The Bread from Heaven

April 4, 2022 in Today's Worship by TGV

Exodus 16: Worship Guide/ 2-BSG-16A, (Exodus 16:1-36)/ Theme: The Bread from Heaven / Hymn: O Living Bread from Heaven, [Author: Johann von Rist (1651)]


 

Exploration: The folly of Unbelief — (read Ps 78:22; 106:24; Isa 7:9b; Heb 3:12, 18-19; 11:6; Jude 5)

Reflection: This chapter can be developed as follows: God provides Manna (1-7); God provides Meat (8-12); Rules are given for gathering the Manna (13-21); Manna gathering and the Sabbath (22-30); One jar of Manna is kept as a memorial of God’s provision (31-35). Israel set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. Apparently, their food supplies ran out, and they began grumbling. They said to Moses and Aaron, “we wish God had used His hand to kill us off in Egypt!” (I am paraphrasing, Ex. 16:3).

Devotional Implication: Here, the writer recalls the recurring theme of the wanderings—the faithlessness of Israel. What is unbelief? There are two Greek words – [apeitheia] “disobedience” see Rom. 11:30-32; Heb. 4:6, 11; and [apistia] “distrust,” which is the antithesis of “faith.” Unbelief is a determined refusal to believe or to trust God. Just 45 days “after their departure from the land of Egypt” (Ex. 16:1), Israel had lost sense of who God was. They had moved from a period of ecstatic joy (at the Red Sea) to a period of unbelief, grumbling, and murmuring. They were now living by sight and not by faith! Aren’t we also doing the same? Aren’t we also forgetful of the omnipotent God’s intervention in our past life? How do we react when suddenly things fall apart?

Secondly, I want you to see the love of God here: He responds favorably to Israel’s grumbling by calling them to “come close into His presence” (Ex. 16:9), and as Aaron delivers God’s message, they behold God’s glory appearing in the clouds (Ex. 16:10). God’s response is to open the skies to “cause bread to rain down from heaven” (Ex. 16:4). Beloved, God could have wiped these people out at this point if He wanted to, but he bore with them. He is a loving, longsuffering God who gives us many chances to reconsider His goodness and mercy before He renders judgment. Once again, the LORD demonstrates to Israel what He revealed to Abraham centuries earlier: He is Jehovah Jireh, “the LORD will provide” (Gen 22:14). He provided food for them. He sent Quail and Manna -“the bread from heaven.” And every day, manna covered the ground with a message that God’s mercy is renewed every morning, and were it not for this, they would all be consumed. Beloved, Christ is the ultimate Manna, “the Bread of Life,” the Bread that came down from heaven, that whoever eats of it should not perish” (John 6:48, 50). Today, He invites us to believe in His power again (Luke 1:37), and He will satisfy our souls.

The Gospel’s Voice: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—because He does. What does the LORD say to me this morning? My son, whining was Israel’s besetting sin: it started when Moses first went to Pharaoh (Ex. 6:20-21); at the Red Sea (Ex. 14:11, 12); at Marah (Ex. 15:23-24), and on and on. In fact, the entire period of Israel’s wandering (for 40 years) was characterized by unbelief, grumbling, and murmuring. I hate sin –(unbelief), and I desire that you come to Me (for help) in times of need. “I knew you before you were born” (Jer. 1:5), meaning I’m acquainted with every detail/ obstacle that may come your way. And I can solve them if you allow Me. I desire that you come to Me (by faith) and trust Me to handle your burdens — for “those who come to Me I will never turn away” (Jn 6:37). Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to – 1. Repent my sins – (unbelief/ faithlessness), and ask the LORD to increase my Faith (Lk 17:5); 2. Seek the LORD in prayer and believe in His power (Luke 1:37) to handle my burdens (1 Pet 5:7); 3. Put my trust in Jesus Christ—the Living Bread, who gives eternal life to all who believe (Jn 3:15); 4. Respond by coming boldly to “the throne of grace,” that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16).

Have A Blessed Day: “Through the Lord’s mercies, we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:22–24, NKJV)

 

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