Exodus Part 14

Exodus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:13
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Exodus Chapter 16

Good morning everyone. I am going to be continuing our series through Exodus today! It is always a joy getting to preach the word of God to you on Sunday mornings. I am really excited for today’s story and my prayer has been that the Lord would speak to you. Let’s begin our time by praying.
Father, you are so good to us. You provide all that we need, you have given us life through your son, Jesus. Please teach us this morning through your word, give us open hearts to receive your truth. Help me to speak clearly, I ask that the things I say would be helpful to your people. In Jesus name, Amen.
We are going to pick up where we left off last week in the end of Exodus chapter 15. A little bit of a recap, the Israelite people had just crossed the Red Sea and spirits were high! People are feeling great about being delivered out of slavery and are actually singing a song of praise to the Lord for His deliverance. God had just crushed his enemies in the sea and everyone is happy, celebrating the victory, things are great.
This is where we are going to pick up the story. Turn to Exodus Chapter 15, starting in verse 22 we will read to the end of the chapter.
Exodus 15:22–27 ESV
22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.
So the Israelite people leave the red see and set out on the their journey through the wilderness of Shur. They are 3 days into their journey and they haven’t found any water up to this point. I’m not going to downplay the seriousness of that situation, it’s a real trail to survive the wilderness without water for three days. This would have been the upper limit of their capabilities.
They finally find water, but it is undrinkable. This was a major blow to moral, and doubt floods into their minds. Even though three days earlier they witnessed the mighty hand of God delivering them in the most miraculous way, they are beginning to grumble and complain. They say to Moses “What shall we drink?”
Moses’ response to this is to cry out to the Lord for provision. The Lord shows Moses a log, and in the usual fashion, God has Moses perform an act that requires faith by throwing the log into the bitter water. This turns the water from un-drinkable, to drinkable. The Lord then uses this opportunity to establish a simple statute and rule for them. They ultimately arrive in Elim, there they have shade, water, and rest.
This is the beginning of a long pattern we will see in the weeks to follow. The pattern of an unfaithful, grumbling, complaining people that God continues to show steadfast love toward. We will see more of that as we dive into Chapter 16, but we first need to understand the parallel between what is happening in these stories and our own lives. We need to see this story apply to us, because the application is huge!
The Israelite people are post deliverance at this point. God has rescued them from their slavery. Those of us who are in Christ are free from our slavery, we have also been delivered. We are going to talk more about that as we walk through chapter 16, but it is critical that you do not separate yourself from the bigger context that the Israelite people are in as they relate to God in the wilderness.
With that being said, lets dive into chapter 16:
Exodus 16:1–3 ESV
1 They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
This first three verses really set the stage for the points we are coving in this sermon. The Israelites leave Elim, and continue their journey through the wilderness. They are several months into their journey at this point, and we are going to the same pattern I referenced earlier start to unfold. That pattern is grumbling and complaining, Mosses anger or poor response, and God’s steadfast love for his people.
Their issue at this point in the story is not having enough food. They begin to grumble and complain, resenting the fact that they were freed from Egypt in the first place. In fact, they are even making comments about dying in slavery in Egypt with a full belly rather than the discomfort they are experiencing in their freedom.
Read again with me starting in verse 4 to see the Lord’s response.
Exodus 16:4–8 ESV
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
I am going to have three main points in this sermon, and this leads us to my first point:

When you grumble, your grumbling is against the Lord.

First and foremost, what does it mean to grumble? That isn’t a word you might hear as often.
To grumble means “to complain about something is a bad-tempered way.”
So essentially, grumbling is like complaining, but worse… It carries with it a very negative, ungrateful, spiteful, whining, kind of connotation.
Naturally, mosses is very offended by this, but we says something interesting in verse 8.
Exodus 16:8 ESV
8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
I want us to look closely at how applies to us, because grumbling might be the most frequently overlooked sin in our day…
Track with me here:
The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God by his mighty hand set them free from their slavery. They are no longer slaves, they’re free! God provided a way for his people. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
We too were once slaves, dead in our trespasses and sins. Now we are alive in Christ, freed from slavery to sin.
This is the most incredible thing that we have, Freedom of our slavery to sin! Now we are exiles, on a pilgrimage, to reach the final glory that will be revealed to us in Christ.
You have probably picked up on this by now in the sermon series, but if not, Exodus is a picture of redemption. A picture of our redemption! So who are we in this story? We are the Israelite people.
We have been given SO MUCH by God in our salvation and freedom. He delivered us with the same mighty hand that parted the Red Sea.
The Israelites were given so much by God, but they grumbled as soon as any hardship that came their way. Things got a little uncomfortable and they grumble against God. Essentially saying they don’t want his deliverance they would rather die in their slavery back in Egypt.
Now what’s interesting is that we have the same problem with grumbling, but often for a different reason…
A lot of our grumbling comes NOT from real trials, but from being spoiled to the core.
Most of the time, when I am having trouble pursuing God, it is because I am rich and spoiled. The same might be true for you… We are christians living in a very wealthy country… If you make $34,000 dollars a year or more you are in the top 1% of wage earners Globally. We are all very, very blessed.
But you know what’s mind bending and backwards?? Our natural response to this blessing isn’t thankfulness… it’s grumbling!
Things that we really shouldn’t even consider “Problems” become so huge in our lives that we grumble against God. When our comforts and our idols of abundant wealth don’t please us the way we want we turn against God and grumble!
We aren’t grumbling because we don’t enough food in the desert… We are grumbling because we accidentally burned the meat on the grill. Or because Netflix isn’t loading fast enough…
Now don’t get me wrong, both kinds of grumbling are bad. It doesn’t matter if you are grumbling out of an excess of wealth and blessing or extreme hardship.
BOTH are failing to recognize God’s gift of deliverance and his provision for you.
That is exactly the point Mosses is making in verse 8. God has given you so much by delivering you from slavery. You might think you’re grumbling against some external circumstance or some person, but it is God in his providence that has put you in the situation you are in. He has a purpose and intent for the things that happen in our lives. When we grumble, we are grumbling against God. We should be the most thankful people on earth. Not even because of our blessings, but because God has delivered us from slavery.
Let’s continue the story in verse 9:
Exodus 16:9–21 ESV
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ” 13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’ ” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
The Lord is so gracious… He hears their grumbling, but in love passes over judgment and cares for them. He’s choosing in this instance to provide for his people in a miraculous way!
In the evening he brings massive flocks of quail for them to eat, and in the morning bread from heaven called Manna.
This miraculous act of God is also meant to teach a valuable lesson. Look at what it says in verse 20
Exodus 16:20 ESV
20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.
The instructions they received was NOT to leave the bread until the morning, but to gather each day what only what they needed. This is because what God is demonstrating to them is Daily provision. That is the second major point of the sermon:

God gives us daily provision

To understand this point we should really look at John chapter 6 for a minute.
John 6:32–40 ESV
32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Jesus is explaining the symbolism in this story for us in John Chapter 6, he references the story we are reading right now in Exodus and says that HE is the true bread from heaven. Jesus is saying HE is the bread of life. Exodus is just a picture.
The picture we get from Exodus is daily dependance and provision from Jesus. In our story in Exodus the bread spoils every day because God wants to demonstrate to his people that he will provide for them daily. He doesn’t want them to store up food for two days, three days, or a week. He wants to be their provision every morning, and they will have NO LACK.
Jesus applies this same principle, and imagery, to himself in John 6, and in Matthew when he teaches us to pray. I know you are all familiar with that, we pray it together every single week!
“Give us THIS DAY our daily bread.”
That portion of the prayer is a reference to this story in Exodus and Jesus’ teaching on being the bread of life. Jesus says “when you pray, pray like this:”
“Give us THIS DAY our daily bread.”
We have the temptation to put our hope in the “storing up” of things that God has provided for us.
Your Savings account, your 401k, ROTH IRA, Stocks, bonds, investment properties. Non of these things are inherently bad, but they make terrible gods. Do you think your savings account or paycheck is your daily bread? Do you think that one day your 401k is going to be your daily bread? Are they the things that can satify your soul, watch over you, and save you from slavery to sin? NO WAY!
JESUS is your daily bread. He gives your things to steward, and those things can be good. But you are living in idolatry if your longterm security rests in your earthy things. It is a bad place to put your hope.
Having Jesus as your DALIY provision gives you freedom, and all you need! He will provide for you.
Matthew 6:25–34 ESV
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
… “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” Therefore we say, “Give us this day our daily bread”
We ask God every day to be our provision. He is all we need, he has given us all of the things we have, but we seek HIM as our daily bread not our earthy possessions.
And just like in Exodus, when we store up earthy treasure so we can put our hope in that, it will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment.
Praise the Lord for giving us Jesus! The true bread of life. Our daily provision, he is all we need.
What a beautiful, tangible, picture of that we get to see here in Exodus because the Lord gave them LITERAL bread from heaven as their daily provision. SO cool, SO powerful!
Let’s continue to read in Exodus, finishing up the chapter and our final point.
Exodus 16:22–36 ESV
22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’ ” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.” 27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. 31 Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’ ” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35 The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)
In these final verses the Lord establishes the sabbath rest for his people. Through his great power he causes the food to save overnight and to the morning so the people can have a day of rest on the 7th day. This loving act and creation of sabbath establishes healthy patterns of spiritual rest, and we still observe the principal of sabbath rest today.
This section of text brings us to the final point:

Even though we are sinners, God has unending patience and steadfast love.

ALL throughout this story, and the rest of Exodus, you will see God’s incredible love for His people. They are constantly grumbling, complaining, doubting, sinning, and asking to return to the yoke of slavery. WE are these people. We are constantly grumbling, complaining, doubting, sinning, and asking to return to the yoke of slavery. But God shows us steadfast love. Just like He showed the Israelite people steadfast love.
Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Our sin is serious, and God doesn’t just sweep it under the rug. But God’s stedfast love for us is manifested in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The Grace we receive is NOT cheap! God’s grace is costly. Jesus stood in our place and died so that we can be free from slavery to sin and be united with the God who loves us.
We find freedom and rest in Jesus because He died on the cross in our place. The ultimate display of God’s hatred of sinners and his love for sinners coming together in one act at the same time on the cross.
We ought to marvel at the cross. We ought to marvel at what Jesus did for us there.
We are secure in the steadfast love of God because of Jesus’ sacrifice. NOT because we deserve it.
Here in Exodus as we read stories like this, or the other stories coming in future weeks, you might be tempted to look down on the Israelite people for their grumbling, sinning, and general un-faithfulness. But this whole book is a picture of our journey with God. We are the Israelite people in this story. We need just as much grace and patience from God as they do. Time and time again when we read about their failure, we can be reminded that God gives us steadfast love in our failure with the same patience and grace he shows them.
As you leave here today, I would encourage you to search your heart for self-righteous sin. It is so easy to say to yourself, “I’m just not sinning very much… I must be doing pretty good right now.” Think twice if that is your heart, Self-righteousness will blind you to your true need for Jesus’ daily provision.
Maybe that isn’t your heart. Maybe you see yourself as the Israelite people through and through. Maybe worse. Guilt and shame cloud all your thoughts and rob any joy you use to have. If this is where your heart is at, cast yourself at the feet of Jesus. Humble yourself, your sin isn’t more weighty than the price Jesus paid to make you clean. His blood IS enough to cover your sin. Tell someone in your huddle you’re struggling. Let them lift you up with the gospel.
{Still on Screen}
Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
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