MEAT OR INFANT FORMULA?
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Exodus 15:1-3
Moses was celebrating in the Holy Spirit. Being inspired with a song is a gift from the Lord himself. He was celebrating as David did when the Arc of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem. When you have a great gift from God, a time of celebration is wonderful to rejoice in. The Holy Spirit is the author of this joy, but people do not always recognize the prophet who enjoys fellowship with him. They can sing a different tune in a short time. They think he has gone from hero to zero if they don’t get their way.
So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? Exodus 15:22-24
Moses turned to his provider, the Lord, for help. The Lord pointed to a cure, and an admonition. He presented them with the biggest word in any language: ”IF”.
And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, IF thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. Exodus 15:25-26
God would provide another tree (cross) that would cure the poison of the curse forever:
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Galatians 3:13
Israel was almost ready for the law now. They need to see that they can not live by good works, and that lesson will be provided for them. IF they can keep his statutes they will be fine. They don’t yet know that for human flesh this is impossible. Israel is being taught like small children for now. Remember how a two-year old behaves?
And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger Exodus 16:1-3
It is interesting to see that this place is called the wilderness of SIN. It is probably a miserable desert, not the dessert they enjoyed in Egypt. There are no delicacies or big meat roasts here. They again consider Moses a murderer intent on their destruction.
Israel has seen a few things that are available to obedient children. They have seen some miracles from their Father in Heaven. Like little babies, they try to become the boss of the whole house when it’s feeding time. Their screams are heard in heaven. It is left to Moses to “mother” the infants of faith. Their father gives Moses an answer for their crying.
Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. Exodus 16:4-5
God is giving them help…with strings attached. There is a test in this gift. It will trip them up if they are disobedient. Can you imagine what will happen if we give a two-year old a chance to make a choice on his own? Their favorite word now is “NO!” and they will try it often.
I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. Exodus 16:12-17
OK; we have a limit, but some gathered more or less. Wasn’t that predictable?
And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. Exodus 16:19-26
God demonstrated that he had a rule that would not be broken. They had to do what they were told. If you place your fingers on the top of the stove, you will be hurt. What is there about the words “thou shalt not” that you don’t understand?
And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. Exodus 16:27-30
We see Israel behaving like infants, but we can not mock them. They are a preview of our own Christian walk. We come to Christ with no teaching, and have to trust our church leaders to give good directions. New Christians see a few miracles because God gives us some revelation to encourage us. Sometimes we think we are the saviors of the world because we have had this great discovery. We get excited and try to get all of our friends saved…in the bar on Friday night! Then we discover that God has a little power to spank us too! But he lets them see the spoiled manna without punishment. He will one day give them the real bread of life.
And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? Exodus 17:1-2
Just because we leave the place of sin, doesn’t mean sin doesn’t still have a place in us. I may not go back to the bar, but I may still have a bottle in the refrigerator at home! Faith will wait on The Lord, but unbelief will want answers in a hurry. This is a basic weapon our enemy tries against us. We know we have a provider, and expect him to answer when we cry, like babies. We know the promises of God are true, but we try to push him to prove himself. He tested our savior with this temptation too.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4:5-7
We may expect God to save us, but not to run to rescue us in foolishness. He is our father, but not obliged to spend his work day chasing us off the freeway. In a reasonable pursuit he is there for us. If we manufacture a risk against God given wisdom we are at risk. If I accidentally drink poison I have mercy, but not if I do it to tempt him. Perhaps it is unwise to handle snakes as a proof of faith too!
Now we can see that the Old Testament has a place in our learning forever. It reminds us that we were carnal when God found us. We are reminded of the grace we received so that we will be patient with others in the infancy of their faith. We still need to teach, but we can allow time for the discovery process. Jonah went the wrong way, but God did provide him a ride home when he recognized his error. It is the believer’s choice to travel first class, or to go as “whale bait”!
Remember Amy Grant’s song, “Fat Baby”?
know a man, maybe you know him, too.
You never can tell; he might even be you.
He knelt at the altar, and that was the end.
Hes saved, and that’s all that matters to him.
His spiritual tummy, it cant take too much.
One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch.
On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best,
And gives his language a spiritual rest.
He’s just a faaa…
He’s just a fat little baby!
Wa, wa, waaaaa….
He wants his bottle, and he don’t mean maybe.
He sampled solid foods once or twice,
But he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice.
Ba, ba, ba, ba…ba, ba…ba, ba!
Hes been baptized, sanctified, redeemed by the blood,
But his daily devotions are stuck in the mud.
He knows the books of the Bible and john 3:16.
He’s got the biggest king James you’ve ever seen!
I’ve always wondered if hell grow up someday.
He’s momma’s boy, and he likes it that way.
If you happen to see him, tell him I said,
He’ll never grow, if he never gets fed.
He’s just a fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat…
Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat…
Fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, faaaaat…