Scripture

Exodus 16: 11-30

11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”

24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”

27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Reflection

With God, redemption is both immediate and ongoing.  We are immediately redeemed by grace when we choose Jesus. And at the same time, we must daily renew our commitment to follow Jesus. Through this daily effort, grace continues to be active in our lives. It is much like the manna God sent to the Israelites each day. They were instructed to take enough for one day, for if they took more, it would spoil. And just like the Israelites, we want to take all we can get in one serving, so we can save ourselves the work the next day. But grace doesn’t work like that. It is always there, always ours, but we have to turn toward it, again and again each day, sometimes each hour. 

Just like manna, spiritual nourishment is perishable. You have to feed yourself spiritually each day to live a fully redeemed life. Going to church once a week isn’t enough. It doesn’t last. It helps, for sure, but it’s like getting to eat once for the whole week. You’ll survive, but you’ll be weak and getting weaker by the day. We were simply meant for more. We were meant to collect our manna each day, use it to feed us and then live a life full of grace for others. Where do you find your spiritual nourishment each day? Is there enough grace in your life that you easily offer it to others?

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for redeeming my heart and reconciling me to a relationship with you. Help me renew my commitment to live in your ways each day. Remind me that I need you and your grace in every aspect of my life, even the areas where I feel more than capable. Help me recognize my weaknesses and celebrate them as places for you to demonstrate your strength. I love you, Lord, and I long to follow you with all that I am and all that I have. Amen.