Updated: Apr 22, 2020
“That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’
The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed” (Exod 16:13-18).
It comes from JD Walt @ Seedbed, former Dean of Chapel at Asbury Seminary. He writes, “Give us this day our daily bread, . . . and quail. Cloud by day. Fire by night. Quail in the evening. Bread in the morning.
There is word between the words in today’s text. It is not written in English but clearly present. See if you can spot it:
‘The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.’
That’s the unwritten word. No one had too much. No one had too little. Everyone had enough.
Over the centuries, people and societies have attempted to accomplish this outcome. From cults to communes and from communism to utopian visions of socialist nations, these idealistic fantasies always fail. Why? This kind of outcome cannot be legislated or governed into existence. Why? Because this is the Kingdom of God we are talking about, not the kingdoms of this world. So does this mean a community where everyone has enough is a pipe dream and not possible in a fallen world? No. Nothing is impossible with God.
It brings us to seven of what may be the most remarkable words in today’s text (if not in the whole Bible). They are the secret to the miracle of enough.
“The Israelites did as they were told.”
Let me repeat that for emphasis. “The Israelites did as they were told.”
The pathway toward enough is only found through obedience to God alone. Obedience is perhaps the greatest lesson the wilderness can teach us. Sure, it is perhaps naive to believe that everyone will one day obey God. If so, call me naive. I do have the Great Commission on my side, which stands as our most updated job description as the followers of Jesus last time I checked. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (italics for emphasis). When you think about it, that’s what we are trying to do together here with the Daily Text—to teach one another to obey everything Jesus commanded us.
Let’s do our job. The best news? We have the Word of God and the Spirit of God and the Lord of the Church on the job with us.
(Taken from J.D. Walt @Seedbed).
Father, reveal to me the deeper wisdom of your will and ways in the wilderness. Teach me the deep truth of “enough.” Obedience is an easy concept to grasp yet a challenge to fulfill. Your word says the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Lord Jesus, I offer you my weak flesh and tepid obedience and I ask you for the fullness of your Spirit that I might obey you in ever increasing measure. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.