Summary: Message 8 in our faith journey with the Israelites in Exodus. This message covers God's provision of Manna.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
"The Bread of Life for the Hungry Soul” Exodus 16
It is important to remember through our current study that physical Israel’s journey toward the promised rest parallels our spiritual journey. The lessons God taught them in the wilderness are the lessons we must learn as we develop our relationship with God. The life experiences they encountered, we will encounter. The choices set before them along the way are the same choices we must face on our journey.
I. God Provided Deliverance from Egypt 1-15
One of the first lessons after salvation the new believer or any believer must grasp has to do with grappling with the bitter experiences of this life without becoming bitter ourselves.
II. God prepared for the Development of trust 15-18
A. Bitter water (no joy) made sweet by the “tree” (The Cross) 15:22-27
There is a lot of work to be accomplished after our initial salvation experience. God does not stop his work after our rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and transfer to the Kingdom of His beloved Son. He wants us to be model citizens of His kingdom. In fact, we are not merely citizens some earthly Kingdom but beloved children of the ETERNAL KING! It is God’s plan and promise that we become like Jesus. The events we encounter in this fallen world contribute to our growth. Trust can only be learned in the wilderness. Paul agonized and labored like a mother in childbirth until “Christ be formed in you.” Each event recorded along the Israelites journey to the Promised Rest parallels our journey. They had to learn to deal with the bitter experiences of life and the excruciating thirst caused by life in a messed up world. It is pretty obvious since the fall that we are not in Eden any more Dorothy. The only way to deal with the bitter experiences of life without becoming bitter ourselves is to submit to the cross. We must die to our agenda. We must relinquish OUR life in order to receive His resurrection life.
But we must die to get it. Dead people can’t be rattled, depressed, offended, hurt, deterred, frightened or threatened. Dead people don’t offend, gripe, complain, gossip, fight, protect or promote themselves. Until we learn to die in Christ and embrace the cross daily, the bitter experiences of life in a whacked out world will surely produce a bitter heart. The sure sign of a bitter heart is a grumbling tongue. Trusting and complaining are mutually exclusive. As sue as you cannot drink water and breathe air at the same time you cannot trust and gripe. Genuine trust in God does not ignore or deny the bitter struggles of life in a fallen world with fallen people and painful circumstances but tenaciously holds on to the promise of God’s presence (“I will never leave you or forsake you.”) and God’s promise (I will work ALL things for My glory and your good and finish the redemptive work that I began in you).
Spiritual Health check
Do I respond to “bitter water” with unquestioned trust in God’s presence and promise?
Am I trying to make life “work”? Be more comfortable? Fill my expectations? Quench my thirst? Escape pain? Fix life? What do the words out of my mouth reveal about the condition of my heart? Out of the heart the mouth speaks.
Jesus laid out the condition of true discipleship.
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. Luke 9:23-24
The supernatural life of Christ will only be realized by those willing to relinquish this life.
Saints through the ages have all come to this place at some time on their spiritual journey.
Paul put it bluntly.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11
This was a life-long quest for Paul. After dying comes living. God lovingly designs moments of refreshment and rest along this earthly journey. Israel’s stop at Elim demonstrated God’s shepherd heart. (See Psalms 23:1-6 )