Leslie M. John
And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. (Exodus 16:3)
Even though God gave the children of Israel sweet water at ‘Marah’ and good rest at ‘Elim’, yet when they reached the “wilderness of Sin”, they murmured for food as if He was not capable of giving them food if they prayed for it.
Their falsehood was evident when they said that they had good food and good care under Pharaoh when they were slaves. They quickly forgot God, who helped them to get out of slavery as a result of their ardent prayer to the LORD to deliver them. That is how man behaves against God, who gave him life, food and His only Son as sacrifice.
It is not that if we were in that situation we would have fared well rather than murmuring but all those factual narrations are written down for our edification, reproof and guidance in order that we may not falter and receive similar chastisement as they did, but receive continual blessings.
Moses and Aaron said to the children of Israel that they will see the glory of the LORD in the morning and in the evening they shall know that the LORD brought them out from the land of Egypt. Acknowledging that they are nothing but the instruments in the hands of God, they said to them that the LORD will provide food for them. (cf. Exo. 16:12, 13)
When God rained heavenly food for the children of Israel they exclaimed “what is it?” and that exclamation became the name of their food. “Manna” (which means ‘what is it’), was like coriander seed, white and tasty like wafers made with honey. They “gathered it and grounded it in mills, or beat in a mortar, and baked in pans, and made cakes of it” God took care of the children of Israel during their entire journey for forty years in the wilderness. God repeatedly chastised them for murmuring, and yet He had compassion on them, and took care of them. (cf. Exo. 16:27-31; Num. 11:7-9)
The LORD answered the intercessory prayers of Moses on behalf of the children of Israel and rained heavenly bread for them. He said to Moses to speak to the children of Israel and say to them that they should go out and gather food only “an ‘omer’ (five gallons) for everyman” for the day and on the sixth day they should gather two days food and take rest on the seventh day, which is Sabbath (cf. Exodus 16:16; 16:36)
However some of them who went on the seventh day to collect food did not find it, and some of them who greedy collected, on the sixth day, in excess of the specified amount, in violation of God’s command, saw that the excess food perished.
In order that the future generations would remember how God gave them heavenly food, the LORD said to Moses to fill an ‘omer’ with ‘manna’ and to be kept it in the ‘ark of the covenant’. Thus the children of Israel ate ‘manna’ for forty years until they came to the borders of Canaan (cf. Exodus 16:32-35)
King David says:
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”. (Psalms 37:25)
The LORD is ‘Jehovah-Jireh’ and He provided substitutionary sacrifice to be offered on the altar when Abraham lifted his knife to kill his son Isaac per God’s instructions.
Not only Lord Jesus became substitutionary sacrifice on behalf of us, but He became our greatest intercessor between us and God. He is the only mediator between us and God and salvation is in none other than Him.
In spite of our failures and rebellion against Him, He is compassionate towards us that we may not be lost but have everlasting life. That is the reason why God sent His One and only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to die on behalf of us in order that we may by believing in Him and confessing our sins to Him are saved.