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Summary: Israel was instructed to take only what they needed, Israel was instructed to take time to rest, and Israel was instructed to take time to remember.

TITLE: FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS

TEXT: EXODUS 16:16-36

INTRODUCTION:

- We’re continuing our study through the book of Exodus.

- Last time we were together, we looked at God’s Provision.

- We saw that God listens when we complain, God supplies better than we deserve, and God provides Salvation.

- The Israelites learned this firsthand when they started to complain because they wanted food.

- God heard their complaints and gave them manna to eat in the morning and quail to eat in the evening.

- However, God did provide instructions along with these wonderful blessings, and that’s what we’re going to look at today…the instructions God provided to His people.

- I’m reminded of some of the types of tests I had to take when I was a young man in School.

- Some tests had multiple choice answers.

- Others had fill in the blank spaces.

- Others asked a question and wanted you to write out a full sentence or sentences for your answer.

- And of course, there were several other types.

- One of the things I remember about those tests, though, was our teachers always telling us to take the time to read the directions before answering the questions.

- The reason was because some questions asked for you to do more than others.

- I’m reminded of some of the math tests where I wrote out full math equations and did he work to solve the problem, and later realized that the instructions said only to write what the equation was supposed to written like, not actually go through and solve it.

- Obviously, I wasted a lot of time doing steps that I wasn’t supposed to, all because I didn’t follow the instructions.

- Or there were the English tests that instructed you to answer the question, but then added, “Explain why” to the instructions.

- I don’t know how many tests I only got half credit on because I didn’t explain how or why I got my answer.

- We’re taught at an early age to follow the instructions given to us, and the Israelites were no exception.

- Of course, while they were still slaves in Egypt, they were forced to follow the instructions, or they’d be punished.

- Now that they’re in the wilderness, God is going to be providing instructions to them all the time, but some of them weren’t too good at following instructions.

- We’re going to see that today in this passage.

- So, let’s look at 3 instructions that God gave the Israelites, and see how they did with following those instructions.

FIRST POINT: ISRAEL WAS INSTRUCTED TO TAKE ONLY WHAT THEY NEEDED- VS 16-21

- I love food a lot!

- Unfortunately, sometimes when I’m hungry, I eat with my eyes instead of my stomach.

- So even if I’m only slightly hungry, I’ll still get a lot of food.

- Of course, I know this is bad for me, so I’ve been learning about portion control from my wonderful wife Sherri.

- I guess one of the problems I have is that I eat fast, because I was taught to eat fast in the Army, and I just can’t break that habit.

- So I’ll shovel all my food down, but then I have an empty plate in front of me while everyone else still has food on their plates…so I put more food on my plate and keep eating.

- Anyways, Sherri’s been telling me, “You don’t have to go on a diet where you eat nothing but healthy food and avoid all meat and sweets. You have to learn to take only the amount you need to satisfy your hunger.”

- That’s not easy for me because I love food, but Sherri’s been doing a great job putting a reasonable portion of food on my plate instead of letting me serve myself…when I serve myself, I just pile it all on top of itself until I have a mountain of food in front of me!

- It’s really-easy to gain weight if you eat that way!

- Anyways, I love that my wife Sherri is willing to keep stressing to me, “Take only what you need!”

- She might have to keep repeating herself, but I’m grateful she does because if she didn’t, my preacher’s belly would just be getting bigger and bigger each week!

- So, I’m learning to have self-control with my eating habits, which has been beneficial to me in many ways.

- Here in Exodus 16, we see God doing something similar with the Israelites…

- He instructs them to take only what they need for food…not more, not less…

- In vs 16, God tells them exactly what that portion should be…one omer per person.

- An omer was approximately two quarts.

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