Manna, Quail & Water: God Provides

Just a short time after experiencing one of the greatest miracles in history — crossing the Red Sea — the Israelites faced another huge dilemma: they were running out of food and water. They complained to Moses. And he took their complaints to God.

God knows your needs

The truth is that God knew their needs before they even asked. He heard their cry for help, and He cared. He was the one who had seen their struggles in Egypt and had powerfully and miraculously led them out of bondage. He had led them through the Red Sea and now they were headed toward the Promised Land.

God knew their needs:

  • He knew what they needed in the past
  • He already knew what they would need in the future
  • He knew what they needed on that day

Exodus 16:11-12
11 The LORD spoke to Moses, 12 “I have heard the complaints of the Israelites. Tell them: At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will eat bread until you are full. Then you will know that I am Yahweh your God.”

God knows your needs. He cares for you. He hears your cries for help, direction, and provision. He is willing and able to meet your needs. When God met their needs, then they would know by experience once again He is The Great I AM.

God meets your needs

He rained down manna from heaven every morning. He provided meat for them to eat as well. He showed Moses exactly where to strike a rock, and an abundance of water flowed. God is Jehovah Jireh, which literally means “The God who Provides.” Abraham had learned that God was his Provider on Mt Moriah (more on that HERE), and four hundred years later his descendants knew God in that way through His provision of manna, quail and water.

Psalm 78:23-27
23 He gave a command to the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven. 24 He rained manna for them to eat; He gave them grain from heaven. 25 People ate the bread of angels. He sent them an abundant supply of food. 26 He made the east wind blow in the skies and drove the south wind by His might. 27 He rained meat on them like dust, and winged birds like the sand of the seas.

Psalm 78:15-16
15 He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as abundant as the depths. 16 He brought streams out of the stone and made water flow down like rivers.

The same God who met their needs will meet your needs. Every day, He will meet your needs. Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God meets your physical needs, relational needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, financial needs, and every other need that you have. God meets your needs.

God tests your obedience

God provided enough manna for each day. The children of Israel were to collect and store a daily supply, preparing and eating it on that day. If they gathered too much to hoard it, it bred worms, smelled awful, and had to be thrown out. If they did not gather enough in a day, they became hungry. On the sixth day, they were instructed to collect a double portion so that they would have enough for the Sabbath. Amazingly, this double portion did not breed worms nor did it smell. Every week, they had a miracle they could see.

Exodus 16:19-22
19 Moses said to them, “No one is to let any of it remain until morning.” 20 But they didn’t listen to Moses; some people left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and smelled. Therefore Moses was angry with them. 21 They gathered it every morning. Each gathered as much as he needed to eat, but when the sun grew hot, it melted. 22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts apiece, and all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses.

So what about you? You trusted God in the past. He saved you, led you, and provided for you. You trust Him for your future. The events of the future are out of your control, and you trust Him for that. But what about today? Will you walk in simple obedience today, trusting Him to provide for all of your needs?

For example, He wants to produce His fruit in you (more on that HERE) — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith and self-control. Will you trust Him today by walking in obedience to His Word by being kind to everyone that you meet? Will you consistently show kindness to others? Will you trust Christ that if you are kind to everyone — at home, at work, at school, in the community — that this will result in all of your needs being met? Or, do think you have to be unkind to manipulate situations to get what you want when you want it?

God wants you to totally trust in Him

Taking shortcuts such as hoarding manna or being unkind may seem like the easiest way, but if they are not God’s way then they are not the best way. Trust God. Walk in obedience to His Word.

God asked Moses a question that was a question for the entire nation of Israel, and a question for us to consider today:

Exodus 16:28
28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commands and instructions?

There is blessing and provision when we totally trust in God. Keeping His commands and instructions is always the right way to go. It always leads to life. Let’s totally trust in Him, every moment of the day, every step of the journey. For the children of Israel, God gave them a visual reminder of His provision:

Exodus 16:31-32
31 The house of Israel named the substance manna. It resembled coriander seed, was white, and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Two quarts of it are to be preserved throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”

The picture that we look to is the cross of Calvary. Jesus’ death paid the penalty for our sin. His resurrection guaranteed our eternal life. We take up our cross daily, trusting in Him daily to lead, guide and provide for our every need.

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