A slightly longer passage today to read or listen to, Exodus Chapter 16, but it is difficult to split it up, without losing the flow.
I hope the story is straightforward, but a few notes to lead you through.
– One of the key much-repeated words is “grumbling”, which the Israelites direct against Moses and Aaron, but really against the Lord; but they dare not do it directly, so poor M&A get it in the neck (or perhaps ears!). Oh the joys of leadership!
– Again they are having a slightly rose-tinted view of the past with lots of food (v.3), which may or may not have been true, but actually leaves a huge amount unsaid, about the slave-driving and the horrendous conditions and pressure they had to live under. As I have said before, which applies to us as well;’How easy it is to look back and pretend our past life was better than our new life with God.’
– So the rest of the chapter is about how the Lord responds graciously to their grumbling, and in His kindness and mercy supplies their physical needs, for 40 years (v.35).
– Note too, how some of the Israelites don’t listen to the precise instructions, or perhaps deliberately push the boundaries, by gathering too much and so it goes manky (v.20), or by going out on the Sabbath when there was no need (vs.27-30). How slow we often are to trust and obey the Lord.
And John in his gospel, in Chapter 6, links this feeding of the Israelites in the desert to the feeding of the 5000, where again the setting was in a desolate place, where the food was provided miraculously, where everyone had enough to eat, and actually with Jesus there was loads leftover, as a picture of Jesus wanting to provide for everyone, because He is the Saviour of the whole world. ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never go thirsty.’ (John Ch.6 v.35).
May we all know the Lord’s provision and sufficiency today.
From our extended address list, please remember in your prayers today,- Pat & Catherine- Jotham and Jethro