August 08, 2021

Rev. Bernt P. Tweit



Psalm of the Day; Psalm 145

Epistle Lesson; Ephesians 4:17-24

Gospel Lesson; John 6:24-35                             

Sermon Text; Exodus 16:2-15



The portion of God's Word we look at for today is taken from The Old Testament book of Exodus, looking at chapter sixteen, verses two through fifteen.


This is God's Word.


The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.  The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord's hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat around pots of meat and ate as much food as we wanted, but now you have brought us out into this wilderness to have this whole community die of hunger.” 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Watch what I will do.  I will rain down bread from heaven for you, and the people will go out each day and gather enough for that day.  In this way I will test whether they will follow my instructions or not.  On the sixth day they will prepare what they bring in, and it will be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” 

So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “At evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the Glory of the Lord, because He has heard your constant grumbling against the Lord.  Who are we that you should grumble against us?”  Moses said, “Now the Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening and as much bread as you want in the morning, because the Lord has heard your grumbling against Him.  Who are we?  Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” 

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the entire Israelite community, 'Come before the Lord, because He has heard your grumbling.'” 

As Aaron spoke to the entire Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and suddenly the Glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 

The Lord spoke to Moses:  “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.  Say to them, 'At evening you will eat meat, and in the morning you will eat bread until you are full.  Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.'” 

So, in the evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning a layer of dew surrounded the camp.  When the layer of dew was gone, there were thin flakes on the surface of the wilderness, thin as frost on the ground. 

When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” because they did not know what it was. 

Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given to you as food to eat.”


This is God's Word.


Oftentimes it is the case, when I am visiting with a group of youth, particularity in a Catechism Class, when we are talking about how God provides for us, His people, I will ask a question something like this:  “What did you have for breakfast this morning, and where did you get it from?”

Usually, the answer is, “I got it from a cupboard in the kitchen”.
I will ask, “How did it get in to the cupboard?”
They will say something like this:  “Mom and Dad went to the grocery store, brought it home, and put it into the cupboard.”

I will ask, “Where did the grocery store get it?”
Somebody will say, “The trucker brought it.”

“Where did the trucker get it?”
“It came from the manufacturing plant.”

“Where did the manufacturing plant get it?”
“From a trucker who brought it from a farm field.”

“What did it come from?”

“It came from grain.  It came from grain that grew, and it was rain and sun shine that caused that grain to grow.”

“Who gives the rain and sun shine?”

And, they say, “Well, God did.”

So, we do that whole exercise to realize what I got out of the cabinet this morning in the kitchen is something that came from God.  And yet, we grumble and complain that there is not enough food in the house, right? 

Well, as we look at our text for today, we see the Children of Israel are about one month removed from leaving Egypt.  When they left from Egypt, The Bible tells us they took dough, put it in kneading troughs, and wrapped their clothes around it, before they put yeast in it.  They brought that with them, from Egypt.

Now, a month has gone by, and how do you think their provisions are holding out for them?  Well, to put this into perspective, we need to know the amount of people we are talking about.  And, I am going to be very conservative here.  I am going to use the number one million.  The city of Madison is two hundred and fifty thousand people.  Multiply that by four, and now we are talking about the  number of people who need food and water.  To put it in to another perspective, there are about five hundred thousand people living in Dane County.  Multiply that by two, and we start to realize how many people need food and water. 

Right before our text The Bible tells us the Children of Israel had traveled for three days without water.  They were grumbling, and they were complaining against God.  God provided water. 

Shortly after that, they came to Elim, which was an oasis with twelve springs.  I am sure they were very happy. 

But then, God had them set out from there, and once again, the Children of Israel began to grumble, and they began to complain. 

Here is what the Children of Israel did.  They wanted to go in reverse.  They wanted to go back.  That was not a good idea. 

When my wife Katie and I were engaged, we had one good car, and one bad car.  The one good car could go in forward and reverse.  And, the one bad car could only go in reverse.  There was a time that Katie was driving that car.  And then, there came a time when I was driving that car. 

When you drive a car without reverse, it is ok as long as you park in spot where you can always go forward.  But there were times when we would forget. We would pull in to a parking stall.  We would come back out, and be like, “I have to push this car out of the stall in order so that I can go forward.” 

To have a car with both forward, and reverse is a good thing to have! 

But, the Children of Israel wanted to go in reverse.  They wanted to go back to what God had delivered them from.  They began to grumble, and they began to complain against God.  Grumbling.  I am going to put it this way.  Grumbling, and complaining was there besetting sin.

During the course of this week, I am going to ask you to do some homework.  I am going to ask you to read two Psalms.  The Psalms I am going to ask you to read are Psalm 105, and Psalm 106.   Both of those Psalms are just a wonderful history lesson, and some real highlights of what God had done for His people in The Old Testament, including what God did in our text for today.  It is Psalm 106 says this about the history of our text for today. 

“They grumbled in their tents,

and they did not obey the LORD.” 

In The New Testament it is the Apostle Paul who warns us against the example of God's people from our text.  Grumbling had become their pastime. 

Now, if I were to ask you, “What is our national pastime?”, probably many of you would be thinking, “I think baseball is the answer he is looking for.” 

Baseball is a national pastime, but, that is not what I am thinking about.  I am not thinking about a sport.  Our pastime really isn't much different than the Children of Israel.  Just as grumbling and complaining was their besetting sin, so also grumbling and complaining can be our besetting sin, as well.

I am going to do an exercise that maybe makes us all feel pretty uncomfortable.  I am going to do this for myself, and I am going to ask you to do this for yourself.  I want you to think about it, but don't say this to anybody, just think about it in your own mind. 

“What is the besetting sin that affects you?  What is the sin that persistently plagues you?”  

And here is the uncomfortable part.  I am going to have us think about it for thirty seconds. (So, for thirty seconds, we pondered the answer to the question.)

That was pretty uncomfortable for me.  My heart started beating pretty fast, as I thought about the sins that persistently plague me.   Maybe that happened to you, as you were thinking about the sins that persistently plague you. 

It is amazing, when we look at our text, as the Children of Israel, grumbled and complained against God, He continued to provide for the needs of His people.  Here is what our text for today said. 

“I will rain down bread from heaven for you,

and the people will go out each day,

and gather enough for that day.” 

So, they went out in the morning, and they looked at the food God had provided for them, They said,

“What is it?” 

That simply is taking two Hebrew words, 'man' 'who'.  'Man' is 'what', 'who' is 'it'.  You supply the verb, and they said, “What is it?” 

It was the bread God was providing for His people each and every day. 

On the sixth day, God provided two portions, because He was also providing for the Sabbath Day, as well.  God had promised them He was going to provide for them, each and every day. 

Do you know what?  God has made the same promise to you.  God has promised He will provide for your needs each, and every day.  Think about our Lord's Prayer.  When we come to the middle of The Lord's Prayer, and we come to The Fourth Petition, it is the one and only petition in The Lord's Prayer that talks about our physical needs.  Every other petition is talking about spiritual needs.  Notice what it is we pray.  We pray for this. 

“Give us this day our daily bread.” 

Not our weekly bread.  Not our monthly bread.  Not our yearly bread.  Not our decade bread.  Not our century bread.  But,

“Give us this day our daily bread”. 

“God, please just give me what I need for this day.  I know you will provide for everything I need for this body and life.”

Well, there is the 'What is it?' that we are talking about, for today.  This manna is what sustained the Children of Israel for the next forty years, while they were going through the wilderness.  And, this 'What is it?' is a foreshadow for us.  This 'What is it?' is a picture of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life. 

Notice two sentences from our text for today.  God said,

“I will rain down bread from heaven for you...” 

Another statement from God in our text for today. 

“This is the bread which the Lord has given to you

as food to eat.”

Tie that in with what Pastor Bartels read in our Gospel Lesson.  These are words of Jesus, Himself, when He said,

“...My Father gives you the real bread from Heaven. 

For the Bread of God is the One who comes down from Heaven,

and gives life to the world.”  

“I am the Bread of Life.”

Go back to the Children of Israel.  Go back to their grumbling, and their complaining.  Again, this ties in with the homework I am giving to you.  Please read Psalm 105 and Psalm 106, during the course of this week.  Here is what Psalm 106 says.

God said,

“...He would destroy them.

But Moses, His chosen one, stood in the breach before Him,

to keep His wrath from destroying them.” 

Because of their grumbling and complaining, God was going to destroy them.  But, using words from our text, Moses stood in the breach. 

That phrase is a military term.  When there is 'a breach', it means there is 'a weakness in the wall', or 'a weakness in the front'.  When somebody stands in the breach, they stand in the breach between the enemy, and those who are being protected.  Moses stood in the breach.  In a sense, he was a mediator between God and His people.

Guys, our text for today is a reminder that Jesus, as the Bread of Life, has stood in the breach.  We are separated from God, because of our sin.  We are unholy.  But, God is without sin, and God is holy.  There is no way we can get to the Father on our own.  But, Jesus has stood in the breach.  As the Bread of Life, Jesus, as our Mediator, stood in the breach against the attack of our sin, against the attack of our death, and against the attack of the devil.  Through Jesus' life, through His death, and through His resurrection, Jesus has given us the forgiveness of sins.  Jesus has given us everlasting life in Heaven.  Jesus gives us access to the Father.

Oftentimes, the book of Exodus is referred to as the book that goes from grumbling to glory.  Or, it is the book that talks about God's provisions for His people, and God's deliverance of His people.

I close with these thoughts.  You guys know, during the course of this past week, or the past two weeks, we have had a quite a few members who have been either in and out of the hospital, or in and still in the hospital.  Pastor Bartels and I have been visiting with them, whether in person, or over the phone.  Before I even get to the point, almost without fail, all of them have said, “The Lord will provide.  The Lord will provide for our needs.  I don't need to worry about tomorrow, because God is taking care of my needs today.”

God did that for His people in The Old Testament, while they were going through the wilderness.  He provided for them, 'What is it?', every morning.  He provided for them quail every evening.  The Lord, too, will provide for everything you need for this day and life.  He is taking care of our greatest need, by sending Jesus to be our Savior.  Keep that in mind.  He provides 'What is it?', each and every day.

I close with this short, little poem.  It is just a two line poem.

Each day God sends His grace

to strengthen you and me.

We need to use today's supply,

and let tomorrow be.



Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, shall be now, and forever.