Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

The School in the Wilderness Part VI

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Part VI

The School in the Wilderness


What a sight. Six hundred thousand men, besides women and children, with wagons loaded up with everything, even building materials, drawn by oxen. Donkeys, oxen, and people with big packs. Thousands of sheep, goats and cattle on the move. Now what a joyous celebration on the other side of the sea. Everything that had been promised (that they would leave their land of oppression) was finally happening. Joseph's bones, that he gave orders to take with them when they left Egypt, were also with the multitude. Their slave masters and even Pharaoh, dead in the sea. All that was now behind them. A whole new life and future lie ahead.

After a few days reality began to set in. They found no water in this desert country and they began to complain. When they found water, it was too bitter to drink. The Lord showed Moses a tree. Moses cut the tree down and threw it into the water. This cured it making it drinkable.

God was trying to teach them that He was capable to supply their needs. They should learn to trust Him. The second month into their journey, the food supplies they had brought began to run low. How they must have thought of Egypt. Though life was hard and cruel, there was always food. They grew gardens. They had fish in the river. They raised cattle and sheep in the pasture. Now all that was in the past and the future looked bleak.

Can we relate to them a little as we look at some places in our own land? Mills have shut down. The price of fuel, heat and groceries going up. There are many predictions that it will just get worse!

The children of Israel began to complain and said to Moses, “Have you brought us all here to starve?”

How human were their reactions? Instead of being thankful for what God had done they looked fearfully to the future.

Moses brought their problem to God and God said, “I will give them meat and bread.”

That evening quails came and covered the whole camp. The people took them and had them to eat. In the morning the dew lay around and when it lifted it left a small white thing like hoar frost on the ground. They called it manna. They were told to gather this food. It could be ground and made into different kinds of dishes.

This was their school of learning to trust and obey God. In Egypt the hard taskmasters and the long years of oppression had made the people forget some of God's rules for good living. Now God told them how to treat the manna. They were to pick it in the morning before the sun became hot as it would melt in the heat. They were to use it for that day only and not leave it over for the next day as it spoiled and became wormy.

In the beginning, at creation, God had set aside the 7th day of the week as a rest day and sanctified it (made it holy). This had been handed down and kept by God's people. But, in slavery, they had not always followed God's plan. Now God used this experience to bring them back to his laws for their good. The manna fell six days of the week and on Fridays (the preparation day) twice as much manna fell as on the other five days. They were instructed to gather twice as much manna that day as no manna would fall on Saturday, the seventh day (the Sabbath). The manna did not spoil when it was kept over for the Sabbath.

God performed two miracles every week end: the first, on Friday a double portion fell and the manna did not spoil when kept over to the Sabbath.

God has not changed even now. He says, “[ I change not. ] I am the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

When He asks people to do something, like 'keep His laws', He provides the means for them to accomplish His will.




Next week: The Burning Mountain