The believer is apt to forget a thousand mercies in the presence of one trifling privation.
God is longsuffering.
Better to be in a desert with God than in the brick kilns of Egypt with Pharaoh.
1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
4 ¶ Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:
7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?
8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
9 ¶ And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.
10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
11 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
16 ¶ This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
22 ¶ And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 ¶ And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
32 ¶ And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.
34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
35 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
Exodus 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 16:1-12 – Murmuring for Food Rebuked
Moses made a double promise to the Israelites in God’s name. In the evening they were to have flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full. But before these gifts could be received, notice must be taken of their conduct toward the two brothers, whose authority had been impugned by the events of the morning. Hence the appearance of the divine glory in the cloud, Exodus 16:10. After this a vast flight of quails, a migratory bird which often crosses the Red Sea at this very spot, fell to the ground in the near neighborhood of the Hebrew camp, and lay there in an exhausted condition, which allowed of their being captured by the hand. How striking are those words: “The Lord heareth your murmurings”! We should remember them, when next we are tempted to doubt God’s love and to complain of His dealings with us. Let God’s faithful servants take courage; He will vindicate them. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 16:4 – A Certain Rate every day.
It is said that the twenty-four hours should be divided thus: Eight hours for work, eight for rest, eight for recreation, food, etc. There should be a counterpart of this in Christian living. Each day there should be a portion for work, a portion for restful meditation and sitting before the Lord, and a portion for the gathering of God’s manna.
Each day brings its own work.—God has created us for good works, and has prepared our pathway, so that we may come to them one by one. He has apportioned to each one some office to fulfill, some service to render, some function in the mystical body of our Lord. It is comforting to know that we have not to scheme for ourselves, but to look up for guidance into the Divine plan.
Each day brings its own difficulties.—God spreads them over our days, giving each day only what we can sustain. The servant girl might be startled were she told that she would have to carry the coals, which it has taken two horses and a great cart to bring to her master’s door; but she will be comforted by being reminded that they will be borne upstairs only a coal-scuttle full at a time.
Each day brings its own supply.—No Israelite could point to his store of manna and congratulate himself that he was proof against any famine that might befall. The lesson of daily trust for daily bread was constantly being enforced; for as the day came the manna fell. Those who followed the cloud were always certain of their sustenance. Where the cloud brooded the manna fell. Whatever any day may bring there always will be within reach of you, lying ready prepared on the sands of the desert, just what you require. Go forth and carry it; there will be no lack. —Our Daily Homily
Exodus 16:13-26 – The Manna in the Wilderness
The manna was typical of Christ. See John 6:31-34. He came down from heaven to bring God’s life within the reach of man. It is not enough that God has made so rich and plentiful a provision for us; we must appropriate it by our daily prayer and faith. Our Lord calls Himself “the bread of life” (John 6:35), not only to teach us what He is in himself in relation to our soul-need, but to remind us that He must be inwardly appropriated, fed upon, and made part of our very selves. Only so can He impart strength and joy to our hearts. It was not enough that the manna, sparkling like pearls in the morning sunshine, laid within their reach, the Israelites must gather it. The dew speaks not only of the Holy Spirit, but of the dawn. There is no time like the early morning for fellowship with Jesus! You cannot have too much. Gather all you may, you will have none to spare; but if you are pressed with needful duty, a little of Christ will go a long way, you shall have no lack. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 16:27-36 – Daily Food and its Memorial
Wherever the cloud broods the manna falls. If we are true to God’s leadings, and pitch our tents in obedience to His guiding cloud, we may confidently reckon on Him to provide our daily food. It will come “day by day” (Luke 11:3). Each man must gather, not only for himself, but for his own household. We are not to hoard up against tomorrow, because God, who has provided, will provide. And we are not to break in on the rest-day, or on the rest of our soul, by perpetual fret and care about our physical needs. God who opens His hand to supply the hunger of every living thing will not neglect His children. Give yourself up to holy fellowship; roll your anxieties on Him; take what He provides now, and trust Him for all coming days. Your bread shall be given you, and more than that. Remember that He gave quails in the desert and fish to the five thousand! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Through the week, we go down into the valleys of care and shadow. Our sabbaths should be hills of light and joy in God’s presence; and so, as time rolls by, we shall go on from mountain-top to mountain-top, till at last we catch the glory of the gate, and enter in to go no more out forever. (Beecher)
Compare Exodus 16:31 with Numbers 11:7-8
How could a soul which has tried again to satisfy itself with Egypt’s food, find manna the same thing after restoration? The pure and sweet manna which has sustained the virgin soul which has unwaveringly followed the guiding pillar, must for the restored soul, have its color changed into that of tried gold, and its taste to that of healing oil. Nothing else would supply its need now.