Summary: Yesterday's strength is not enough.
A. INTRODUCTION – EXODUS 16:2-4
1. Grace. When Israel complained (16:3), God promises, “I will rain bread from heaven” (v. 4).
2. Criticism proves people are sinful and evil. They couldn’t trust God.
a. God sent 10 “miracle plagues” to destroy the gods of Egypt.
b. God opened up the Red Sea.
c. The cloud was within seeing distance. “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud” (13:21).
3. Life is a test. “I will rain bread from heaven . . . that I may prove them” (16:4).
4. What should the test demonstrate? Our faithfulness to God. “Whether they will walk in My law or not” (v. 4).
5. What does God’s grace reveal? God’s presence with us. “In the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the Lord” (16:7).
6. What is our bread in our wilderness journey? Christ. “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).
7. What is our challenge? Like Israel, we’re not weaned from Egypt’s past worldly satisfactions. “At least there (in Egypt) we had plenty to eat” (16:3, LB). All we can see are the problems around us.
B. DAILY MANNA/BREAD: EXODUS 16:5 – 34
1. Manna/bread didn’t touch the earth, it fell upon the dew. “The dew fell upon the crop at night, the manna fell upon it” (Num. 11:9, KJV).
2. Manna/bread was heavenly. (“What is it?”). You must get strength from God.
3. Manna/bread must be gathered early. “You must meet God early/first. “The people gathered the food morning by morning” (16:21, LB).
4. Manna/bread only lasted one day. “Do not keep any of it overnight” (16:19, LB). You must meet God daily for that day.
5. Yesterday’s strength is not enough. “But of course some of them did not listen . . . then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell” (16:19, LB).
6. Spiritual strength for today’s problems takes human effort from heavenly food. Manna/bread had to be ground and cooked (Num. 11:7-8). “Bake or broil” (16:23, LB). You must study the Word and effectively pray.
7. The manna/bread followed them wherever Israel went. You can meet God anywhere.
8. Israel was on a journey, and so are you. Egypt behind them, the wilderness around them, Canaan before them.
9. The shed blood of the Passover Lamb (salvation) was not enough; they needed daily strength for the journey.
10. Israel, like you are pilgrims, gets nothing from the wilderness. “As strangers and pilgrims, stay away from evil desires” (1 Peter 2:11).
11. The Lord will meet you in the wilderness. “They looked toward the wilderness, and behold the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud” (Ex. 16:10). The presence of God will come to you.
12. Manna/bread was both tasty and healthy. “The next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew” (16:13, LB). “White like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey cakes” (16:31, LB). Manna had oil and honey, reminiscent of fats and sugar; both give growth and strength to the body. The preparation depended which flavor to bring out. You daily get joy and strength from the presence of God.
13. Our actions reflect the attitude of our heart. Some gathered for 2 days (16:20), some went out to gather on the Sabbath (16:27). Your unbelief reflects your spiritual emptiness, i.e., unbelief.
14. Use it or lose it. The lessons we learn from God must be put into action that day. “The food they had not picked up, melted and disappeared” (16:21, LB).
15. God – more than enough. Everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough” (16:18, LB). You must put into action that day what you learn from God that morning.
16. When you think you are not learning much from God, it is enough.
17. Meat to go with the bread. “That evening a number of quail arrived and covered the camp” (v. 13).
a. Can’t fly at night.
b. Knocked out of the air with walking sticks.
18. God has special manna/bread for us on the Lord’s Day. “For the Lord has given you the seventh day as a day of Sabbath rest; stay in your tents and don’t go out to pick up food from the ground that day” (v. 29, LB).
a. Prepare for Sunday. “I give you twice as much food on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days” (v. 29, LB).
b. Stop usual activities. “On the Sabbath day you must stay in your places. Do not pick up food” (v. 29, LB).
c. Honor God on His day. “How long will these people refuse to obey My commandments and instructions?” (v. 28).