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Exodus 16

Manna and Quail

The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twiceas much as they gather on the other days.”

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’”

10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.

11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer[a] for each person you have in your tent.’”

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little.18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers[b] for each person—and the leaders of the communitycame and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lordcommanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”

24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”

27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you[c] refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

31 The people of Israel called the bread manna.[d] It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”

33 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”

34 As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved. 35 The Israelites ate mannaforty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.

36 (An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)


Exodus 16

Well the Israelites, being human just like us, go from singing Gods praises to complaining pretty quickly. How quick we are to forget the blessings of God and the miracles that he performs when we are faced with something else. For centuries they lived on fertile farmland while in Egypt a vast difference then traveling in the desert. Now their supplies are running out and they start to complain in anticipation of starvation. Nobody’s dying of malnutrition here they’re just spoiled and looking ahead not focusing on what God has for them but what they think is going to happen. Help us we’re gonna die! These guys are so dramatic 🙄

Again, assumptions… forgetting that God always provides what we need. How short their memory was. Did they just forget about the plagues? How God parted the sea for them? Only caring about their physical needs instead of focusing on God and their need to trust him. Physical needs vs spiritual needs. Their wandering in the desert with no way to provide for themselves was a way that God could show them AGAIN that he would provide for them. Everything that they need, not exactly all that they wanted.

So they complain to God… A lot. Actually they’re complaining to Moses and Aaron. When we complain to or about people from God we are actually complaining about God! Not a good thing to do. Who are we? We are no one we are just servants, messengers, prophets, pastors… But God is the one who provides. The Israelites are acting like kids on a road trip. Three days in they started complaining and they continue… we’re thirsty! We’re hungry! Are we there yet! Why is this taking so long? I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! I have to go to the restroom … are we there yet? Those road trips with kids .. I can see God rolling his eyes.. OK maybe it’s me rolling my eyes in remembrance of those trips. lol

Can you imagine if we indulge in every request on those trips, surely we would never get to our destination. Their lack of belief and trust in the Lord turned an 11 day road trip into a 40 year journey of circling the desert. That’s a long test and lesson to be learned.

God doesn’t want any distractions or unnecessary stops along the way, yet they happen. We choose to take short cuts, stop to satisfy an urge, we complain, we participate in things of the world… we don’t follow instructions and take more than we deserve. We get distracted very easily don’t we. But God … he knows what we need. So he tells them I’ve heard you’re complaining I will provide bread in the morning and quail (The best of the best) at night. Raining bread in the morning .. it’s raining bread hallelujah it’s raining bread… falalaaaa … every time I hear that song I’m gonna sing it’s raining bread now not men. 😁 God rained manna down from heaven. He didn’t say I’ll provide when you stop complaining because if he did they certainly would’ve starved. He loves us that much that even when we act like the enemy he still loves us and fulfills his promises.

God gives them specific instructions: every day take your portion, prepare it, eat it and the next day I will provide again for you. On the sixth day take a double portion because on the seventh day you’re going to rest. The first time God tells us That we need to take a day of rest after six days of laboring. We all need a day of sabbath! Instilling and teaching work ethic. Of course you always have a few that don’t listen and when they don’t well the extra that they collected will turn into maggots and spoil. 🤮

Trusting God to fulfill our needs not our wants. 40 years it took them to figure this out. Sometimes when God provides for us we don’t recognize it. The manna came down in flakes he wasn’t delivering bread directly to their doorstep like the Breadman days gone by. They had to gather it, grind it and bake it. They had to catch a quail to prepare and cook. God sets boundaries and gives us specific instructions so that we can learn to trust him.
How long has your journey been? Are you still walking in circles trying to get to your destination? Are you still struggling to trust God … Completely.
Earthly satisfaction versus heavenly satisfaction.
Which one wins out today?
Physical or the spiritual.

🙌 🙏🏻 ❤️
May be an image of cloud and text that says 'The whole Israelite community complained against Moses and Aaron in the desert. Exodus 16:2'