Exodus 16: Some Left Over – Part II
Monday, August 3, 2015
Bread from Heaven
The Lord said to Moses, “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you . . . Present yourselves before the Lord for God has heard your grumblings”.
How quick we are to complain when life does not go “our way”. When we take time to read the story of the desert manna we see that we are not the first people to forget our deliverance from slavery. And we suspect that we will not be the last to protest our circumstances. But are we willing to see how God cares for us when we are troubled and anxious?
In the Exodus story God provides a double portion of manna on the day before the Sabbath so that the weary desert wanderers may be sustained on their day of rest. On God’s direction, Moses calls forth water from rock (Exodus 17 & Numbers 20) when the people complain. Despite all of this grumbling, God provides enough so that there is some left over. God gives us more than what is sufficient to see us through the difficult places in our lives. It is up to us to remain open, listening and accepting. It is up to us to present ourselves. And when we do, we receive far more than mere bread and water.
While the day was growing hot . . . Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
We might also take a lesson from Abraham who, on an ordinary day and in an ordinary way, unknowingly encounters God when he receives strangers into his camp. (Genesis 18) Abraham extends desert hospitality and sees that his guests’ feet are washed and that they receive food and drink. This traditional hospitality on a typical day brings a surprise announcement: despite their age, Abraham and Sarah will receive the gift of a child. When they open their hearts and home, Abraham and Sarah discover new depth in their lives; they celebrate new gifts.
The Road to Media
Tobiah went to look for someone acquainted with the roads who would travel with him to Media.
In this wonderful story of Tobit, the faithful man who remains loyal to God even in the land of exile, we find another reason to open ourselves to the outsider. When Tobias (Tobiah) invites a stranger to accompany him on his journey to Media, he unwittingly enlists the aid of the Angel Raphael. (Tobit 5) Once again, we find that hospitality and fellowship lead to such great gifts and such great reward that there is always some left over.
Tomorrow, more Old Testament stories in which God provides more than enough.
To reflect more on these stories, enter the words Tobit, Abraham or Angels into the blog search bar and explore.