God can change His instructions – Exodus 16

Exodus 16:17-20 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 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. 19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” 20 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.

It is amazing how we often try to “outfigure” God. I was drying my hair and reading my Bible this morning (I love multitasking) and God led me to Exodus Chapter 16.

In this case, God had set a system for five days of the week for gathering manna. Gather enough for you to eat — at night throw out the leftovers. Work again tomorrow and gather more.

So many of us participate in ministries and we’ve done it for a while. God said to do it a certain way and we do it. If we are disobedient, God does not bless. But if we follow His plan, he blesses us.

Then, God changes things. We think: “Certainly — He couldn’t have said do it differently? I’ve always done it this way. When I did it the other way, I was against His will and He didn’t bless it” (I gathered double and it was full of maggots.)

God has his reasons — He reserves the right to change things up. He always has a reason if not to test our “tuning in to Him” and our “willingness to change.”

So we see in Exodus 16:22-30

Exodus 16:22-30 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers [a] for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “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.’ “

24 So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. 25 “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. You will not find any of it on the ground today. 26 Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”

27 Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. 28 Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you [b] refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? 29 Bear in mind that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where he is on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

So– here we are — God told Moses to tell the Israelites to gather a double portion on Friday so that they could rest on Saturday — Gods’ day in the Old Testament.

I can just hear the wheels turning of the disobedient. “Surely Moses doesn’t know that when you gather double, the maggots get in it and it is foul the next morning! No Moses doesn’t know because He’s never disobeyed. Won’t he be hungry tomorrow!”
“Surely, I can’t stand to be hungry for a day! What if we don’t have anything to eat!”

Justification after justification on why they couldn’t CHANGE this once. Little matter God said it was only for one day out of the week.

God was so disgusted with them — “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my instructions?”

I think perhaps God often thinks this from us! He has His exact way that He wants us to do things! In line with His word. Following Him.

“Bring ye the whole tithe into the storehouse.” “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” These are straight from the Bible — do we follow His instructions?

But also — how about the nuances of the ministries we serve in daily. A day not on our knees is a day potentially when God may ask us do something a little different. We’re in autopilot so not only do we miss a chance for obedience, we complacense our way to disobedience.

There is either obedience or disobedience with God — not a gray area.

Have you tuned into God. Have you asked Him how He would have you gather manna today? Is tomorrow a day of rest and you should work doubly hard today? (Notice God could have just sent the manna to their tents in their pots on Saturday, however, He chose to have them work doubly hard the day before!)

Tune in to God — I pray He is not overly disgusted with me. I would be broken hearted to hear Him say “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions?”

Walk with Jesus today! Keep the faith!

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