Manna Lessons

These are some thoughts I had after reading Psalm 78 and Exodus 16.

1. Don’t Forget God’s Provision.

 In Exodus 16, the Israelites were only two months into their wilderness journey and were convinced that God had brought them out into the wilderness to starve them.  They were complaining and wanted to go back to Egypt where they could eat as much as they wanted.  They forgot that in Egypt they were slaves until God delivered them.  They forgot that God parted the Red Sea.  They forgot he had already provided water.
This passage challenged me to remember God’s provision in the last two months.  God provided lodging for our family as we traveled this past summer.  We only had to pay for one hotel room.  God provided time with family and friends.  He even provided money for our family to have a nice vacation at the end of our time in the states.   Hopefully remembering His provision will help me as I meet my next challenge.
2. Am I testing God in my heart by demanding what I can not have?
In Ps 78:18, it says,”They tested God in their heart demanding the food they craved.” In Exodus 16, they grumbled and wish they had died.  What is in my heart?  What are my desires?  How am I approaching God with my desires?  Am I giving them to God to do with as He wills or am I demanding?   Right now I have a desire to have a small freezer.  It is not a need but would help us have some fruits and vegetables when they are not in season.  Right now the answer is not yet but God in his provision has made the freezer on top of our refrigerator be sufficient for our needs.  But when I come to God, may I come humbly requesting his provision not as a spoiled child demanding my own way.
3. God gives us what we need not necessarily what we want.
God sent manna not the food from Egypt.  They needed food.  He gave them food in abundance from heaven. Knowing God, I am sure that the manna met all their nutritional needs.  It is fun to watch how God answers prayers but often in ways that we would not expect. Who would have thought of bread coming down from heaven?  
4. Am I complaining to others when I should be taking my requests to God?  
Notice that the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron.  Do I complain to others or pray?  For me, this is a challenge when it comes to my students.  I often want to blow off steam with another teacher about what some student did or what happened in my class today.  What I should be doing is bringing that child and situation before the Father who is in charge of all things.
5. Am I holding on to yesterday’s manna?
God gave enough manna for each day.  Those that held on to extra manna had a smelly mess the next day. When I hold on to yesterday’s manna, I am saying that I don’t trust God for his provision today plus I could end up with a smelly mess.  God wants me to daily be in his presence.  Each day he has something new for me.
6. Obedience is key
Some of the Israelites had problems listening to instructions.  First they saved manna when they weren’t suppose to and then didn’t gather extra for the Sabbath when they were suppose to.  Both times it created a mess for them.   How often do I create my own mess because I don’t listen and follow God’s instructions.

Dear God, Thank you for your provision in all things.  May I bring my requests to you.  May my words be true to you remembering that complaining signals a lack of trust on my part.  May I follow your instructions so I don’t make a mess of things.  In Your Son’s Name, Amen

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