About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter 16
And Quail (ch. 16:1 - 36)
Verse 1 tells us that the
Israelis left Elim and entered the "
scholars there is debate over many names found in the first five books
of the Bible. For example,
All that being said,
there was a
Verses 2 and 3 tell us
the first sin that these people began to commit, and it was the sin of
told Moses and Aaron, "if only we had died at the hand of the Lord
in Egypt." They continued to
say that they had lots to eat in Egypt, but now Moses had brought them into the desert to starve and die.
Complaining actually shows that we don't trust God.
It shows that we have a distaste towards Him.
Many times when people
relocate to another area of the country, they are escaping something in
the hopes of finding a better place to live.
Once they get to where they moved to, sometimes things don't turn
out as they expect, and they look back from where they came from with
fondness, even though things weren't so fond when they actually lived
there. Sometimes in the
midst of troubles we forget about the trouble we once had in the place
we came from, when in reality, if you moved back, you'd feel the pain
just as bad.
God heard Israel's complaints, so in verse 4 God told Moses that "he would rain
down bread from heaven" for them to eat.
People would gather enough of this bread to last them for the
day. Verse 5 says that on
the sixth day, they were to gather twice as much bread to last over to
the seventh day. This is the first clear suggestion of a Sabbath, a day
of rest in the Bible. There
might be allusions to a day of rest earlier in the Bible, but this isn't
an allusion. This is very
Back in verse 4 God told
Moses that this bread that He would rain down from heaven would be a
test. How was this so?
God would help
There are actually two
Hebrew words for our English word "test".
One meant "to test by smelling", and this is the Hebrew
word that is used here. God
was testing these people in one sense of the word by smelling them.
We will note later that the bread, if it was left over night
would smell real bad because it would be full of maggots. Paul sates
that we are to be a sweet smell to God, but in many cases
In verse 6 Moses and
In verse 7 Moses tells
the people that in the morning they would see the glory of God.
God's glory would be seen in the heavenly bread that would fall
from the sky.
Also in verse 7 Moses
asks, "who are we, that you should grumble against us?" Moses
had just told
Complaining is a tendency
that is common to all mankind. We
all need to be on the guard. Complaining
does nothing to promote the Kingdom
In verse 8 we note that
God was going to provide more than bread in the morning.
In the evening He would provide meet for them to eat.
God was planning on feeding these people very well, and they
wouldn't even have to hunt for the meat, or bake the bread.
What else would one want. Well
with humans, we always want more than what we presently have.
In verse 9 Moses tells
Aaron to tell the people to all gather together. You might wonder how a
couple of million people might all gather together.
I don't know for sure, but remember, God led
Verses 11 and 12 are a
repeat of what we already know. Hebrew
writings often repeats itself. Aaron
was to pass the message of God's provision on to the people, which he
Verses 13 to 15 tell us
the story of quail falling from the sky at night for
Concerning the quail, it
is a bird. There are quails
There have been two ways
of interpreting how the Jews asked the question, "what is it?"
Some suggest that the question was one of surprise and amazement.
Others suggest that it was one of disgust, as in, "what are
these stupid little things?" I've
always understood the former to be more plausible than the latter.
Verse 16 tells us that
enough bread should be gathered for every individual in a household.
None needed to be kept for the next day, because the next day
there would be more bread. This
is all a matter of trust in God. There
was no need to store up food. God
would provide the food for
you on a daily basis.
I'm sure you will
remember that in the New Testament Jesus is called the "Bread of
life" many times. This
bread typifies Jesus. Jesus
even tells us to eat from Him. We
are to eat from Him every day, as the Jews ate this bread every day.
The Jews couldn't store any bread for another day.
The same with us and Jesus. You
can't store Him up. You must
meet with Him every day.
Verse 17 tells us that
the Jews did as they were told. How
ironic. When there is no
miracle, they grumble. When
the miracle comes, they do as they are told.
This reminds me a bit of the Pharisees in Jesus' day.
They always wanted to see a miracle.
But the one difference is that even when they saw a miracle, they
did not obey.
Verse 18 simply states
that these people did obey by gathering just as much as they needed.
We need to understand that everyone
gathered enough for themselves.
You didn't gather for others, unless they were little children.
In like fashion, each and every individual must come to Jesus the
Bread of Life. You cannot
become a Christian on behalf of someone else.
In verse 19 Moses
specifically stated that you could not keep any of this heavenly bread
until morning. You only gather enough for that one day.
In verse 20 we see some men testing what Moses had told them.
They kept some until the next morning, but by morning, the
heavenly bread was full of maggots and smelled real bad.
This tells me something. When
Jesus, and His word is not applied every day, when we're living on
yesterdays' bread, it smells bad. Along
with Jesus, God's Word, the Bible, is also known as brad to Christians.
We can't be living on yesterdays revelation, and when we do,
everyone knows it is pretty stale. This
is a problem with the church. We
don't receive our daily bread. We're
living on old smelly bread from prior days, and that just doesn’t work
out. It's a bad testimony to
the world. Instead of being
a fresh smelling group of people, we stink.
In verse 21 we note that
when the day got hot, the bread that was left on the ground melted away.
This might tell you something of what this bread was like.
Many people over the years have come up with all sorts of ideas
what this heavenly bread really was, but we really don't know for sure.
In verses 22 to 26 we
In verse 27 we see
typical humanity. After the
command was given not to gather any bread on the seventh day, some
actually went out to find some to gather, but couldn’t find any,
because God did not provide the bread on the seventh day.
It does not matter what the command of the Lord is, someone will
always try to find away around the command or test the command.
In verse 28 God says
"how long will you refuse to keep my commands?"
The word "you" is plural here.
God is not accusing Moses of being disobedient. He is accusing Israel
as a whole of being disobedient. I
think I see something here. Not
everybody disobeyed the command of God, but it appears that God blamed
the whole community of Israel
for disobeying. A few
tarnished the whole group. I think that you see a similar thing in the
seven churches found in the book of Revelation.
Jesus was upset with many of those churches, even though in some
cases, not everyone in the church was at fault.
In verses 29 and 30 Moses
In verse 31 we note that
the people called this bread "manna".
Manna means, "what is it
Verse 31 also states that
this bread tasted like water mixed with honey.
Again, many people have tried to figure out what this bread
really is, but with no real success.
We really have no real clue what it was.
Verse 32 tells us that
God wanted Moses to set aside one omer of manna and keep it as a
memorial for future generations so they could know how God provided for
them. We've seen this over
and over again. God wants
each generation to pass on to the next generation all of the good things
that God has provided for them. As
Christians, we are to do the same. So
in verse 33 Moses had Aaron gather some manna and put it in a jar.
Verse 34 says that Moses
told Aaron to put some manna in a jar in front of the Testimony.
There is debate over what the word "Testimony" refers
to. Some think it is Moses'
tent. As Moses wrote these
words, he might well have had the Tabernacle in mind as he wrote the
word Testimony. The
Tabernacle which God commanded the Jews to built would not be showed to
them by God for another few months. Revelation
15:5, along with other passages, calls the Old Testament tabernacle, or
tent, the "Tabernacle of Testimony".
This special tent was meant to be a testimony to the God of
Verses 35 and 36 simply