Passage: Exodus 16:1-36
Speaker: Steve Hands
Series: Coming Home – A Journey Through Exodus
Believing In The Lord Our God
Each generation of God’s people have to discover for themselves, “I am the LORD your God” (Exod 16:12). God is not simply a God or even the God, but He desires to be the LORD our God. Yet how does God become our God? In Exodus 16, we see that in our grumbling, God reveals His glory to move us to trust Him and rest in His gifts as we remember.
First, in our grumbling God reveals his glory (Exod 16:1–12). As the people of God move into the wilderness, they grumble with nostalgia for their lives in Egypt (16:1–3). Yet God promises to rain bread from heaven so that they might see his glory (16:4–8); their grumbling is not against Moses but against the LORD. When children grumble about their dinner, it is not only an insult to the food but the one who cooked and provided that food. Yet this failure is an opportunity to reveal more of God’s glory; the people are invited to “come near before the LORD” (16:9) so that they see “the glory of the LORD” (16:10). God reveals his glory in the face of their grumbling so that they might “know that I am the LORD your God” (16:12).
And God reveals his glory to move us to trust Him (16:13–21). God wants his people to trust Him and not simply His provision; He instructs them to gather what they need for each day but to trust that they LORD would provide for the next day. God gives enough for their daily bread; when they seek to hoard it for the next day, they find that it “bred worms and stank” (16:20). In this way they are moved to trust in the Provider and not just the provision. Similarly we often want to store up for ourselves treasures on earth so that we do not need to trust God for our daily bread.
As God reveals his glory to move us to trust Him, He also moves us to rest in His gifts (16:22–26). It is tempting to believe that we eat simply because we work. Yet God gives the gift of Sabbath (16:29); they are to collect enough for two days on the sixth day so that they might rest on the seventh day. When we rest we declare that we are not in charge of running the world; God is in charge, and we can rest in His gifts. The Sabbath is a gift given that we might enjoy.
Finally in our grumbling God reveals His glory to move us to trust Him and rest in His gifts as we remember (16:31–36). The manna was not simply given for that generation of Israel, but they were to keep an omer of it in a jar throughout their generations. This was so that they might remember, generation to generation, how God had revealed His glory to move His people to trust Him and rest in His gifts. Time after time they would be tempted to neither trust in the LORD nor rest in His gifts, but as they would remember God’s provision of manna, their hearts would be moved to trust and rest.
So what? Just like Israel in the wilderness, we often grumble at the challenges of life, but often God works through those challenges to reveal His own glory. We grumble because the challenges are beyond the scope of our ability, yet this grumbling is the place where we can encounter God’s glory. And may that encounter with God’s glory move us to a deeper place of trust and rest in Him.