“On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much”.

Ex 16:22 NIV

In the modern world there is a reaction against rules. It is more pronounced where the rules are God-given. In male-female relationships, in health guidelines, in labour relations and in social codes more and more people have the attitude, “I’ll do what I like. To hell with what anyone thinks or says”. It has not always been so. In bygone generations most people respected the norms and defiance was the exception rather than the rule.

Life in the desert meant a number of different ways for the Israelites. God guided Moses and he led the community according to what God ordered. One of the strange provisions was that the manna was not to be saved over from one day to the next. But there was an exception. On the eve of the Sabbath they were to conserve an extra day’s supply. This is interesting because the Ten Commandments had not yet been given in which the laws governing the Sabbath were set out. This exception to the one-day-at-a-time rule was a further test of the people’s obedience and a pointer to them of God’s sovereign rule over them, and care for them. They were not meant to understand, just to obey and trust God.

Christian believers today need to be aware of the common mood of indifference to and defiance of the laws of God. We need to listen for God’s leading and play by his rules whether this means going the way of society generally or not. If this means being “old-fashioned” or not, so be it. Not modern liberal-minded society, but God is our guide and we need to honour his command and live in his ways.


Lord, help me to obey your commands and laws.