Summary: Observing how God provided both physical and spiritual food for the ancient Hebrews just may help us TRUST Him more completely today.

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Exodus 16:1-35

Good News Christian Fellowship

February 19, 2006


A. The Ultra Stampede

B. The observation of Winnie Monsod in the Ultra Stampede

These stories of human greed, discontentment and dissatisfaction may strike you by surprise, but they are also relevant to the account of God’s provision of manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, described in Exodus chapter 16. Having run out of food in the desert, so that the Israelites feared they would starve to death, one can only imagine the zeal with which they harvested the first provision of manna. There was enough manna, it would seem, for every Israelite to have filled his tent with it. From the account it appears that some tried, only to discover that it would not keep, turning foul and wormy. The efforts to hoard the provision of manna was in direct disobedience to God’s instructions. Their greed, was evidenced in their attempt to hoard a surplus supply of manna, so that they could feel secure about the future.


A month has passed between the time Israel departed from Egypt to the time the nation reached the Wilderness of Sin. Water had already been a problem (15:22-26) and now they had run out of food. They were frightened to the extent that they began to think about the “good ole days” back in Egypt, when they use to sing and eat. They became discouraged before they had hardly gotten started. They had been on the road only a few days and because they had missed a meal or two they were ready to go back to the slave camps of Egypt. The growling stomachs soon produced grumbling lips.

We have to notice that in Chapter 15 they sung song of praise to the Lord. Now a month later they again complain to the Lord. They are again been dissatisfy. They start to complain. The whole assembly grumbled against Moses and Aaron (16:2). They said they would rather have died in Egypt than to have been brought out into the desert to starve to death (16:3). How quickly they forget.


Amazing! Now they were wishing for the “good old days” back in Egypt. Their physical hunger pangs quelled their appetites for God. Had they forgotten that they were slaves in Egypt? They were ready to trade their freedom…for food.

Before we consider God’s response to the grumbling of Israelites, let’s noticed Israelites grumbling in the desert.

• They find something to complain about. (v.2) When food supplies started to dwindle, the people once grumbled about their circumstances instead of trusting God. The further they went into the wilderness, the more they grumbled: Why did Moses bring them here to die? Where could they find food in the desert, meat and vegetables?

• Their grumbling is out of faulty perception or exaggeration. (v.3) Grumbling invariably causes us to distort the facts. The Israelites complain because in Egypt they “sat by the fleshpot and eat bread to the full.” How easily they forgot that they once slave in Egypt. They forgot that they are like human pack animals who either heeled to Pharaoh’s command or felt whip across their back? “We sat by the fleshpot.” What an exaggeration! As slaves this could hardly be true. They forgot making countless thousands of bricks. They forgot hauling the huge building stones. They remembered only cool drinks and good meat and fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic in their food!

• The Israelites grumbled against their leaders. (v8) The people had forgotten that it was God who was leading them, not only by Moses, but also by the cloud which was before them (cf. Exo. 13:21-22; 16:10). . As Moses points out, their complaint against their leaders represents a complaint against the Lord, for the Lord in his sovereignty gave the leaders to the people. However, the Israelites thought that their murmuring is against Moses. This is a tragic misconception..

• They grumbled because they are not satisfied with WHAT they are given. (vv.13-15) The people of Israel grumbled because what was provided is not what they expect. “What is it” , they asked. The flake-like substance, later to be called manna, was to be gathered each day but not saved until the next day. The people need to understand that the Lord is a giver. Their conception of him needs to be changed. What better way than to see him provide for them each morning? The Lord is teaching them to depend on his provision.

• They grumbled because they are not satisfied with HOW MUCH they are given. (vv.17-22). In verse sixteen the children of Israel are given specific instructions about how to gather the manna. Having run out of food in the wilderness, so that the Israelites feared that they would starve to death. The Hebrews were fearful they would starve if they will not gather more foods more than what they commanded to do so. This is a direct violation to the command of God. These instructions were intended to test the Israelites as well as to teach them obedience and increase their faith.

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