Tag Archives: the book of Exodus

“Then Moses said to them, ‘No one is to keep any of it until morning.’  However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.”  (Exodus 16:19-20, NIV)

The Lord’s prayer includes these words: “Give us this day, our daily bread.”

The daily bread of the Children of Israel’s 40-year sojourn in the desert was called manna.  The wanderers were commanded by Moses to take only what was needed each day (except on the day before the Sabbath, when they were to collect two day’s worth so they could keep the command to refrain from labor on the Sabbath).  But some of the wanderers paid Moses no mind, and hoarded the manna.  They should have saved the effort: The manna became inedible by morning.

Believe it or not, something as simple as eating can be an exercise in faith.  Do we trust God to supply all of our needs, or do we have our own ideas about what we shall eat, drink, and wear?  And if we’re set in the food and clothing department, do we reveal our insecurities about the future of our children, the state of our health, or the various other uncertainties of life?

God knows that we need the necessities of life, and he wants us to trust Him to provide them.  We need not hoard; God has not forgotten us.  We need not fret; our heavenly Father has not left us alone to fend for ourselves.  – Luther

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“Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.’  (Exodus 32: 30-33, NIV)

Let’s hear it for the fine arts!

According to today’s scripture, when God commissioned the work for the tent of meeting and all of its furnishings, He chose, inspired, and equipped Bezalel — and others — with the genius, the knowledge, and the skills to make something magnificent.

Without musicians, writers, poets, painters, sculptors, dancers, and designers, our world would be much less beautiful.  May our Father forgive us for minimizing the artistic gifts of our brothers, sisters, and neighbors; and may He help us to celebrate the work of all whose labors make visible the invisible; audible the inaudible; and tangible the intangible.  – Luther

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Moses also said, ‘You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.  Who are we?  You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.’”  (Exodus 16:8, NIV)

The Children of Israel in today’s scripture were not long in the desert after being delivered from slavery in Egypt before they began to grumble (defined as “bitter complaining in a muted or indirect way”) about their life, their lot, and their prospects.  Some began to question the wisdom of the exodus as the historical revisionists amongst them argued that their former life in Egypt really wasn’t that bad.

Had they forgotten the promises of God as quickly as they had forgotten the visible evidence of God’s power in the plagues on the Egyptians, His presence in the miraculous exit from Egypt, and His provision as they entered the desert without the wherewithal for an extended sojourn?  God had not deserted them, but through their increasingly negative attitudes and utterances, they had deserted God.

For the disciple of Jesus, to grumble about our life, our lot, or our prospects — even if the intended objects of our indictment are our leaders, our neighbors, or even our friends —  is, actually, an indictment of God.  The antidote to such negativity is to remember evidence of the power of God in your own life; to remember the presence of God in all of your circumstances (past and present); and to remember the faithful and timely provision of God when all of our resources had been exhausted.  – Luther

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