The One Year® Chronological Bible (Tyndale, NKJV), February 6
God says, “Trust Me!” Man says, “I’ll trust what I can see.”
It’s unnatural to walk by faith. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
Adam and Eve learned that truth in the garden when they chose what they could see over what God had revealed about His goodness and veracity. Ever since the Fall men have struggled to believe God, to trust Him, and to walk by faith.
Now God has 2.5 million such faith-strugglers to contend with. Exercising faith in God challenges many in Israel when their food supplies from Egypt run out and water is but a mirage. Sadly, their faith in God drowns in the emptiness of their bellies.
God’s provision of manna and water requires daily trust: “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily” (Ex. 16:4-5). Each man has to come to grips with three questions: “If I eat all that God has provided for me today, will He provide for me again tomorrow?” “Will God really provide enough on the sixth day to last until the morning of the eighth day?” “Will He really withhold manna on the seventh day?”
God certainly stretches their faith to include doubling their portions on the sixth day to last through the seventh day when no manna would appear. The test follows—“Will God come through on the eighth day?” Many in Israel could not see beyond the immediate and lived accordingly—in unbelief and rebellion against God and His designated authority, Moses.
Israel must learn that God can be trusted. The wilderness provides the classroom to teach them that truth. To have God and His promises is to have His provision, protection, and peace—to believe Him regardless of natural conditions or what the eye may see. The impossible situation is the probable situation in which God will work.
The wildernesses of life demand faith in God. It takes faith in God’s Word and in His unchangeable character to walk by faith instead of by sight. Feeding on God’s faithfulness prevents unbelief from taking root and bearing fruit.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3, emphasis added).
Questions from today’s reading (Exodus 16:1-19:25):
Why does the Lord allow Israel to come to the end of the resources they have brought with them from Egypt?
What does this reveal about how God works?
How do God’s instructions regarding His provision of manna test Israel’s faith?