-In the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation (more than a million people) of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. Grumbling and God’s mercy even in the presence of discontentment becomes the ultimate theme of this chapter. Their complaints were not really against Moses and Aaron in the fullest sense. Their protest was against God, which the Scriptures clearly point out (Exodus 16:7, 8). The fact that God hears their grumblings and reacts in kindness to provide the manna and quail reiterates the fact that He was patient and His lovingkindness would never fail in the plan He was working out. *Application* How quick we are to turn our emotions away from the truth of the LORD’s sustenance and provision. We can easily forget His faithfulness and go our own way in frustration and complaint when things seem a little (or a lot) rough. Don’t let circumstances get the best of you like they did with the children of Israel. This is where faith is maintained and real growth occurs in your life. Remember that the LORD still brings tests to see whether or not you will walk in His instruction (Exodus 16:4). Blessed are you when you persevere and pass the tests and trials given and allowed by God.
-A clear description is given of the manna, which is a miraculous provision of food for each morning. The interesting note on this comes in verses 18-21. “He who gathered much had no excess (Exodus 16:18).” This refers to hoarding, which the LORD is always against. He taught the children of Israel not to hoard with storing up excess by making the manna foul and breeding worms on the next day. This would teach them to gather only what they needed, which would help them learn to share the abundance with others in the camp and promote unity. The ones that “gathered little had no lack,” which demonstrated that enough was enough and no more was required for their contentment and wellbeing (Exodus 16:18). *Application* This is a clear example in Scripture of how we as Christians should behave in our generosity. Be willing to share the wealth that the LORD has given you. Otherwise your heart will be troubled and you will not be fulfilling all that God has for you (Luke 6:38, 1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5).
-The Sabbath is given precedence and importance in the wilderness as a day of rest to be observed. God once again made extra provision so that obeying His commands would not be strenuous or cumbersome. *Application* Remember to rest as the LORD commands. It will do your body and soul well. The tendency is to keep up the hectic pace of our lives in our modern culture. God tells us to slow down and repose at least one day a week. Take your Sabbath rest O Christian. God knows that we need that time of restoration and recuperation.
-The manna would be stored for future generations to see the bread that the LORD provided for His children by His command. It was to be placed before the Testimony, to be kept, and later the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:16; 40:20).
Verse to Memorize: Exodus 16:2