Introduction to Moses
In the Book of Exodus, Moses was born when the Israelites (his people) were enslaved to the Egyptians. Around the same time Moses was born, a lot of other Israelite babies were born. This worried the Egyptian Pharaoh because the Israelite population was increasing. So, the Pharaoh orders all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed.
Moses escapes this annihilation because his mother hides him. Pharaoh’s daughter finds and adopts him, so he grows up in the Egyptian royal family. As a young adult, upon learning of his true heritage, Moses watches in horror as his people, enslaved by the Egyptians, are worked to their deaths. He kills an Egyptian slave-master in anger whom he watched beat a Hebrew. Moses runs away to Midian by the Red Sea and encounters the Angel of the LORD, who speaks to him from within a burning bush.
God sends Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of his people from slavery. After the Ten Plagues, Moses and his brother Aaron, lead the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. Moses receives the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai and continues the 40-year trek across the Saini Desert to the Promised Land of Canaan. The victory at Jericho marked the beginning of taking possession of the land, tribe by tribe. Thus, God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled – “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates – the land of Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites” (Genesis 15:18-21).
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the Philistines, although it was nearer; for God said, ‘The people may have a change of heart when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people roundabout, by way of the wilderness at the Sea of Reeds”(Exodus 13:17-18.)
God didn’t lead the Israelites by the shortest route, directly from point A to point B, for it was not safe. God had a different plan and timeline. Through a circuitous route God showed himself to his people through provisions, protection, direction, trust, dependence, leadership, holiness, and faithfulness. He led them by a pillar of cloud (one of the manifestations of the presence of God) during the day and a pillar of fire (divine presence) by night to provide light. The pillars of cloud and fire never left its place in front of the people.
But the people turned to other gods.
And they grumbled.
“…the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” [The grass is always greener…]
Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him….You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.(Exodus 16:6-8a).
Which came first, the manna or the quail? Answer is found in Exodus 16:13 😊
God meets us in our time of need
Even in our grumbling, the Lord hears us.
That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’” [An omer was a unit of dry measure used to measure volume for grains and dry commodities. An omer is 3.64 liters, or 9.3 cups.]
The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.
Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth, day, they gathered twice as much – two omers for each person…This is what the LORD commanded; ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of 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.”(Exodus 16:13-27)
My counselor has taught me many things regarding the concept of living one day at a time. As I was bedridden 20 years ago, my mind and my words lamented, “What if I’m like this for the rest of my life?” Christina answered, “Well, that’s a long time, we will cross that bridge (desert) if we come to it. You only have to get through this day, one moment at a time. Let’s focus on how to get through today.” And it was so. I was bedridden for two years, but not for the rest of my life. Christina’s words kept me from having to cross an unimaginable bridge (desert) I would have crossed unnecessarily and daily in my mind.
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”Mark Twain
Why do our minds tend to spiral into the worst possible scenarios? Why does fear so control us? Why is it so hard to focus on today only? Because we want to control. We want to manage and predict our futures. We think we will be more secure if we can plan ahead and plan the most direct course from point A to point B. Then when something comes along and messes with our plans, we fear everything is ruined, when the Mastermind has a better – though maybe more difficult – experience than we had planned.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”(Proverbs 16:9)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.(Matthew 6:25-27, 31-34)
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.(Psalm 68:19)
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors….(Proverbs 8:34)
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread.(Proverbs 30:8)
Give us today our daily bread.(Matthew 6:11)
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”(Luke 9:23)
Abiding in Christ
Andrew Murray’s book Abiding in Christ teaches outstanding insights on living day by day.
Paraphrasing his words: God still bestows grace for his children daily. He has given many of us more than enough so we care for those who have less. In this way, we learn to give and take care of others so that all can be cared for.
God has also provided a time of rest for us each day by giving us night. “If time had been given to man in the form of one long unbroken day, it would have exhausted and overwhelmed him; the change of day and night continually replenishes his strength… Because divisions of time are broken down and divided into small fragments, we can bear them; only the care and the work of each day have to be undertaken—enough for that day only. The rest of the night enables us to make a fresh start with each new morning; the mistakes of the past can be avoided, its lessons improved. And we have only each day to be faithful for the one short day, and long years and a long life take care of themselves without the sense of their length or their weight ever being a burden” (pg. 86-87).
“Many a soul is upset with the thought as to how it will be able to gather and to keep the manna needed for all its years of travel through such a barren wilderness. It has not learned what unspeakable comfort there is in the word enough for that day. That word completely takes away all care for tomorrow. Only today is yours; tomorrow is the Father’s… Manna, as your food and strength, is given only by the day; to faithfully fill the present is your only security for the future. Accept, enjoy, and fulfill with your whole heart the part you have to perform this day. His presence and grace enjoyed today will remove all doubt as to whether you can entrust tomorrow to Him too” (pg. 87).
“We are so easily led to look at life as a great big whole, and to neglect the little today, to forget that the single days do indeed make up the whole, and that the value of each single day depends on its influence on the whole. One day lost is a link broken in the chain, which it often takes more than another day to mend. One day lost influences the next and makes its keeping more difficult. In fact, one day lost may be the loss of what months or years of careful labor had secured” (pg. 88).
The Morning Hour
“The day’s portion, enough for the day, was given to Israel in the morning very early. The portion was for use and nourishment during the whole day, but the giving and the getting of it was the morning’s work. This suggests how greatly the power to abide all the day in Jesus depends on the morning hour… The morning manna fed the Israelites all day; it is only when the believer in the morning secures his quiet time in secret to effectively renew loving fellowship with his Savior that abiding in Christ can be kept up all day… Christ is his manna, his nourishment, his strength, and his life; he can take enough for that day… Each day of faithfulness brings a blessing for the next, making both the trust and the surrender easier and more blessed. And so the Christian life grows; as we give our whole heart to the work of each day. And so each day separately, all the day continually, and day by day successively, we abide in Jesus” (pgs. 89-90).
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).