Whoever Gathered Much

But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.
(Exodus 16:18)

I’m in no way wanting to minimize the Coronavirus, nor do I want to comment on all the steps made lately to contain it. That’s not the point of this article.

But look at the store shelves. The panic has set in and everyone is trying to stock up on toilet paper, masks, hand sanitizer, vitamin C, meat, etc. The stores can’t keep stuff on the shelves.

Then we hear reports of people who bought up all the hand sanitizer and are selling in on Amazon for up to 70 dollars a bottle. Or the guy selling toilet paper out of the trunk of his car for a high price. Some people would applaud folks like this for being capitalists and opportunists. God would tell them they are being selfish and are hurting the poor.

When we go to the store in such panic and buy enough toilet paper to last 10 years, and then the elderly couple who comes in to the store later can’t buy any, what does that say? I’m confident that there are many good hearted folks out there who are sharing what they have with others, but I don’t think anyone can doubt that the store shelves being bare is a sign of many folks having a me-first attitude.

While there are principles in the Scripture that teach it is wise to have storehouses of supplies in our house (Proverbs 15:6; 21:20), there are other principles like the one we see in Exodus 16 that show God wants those who gather a lot to share with those who have a little. The Israelites were commanded by God to gather only enough manna for the day.  Those who gathered too much were to share with those who didn’t gather enough. And if you kept any overnight (except for the Sabbath Day), it bred worms and stank the next morning. It was a valuable lesson God was teaching his people.

This concept is repeated in the New Testament. Paul quotes Exodus 16 when writing to the Corinthians about sharing with others.

For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
(2 Corinthians 8:13-15)

A matter of fairness. Paul said that word twice in this passage. Fairness. Your abundance should supply their need at this time, and then later someone else’s abundance will supply your need. Regardless of what happens, and no matter what the culture does, God’s people are looking to share what they have with others who are in need, so that there will be fairness. This concept is not just for kindergarten kids at recess, it is for people who go to the store to shop. Remember this concept.

Moses Had God’s Heart

When I read in Exodus 2 about the early life of Moses, what I see is that Moses saw the suffering of mankind and the injustices that others were facing and he stood up and intervened. His heart was in the right place, even though he went about the wrong way.

In Exodus 2, we see the 40 year old Moses standing up for a fellow Hebrew who was being beaten. Then Moses tries to intervene and stop a fight between two of his brethren. He clearly saw that one was “in the wrong,” and was trying to stop it. After Moses fled to Midian, he saw women being mistreated at a well, and stood up to defend them.

Moses had God’s heart. Look at the last part of Exodus 2. God saw the suffering and injustice happening to His people, and He intervened. Guess whom He sent? Moses! The guy who had the same heart for the suffering.

Moses was misguided, impulsive, and maybe even a little arrogant in how he approached his intervention in human suffering. But God trained Moses for 40 years in Midian, and Moses became the most humble (meek) man on the planet. But that heart was still there. Moses, like God, cared about the suffering and injustice of humanity and would stand in the gap to defend and project the helpless.

What about you and me? Do we have the heart of Moses? Are we protectors and defenders? Do we, like God, care about the hurting people around us and intervene in some way to alleviate their suffering?

Trust – Not Knowing

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
(Heb 11:8)

Trust. In order to trust another, it by definition means you don’t have all the answers and information. You don’t possess all the details and you are going on the word of someone else.

Abraham was told to take his family and his corporation and go. Go where? Go where God told him to go! That’s not a lot of information to go on, is it? But it was all the information Abraham needed.

Sometimes we really geek out on the details and have to know all the information. God doesn’t work that way with us. He wants us to trust in Him and His promises without having all the facts. You will not be able to know how everything is going to turn out in specificity. The Lord isn’t going to send us a spreadsheet with charts.

I’ll leave you with a short passage from Exodus that tells of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. They didn’t have all the information and details. Their job was to be silent and go forward. Trust God and let Him take care of the rest.

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.
(Exodus 14:13-15)