Israel has made it out of Egypt. They are now traveling to Mount Sinai, where God first spoke to Moses in the burning bush.
God Provides. Israel Doubts.
But on their way, they begin to complain that they are hungry. They start blaming Moses and even regretting the fact that God freed them from slavery.
Despite their lack of appreciation and faith, God is still faithful. He sends bread from heaven in the morning, and quail from heaven in the evening. The people are allowed to gather as much as they need for their family, but they were not to keep any food overnight. God wanted them to trust that he would provide what they needed every day.
But some of the people doubted that new batches of miraculous food would really come the next day. So they would take more than they needed, and stockpile it secretly in their homes. But God knew. At night, God would send worms into the food so that it spoiled and stank.
No matter how many times God proved he was faithful, they doubted that he would be faithful again. Even though God promised provision, the people wanted to provide for themselves.
There was one exception to the rule of not keeping any leftovers. On the seventh day of the week the people were to rest from all their work, even just gathering food. This day of rest was called the Sabbath. It was a weekly reminder that the people can rest from their work because God will provide.
So, on the day before the Sabbath, they were allowed to gather twice as much so they needed and keep it for the next day. But even with this double provision, people still went out and searched for more food on their day of rest. They didn’t trust God. They didn’t rest in what he provided. They constantly lacked faith.
Where is Jesus?
It’s truly amazing, despite how much doubt and faithlessness we show toward God, he still provides for us. And in Jesus, he provided so much more than just physical food.
Jesus Provides Even When We Doubt
In the Gospel of John, Jesus teaches that there is a truer bread from heaven. He teaches that this bread is not about food for the stomach, but life for the world. What is this bread? Jesus answers this question by saying, “I am the bread of life.” The truest bread from heaven is Jesus himself. It is his body that he gave for us on the cross.
For the Israelites ate the bread from heaven, but still grew old and died. But anyone who eats of Jesus, the true bread, will never die. That is because Jesus died to give us his life. How do we eat Jesus? We believe in him. We trust that he has done everything to give us the spiritual food we need. He has done everything to provide.
Jesus is Our Sabbath Bread
This truth leads us to finally take a true Sabbath rest every day of our lives.
We do not have a scarcity of salvation, we are fully saved in Christ. We do not need to hoard up merits or favor with God for a rainy day when we happen to sin more than usual. Jesus’ blood is new every morning and purifies us daily. We don’t need to go out in search of new provisions to add on to what Jesus has already earned for us.
We can enter into a perpetual Sabbath rest. We can rest from our laborious work. We do not have to earn our salvation. We can rest in the fact that it is finished. The more we ingest this truth and taste this reality, the less we will hunger to fill in those empty places of doubt with other things.
See For Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit gives you eyes to the God who always provides exactly what his people need because he want to give them peace. And that you would see Jesus as the bread of life who brings us our final Sabbath rest.