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Summary of the Journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan

Quiet time alone with God during the day is much needed to grow and rest spiritually. It allows fellowship to be made to God that can only be made with intention. Upon reading through Exodus 16 this morning for my quiet hour, I ventured into the story of the Israelites wandering through the Wilderness of Sin after departing from the Red Sea and how God supplied Manna from heaven for them for 40 days as they walked through the vast wilderness as a way of testing the Israelites and to humble them. This post will focus on a k Exodus 16:19-23 and form a summary of the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan..

Devotional Reading

"Then Moses told them, 'Do not keep any of it until morning.' But some of them didn't listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them. After this the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the flakes they had not picked up melted and disappeared. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much as usual--four quarts for each person instead of two. Then all the leaders of the community came and asked Moses for an explanation. He told them, 'This is what the LORD commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the LORD. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow" (Exodus 16:19-22, NLT).

Historical Context Summary of the Journey of the Israelites From Egypt to Canaan

Seen from my previous post, "The Account of the Exodus," the book of Exodus is believed by scholars to have been written between 1450-1410 B.C. This particular passage of the book details the Israelites journey through the wilderness of Sin after they had crossed the Red Sea and God had drowned Pharaoh and his army.

The Exodus had occurred toward the end of Chapter 12 and the destruction of the Egyptian army occurred in Chapter 14. At the beginning of chapter 15, the Israelites sing a psalm of deliverance to God and towards the end of the chapter, it is mentioned that Moses then led the people into the desert of Shur where they traveled for three days without water. They arrived at an oasis that was later named Marah, meaning bitter, since the water was too bitter to safely drink. The Israelites complained to Moses that it would have been better to have stayed in Egypt than to die in the wilderness, being ungrateful for the deliverance that they had finished singing about earlier.

They journeyed then to Elim where 12 springs and 70 psalm trees were found and there they camped. From here, they journeyed through the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. The details of this journey might seem overbearing or not worth noting, but there are always reasons God reveals (or sometimes, hides) details of a journey. I'll attach a video to this post detailing the journey. In Exodus 16:4, God tells Moses that He will provide manna for the Israelites and gave Moses specific details on how the Israelites were supposed to gather the food. No copyright infringement intended.

"Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go down and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual" (Exodus 16:4-5, NLT).

Moses instructs the Israelites that God will provide meat in the evening and bread in the morning. He then directs the people to present themselves before God as He has heard their complaining. Upon hearing the Israelites, God gives this second decree to Moses below.

"I have heard the Israelites' complaints. Now tell them, 'In the evening you will have meat to eat and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God'" (Exodus 16:11-12, NLT).

From this decree, Moses instructs each household to gather as much as it needs, two quarts (this is an Old Testament measuring system; In the Hebrew, this is understood as an omer, about 2.2 liters) for each person in their tent. Here brings us to the devotional reading text mentioned at the beginning of the post. Upon seeing the bread in the morning, the Israelites didn't know what to call the substance at first and named it "manna," Hebrew for "what is it?".

Above video by posted by The Ryan Mauro Show on Youtube.

The Israelites didn't listen fully to the instruction of God and had gathered more than they needed and God allowed their feast to turn sour, filled with maggots and inedible, as a visual representation of how God views their sin. There is much to learn from this passage alone in Scripture. For more on the details of manna, visit Bible Study Tools article entitled "Manna" below.

Lessons from Biblical History

It is often said that "when history is not listened to, people are doomed to repeat it." While this is true, it is also true that when one finds satisfaction with sin, they are doomed to run back to it. Even for the Christian, sin is still prevalent in life due to the fallen nature of humanity. The difference is that for the Christian, they can rest assured that this battle of sin reigning in life has already been won due to Christ's sacrifice on the Cross if they truly believe in the God who fulfilled the debt for them. However unfortunate, oftentimes even the Christian will choose sin over God. Ray Comfort said it best in his book, "How to Bring Your Children to Christ. . . And Keep Them There."