When Overabundance Spoils
Ex. 16:27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none. 28 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions? 29 See! The Lord has given you the sabbath, therefore on the sixth day he gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
The people had been instructed in the daily gathering of manna. They were to collect just enough for everyone, every day, but they had also been told that on the 6th day they were to gather twice as much. When they took too much manna on an ordinary day, against the commands of God, it spoiled! When they followed God’s commands the manna provided for their physical needs and it remained sweet and fresh.
On the seventh day some of the people went out to collect more manna for they refused to submit to the leadership of Moses, and they didn’t have faith to believe that the God who had brought them out of Egypt would also continually remain faithful. Their actions reflected poorly on them, not on God.
God had instructed the people to take a sabbath rest but evidently this had not become a part of their practice. Imagine the miracle of God that the manna, for forty years, fell for six days in a row and then took one day off! This certainly had to be the hand of God and revealed God’s serious attitude toward a day of rest. But some people wanted to collect even more manna on the Sabbath. The manna from heaven simply provided what everyone needed every single day and provided for a day of rest every week. When people wanted to collect too much, or more on the Sabbath they discovered either spoiled manna, or there was no manna. Overabundance would spoil God’s plan, and God’s people, for it reflected on their selfishness. If the people lived in holy obedience their lives would be sweet and good, a pleasant aroma, sanctified by Jesus’ holy presence.
We discover in the New Testament that Jesus compares himself with the manna in the wilderness. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John, 6:51) Just as the manna was provided on a daily basis for the people of God, so Jesus provides us with what we need every single day. Again, overabundance of “things” will spoil. When we have too much of the things of this world we will not learn to be dependent upon Jesus for daily provision.
The concept of sabbath rest is very important. Could it be that our own desires to have it all are keeping us from the sabbath rest that God has intended for us? Maybe we have forgotten the promises of God that Jesus is the manna that comes from heaven and will provide for our needs! This doesn’t mean that we have an overabundance of things which may spoil, but that we are able to enjoy the sweet and savory aroma of God’s provision in our lives.
Jesus is the bread from heaven, providing and sustaining us, day in and day out with all that we need. Slow down and enjoy the sabbath rest — we don’t have to use that day to make up for lost time. Trying to do it all on our own will simply lead to being overly tired, frustrated and having a house filled with more stuff than we probably need. Believe the miracle and feed on the sustaining strength and power that is found in Christ.
Lord, the daily provision of your spiritual manna is so sweet and fulfilling. Thank you. Amen.