January 29, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested on the seventh day.”– Exodus 16:27–30 (NKJV)
In the previous verses of chapter 16, the Israelites were traveling due to their exodus from slavery in Egypt. As they were going through the desert, they started grumbling to Moses and Aaron because they were hungry and missed the food they had in Egypt. They even went so far as to say they wished God had killed them off in Egypt!
So, our amazing God, who is faithful to His Word to take care of His people, told them He would provide bread (manna) for them from heaven. They were only to gather enough to sustain them for that day. On the seventh day; however, He wanted them to honor the Sabbath day (a day of rest) that He established. Therefore, He instructed them to collect twice as much manna on the sixth day because on the seventh day—the Sabbath—there shouldn’t be anyone in the field to gather. Nonetheless, some people still went out to gather manna on the seventh day, but they found none. Even though this may seem innocent, it was in direct disobedience to God’s instructions.
Our Lord wants to care for us as the one and only perfect Father that He is. He wants to provide for our needs and at the same time have us grow and mature. He always has perfect reasons for all of His instructions. And if we don’t know what those reasons are right away, we just need to trust and obey Him.
In this case, He wanted the Israelites to have a day of rest and restoration in Him. He wanted them to honor the Sabbath day—a day He established and made as one of the ten commandments. He created us, so He knows we need rest—He even set an example for us as He Himself rested on the seventh day after He had finished His work (Genesis 2:2).
God did all the planning for them, as He does with us. He provided just enough so they wouldn’t have to find a place to store food or have to carry any additional food while traveling. He also didn’t want them to work or have to collect food on their day of rest, so He planned ahead and gave them twice as much the day before.
He is still the same God, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). One of God’s names in the Bible is Jehovah Jireh, which means, “God will provide.” It’s His name, who He is, and that will never change. Whether we’re in the middle of a “desert season” like the Israelites were, or not, He’s still here and will lead and protect us if we let Him—if we don’t try to get in front of Him to lead ourselves.
He has provided for you so far—you’re still here, and He is speaking to you now. Let Him love and lead you as He desires to do!
Pause: Where are you walking ahead of God or are feeling like you want to take the lead because He’s not meeting your expectations or timing?
Practice: Read Hebrews 11, an amazing chapter that testifies the truth of what walking by faith means. Pray and ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in Him in your specific situation(s).
Pray: Dear Lord, remind me of Your goodness when I’m not content. Help me pause and let You lead when I want to get ahead of You. I know You have my best interest at heart, but give me strength to hold on in my moments of unbelief. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.