In Exodus 16:1-36 we read about the miraculous giving of the bread from heaven. The event takes place on the 15th day of the second month after the children of Israel had their exodus from Egypt. Upon arriving in the wilderness of sin they began to complain to Moses and Aaron about how good they had it in Egypt, how soon they forgot their slavery and hard toil, and how that they had been brought out into the wilderness to die from lack of bread, water, and flesh to eat.
So, Adonai tells Moses that if it is bread they want – then He will give them bread. He will do this to test them and to see if they will walk in His ways. He wants them to see that if Pharaoh could provide bread – which was a bread of affliction – then He also could provide them bread. However, His would be supernatural bread and it would be their first test of faith since leaving Egypt.
We find 3 laws given for the manna. By the way the Hebrew word is “mahn” and it means “what is it?” First, only one omer could be collected per person, per day. Second, none of it could be left over until the next day, and third, on the sixth day 2 omer were to be collected per person because none was to be collected on the seventh day, which was the Sabbath.
Several things we see in these verses. The re-establishment of the seventh day Sabbath. This had been lost while they were in slavery. Pharaoh would have required them to toil everyday. Next, we see that Adonai gives them 3 laws which in effect cannot be broken. We will examine why in a moment. So, if their first test was to give them 3 laws which could not be broken then what was the purpose of the testing? Let's find out!
The first law was for each person to gather one omer, per person, per day. The scripture states no more, nor no less. The sages here see this as a miracle. The scriptures declare that each person went out to gather an omer, some more, some less, but when they got back to their tent and measured an omer they always had exactly an omer per person. No matter if they had seemed to gather more or less, their measure was miraculously an omer per person. So, the question is – how can you break this command if you tried to gather more, or less, but found that when you got back and measured it out that you only had one omer per person in your household. Doesn't make sense does it?
The second law was “don't leave any till morning”. Some tried but they found it rotten and spoiled, full of worms. So, again, how could you break this command? There was no way you could hoard it up even if you wanted.
The third command was that on the sixth day each person was to gather enough for two days, because on the seventh day, Sabbath, there would not be any manna found on the ground to gather. Some went out on the 7th day just to see if they could gather some – but guess what – they couldn't break the command even if they wanted because there was none to be found. What is also peculiar about this 3rd command is that the people had not even been told by Moses to gather twice as much on the sixth day as the prior 5 days. Verse 22 explains that when the people went out on the 6th day and gathered what they believed would be their usual one omer per person, per day collection, that when they got back to their tent and measured it out, they found that they had 2 omer per person. This also was a miracle. The congregation went to Moses to ask why they each had 2 omer per person. It was only then that Moses explained that it was because of the command to gather twice as much on the 6th day to accommodate the Sabbath. Adonai miraculously provided for the Sabbath without any effort of their own. In addition, the extra omer that they collected on the 6th day to be eaten on the 7th day did not become rotten like any leftovers would have on the prior days. This is a miracle in and of itself.
So, how can we explain that the first test that HaShem puts them through is a test by which they cannot break? What lesson is the Creator trying to teach here?
I see this as a lesson of trust. Trusting in the provision of the Almighty Creator. Did He not know that they needed water and food? Of course He did!
Why could they only gather enough for one day no matter how they tried to collect more? Why couldn't they secretly hoard some up for the next days ahead? Perhaps it was because the Creator wanted them to understand that they must trust him on a daily basis for their provisions. You see, if they hoarded it up that would mean that they were afraid that there would be none for them to gather tomorrow. If they gathered more than they needed per day then that also would show that they were afraid that there wasn't enough to go around. If they miraculously got double portions, without trying, on the sixth day then it was to show them to trust Adonai for provisions on His holy Sabbath (Shabbat) day. Six days were they to work but the Sabbath was a day for rest. They were to trust and cease from their labors on this day. To go out to gather would break the Sabbath command plus it would show that they didn't trust the LORD of the Sabbath to provide.
While they were in the wilderness scripture records that their clothes nor shoes wore out for 40 years. Adonai provided for their every need and the lesson of faith, which is trust, begins right here with the manna.
Now, to take this a step further. In the Renewed Covenant, the New Testament, Yeshua (Jesus) states that He is the bread of heaven. He also states that we should not worry about tomorrow: what we shall eat, or what we shall wear, because He will take care of us just as He takes care of the sparrow. We are told not to hoard up for ourselves gold and treasure on this earth but if we are to hoard anything it must be spiritual hoarding of good works and righteous living, which is hoarding up spiritual rewards in the coming kingdom. Do you see the parallel?
Yeshua stated as He was about to ascend back into heaven that He would never leave nor forsake us. Just as they were fed manna for their 40 years in the wilderness and that manna ceased when they crossed over into Gilgal (the Promised land) under Joshua (whose name is also Yeshua), likewise, we are being fed by the bread of heaven while he has gone away to prepare a place for us. When he returns He won't have to be our bread from heaven anymore because He will be physically with us in His kingdom. After that we can await the Renewed Heaven and the Renewed earth.
Mankind has always needed this trust in every generation but much more so as we see the day approaching. All the rave now is about “prepping and storing up” for the times that are coming. While I am not an advocate of “sticking my head in the sand”, and I believe that I have been informed by Yah to do certain things, in no way would my measly preparations be enough to prepare me for what lies ahead. Food and supplies will eventually run out if the crisis lasts long enough. For real preparation I need a change of my heart to realize that my Heavenly Father will provide for me. Maybe He has provided for today but fear tells me that He won't provide for me tomorrow, or next week. This is what the manna lesson was about.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
I pray this increases your trust in the Creator and His Bread from Heaven. As in the days of Noah – lift up your eyes for your redemption is near! Trust in HIM! He is trustworthy!