God Send Manna From Heaven

The Israelites Complain and Murmur to Moses as they Wander the Wilderness

Moses Draws Water from the Rock
After a relaxing time in the oasis of Elim, the people of Israel were rested and refreshed. It was time to move on, into the wilderness of Sin. The name Sin does not refer to sinfulness, but a word that translated would mean The Moon, which scholars suggest was an ancient moon deity worshipped in Arabia and the surrounding areas. In just a few hours, the entire congregation of Israel was disgruntled, and murmuring again against Moses and Aaron. “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Moses heard it, and the Lord heard it, too.

The Lord told Moses that He would “rain bread from heaven” for them, and that the people were to gather each morning enough for the day, and on the sixth day, twice as much. Moses and Aaron told this to the people and also told them that God heard their complaints. Moses then said, “And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.” Then Moses told Aaron to tell the people, “Come near before the Lord, for He has heard your complaints.” And as the Israelites looked toward the wilderness, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord told Moses, “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel.” According to God's instructions, Moses told the people that in the early evening there would be meat to eat, and in the morning, bread. God was testing to see if the Israelites would be faithful to obey and follow directions on a daily basis..

That evening, thousands of quail “covered the camp,” and the next morning, when the dew lifted, there was “a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.” The people called it manna. Moses taught them how to collect it, just enough each day for each person in each family, and nothing more. They were not to keep any of it overnight. But some of them didn't obey and left part of it until the next morning. They quickly discovered that it had produced worms and smelled horrible.

On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much, and Moses taught the people about the Sabbath to the Lord, and that they would not find any manna in the field. As might be expected, some people went out the seventh day to gather manna, but found nothing. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?” God knew that it was the people who had erred, but Moses was the one responsible and accountable. God was not angry with Moses, but was insisting on obedience to every detail of His Word. (Exodus 16:3-28)

The next camping place was Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people took Moses to task and again bitterly complained. “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Understandably frustrated, and afraid for his life, Moses prayed to God. God had another miracle up His sleeve. God told Moses to take his staff and to take some of the elders of the people to a rock in Horeb. “And you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.”.

Moses did as God commanded and named the place Massah (temptation) and Meribah (strife) because of the dissension and discord of the people of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Exodus 17:1-7)

This was now the sixth time the people had uttered their blatant unbelief in God's ability to provide and Moses inability to lead, and the worst was yet to come.

Written by: Pete Miller