Saturday, February 13, 2010

Only the best

I grew up on a coffee farm in Colombia. This picture is an acuarate representation, the basket, the berries and all. You try to pick only the red ones. The yellow and green ones need to stay on the bush for a later picking.

My Christmas money each year as a child came from my earnings picking coffee. The harvest started in October, so the timing was perfect.

On our coffee farm, we drank coffee from the worst beans. Picked green, or shrivelled. The best beans, like all farms everwhere, were shipped off to the market. Coffee was our cash crop. The best went to bring in cash. The worst went for our own consumption.

Today God makes a big deal about the best. He says it again and again. The best must go to Him. Not the worst. Not even the medium. No - only the best. Read with me...

1 "The Lord called to Moses from the Tabernacle[a] and said to him, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. When you present an animal as an offering to the Lord, you may take it from your herd of cattle or your flock of sheep and goats.


3 “If the animal you present as a burnt offering is from the herd, it must be a male with no defects."

“When you present grain as an offering to the Lord, the offering must consist of choice flour. You are to pour olive oil on it, sprinkle it with frankincense, 2 and bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests. The priest will scoop out a handful of the flour moistened with oil, together with all the frankincense, and burn this representative portion on the altar. It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 3 The rest of the grain offering will then be given to Aaron and his sons. This offering will be considered a most holy part of the special gifts presented to the Lord."

“If you present an animal from the herd as a peace offering to the Lord, it may be a male or a female, but it must have no defects."

Only the best.

Something to ponder...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The glory of God

The glory of God

We are amazed, perplexed and terrified of the glory of God. Magicians and politicians would love to have it on demand. Those who experience it want more. All who get near it are humbled.

God shows His natural glory indiscriminately - to everyone who will look, or listen, or behold. The sunset, the bumblebee, the waterfall, the rolling ocean waves.

But His spiritual power and presence? He is very careful who he shows that to, and how much He shows. Listen to the story of Moses, and the glory of God...

Moses Sees the Lord’s Glory
12 "One day Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ 13 If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”

14 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

17 The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”

18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”

19 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh,[c] before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. 20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. 22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

The glory of God!

Are we too busy, distracted, distant - to experience it?

I will send an angel before you


If you are familiar with the story we are following, you remember the all out war and fighting that it took to conquer the promised land.

There was strategy, and victories, and defeats. It wasn't easy. So it is easy to forget this promise, made by God to Moses, some 40 years before that all happened.

Exodus 33:1 "The Lord said to Moses, “Get going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ 2 And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites."

I will send an angel before you...

This is a time of struggle for me. As I visit with, and talk to a lot of people, it has been a time of struggle for almost everyone. I hear again and again, "We are working twice as hard for half the money." I also hear a lot, "It has made us appreciate what is important and what is not, what is worthwhile and what is not."

As we go into battle, it is easy to miss, or forget, that God is with us, that He protects us, His angel goes before. He is with us IN the battle, His presence does not help us AVOID the battle.

3 "Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.”

4 When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning and stopped wearing their jewelry and fine clothes. 5 For the Lord had told Moses to tell them, “You are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I were to travel with you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove your jewelry and fine clothes while I decide what to do with you.” 6 So from the time they left Mount Sinai,[a] the Israelites wore no more jewelry or fine clothes."

Yet even in their sinfulness, God was still with them, provided them with manna every day, and sent His angel before them...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anointed Art

Christians have rediscovered art.

Whether music, or dance, theatre or sculpture, art is again a legitimate expression of our relationship with God.

For over 1200 years, almost all art was "sacred art". The amazing paintings and scupltures. The grand cathedrals.

Then the Christian church went into a time where preaching was "sacred" and selected, outdated music was sacred, but most music, and art, and dance, and cinema were profane.

Now art - all art - is, and can be, sacred.

How would you like to be this guy in the Bible?

1 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 4 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 5 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!"

Can you imagine God saying, “Look, I have specifically chosen ______________ (your name) I have filled him/her with the Spirit of God, giving him/her great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He/she is a master craftsman, expert in working with ______________" Wow! Yet God does say that about you...

Here is another guy...


6 “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make:

7 the Tabernacle;[l]

the Ark of the Covenant;[m]

the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement;

all the furnishings of the Tabernacle;

8 the table and its utensils;

the pure gold lampstand with all its accessories;

the incense altar;

9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils;

the washbasin with its stand;

10 the beautifully stitched garments—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests;

11 the anointing oil;

the fragrant incense for the Holy Place.

The craftsmen must make everything as I have commanded you.”

Anointed artistry!

God saying, "I (God) have personally appointed ____________ (your name)
And he has.

Your art is from God. It is inspired by Him. Created by Him. Your talent is given by Him.

Puts your art into a whole new level, does it not?

Anointed Art...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Census

The superbowl game was great! Lots of buzz before, and a fair bit after.

The oddest ad in the whole event was the census ad. Our government has plunged us into 2 trillion of new debt in just 12 months and yet they spend 2.5 MILLION dollars to advertise the census? Seems pretty lame...

Imagine my surprise to read about a census in the Bible. Not only a census, but they were to collect a tax from everyone at the same time. Could you imagine trying to pull that off in our country today! (Ha!)

11 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord. Then no plague will strike the people as you count them. 13 Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the Lord. (This payment is half a shekel,[e] based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.) 14 All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the Lord. 15 When this offering is given to the Lord to purify your lives, making you right with him,[f] the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less. 16 Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle.[g] It will bring the Israelites to the Lord’s attention, and it will purify your lives.”

No deep message here. I just find it curious, that's all.

Take a census. Collect a tax. Tell the people it is to bring you to the Lord's attention. That it would make you right with God.

This is actually God's direction - in the Bible, so I am not making fun of it...

But it would sure be hard to pull off in our cynical, secular society!!!

p.s. -
Worst in show: Census Super Bowl ad flops

By Mike Riggs - The Daily Caller 02/08/10 at 1:23 pm
The U.S. Census Bureau’s “Snapshot of America” Super Bowl 44 ad has met with harsh criticism from television writers, media pundits and the Kellogg School of Management, which gave the Census ad an “F” grade — the lowest of any commercial that ran during Sunday’s game.
Television critics charge that the Census ad, which cost $2.5 million and was directed by independent filmmaker Christopher Guest was dry, uninformative, and culturally obscure.

Planning

Every year I make goals and plans for the year.
Last year was so chaotic that I made no plans. Had very little direction, except to survive. This year I am back on track with goals.

In todays passage it struck me how carefully God plans things.

His goal was to take his people and multiply them into a great nation. So he leads Joseph to the most prosperous country on earth - Egypt where they flourish. He plans for them to conquer the land he had given them, so they endure 40 years of desert as mental and physical preparation.

His people were slaves - penniless. So he gave this odd command back in Egypt:
Exodus 11:2 Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel.

Get this. The richest people in the world - with huge houses, every comfort, slaves to do their bidding. Their slaves come and ask them, not for a little hand out, no - for thier silver and gold.

After being destroyed by crop failure, plagues and supernatural wonders, the Egyptians freely unloaded their riches on these hapless slaves.

So now they are in the desert as a reasonably weathy people. But what do you use gold for in the desert? Well, God had planned a lavish display of beauty and value as symbols of their faith and worship.

3 "Overlay the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold, and run a gold molding around the entire altar. 4 Make two gold rings, and attach them on opposite sides of the altar below the gold molding to hold the carrying poles. 5 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 6 Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant,[b] in front of the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that covers the tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.[c] I will meet with you there."

God is a planner. So when he directs you in ways that seem a little odd, know that God is at work in your life. You may not know the reason why, but he does...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Set Apart

In the story we are following, Moses has established leaders and heirarchy. Now they act as judges between the people.

Today God calls for leaders in worship and connection to God.

Exodus 28

“Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests."

So God is creating something new here. A new order. In Genesis, the only time the word priest was used was for pagan priests.

In Exodus 19:6 we read, "And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

In Genesis God spoke to Abraham. God spoke to Isaac. God spoke to Jacob, and Joseph. Is there now a layer between God and his people? I don't think that is the purpose at all. But there are now 3 million of God's chosen people. He is ready to implement a more organized way to know him and acknowledge him.

Their clothes are to be dazzling in beauty.

2 "Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful. 3 Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a chestpiece, an ephod, a robe, a patterned tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother, Aaron, and his sons to wear when they serve me as priests. 5 So give them fine linen cloth, gold thread, and blue, purple, and scarlet thread."

They are to be consecrated and ordained.

Exodus 29

“This is the ceremony you must follow when you consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams with no defects. 2 Then, using choice wheat flour and no yeast, make loaves of bread, thin cakes mixed with olive oil, and wafers spread with oil. 3 Place them all in a single basket, and present them at the entrance of the Tabernacle, along with the young bull and the two rams.

4 “Present Aaron and his sons at the entrance of the Tabernacle,[g] and wash them with water. 5 Dress Aaron in his priestly garments—the tunic, the robe worn with the ephod, the ephod itself, and the chestpiece. Then wrap the decorative sash of the ephod around him. 6 Place the turban on his head, and fasten the sacred medallion to the turban. 7 Then anoint him by pouring the anointing oil over his head. 8 Next present his sons, and dress them in their tunics. 9 Wrap the sashes around the waists of Aaron and his sons, and put their special head coverings on them. Then the right to the priesthood will be theirs by law forever. In this way, you will ordain Aaron and his sons."

So is this the beginning of organized religion? No- there had been organized pagan religions already.

And although there are high standards for those who would lead people to God, we are all to be set apart, to be ministers, to be priests, if we know, and love, and follow God.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I the Lord will be with you

I the Lord will be with you
Is this not what we all want?
God almighty - with us, not against us?

20 “See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. 21 Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. 22 But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you. 23 For my angel will go before you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites, so you may live there. And I will destroy them completely. 24 You must not worship the gods of these nations or serve them in any way or imitate their evil practices. Instead, you must utterly destroy them and smash their sacred pillars.

25 “You must serve only the Lord your God. If you do, I[j] will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness. 26 There will be no miscarriages or infertility in your land, and I will give you long, full lives.

27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and create panic among all the people whose lands you invade. I will make all your enemies turn and run. 28 I will send terror[k] ahead of you to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites. 29 But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. 30 I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land. 31 And I will fix your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea,[l] and from the eastern wilderness to the Euphrates River.[m] I will hand over to you the people now living in the land, and you will drive them out ahead of you.

32 “Make no treaties with them or their gods. 33 They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry.”

I will protect you - if you follow me...

Can we agree on some rules?

Can we agree on some rules?
Follow these and we will all get along with each other and with God.
OK? Here goes...

1 "Then God gave the people all these instructions[c]:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

3 “You must not have any other god but me.

4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those[d] who love me and obey my commands.

7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You must not murder.

14 “You must not commit adultery.

15 “You must not steal.

16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.

17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”

18 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”

20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”

I've heard it say that no one has broken the 10 commandments. They have, rather, broken themselves ON the 10 commandments.

10 rules for life and happiness. Hmmmm...

Holy!

Holy!

God is holy. What does that mean? Perhaps the best visual picture we can get in from today's passage.

Exodus 19

The Lord Reveals Himself at Sinai
1"Exactly two months after the Israelites left Egypt,[a] they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai. 2 After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and set up camp there at the base of Mount Sinai.

3 Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”

7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. 8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord.

9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you.”

Moses told the Lord what the people had said. 10 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. 11 Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 12 Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death. 13 No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the people may go up on the mountain.”

14 So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes. 15 He told them, “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”

16 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply. 20 The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.21 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the Lord, or they will die. 22 Even the priests who regularly come near to the Lord must purify themselves so that the Lord does not break out and destroy them.”

23 “But Lord,” Moses protested, “the people cannot come up to Mount Sinai. You already warned us. You told me, ‘Mark off a boundary all around the mountain to set it apart as holy.’”

24 But the Lord said, “Go down and bring Aaron back up with you. In the meantime, do not let the priests or the people break through to approach the Lord, or he will break out and destroy them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them what the Lord had said."

God is holy!

Systems and Structure

Old man Jethro comes to visit Moses, and bring him his wife and 2 kids. They have a great visit. Then Jethro sees what Moses does on a daily basis.

13 "The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.

14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”"

This is craziness, says Jethro. Why are you the only one doing all the counseling and dispute resolution? Well, I am the only one who can, says Moses!

15 "Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”

17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. 18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. 19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. 20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22 They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23 If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. 25 He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 26 These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves."

Organize. Hire. Put systems and structure in place. Trust others. You are not the only one who can do things.

This hit me in church this morning. Jesse Butterworth is a world class musician who has raised up the musicians, organizes the rehearsals, leads worship and is in charge of all music in all venues at our church.

We went Wednesday night. He was sick. He was a no show. We went to church this morning. He was nowhere to be found. Was he still sick? Don't know. Was he on a trip? Don't know. However, the music Wed night was great. The music and worship this morning was awesome. Everything continued without him without a hitch. That is the sign of effective leadership.

So Jethro says goodbye.

27 "Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land."

Moses has to learn to live with his wife and 2 kids in this new high pressure environment. He organized the group into layers of leadership to make his life livable again. And life goes on...

Provision

Provision

God promises to provide for us. That is a test of our faith. My brother and I go around and around on this. He has a construction company that depends on winning bids for work. I am in real estate and I depend on people choosing to buy or sell property through me and my team. Does our provision depend entirely on us? Does it depend entirely on God? What part does prayer play? Hard work? Customer satisfaction?

Moses and the 3 million people had a problem.
They had left a very fertile part of Egypt and were now out in a desert. They were no longer farming, but were wandering. How were they going to eat?

None of them guessed that this would go on for 40 years. But God knew. And God had a plan to provide all they needed. No more than they needed, but all they needed.

The story starts with a bad attitude.

Exodus 16
1 "Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin,[a] between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.[b] 2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron.

3 “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”

Then God steps in with a promise to provide.

4 "Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.”

6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7 In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us. What have we done that you should complain about us?” 8 Then Moses added, “The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the Lord, not against us.”

9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Announce this to the entire community of Israel: ‘Present yourselves before the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’” 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”

13 That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. 14 When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. 15 The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was.

And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat. 16 These are the Lord’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts[c] for each person in your tent.”

17 So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little. 18 But when they measured it out,[d] everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed."

God provided in a miraculous way. There were also instructions. There was a spiritual component. And there was a physical, or activity, component. And there were some rules.

19 "Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” 20 But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.

21 After this the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the flakes they had not picked up melted and disappeared. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much as usual—four quarts[e] for each person instead of two. Then all the leaders of the community came and asked Moses for an explanation. 23 He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.”

24 So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. And in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor. 25 Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today. 26 You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.”

27 Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. 28 The Lord asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions? 29 They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day.” 30 So the people did not gather any food on the seventh day.

31 The Israelites called the food manna.[f] It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers."

God provided for his people.
And He wanted them to remember his provision to build and renew their faith in later times.

32 "Then Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: Fill a two-quart container with manna to preserve it for your descendants. Then later generations will be able to see the food I gave you in the wilderness when I set you free from Egypt.”

33 Moses said to Aaron, “Get a jar and fill it with two quarts of manna. Then put it in a sacred place before the Lord to preserve it for all future generations.” 34 Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it in the Ark of the Covenant—in front of the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.[g] 35 So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived at the land where they would settle. They ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

36 The container used to measure the manna was an omer, which was one tenth of an ephah; it held about two quarts."

God does not necessarily provide MORE than we need, but he does provide WHAT we need.