Testing

Scripture Reading — Exodus 16:1-5

In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. — Exodus 16:4

The adventures of Israel as God delivers them from slavery in Egypt and cares for them in the wilderness are truly amazing. Again and again the Lord redeems them and keeps them safe from hunger, thirst, and danger.

In today’s verses God delivers Israel from hunger and tests their willingness to obey him. The food that God provides requires the people to obey some specific instructions. Will they trust God enough to obey him? Gathering a surplus of food and then storing it to have enough in the future is the Egyptian way. Trusting the Lord to meet their needs every day will be Israel’s new way.

Later in Exodus 16 we find that some of the Israelites gathered more than they needed, contrary to God’s instructions to gather only enough for each day. They tried to gain some security for themselves, but that backfired. Then, on the day before the Sabbath, some failed to gather enough for two days so that they could obey God’s wishes for the Sabbath. But they went hungry that day and faced God’s displeasure. 

Many years later a substitute Israelite came, One who passed every obedience test and then laid down his perfect life for sinners. Jesus offered his life as atonement for all who have failed to obey or believe what God has told them. Thank you, Lord!

Prayer

We praise you, Jesus, for facing temptation and passing the test flawlessly. We thank you for offering your perfect life in exchange for our imperfect lives. Amen.