Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him — what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” — Exodus 16:4–8
Manna in the morning
Does it at all strike you as odd that bread would rain down from heaven six days a week in the Sinai desert? Does it not also strike you as odd that they could only take one day’s worth of manna, except for the Sabbath? These are just the questions I think we have today. No, we’re not looking for bread to appear in the desert, but we are looking for sustenance every day. We’re looking for provision. We’re all asking, “When is it coming and will I have enough?”
Manna in the desert
What struck me in the car as I was pondering this passage on the commute is that I think God is telling us we’ll all go through the desert. Big picture, that desert will be a season that feels like an eternity and we’ll probably figure out it wouldn’t have taken so long had we been less stubborn. I digress, but in the desert, we will have only enough time to allow God to bring us where He wants us, where we’re meant to be.
Manna in the desert?!
May I reiterate my awe at bread just appearing when the Israelites awoke in the morning? Only enough manna for the day. Like this, God offers us His grace, enough for the day. In other words, His provision is sufficient for all the day may throw at us. However, in the morning, we must seek Him again. But, He will provide.
Manna and quail?!!
Mark Batterson does a much better job explaining the miracle of quail in The Circle Maker, but quail have no business anywhere near where the Israelites were, let alone feeding an entire camp of hungry Israelites in the desert. And it’s when we’re in the desert ourselves that God does some equally, if not more, amazing things in our lives. I think the quail was just a way of God saying He hears us, even in our grumbling, and not only will He provide, but He will do so in grand fashion.
God provides. He provides enough grace for the day, no matter what it holds, every day. We will pass through the desert, and it will be tough, but He has us there for a reason. God will show up. When He shows up, He will do so spectacularly, but with restraint. He will awe and amaze us, but ultimately He wants us, daily. God wants us. He will not force Himself on us, though. Do we want Him?