Personal study Exodus 16:31-36

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Exodus 16:31-36

Well, there was a two hour delay today, but I was still able to get to the Woman’s Bible study group, a few minutes late, but better late than never.

We left the Children of Israel receiving the Bread from Heaven. God gave them specific instructions about how to gather it, how much to gather, when to gather, and we have seen the people test if God really meant what He said. They gathered too much, kept it overnight so it spoiled, and some did not collect enough for the Sabbath. God asked Moses in verse 28 “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?”

This will be a pattern of the children of Israel over all of history, keeping God’s commandments at times, and at other times flagrantly disobeying God. We do that today. If we are honest with ourselves, we realize that we, too, do not always obey God. And yet God has told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

I have people in my circle of friends who feel they can pick and choose what parts of the Bible are relevant and which aren’t, not realizing God is not going to change the rules. What He says IS. He will not say to us, “well it depends on what the meaning of is is.” And today people are thinking that God’s lack of response in a situation is His approval of a situation that He had pronounced an abomination. It isn’t. As we continue on through the Bible we will see that God is patient with us, waiting hundreds of years for the people to repent, but at some point there will be a judgment.

Exodus 16:31 And the house of Israel called it’s name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

I think of baklava as a pastry with honey. It is sweet, but then again the Word of God which is our bread is sweet. And at times, it is sweet on the lips, but bitter in the stomach. Remember God calls this special bread “bread”, the people call it “Manna” (what is it? is the literal translation of the word Manna).

Exodus 16:32 Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded. ‘Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

This omer of Manna will be placed with other items into the ark of the covenant. And this omer will not rot and stink. It goes to show who really is in charge. I think that God wanted them to have that reminder because over time our memory grows dim – we forget the great ways God has moved in our lives. We begin to rationalize what has happened, but God wants us to remember His provision. That is so important because it is by remembering how God has moved in our lives helps us to have faith when new circumstances cross our path.

One other thought crossed my mind. Remember when God first appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses said that he couldn’t talk, could Aaron be his spokesperson. Well, it sure seems that Moses has found his voice, and does not speak to the people only through Aaron. It is a good reminder to us that when God wants to do something through us, even if we feel we are inadequate for the job, God will make it possible for us to do what He needs us to do.

Exodus 16:33-34 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the LORD to be kept for your generations.” As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

I had to stop and look up the word Testimony here. For up to now there is no Ark of the Testimony, God hasn’t given instructions for His tabernacle, so where did Moses come up with the idea of the Testimony? Is this God speaking this into existence before it’s time. I wonder how they kept the Manna, where they carried it, who carried it, how was it kept safe, etc.? So I checked out the word, it is Strong’s 5715 – Baker & Carpenter’s The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament  says regarding 5715 regarding testimony, “precept, warning sign. It is always used in connection with the testimony of God and most frequently in association with the Tabernacle. The stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments are identified as God’s testimony. Because the Ten Commandments represent the covenant that God made with Israel, they are also called the “tables of the covenant” and they were preeminent in the Tabernacle. As a result, the Tabernacle is sometimes called the Tabernacle of the testimony and the ark is sometimes called the ark of the testimony…. In time the term came to stand for the laws or precepts that God had delivered to humanity.”

Curious if any of you have any more information on the Testimony mentioned in this verse. But it also points out that the Manna (Bread) was sacred to God, and when the people gave it that disrespectful name, “what is it?” and then later complained about only eating Manna, it was rejecting God’s precious gift to them. And again, as we saw before Manna was a symbol of Jesus.

Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. Now an omer is one-tenth of an ephah.

It is true, they will eat Manna until Joshua brings the people into the Promised Land, and then the Manna stops. After the children of the original Israelites cross over the Jordan, after they are circumcised and brought back into Abraham’s covenant, then Joshua 5:11-12 And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.

God provided for His people until they were able to return to the Land God had promised them 400 years previously. He provided food and water in the wilderness. God was faithful to His people. We serve an awesome God.

Hoping your day is great!



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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