Monday, 26 January 2015

Exodus 16: Manna from Heaven and the Sabbath Day

Hello, dear friends, and welcome to week 4 of our studies and Exodus chapter 16. I am glad that some of you have been contacting me and have been asking for prayer for various matters. Feel free to contact me by mobile, email or by the form on the left of this blog. Just above is the verse for this week that we are trying to memorize!

At the end of Exodus 15, we left the people of Israel in a happy place. They were at Elim where they had more water than they knew what to do with as God provided them with 12 wells of water and 70 palm trees. Remember that this was just after their complaints to Moses that they needed water. As always, God supplied their need in abundance.

They have left Elim and they are now in the wilderness of Sin (just its name, nothing to do with sinfulness) after a journey of about 6 weeks. I imagine they would've had the sense to bring with them plenty of water supplies from Elim. Here we are in verses 2 and 3 and what do we find the Israelites up to now? Complaining again. As we would say here in Northern Ireland, 'giving off' to Moses and Aaron because they were hungry. They were making their feelings well and truly known to the servants of God. Was it Moses and Aaron's fault that the Lord was leading them this way? Was it their fault the people were hungry? No, on both counts. This was all a part of God's perfect plan for His people, but they just couldn't see the big picture. All they knew was, they had needs and they wanted them met 'right now'.

This is where God unofficially brings another part of His plan for the good of mankind into play - the Sabbath Day. The purpose behind setting aside this one day in seven is so that we might focus completely on the Lord our Saviour and worship Him and also that we might gain some well-needed rest after a busy six days of work. You would think that the Lord was using the day of rest as a punishment for some people the way they are so against it. If they actually thought about it logically, they would see that their mind and body needs this time to keep healthy, especially in the full-steam ahead societies that we live in nowadays. If God Himself needed to rest after Creation, why do we think we (the weak and helpless created beings) are more capable of doing without a day of rest? I'm glad God is wiser than me and knows I need that day set aside for His glory and for my benefit. There is no need for us to be out shopping or doing work on a Sunday. These things can be done in preparation for the Lord's Day on a Saturday. Make the most of it, rest, take it easy, without feeling guilty! Worship the Lord and obey Him. He's a God of wisdom!

Prayer matters: Ask the Lord to help you (and me) to always be thankful for His provision and to be patient while we sometimes have to wait on this provision. Pray too that we will be thankful for the Sabbath Day and use it as it was meant to be used - for the praise and worship of the Lord and the rest and refreshment of our body and soul.

Hugs Karen x

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