regard to the Sabbath day. They were not to go out and gather on the seventh day; rather they were to gather enough on the sixth for two days.
The Lord is so patient with Israel – well, at least at this point – He is teaching them to walk in obedience to His commands (and He has not yet given them the ten commandments). How wonderful to have the Lord Himself provide bread each day, and meat each evening… they did not have to hunt, or grow grain or grind flour… though it seems they could use the manna to bake cakes of some sort.
The Lord is still in the business of providing for His people. He may not use manna as the means by which to provide it, but He is faithful to those who put their trust in Him.