1. Forty-five days later, after the time that they departed from Egypt, the morning after the Passover event, the children of Israel arrive. They came to the wilderness of Sin and complain to Moses that there is no food (16:1-3). To add to this complaint there was a desire to return to Egypt for food! How can a person so quickly forget a horrible occasion like bondage? Evidently, the answer is in the belly!
2. The Lord provides for the Israelites. He not only provides bread (cf. John 6:30-33), He provides meat (16:12). The instructions were simple (all related to trusting the Lord); the children of Israel were to go out each morning (six days) and gather what was needed, but on day six they were to gather twice as much, not gathering on day seven (the Sabbath day). This was the occasion where the Lord introduced what was soon to become part of the “Ten-Words,” the day of rest on the seventh day.
3. There is no historical reference prior to this where any observed this seventh day as a day of rest; it was a day of rest given only to the Israelites (cf. 31:12-18). Just as there is in our day, there was in the days of Moses, people who just want to test the situation. Some, on the seventh day, went out searching. The Lord rebuked Moses for this, who in turn rebuked the nation (16:28-29). What the Lord provided was a significant event in their lives; thus, the Lord told Moses to take some of the manna and set it aside as a memorial (16:33-34).
4. Application: For forty years the Israelites were provided this food. In this forty year period the Lord purged the Israelite nation of those who were disobedient to His will. More than that occurred, though. In that forty year period there was much teaching and many opportunities for spiritual reflection (cf. the sentiment of Judges 2:7). Reflecting on our own lives, have we purged ourselves of those impurities that contaminate?