Stinking Stash

Exodus 16:19 “Let no one leave any of it ’till morning.”

Observation: The nation of Israel was in the Wilderness of Sin after the Exodus from Egypt, and they “ … complained against Moses and Aaron … ” (v.2). Essentially, they said they had rather died in Egypt’s slavery where meat and bread were available than live as a free people dependent upon God. So the Lord promised to give them bread from heaven each morning which they could gather and always have enough. But each man was to gather according to his need and the need of those in his tent. Moses had specifically instructed that no leftovers be kept. Some disobeyed, though, but found their stash stank and filled with worms.

Application: After 400 years of slavery it is understandable that some would be slow to comprehend that they now were under a new Master, a Divine one deeply committed to meeting their needs. So they disobeyed God’s admonition not to hoard and found everything they stored up simply wasting away. Yet on the sixth day they were to gather a two-day supply to tide them through Sabbath, and found that the sixth day supply did not rot.

God seems to have been purposeful in His strategy to teach His children to rely just upon Him. Hoarding was antithetical to trusting, and He was demanding total trust. At that stage of their desert wanderings they could not have imagined that forty more years stretched before them, but God knew their future. He knew how essential it was that they learn to trust Him for their daily provision. So whatever they tried to store was done in the flesh. It was old man thinking, a slave mentality. And it was a direct affront to God.

I hear in this a foreshadowing of a couple of things God said in 1 Peter 2. Verse 21 says that I am called to identify with Christ whose suffering left me an example to follow. And what was His example? Verse 23b says, “He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

There is about this a certain feel of exclusivity … Jesus’ commitment was so complete it was as though He was saying, “Father, if You don’t come through, all is lost. I’m a goner. I have burned all bridges to any other strategy, any other resource but You.”

I wonder: Am I more like Him, or more like a son of slaves? What sort of bank balances do I hold in reserve in case He doesn’t come through? What have I accumulated and hoarded, rather than spent as He directs? Biblical stewardship is straightforwardly simple: using God’s resources as God directs. Anything less is disobedience, and God will lovingly do for me what He did for His chosen ones: He will make it into a stench as I hold on to it rather than to Him.

Prayer: Father, I realize that while I have trusted You in some things, my trust has not embodied the exclusivity You demand. Strip me, Lord, of reliance on any but You, for You judge righteously.

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