Thursday, February 2, 2012

"How Long Will You Refuse"

Exodus 16:22-30
On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

Do you ever read portions of scripture and ask questions? In the passage above, a whole host of questions could be asked, like, why does God ask the people to not go out to find food on the seventh day? Why can't He just give them food seven days a week? Not to mention what is this stuff He's giving them anyways?

As we read the story of Moses, it is amazing to see God's power, His mercy, grace and lots and lots of patience. This is just one example of the many times the followers of YHVH chose not to obey the Lord or refused "to keep" His commands and instructions. After just witnessing the greatest miracles the world had ever seen, these people failed to trust God for food AND in resting on the Sabbath. They lacked trust. For whatever reason, they didn't trust that God would provide for them nor did they trust that they could take a day of rest.

It's interesting that even though these events took place thousands of years ago, they still apply to us today. Do we too struggle with trust? The FFOZ commentary had a great quote regarding this,

"Manna can teach us about money and materialism. God provides the bounty of the material world for our welfare. He provides adequately for our needs, sometimes in scarcity, sometimes with abundance, but always with sufficiency. “He who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack” (Exodus 16:18). When we try to hoard wealth, though, it can turn into something spiritually ugly. Just as the manna turned rancid and wormy, hoarded wealth sickens the soul. It causes us to cling to material things. We no longer need to rely on God because we can rely upon our savings and investments. We no longer need to pray for our daily bread, as Yeshua taught us to do. As Yeshua warned us, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23).

We can also be challenged by the Sabbath. According to Biblical calendar, beginning in Genesis 1, the Sabbath is a Holy day. A day God ordained for US! A day for us to rest and to spiritually recharge in HIM. This day begins, according to the Greco-Roman calendar on Friday night at sundown and ends Saturday at sundown. A day for our rest and a day that God provides for us, physically and spiritually. For the followers of YHVH, the sabbath was a big deal. God wasn't merely giving a suggestion, it was something He became quite upset with upon their lack of observance.

I wonder, do we have that same lack of trust? Does materialism and the world's idea of monetary security control us? Does the Sabbath mean anything to us, or is it just a day for chores and to do lists? I wonder, is God asking us, "how long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?"

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