I am doing a new Bible study this fall, A Woman’s Heart God’s Dwelling Place, it’s a Beth Moore study that uses the Exodus to study God’ desire to dwell with us. I just finished the third week and am excited to begin week four. I think the idea that God Who truly loves us, but also likes us and wants to share time with us is rather amazing.
I have taught stories about the Exodus before to Sunday School students, you know the typical ones about Moses and the Red Sea, or Moses and the burning bush. But the lessons I have been learning about God and the Israelites, wow, these are so much better.
I have known for a long time that manna came in the morning and quail came at night to feed the Israelites; what I didn’t know was the reason for these particular items. The manna which basically means “what is it?” came with the morning dew. It was something that had never been seen before (or since) the time of the Exodus. In order for the Israelites to eat it, they had to go outside their tent and collect it. No more than what was needed for each day, any more than what was needed and it would start to smell and be full of maggots (Exodus 16).
The provision of God was just outside the tents, all the Israelites had to do was go outside to get it. What a simple example of God taking care of them. It got me to thinking; what kinds of provisions are just outside my tent? What does God want to provide for me, for my family? In order for me to receive what God is offering, I have to go outside my “world” into His world in order to receive them. How many times have I missed something because I didn’t go outside?
As to the quail, I had no idea until I started the study that the Egyptians ate quail all the time. The Israelites had been complaining that they missed the foods they had eaten in Egypt, so God gave them some of what they used to know (Numbers 11:1-20). The Israelites were called a stiff-necked people and God was going to teach them a needed lesson.
The Israelites had to eat quail until they were sick of it. The Scriptures describe it as “until it comes out your nostrils,” a pretty disgusting image. Stiff necks are not humble. Humility was really the item on the menu. It would be 40 years of hard lessons and review for the Israelites. How many ways would they have to be humbled? How many times would they miss going outside to receive God’s provision?
How many times will I have to be taught and how many times will I have to revisit lessons God wants me to learn? I don’t want to miss seeing God’s amazing new provision each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Oh Father, may I be a better student tomorrow than I was today. May I recognize the provision outside my tent and step outside to receive my daily portion.