In Pastor Dan’s sermon*, he talked about how not only the manna (which the Israelites were provided as food in the desert) would last an extra day on the Sabbath, it also spoiled if people kept too much past the time for which it was provided (one or two days).
- Maybe our manna is cooking or cleaning – we’re sure that we need to do just a little bit more on the day that we set aside to rest.
- Maybe our manna is job-related – where we think that what we did in 5 or 6 days isn’t going to be enough to let us take a day off. In my case, I’m guilty of thinking that I can fit just one more thing in before a meeting (although I am almost always wrong), or that I should check off just one more thing from my to-do list before leaving work for the day.
- Maybe our manna is just checking e-mail, Facebook, or our phone’s messaging app. Our passion (addiction?) for a feeling of connection with others (or the automated programs that send us messages) drives our need to keep checking.
- Maybe it is trying to meet an artificially-set goal for parenting, relationships, fitness, etc. We heard somewhere that we “have to” get in a certain amount of good things every day or every week, and don’t dare take a break.
So, rather than trusting God to provide, we try to gather a little more manna, as it were. (I’m saying “we”, but thinking “me”!) We “cheat” a little with extra chores or work on that seventh day. We try to fit just “one more thing” into our schedule.
But what happened with those who didn’t follow God’s plan with the manna? They were disappointed.
But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them.
Exodus 16:20 NASB
It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none.
Exodus 16:27 NASB
If you’ve used the seventh day in your week to “get ahead”, do you ever find yourself coming up short – being unsatisfied with the result? That could be because we weren’t designed for that.
Do we really get the benefit of running full-speed 7 days a week? Do we really work at our full potential after a full week of physically- or mentally-draining activities? Does checking Twitter or our text messages during our quiet time with God really improve our relationships that much with the people who are contacting us? (Unless God put that person on our hearts at just the right time…I’m not ruling out that possibility.)
Or, does our modern-day “manna” leave us with empty baskets (or a jar of spoiled results), when we try to bend the rules?
Re-read the passage that Pastor Dan shared with us: Exodus 16:21-30, and consider what God might be calling you to trust Him for.
For more reading, see also:
- This devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com, as a Study Guide for the September 15, 2013 message, “Getting Control of Your Schedule”.