Exodus 16:1-7, 14-15; Numbers 11:1-9
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH GOD’S GIFT
Intro: Do you know what the most despised gift that is given during the
Christmas season is? Is it a new tie? No! Is it a new pair of bedroom
slippers? Is it a new hand-knitted sweater? No! What it is, is fruitcake!
Lots of people give those nasty things to lots of other people who hate them.
They hide them in their closets, use them to scotch their cars tires, use them
as doorstops, save them up and use them to brick their houses, throw them
at stray dogs, or best of all, the mean one re-wrap them and give them to
some other poor, unsuspecting person. So their Christmas can be ruined
But, when someone gives you a fruitcake, you take it don’t you? You
even say, “Thank you!” I hope you ask for forgiveness! We accept it
graciously, and even tough we may not like fruitcake, we are thankful for the
expression of love from the giver. That is what grateful people do, even with
a gift they do not like.
But, have you ever been around someone who received a gift from
someone else and rudely rejected it out of hand? I have seen that happen
and it is a hurtful thing to watch. It breaks the giver’s heart! It is amazing
the people can be so cruel, but they can!
The passage in Numbers 11 shows the people of Israel to be ungrateful
for the generous gift of God. They reject Him and His gift! It is a sad tale
of pride, arrogance and foolishness. Yet, I want to look into it today,
because I fear that there may be people in this very room who have and are
rejecting God and the gracious gift of salvation.
I want to take these passages and show you a people who were not
satisfied to receive the gift of God. I want you to see what happened to
them and what it means for us today. Let’s think for a while about this
question: Are You Satisfied With God’s Gift?
I. Ex. 16:2-3 THEY ENCOUNTERED A GRAVE DILEMMA
A. As the children of Israel journey toward Canaan, they meet with a
legitimate need. They needed food! Mankind has three basic
physical needs. He needs food, water and shelter. These people
had shelter, but they lacked water and food. Over two million people
need to eat and drink. This was no small problem, for they were
pilgrims, hence they could not raise crops. Their livestock could
never have reproduced at a rate sufficient to sustain them. They
were journeying in a desert environment, so water would have been
a constant problem for them. They were helpless and the future, at
least to them, appeared hopeless! They simply could not help
themselves! They needed divine intervention to be able to remain
alive. They could not save themselves! (Note: They had a
legitimate need, but they tried to meet it in an illegitimate fashion.
Instead of trusting God, they murmured and complained against
Moses and Aaron.)
B. In this setting, the children of Israel are a good picture of lost
humanity. As lost people live their day to day lives, they have
needs. In our country, most people can take care of the basic needs
of life for themselves. Most folks can provide themselves with food,
water and shelter. Of course, I know that God is behind them being
able to do all of that.
However, they have other needs that they can never meet on
their own! Food, water and shelter may get you through this life, but
they cannot help you in the afterlife! Lost people need spiritual
bread and spiritual water. They need a spiritual shelter for their
souls and they, out of their own resources, can never provide what
C. Just like the children of Israel, lost people seek to meet the legitimate
needs of their soul through illegitimate means. People try to scratch
the itch within their soul by moving deeper into sin. They try to fill
the void in their hearts with money, good times, friends, sex, drugs,
drink and many other things that can never satisfy. What they all
need is divine intervention! They need the scales removed from
their eyes, 2 Cor. 4:4! They need the quickening power of the Spirit
to operate within their hearts, Eph. 2:1. They need the provisions
that only God can provide!
II. Ex. 16:4-7 THEY EXPERIENCED A GRACIOUS DELIVERANCE
A. They Experienced God’s Mercy - Even though they are after help
in the wrong way, God still moves in power to meet their need!
What a picture of grace and mercy! These people deserved
judgment and wrath, yet God reached out to them in love, grace and
compassion. He extended divine grace to them, when they
deserved something far different! (Note: Every person in this room
who is saved today, or who will ever be saved in the future, has
received far better than we deserved! In fact, the Bible is clear that
we all deserve to be in Hell, Psa. 9:17; Rom. 6:23. But, God is a
God of grace and love! You see, in spite of our sinful condition, God
loved us anyway, Jer. 31:3. He proved this love by the gift of His
Son, Jesus, on Calvary, John 3:16, Rom. 5:6-9. He demonstrated
His grace toward us when He sent conviction to our hearts, John
6:44. They fact that Jesus Christ went to Calvary, died in agony
there, arose in victory three days later, ascended back to Heaven as
our great High Priest and promises to save all who will come to Him,
Rev. 22:17; Rom. 10:13; Matt. 11:28; John 6:37! Friend, never
doubt the mercy and grace of God! It is the only reason who can be
here today! It is the only reason you have made it this far in this life.
It is the only chance you have of salvation! There is no doubt that
God loves you. The question is, do you love Him?)
B. They Experienced God’s Manna - As I just said, God moved in
response to their need and sent them exactly what they needs. He
sent them bread from Heaven. He sent them the manna! This
bread, that lay upon the ground in the morning for 40 years,
sustained them as they traveled toward the promised land.
Evidently, the Manna was everything they needed for good health
and satisfaction. Just what they needed, was just what God sent to
them! (Note: In the Manna, we can see a clear picture of Jesus
Himself. He even compared Himself to the Manna in John 6:35.
Notice quickly the way the Manna points ahead to Jesus, the
genuine Bread from Heaven:
1. It Was Small - Exodus 16:14 - This speaks of Christ's humility.
2. It Was Round - Exodus 16:14 - This speaks of Christ's eternal
nature, John 1:1.
3. It Was White - Exodus 16:31 - This reminds us of the sinless,
holy nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 2:22; 2 Cor. 5:21.
4. It Came At Night - Exodus 16:13-14 - Jesus came to a world
lost in spiritual darkness and gave them light and life.
5. It Was Misunderstood By Those Who Found It - Exodus
16:15 - They called it Manna which means, "What is it?" Jesus
was misunderstood by the very people He came to save - John
1:11; John 10:20.
6. It Was Sufficient For Every Man's Need - Exodus 16:17-18 -
This reminds us that Jesus is the all-sufficient Savior. He meets
the need of man's soul. Some go deep in the Christian life,
others get in but chose to play around the edges, but wherever
you find yourself, as long as it is in Jesus, you will find that He is
sufficient to save your soul
7. It Was Sweet To The Taste - Exodus 16:31 - Those who
partook of the Manna found it sweet and satisfying. By the same
token, all those who receive Jesus as their Savior find Him to be
sweet to the soul and satisfying to the life. That is why we are
encouraged by David to "taste and see that the Lord is good."
8. It Was To Be Kept And Passed On To Others - Exodus 16:32
- Jesus is the same way, He is to be shared with those who
cross our path.
9. There is more that could be said about The Manna, but that is
enough to let us see that it is an excellent type of the Lord
C. Just as He did for Israel, God has provided us with everything we
need for good spiritual health and perfect satisfaction. Jesus, and
Jesus alone, can save and satisfy the soul the soul, Acts 4:12.
III. Num. 11:4-9 THEY EXHIBITED A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT
A. V. 4-9 Their Judgment Of The Gift - By this time the people have
been eating Manna for nearly two years. Everyday, except the
Sabbath, the Manna was there on the dew when they awoke. The
Manna had fed them, sustained them and had met their need for
food. Someone has said that it would have taken approximately 240
box car loads of Manna per day to feed two million people! Yet, God
sent it everyday, faithfully, sufficiently and graciously.
But, Israel did not appreciate the gracious gift of God! Verse 4
tells us that the mixed multitude wanted more! The Israelites picked
up on the refrain and joined in with them in demanding meat. Verse
5 says that they looked back on their days in Egypt and the foods
they had there! They esteemed the provisions of Egypt superior to
the gifts of Eternal God! Verse 6 they compared the Manna to
nothing! They despised it and wanted no more of it. They wanted
meat to satisfy their lusts and they were ungrateful for the manna
which God, in His grace, had given them! Verse 8 tells us that they
tampered with the Manna in many ways to make it more appealing
to their taste, but their efforts only robbed the Manna of its
sweetness and left it tasting like oil. When it was tampered with, it
lost its ability to satisfy!
(Note: What a picture of the Gospel of Christ! When the Gospel
is accepted and taken in just as God gave it, it has the power to
bring life out of death. It has the power to convert the sinner and
save the soul. It has the power to alter one’s eternity. It have the
power to make all the difference in the world!
But, when it is tampered with, it loses it’s power to save! When
the Gospel is added to, or when parts are taken away from it, it
cannot convert the soul! Yet, so many people and churches today
and guilty of tampering with the Gospel. They grind it, they beat it,
the bake it all in an effort to make it more appealing to the flesh!
But, it will never work! The Gospel was never sent to make man feel
better about himself! The Gospel was given to show man that he is
a sinner in need of a Savior! The Gospel was given to show man
that he is guilty before God and is in danger of the judgment of God
in the fires of Hell! The Gospel is not pleasing to the flesh! It is
openly opposed to the flesh. It stands in sharp contrast to the world!
The demands of the Gospel are clear: “repentance toward
God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”, Acts 20:21! If
you want the salvation God has to give, then you will come to Him
on His terms and in His timing! (Ill. Sinner’s prayers, decision cards,
shaking the preacher’s hand, joining a church, being baptized, etc,
is not part of the Gospel! Salvation is a lost sinner turning from his
sins and placing his faith in Christ Jesus alone for the saving of his
soul, Acts 16:31.)
(Note: People and churches and denominations can alter the
Gospel message anyway they wish, but they rob the power from the
Gospel when they do! (Ill. Denominations and choices about
homosexuals!) This thing is bigger than what version of the Bible
someone uses. It is bigger than women wearing pants to church,
how long a man wears his hair, whether he has earrings or not, or
what kind of music they use in their services. This issue is about the
Gospel! When we change the Gospel in any fashion, it loses its
power to save the soul!
The Gospel of grace is just what the name implies! It is God
moving on a lost heart, calling that person to come to Him by faith
and when they do, He eternally saves them and changes their life
and eternal destiny, Eph. 2:1-10!)
B. Their Judgment By The Giver - God was not pleased by what they
did! He answered their request for meat, v. 18-20, and He judged
them severely for their lack of gratitude for His gracious provisions,
v. 31-35. It may seem harsh to us, but what these people were
saying was, “We don’t like how God is treating us! We would be
better off without Him! We don’t want His Manna and we don’t
want Him!” Their rejection brought a high price. Many of the
people perished because they rejected Him and His precious gift!
(Note: Here is the application. You can have another plan if you
want it. You don’t have to receive Jesus. You don’t have to be
satisfied with Him. You can modify God’s Gospel anyway you wish.
But, know this, everything you try will fail and in the end, you will still
face the judgment of Almighty God! There is only one way to avoid
facing God in judgment. That way is for you to receive His gift! I am
talking about Jesus Christ! He is bread for the soul, John 6:36. He
is water for the soul, John 7:37-38; John 4:13-14. He is the only
shelter from the wrath of God, 1 John 5:12; Phil. 3:9.)
(Note: Not everyone in Israel was guilty of this sad show of the
flesh. There were some people in the camp who quietly gathered
the Manna, thanked God for His provisions and lived. Thank God,
there are still some even in this godless day who have partaken of
the Bread of Heaven and are saved and satisfied in Jesus! What
Conc: God is offering us something far more precious than a fruitcake, or
a new tie, or a new pair of bedroom slippers. He is offering every lost
person in this room the opportunity to be saved. He is offering you the
opportunity to come to Jesus Christ, receive Him by faith and have your sins
forgiven. He is offering you life! He holds out His hand and extends the
offer to you. What will you do about it? Will you receive Him, or will you
reject Jesus and His death on the cross? Will you come to God, or will you
continue on the road to Hell? If God is calling you to come, then you do
that. You come to Him and receive the gift! Don’t wait until you face Him
in judgment, for then it will be too late!