“And [Moses] said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:23-30 (Boldness added for emphasis.)
I relate to the Israelites way too much.
As I’ve been reading through Exodus, I realize just how much I act like they did when they were lost in the wilderness. They definitely didn’t trust God like they should. They complained constantly! While slaves in Egypt they complained about God not delivering them from their present state; and then after He delivered them, they complained about that. “Why did You take us away from the good food we ate? Did You bring us out here to die?” they whined. They said they had no water, and He gave them water. They said they had no food, He gave them food. They complained about the food He gave, and then they didn’t even gather it like they were supposed to!
Exodus 16 is the first appearance of the famous manna: the bread God sent when His children were hungry and wandering the wilderness. He gave them very specific instructions on how to gather and when to eat it. God told them to only gather enough manna for that particular day. If they tried to gather extra for the following morning, they would wake up and find it filled with worms. They couldn’t eat that! However, the day before the Sabbath, God told them to gather extra because the next day there would be nothing. He put the Sabbath in place as a day of rest, and it was to stay that way.
It seems simple, right? Follow God’s simple instructions and you’ll have what you need. But if it really is that simple, why don’t WE obey?
God brought them out there. He already knew where they were going, how long it would take to get there, and all the mishaps along the way. And beyond that? God created the Sabbath day! If God Himself is the one who made these plans and instituted the principle of the Sabbath, can’t He also provide the means to make those plans happen and to keep the day He set apart?
Do you trust God to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”? Do you trust Him to complete the good work that He has begun in you? Do you trust Him to work all things together for good? He wants to do all those things for you, for me. But we have to trust Him. We have to obey the commands He gives us, and follow the path He lays step by step before us.
None of us like to be told how to live our lives. But that is how the Christian life works. If you have asked God for salvation, and committed your life to Him, you are saying, “God, my life is yours. I want to follow you, I want Your best for me. I cannot do this on my own.” You are giving your rights over to Him. This is surrender. This is obedience. This requires you to die to self.
God has tremendous plans for us. But if we refuse to trust Him, there will be consequences. I’m not necessarily saying His plan won’t happen, but it definitely won’t be as pleasant for us as it could be if we simply obey what God asked us to do. God always provides for us, and He wants us to use the things He provides in a particular way. Do we trust Him enough to provide EXACTLY what we need for this day?
So are you being obedient to what God has asked you to do RIGHT NOW? Have you gathered enough manna for the Sabbath? Trust Him to do a great work in your life, even if you don’t know exactly what it is yet.