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Bread of Heaven
· Children you can be dismissed, enjoy your time in the Word this morning
· greet one another in the Lord.
Jamie Stinemetz
· elder
· wife Cassie and my two boys Hudson and Tate are part of the core team
· setup team (the few, the proud, lately the cold)
· Exodus kids where Cassie and I teach 1-5 grade a few times a month.
· Fearful and Wonderful task of preaching the Word!
Chiropractor 15 years treated patients of all ages from newborn to my oldest patient right now being 94 (I take all the credit for her longevity).
I especially enjoy taking care of the 75 and up crowd.
· I rarely meet one without an ache or pain…and I always think I can help
· because they tell the best stories.
No offense young people but like, I don't get it, when you are telling me about throwing shade at your bestie for not thinking your outfit is totes adorbs. Looked at the older brother who Translated, dirty look to friend for not liking her outfit.
So anyway, good storytelling.
Getting to know each patient can cause a setback in schedule.
An elderly patient talks about the Good old Days
· spring in their step,
· ‘their shoulders spun like windmills,
· their necks turned like an owl
· back was as strong as an ox.
· One particular 84 year old fellow has told me a dozen times how he used to feel like a million bucks every morning, but now he feels more like a couple of copper pennies rubbing together. True story, a dozen times.
But what these people aren't remembering is how bad things were in the good ole days. These same people with stories about
· jumping off moving trains as kids,
· steer wrestling with a bad ankle,
· falling off a three story roof and breaking 10 ribs;
· one lady running face first into her garage door as a teenager while chasing her mom's cat.
The good old days aren't near as good as first remembered when we take x-rays and see scar tissue, bone spurs, degeneration, compressed discs and surgical hardware.
The good old days did some very not so good things to their bodies! But they seem to forget that part, we are guilty of this as believers when remembering our past we remember only the good and begin to grumble in our present circumstance.
If we aren’t remembering things rightly we will wish again for what was good and not wait for better or best. as believers we are assured the best has come and will only get better!
F.P. Adams said, “ Nothing is more responsible for the Good Old Days, than a bad memory.”
This morning in the book of Exodus, God’s people are doing something similar, not remembering rightly, and as we study the Word hopefully we will be drawn to God who remembers us rightly, In Christ.
follow along in your bible or on screen, These are God’s words.
ESV
They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ” And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. And the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ”
These verses demonstrate our three movements this morning:
Remembering Rightly
God’s Provision and Presence
Gods Promise of a Better Meal
REMEMBERING RIGHTLY
God’s chosen people find themselves in a predicament: They are free from bondage in Egypt but they are falling prey to a bad memory and their faith is wavering as they wish for the good old days. They are not remembering rightly and so their obedience becomes unfaithful.
IF YOU’RE LIKE ME, you first read this like I read the
David and Goliath account
· Fight’s for God against his enemy: God’s Champion
· The content hungry Israelite
· Instead we cower from battle and grumble
when I first read this, I said this is ridiculous what are they complaining about, and some of you are more compassionate then me and are thinking, oh these poor people they are having such a rough time!
First of all, this wasn’t a bad stay at a hotel where the pillow was lumpy, and the biscuits and gravy didn’t settle well. exactly one-month earlier God brought his people out of a murderous, abusive captivity that had gone on for 400 years.
The exodus here, like the Second Exodus in Christ, was led by a returning deliverer. Moses, the Egyptian-raised Israelite who had fled into the wilderness, pursued by Pharaoh, had returned to lead them. Now they were free! and they walked out, all 600,000+.
Secondly, they shuffled past the Egyptians burying the firstborn of man and beast. and they walked out healthy!
says they walked out of Egypt loaded with gold and not one person was feeble.
Then to top it off the most dramatic Baptism in the bible at the Red Sea, a few verses earlier we see Miriam singing.
Now here in ----God’s covenant people were experiencing the first part of the way God’s covenants all begin with his people. Departure or separation. God’s covenants throughout the Bible are begun with a separation.
EXAMPLE: Jesus crying out on the cross, My God My God why have you forsaken me,” is the clearest example of this initial separation
-- God separates his people, consecrates them under the lambs blood, yet they don’t want to depart completely.
in each covenant description the beginning is hard, But it’s not the end.
So don’t feel too badly for them just yet, their pockets are full of gold they are free from slavery and God has separated them to be his covenant people.
However its been 30 days and so now the WHOLE congregation is together from V2. and they have walked for 30 days and are seeing their children and spouses losing weight, they are watching their supplies dwindle, their healthy cattle turn weak and their weak cattle dying.
In vs 3 They
start grumbling. And not just any grumbling; they grumble in a most peculiar way.
ESV
and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
They say in V3, we would rather have died by God’s hand in captivity than be killed with hunger here in freedom. They preferred a full belly and slavery to hunger.
Hunger is a powerful urge, it is impossible to ignore your hunger. And the Israelites had become Hangry. Sin had entered their hearts, but hunger wasn’t their sin. Not remembering rightly was.
Like the 84 YO patient who remembers waking up feeling like a million bucks, but has forgotten the family’s farming bankruptcy that took 10 years to recover from.
the people of Israel are remembering their full bellies in Egypt but have forgotten being forced to make bricks without straw.
They grumbled:
· meat and the bread in abundance was the best thing.
· That living their lives the past 4 generations in slavery was better than this.
They were not remembering rightly the chains of bondage because the good old days were whitewashed with time and were glorified by their present difficulty. They grumbled at Yahweh because they had forgotten the past.
Israelites are like our kids, my kids seem to be hungry all the time
Clean Kitchen
Voices grumble “hungry starving”
Kids and kitchens don’t mix
Moms know Sharp things + hot things = bad things.
Moms walk kids through how to make sandwich.
Children need fed, they need cared for, but they also need rules. And God’s people as children, not yet mature in faith needed fed and needed rules so Yahweh gave them rules, a test, a precursory law. and we see that in v4,5
ESV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”
What was God’s law here? He hadn’t given the law to Moses yet and so we see the test of the law is to obey and know “or remember” Yahweh well.
Structure is good for children, The book of the Leviticus is a book of structure, rules for priests, some of these wanderers are descended from Aaron, and will become God’s priests, so this is training for them and Hebrews calls us, the church, a royal priesthood; we ought to be training as well. Children and priests thrive on instruction, and it creates proper remembrance and faithful obedience.
Transition statement: People grumbling at God and not remembering rightly is not unique to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, we see this problem repeat itself all throughout the Bible and in particular I’d like to look at because of the striking similarities.
ESV
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
these Jewish doubters are asking hungrily, like impatient children, for a sign like the bread that Moses gave their fathers because they aren’t remembering rightly, that just 30 years earlier “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,” who told them this is the Son God.
Nor do they have the faith required to read
and believe that the child to be born was this GOD-MAN Christ Jesus.
But they remember poorly as we see in,
ESV
So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
The Jews grumbled, the Israelites in the wilderness grumbled. And who do we see the Israelites grumbling at?
ESV
and in the morning, you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.”
At Yahweh ! And in the irony of John’s gospel who do we see the Jews grumbling at?
Jesus!,
· Not just a good man
· great prophet
· but God himself, come down from heaven in the flesh!
· The true bread from heaven that was shadowed by the meal that Yahweh provided in the wilderness.
later in verse 60 and following, even his disciples get in on the amnesia act.
ESV
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
Surely, they grumble, their leader Jesus had come to be King but how could Jesus be the bread come down from heaven to be given as the spiritual food of his people? that would mean he’d have to die. They were not remembering rightly that in chapter 2 he said the temple (which was his body) would be torn down and in three days raised again.
Finally, we see that the predicament is two-fold. To remember well and to obey faithfully. Faith is more bold and obedience is more complete when first, God’s people remember rightly. So now we’ve seen the predicament of not remembering rightly in both the Exodus story and the Jewish doubters in now let’s look next at God’s Provision and Presence.
PROVISION & PRESENCE
God’s provision to his people comes in various ways. Some ways are tangible to them, quail and bread from heaven and in other ways they can’t grasp it, sabbath rest.
In V4 lets look at Yahweh providing for his children’s physical needs, food.
ESV
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
As it is with God’s provision, it is extravagant. Remember this is nearly 1M men women and children with no way to plant, grow and harvest crops due to their geography and need for mobility.
Scale of the provision
· 1.8 million pounds of food per day:
· 5.5 square miles.
· Panera from rock south to harry and west to hillside
· Wave after wave of quail each day.
says that man cannot live by bread alone. Certainly true for us carnivores in the room! God provided each night for the keto-eaters in the bunch with quail. Little 3oz ribeyes ripe for the picking every evening.
Another aspect of God’s provision is his Presence. In a way probably lost on the Israelites like it is lost on us at times, God also provided his people with hope, his glory cloud revealed. Like God with Adam and Eve in the garden, like God’s consuming fire meeting with Moses in the burning bush, God has told his people to COME NEAR.
ESV
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’ ”
Israel had been in slavery for 4 centuries, they knew God at a distance and hoped in a redeemer yet to come,
says that Yahweh heard their cries, and now
· the good of the lamb’s blood at Passover before the exodus,
· was met with the better of the glory cloud leading them in the wilderness and
· they were to await the best of the promised land.
And he fed them so they would be strengthened yes, but also so that their knowledge and fear of YAHWEH would increase. When we feed our families, we do it to provide for them certainly, for this is good; but we also provide so they know the better provision of God’s love and the best provision, Christ come near to us.
As we look at
, we remember the Jews not remembering rightly who Jesus was as they watched many of his signs and wonders already given,
so what provision is Jesus making for those who would believe? He is providing food that does not perish or spoil. God provided the good (food to the enslaved Israelites) he provided the better (which was the meal in the wilderness) and he now provides the best meal which is His body and blood.
He says in vs 48 and following
ESV
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
He, satisfying them with the bread of heaven becomes a theme of Scripture that not only refers to the manna described in Exodus but to the ultimate provision of eternal sustenance, Christ himself.
We like the Israelites, need the manna from heaven. Food, yes, but more than food, God’s presence.
The cost of this provision would be the cross. His death to provide life everlasting.
· James Jordan, a biblical scholar, talks about:
· Isn’t it amazing that the physical food we need for life is dead? our food that gives us life is dead first. That’s the work of the Spirit for sure! To bring life from dead things! So even the everlasting bread of life must die to give us life, everlasting. BUT He is alive! AMEN?
So each week we memorialize Jesus’ provision.
But we must not build the Lord’s supper into a shrine for self-reflection, a photograph of Jesus’ death turned into a confessional booth, for if we do we intellectualize, to our loss, something that is both physical and spiritual. He did die, his actual body was broken and his red blood was spilled but his body and blood at the table are here for more than a memory of a deceased ancestor. The supper is a memorial of the new covenant; a celebration of God’s provisional meal, that he feeds us here as we rest from our week’s work.
Remembering rightly at this table each week, we look back to the bread from heaven and look forward to the wedding feast he is preparing us to attend. and each week as a church family we enjoy this meal in the perfection of his provision and presence.
So better than the good old days is the promise of his continued provision. And the promise of the better meal that has come with Jesus’ arrival. Let’s look at the promises God has given his people.
PROMISE OF A BETTER MEAL
God’s promises can be seen and
THE PROMISE GIVEN IN OF THE SABBATH IS AN ANTICIPATION OF A BETTER MEAL TO COME IN THE PROMISED LAND, A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY. ON THE SABBATH GOD FEEDS HIS PEOPLE WITHOUT THEM GATHERING SO THEY MIGHT KNOW WHO FEEDS WHO? BECAUSE HE FEEDS THEM, THEY CAN REST.
Yahweh blesses his people with the promise of the SABBATH,
In
ESV
On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”
So that on the 7th they will eat without gathering because as is explained later in the chapter
ESV
On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord;
Why start the sabbath observation here in the desert, when moving as far as possible would be the best way to get them to the promised land? Wouldn’t it be better to prevent boredom or fighting to have them gather manna and quail every day?
Well, at least the Israelites have learned something through this process, they just obeyed the first time and that was that..... oh wait, they are like us, we are like them.
EXAMPLES: rotten egg smell and parental advice.
Yeah, well the Exodus bunch was no different.
In v27 some went out on the Sabbath and tried to gather it anyway. They Should have RESTED.
WHERE ELSE DO WE SEE THIS IN THE BIBLE?
Think about Adam and Eve in the garden.
God was telling them in the garden…REST from this one thing, what I’ve given you is best.
And so in
God is telling them, children --rest, for this one day. And yet they come to obedience begrudgingly.
ESV
Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field.
We as God’s children are still to this day grumbling as we are wait for the promise of his provided rest. and God feeds us as we work for the restoration of HIS KINGDOM on earth as it is in Heaven. As He renews us in his image we are drawn to trust and obey and we ANTICIPATE the day when the whole earth will be renewed to be THE promised land.
So the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. Because God has promised us REST/RENEWAL. Just as in the creation narrative, God rested from his work on the sabbath and in
we are promised an entry into his eternal rest
ESV
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
and later in Revelation, an invitation to the Marriage supper of the Lamb, communion in its fullest and most holistic reality.
So Yahweh gave his people in Exodus what was good, and
shows us the already of Christ’s Kingdom come and the not yet of Christ’s promise of Sabbath renewal for us. The best has come and will keep getting better.
Let’s turn to
to see the PROMISE of GOD IN JESUS.
.
ESV
Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” This should remind us of that we would not perish, in Christ​
ESV
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. ​
ESV
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
and finally a contrast of the promise in
ESV
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Jesus’ words are not minced. This marks a winnowing, or narrowing in the covenant of Christ’s people. Another Separation or departure in covenant beginnings.
Baker’s NT commentary says it like this, “Jesus’ teaching on the “bread of life” is impossible to tolerate even for many of his disciples. As a result, the scope of Jesus’ followers is narrowed, so that only a believing remnant remains… “
But once again, that’s in the beginning of the New Covenant, not the end, in Acts we will see the covenant once again explode in number at Pentecost and eventually the covenant sealed in Revelation with the communion meal fully realized.
With Jesus’ death and the sacrifice of his body and blood we are unified with him in his death and united with him in new life. We are indwelt with Christ in a very mysterious and most powerful way. And the best is yet to come as we look at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in
ESV
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
To be truly human, moving towards fully intended humanity we, brothers and sisters are to be creatures of true worship. Including the worship of thanksgiving to the God who gives us all we need. Families when you sit at your table for dinner, praise God out loud for the provision of the meal. Friends, when you dine together, thank God for the gift of friendship made sweeter around the table sharing a meal. Children, when you eat your bellies full of pancakes thank God for the bread of life that came down from heaven!
Church, may we not grumble as they did in the wilderness. Remember rightly that we have been given God’s perfect provision, presence and promise in Christ. And that…
Our right remembering will lead us to be bold in faith, it will move us, the saints, to the righteous deeds that will be our fine linens as we sit and eat with the King at his table.
PRAY
Communion Preparation:
The communion table set for us today is a celebration as we break from our fast each week, moving from work to rest, renewed with a small cup and a crumb, while we make ourselves ready for the return of our King and his marriage supper of barrels and banquets. So, Come, take the bread and dip it in the cup and remember rightly, enjoy his provision and hope in his promise of a better meal to come.
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