Friday, March 16, 2012

Exodus 16:21-30 A Sabbath Rest

"Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed,
and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.
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.

He said to them, 'This is what the LORD commanded:
"Tomorrow is to be a day of 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." '

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

Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it,
but they found none.
Then the LORD said to Moses,
'How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?
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 he is on the seventh day;
no one is to go out.'
So the people rested on the seventh day."

Exodus 16:21-30 (NIV)

Some thoughts:

  • Everyone gathered.  I mean, I'm sure that sometimes a person might have been unable to participate due to illness or age, but in general, all participated in gathering the food.
  • On the sixth day they gathered twice as much, and this was unusual, for the leaders felt that they had to report this fact to Moses.  Moses replied that the LORD had arranged a day of rest for them, and had provided twice as much food so that they would not need to gather it on the Sabbath.
  • The manna did not spoil overnight, as previous manna had done.  This tells me that the provision of manna was not just the result of some natural phenomenon, or else it would have spoiled as it had previously when kept overnight by a few disobedient Israelites.
  • Some people still went out and tried to gather manna on the Sabbath, even though Moses had told them that there would be none.  The manna was one method which God used to test the Israelites as to whether they would obey His instructions. (Exodus 16:4)  Guess some weren't doing so well.  Before we get too smug or judgmental, remember that we, too, sometimes question the LORD's plan or provision for us, or neglect His instruction.
  • It seems to me that the LORD wanted to develop a relationship with His covenant people, not just have them follow routines by rote.  As long as they followed His instructions, they would be well provided with all that they needed.  However, He didn't do things the same way each time.
  • A day of rest is necessary.  There will always be things which need to be done.  Sometimes we just need to stop it all and rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment