DiM | “All of Creation” by MercyMe

Presentation1CCM Radio Edition.

Today’s song comes via reader-submission. We’ll be reviewing the song “All of Creation” by MercyMe. This is a very short song. I love this song very much. It serves as a reminder for some of the core promises of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You might be wondering, “then why is it not on the ‘Approved’ list?” It doesn’t proclaim the Gospel clearly. Only believers with sound doctrine will clearly understand the references in context. I don’t think it can be negatively misinterpreted very easily… just that if your theology is immature or heterodox, you’ll miss the beauty of the song and the encapsulation of the Gospel therein. Let’s give the song a listen and then look at the lyric and the passages of scripture it invokes.

VEVO Official Audio

 

Lyric (via MetroLyrics)

Separated until the veil was torn
The moment that hope was born
and guilt was pardoned once and for all

Captivated but no longer bound by chains
left at an empty grave
the sinner and the sacred resolved

[chorus:]
and all of creation sing with me now
lift up your voice and lay your burden down
and all of creation sing with me now
fill up the heavens let his glory resound

Time has faded and we see him face to face
every doubt erased forever we will worship the king

[repeat chorus]

ohh ah ohhh…ohh ah ohhh

the reason we breathe is to sing of his glory
and for all he has done praise the father praise the son and the spirit in one

[repeat chorus 2x]

and every knee will bow oh and every tongue praise the father praise the son and the spirit in one

Songwriters
Muckala, Daniel John / Millard, Bart / Bryson, Jim / Cochran, Nathan / Graul, Barry / Scheuchzer, Mike / Shaffer, Robby / Bannister, Brown

Published by
Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., MUSIC SERVICES, INC.

Discussion

Okay, I find it odd that such a short song has so many writers credited. In this case, it’s neither a pro or con, just an observation.

Verse 1. Here we have a reference to the veil of separation between God and sinful man being torn in the Christ’s flesh on the cross. There are a few passages we can review for this. Let’s begin by looking at the referent, the rending of the Temple Veil that separated the Most Holy Place (The Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept) from the Holy Place within the Temple.

Matthew 27:45-54 (ESV) | The Death of Jesus

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink.But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.*

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

* John 19:30(ESV) When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

I added the asterisk to include my favorite three words, “It is finished” from John’s account… such a comfort to me. Now, the letter to the Hebrews spends a great deal of time expounding on the significance of the torn curtain or veil and how Christ’s finished work on the cross brought the Mosaic Covenant to an end and enacted the New Covenant of His Blood. I encourage you to read through the whole book, but for now let’s read a portion from chapter 10.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (ESV) | The Full Assurance of Faith

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Under the Mosaic Covenant, though Israel was the chosen People of God access to the Most Holy place was strictly limited to a human High Priest as a mediator between God’s children and God and only once a year. But Christ didn’t need to be perfected or cleaned, for He is the Son of God, and He became our Perfect mediator and in Christ we have access to the Most Holy Throne of God. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, also used this reference to encourage the Gentile believers in Ephesus. You see, the Old Covenant stood also as a barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles.

Ephesians 2 (ESV)

By Grace Through Faith
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

One in Christ
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Amen.

Verse 2. This verse, I think, refers to Paul’s description of our status as beleivers in Romans 6.

Romans 6:17-19 (ESV) But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

We are bound to righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus, not by chains of sin. Paul goes on in this letter to describe our condition in this life as simultaneously sinner and saint… for as long as we live in these fleshly bodies we will have to contend with our own passions and desires emanating from within our fleshly hearts. The ultimate resolution will come in the Last Day, when Christ returns and those who are asleep in Christ will rise and those who are alive will be transformed finally set free from our fleshly, corrupted, sinful bodies. Which leads us to our chorus.

Chorus. There is a tendency for modern evangelicalism to try to take the eternal promises out of eternity and make them apply to this temporal life. This is sometimes called the “Theology of glory” as opposed to the “Theology of the Cross”. Let’s take a look at what Paul writes in Romans 8.

Romans 8:18-30 (ESV) | Future Glory

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

We, and all of creation, will sing in victory in eternity. When Christ returns and this fallen world is brought to an end, and all of creation will be freed from sin, and those who are in Christ will be ushered into the New Heavens and the New Earth, when we will see Him face to face.

Conclusion

For Christians who know the Scriptures, the Gospel of Jesus Christ… this is a great song of encouragement. While I feel the lyric lacks enough detail to be fully “Approved”, I love this song. In closing, I’d like to look at what the Apostle Peter wrote concerning the coming Day of the Lord.

2 Peter 3:1-13 (ESV) | The Day of the Lord Will Come

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing,following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

According to His promise… His promise. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Jude 24-25E (ESV) Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

CTT | Rest in Peace

Musical Symbol for Rest (quarter rest)

Rest

Today, I want to take a little time to look at one of the most common phrases on tombstones, “Rest in Peace”. While it is indeed appropriate for mourning the loss of a loved one, have you ever heard that phrase and thought, “I’d like to rest in peace before I die, too”. I have. While such a rest isn’t permanent while we walk this cursed earth in fallen flesh, there is rest for the People of God. Sometimes we think that if we work extra hard in one area of life, then we can rest in others, but that rarely grants even a moment of reprieve. Instead, the rest that is available to Christians comes only by faith.

Personal Anecdote

If you’ll allow me, I’d like to share a bit of myself for a moment. One of my personal areas of struggle is in procrastination. The most common reason for my procrastination isn’t laziness, but fear. Fear of not knowing how to “do it”. Fear of not being able to “do it right”. I struggle with perfectionism. This sort of procrastination is self-feeding, the longer I take to start, the less likely I’ll be able to “get it done correctly”. Once the deadline has arrived and I’ve submitted my work, there is no peace and there is no rest, just fear that I didn’t do it right. Depending on the task, there might even be some condemnation thrown in for having procrastinated and not made better use of my time. Vicious cycle.

My wife has helped me a great deal in this matter. How? She loves me. She forgives me. She extends grace to me, when I screw up the honey-do list. Whether its something she asked me to do or something I concocted in my brain to serve her, I can rest in knowing that she loves me… and even if I mess something up, and create more work for the both of us later on, she’ll forgive me and her love for me will not change.  I can work diligently on a project for days on end anticipating the rest that will come once she tells me she loves me. That rest at the end of the work gives me peace in the middle of the toil. In this way, my wife has helped me better understand how we should rest in Christ and in His peace.

Rest and Peace by Faith

What I experience with my wife is temporal and the Holy Spirit uses it to point me toward the rest and peace that are available by faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (ESV) | The Full Assurance of Faith

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Our American culture has traditionally been obsessed with work and how it defines the worker. Lately there has been a burgeoning sub-culture of entitlement that frankly disgusts me, but is a natural rebellion against the traditional ideology. There is no rest in work to feed your own flesh. Our flesh is insatiable. Our secular culture has rebelled against the notion of work while demanding hand-outs. Odd, really, and a worse position to take, Biblically. So let’s address the traditional mindset of the American dream of being a “self-made man”.

Mark 8:36-37 (ESV)

36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?

The answer, of course, is “nothing”.

Mark 10:23-27 (ESV)

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

You see, our salvation… our adoption as sons and daughters of God by the blood of Jesus Christ is not a result of any work we do. Nothing we do earns our adoption, our salvation. In the same way that nothing you did earned your physical conception/birth into this earthly realm. We are not saved by our works, but we are saved for good works. And since our salvation wasn’t of our doing, the good works we engage in from here on out are not by our might or our strength or our skill, but by God who prepared the good works that we are to walk in. This is reflective of our holding fast to our confession of Hope, because He who has promised [God] is faithful. Rest in that, even while you are walking in the good works that God prepared for you. No, you don’t need a special revelation of what good works you need to do, we have the Law. The Law defines good works. We fall short of the Law, even as Christians, but that is why we are exhorted to hold fast to our confession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and why it is imperative that the Gospel continue being preached to believers). The Law isn’t what grants rest… the Gospel is.

1 Peter 1:3-13 (ESV) | Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Rather than wait until the end, set your hope daily. As you pray the Lord’s Prayer, “…give us this day our daily bread…” rest in His promise of Salvation. He is the bread of Life. Give us this day… Rest and Peace. Not the sort of rest and peace that the world would understand, for we will indeed face grievous trials in this life… but a rest in the Promise of an inheritance kept in heaven for us. As we confess our sins daily, and repent… know that He is faithful and just to forgive us by His Grace and Mercy. May we strive to enter that Rest… by faith… and when our time on earth draws to a close, may we consider the words of the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Paul could rest in peace by faith knowing by faith that he was going home soon. The thing about rest, is that it can be stolen from you by fear, doubt, and unbelief. Do not rely on inactivity, or lavish vacations, or the praise of men for your rest, for such are fleeting and unreliable. Place your trust in God’s Word, and by faith rest in Him who Granted you eternal life.

Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV)

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Amen. In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

OT | Bread from Heaven (Exodus 16)

Bible card Illustration published 1907  by Providence Lithograph Company

Bible card Illustration published 1907
by Providence Lithograph Company

Last week, in our Old Testament Study, we looked at the Song of Moses and how it served as a model for true worship and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father.

As a quick review, the nation of Israel has been led out of Egypt. By the Mighty Hand of God Pharoah was utterly defeated and put to open shame before the nations as his army was utterly destroyed by God who parted the Red Sea for His people and then closed upon the Egyptian Army. In the aftermath of that destruction, the nation of Israel praised God and they sang the Song of Moses, praising God for His might work of Salvation. A song that we, too, will sing standing along the shores of the great sea of glass mingled with fire (Revelation 15), praising God for His work of Salvation.

The Provision of God

Now, Israel is truly free from the slavery of Egypt. They are separated from the house of slavery by the waters that God had used to crush the Egyptian army. Though they have been delivered out of the hands of Pharaoh and are now clearly under the protection of the One True God (who could deny His Mighty Works?) under the supervision of Moses. While we might be tempted to simply read on through as though reading a novel, stop and think about all that has happened. If this were a movie, the ending credits would have been rolling during the Song of Moses and the film would fade to black. But this isn’t a movie, these are real events in history. The biggest question probably in many minds is, “Now what?” As long as Israel is looking at the waters and the floating debris they are thinking about how awesomely God worked to rescue them from that army, but as soon as they turn around, they realize they are not in the Promised Land, they are in-fact in the wilderness. That would be daunting enough a thought if you were standing with your family, extended family, maybe even your church congregation. Do you remember how many people had left Egypt? Let’s turn back to chapter 12 for just a moment:

Exodus 12:37-39 (ESV) 37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds.39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

Woah! 600,000 men plus women, children, and a mixed multitude and livestock. Remember that livestock was what the sons of Israel noted as their profession when they were given the land of Goshen by Pharaoh in the time of Joseph. Before they were slaves, they were herdsmen.

Genesis 47:1-3 (ESV) | Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen
47 So Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan. They are now inthe land of Goshen.” 2 And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were.

Now they were all on the other side of the Red Sea, in the wilderness, without provisions. They had unleavened bread, but for a people who knew no such luxuries as grocery stores, convenience stores, nor fast-food restaurants, the idea of making provisions for a long journey extend well beyond having some unleavened bread. How do the children of Israel respond? Let us turn now to Exodus 16.

Exodus 16 (ESV) | Bread from Heaven

They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

I’m actually fairly impressed that so many people walking in the wilderness went that long (2.5 months?) on the scant provisions they had left Egypt with. Nevertheless, they burn through what little they had from Egypt and by now the Mighty Hand of God was sooo 2 months ago. Do people evolve? No, no we don’t. Our technology might, but we don’t. The whole congregation grumbled against Moses and Aaron. And what are they saying? Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full… our fallen flesh is so weak and completely turned in on itself. They would rather die in slavery with full stomachs than be free, following Moses toward the Land of Promise on an empty stomach. Not only that, but they accuse Moses and Aaron of malice, having brought all of these people into the wilderness to die of hunger. They’ve lost sight of the Promise, and long for what used to be considered comfort… in the house of slavery. In the Parable of the Sower, the children of Israel here are demonstrating the rocky soil, Matthew 13:21 (ESV)21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.” We mentioned it before when Israel thought they were going to get slaughtered by Pharaoh’s army, but now their hunger is what has them falling away, losing their faith in the Promise.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

So, hold on just a second… the Law has not yet been officially given. I’m not saying God hasn’t revealed His laws, or statutes, but when we currently talk about the Law, we look back to when God gives Moses the Law on the tablets of the Testimony on Mount Sinai. But in this story we have not yet reached Mount Sinai. God has issued commands and in this new command God specifies that He is testing His people, the ones He has already pulled out of Egypt, whether they will walk in His Law or not. God already knows the hearts of every person, He’s not testing for His sake, but for ours. What is the purpose of the Law? To expose sin. No one will walk in His Law until Jesus Christ comes to fulfill the Law for us. Here we see the first Law regarding the Sabbath, and it comes in reference to the provision of the Lord God. God will rain down bread from heaven, to meet their needs for the day, until the 6th day, where they will receive a double portion.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’

13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 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.19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, fortoday is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”

The Lord will provide for His people, so that they will know that He is the Lord their God. They needed to let go of Egypt. They were free from the house of slavery, by a Mighty Hand of God, but their hearts still turned toward Egypt whenever they grumbled against the Lord. God now demonstrates His superior greatness by raining bread from heaven to meet all of their needs. Those who gathered much did not have excess and those who gathered little lacked nothing. How were they performing in their test? Not well. A stark reminder that our sinful state isn’t just a matter of a lack of effort or knowledge, it is a failure in our being, our flesh is cursed by sin, and we have fallen away from the perfection of God.

27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Notice the wording God used in his rebuke directed at the people in verse 29, “the Lord has given you the Sabbath”. Let’s jump ahead at how Jesus responded to the Pharisees who accused Jesus and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath according to their tradition.

Mark 2:27-28 (ESV) 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The failure of Israel to obey is foreshadowing the reality that despite the Grace and Mercy of God the Father throughout the history of Israel, man will refuse to keep His commandments and laws. With this question fresh in our minds, let’s take a peek at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:

Matthew 5:17-18 (ESV)| Christ Came to Fulfill the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

The Law continues to do what it was intended to do, convict us of sin while testifying of God’s Greatness and Perfection. But Christ came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and when He returns all will be accomplished. The keeping the Law is not the means of Salvation; it points out how lost we are. Salvation is by faith in the Promise of God. The Apostle Paul lays this out very well in Romans (particularly the first 8 chapters), but let us look at just a portion for now.

Romans 3:19-31 (ESV) | The Righteousness of God Through Faith
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

We will jump more heavily into Hebrews and in Romans once we reach the Law given at Horeb (Mt Sinai), but for now, let us close out Exodus chapter 16.

Exodus 16:31-36 (ESV)

31 Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35 The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)

I love how this reminder of what God had done for Israel, this miraculous provision doesn’t point backward to Egypt, rather, it points forward to Christ. So often we get this wrong picture in our minds that sharing a testimony involves highlighting the sin in our lives “before we were Saved”, but that only glorifies Egypt, the house of slavery. The testimony that matters, is the one that points to Christ. In closing, let us turn now to John 6, where Jesus taught us how to rightly understand what God was doing here in Exodus 16.

John 6:26-71 (ESV)26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.

I know we took this well beyond our target word limit, but I firmly believe this was well worth it. What we feast on here is the Word of God, the Words of Life, the Testimony and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, our Savior and Our Lord. He is the mana from Heaven, who ascended back into Heaven and who is returning to take His people to the Promised Land, where we will be with Him forever, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV)| The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

May the Grace of God be with you today and forever,
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge