In Exodus chapter 16 we find Israel leaving an oasis with 12 springs and 70 palm trees (perhaps symbolic of the 12 disciples and 70 disciples in Luke 10) and entering the wilderness once again. This is now 2 months and 15 days after leaving Egypt. Despite Israel’s abundant praises to God in the previous chapter they are once again complaining to Moses (instead of praying to God) about their unfavorable conditions. One of Israel’s problems which may have originated from their years in Egypt was that they never prayed to God for help but complained to a man (Moses) instead. To get through our desert we must put our trust in God instead of man (Psalms 118:6-8). None the less, in response to their complaining, God promises bread from heaven and quail for meat. Here God has provided for their basic need – food, but later with the coming of the Messiah we see God providing for an even more important need – salvation and forgiveness (John 6:27).
God commands the Israelites to put some of the manna they gathered in a jar to remind the future generations of God’s provision in the desert. This jar was later stored in the Ark of the Covenant and kept with Israel as a reminder. Take time to remember what God has provided you. Don’t forget His many blessings.TO help you in this I suggest making a “blessings journal” and write in it every detail about each circumstance that God brought you out of. With this you can remind yourself in dark times of God’s faithfulness and you can share your many testimonies with others.
The Manna was considered bread from heaven, in the Bible, bread has many significant roles.
- The manna in the desert gathered and eaten daily.
- The bread of the tabernacle (and the temple) baked daily and set before the holy of holies.
- The bread (and fish) which Jesus divided for the multitudes.
- The bread that was eaten in the last supper which symbolized Christ’s body.
In John 6 Jesus calls Himself the “bread of life” which came from heaven to feed the spiritual need of man which no other thing could satisfy. Manna in Exodus was a prophetic type of Christ, it came from God, not from man. It was God’s provision, and it was just enough for each person as Christ is always enough for us. They had to gather it daily as we should commune with Christ daily.
Water from the Rock
Once again we find the children of God complaining to Moses instead of trusting in God. When we have needs we are to go to God first, don’t drop manipulative hints or try to accrue pity from people. When you trust that God will provide, you will not have a pitiful or poor attitude because you know God will provide. Jesus said in Matthew 7:7 to ask that it should be given to you. Worry comes from fear and faith opposes fear.
Once Israel complained to Moses, he would probably pray to God on their behalf. God would respond to Moses’s requests this shows that it only takes one person to pray in great things and it also shows the job of Christ as our mediator. Jesus intercedes for us and defends us, we see Jesus praying for the Church in John 17 as Moses would pray for Israel. On behalf of Christ’s righteousness, the Father treats us as if we have not sinned.
Moses obeys God’s direction again and strikes the rock and water flows out. Once again God provides miraculously for His people. You’d think that after these great wonders one would never cease to trust in and love God, but this is not so with Israel. It is also not so with us, we are just as fickle as they were and turn away from Him often when we ought to remember Him. It goes to show you that even with signs and wonders which many ask for it’s not what will convince someone to be devoted to God.
Jesus is called The Rock because of His unchanging, and unmovable position as Savior. Another connection exists between the Rock in Exodus and the Rock of Christ: Both Jesus and the rock (of Exodus) were truck and water poured out from them. In the last hours of Jesus’s life water gathered around his heart, he was pierced and the water poured out. This sure sign of Jesus’s death means the sure sacrifice He gave, and how much more do we have victory in His resurrection from the dead because He defeated death.