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Sermon No: 2814-The test of Manna



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SERMON TOPIC: The test of Manna, the bread of God

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 15 May 2016

Topic Groups: BREAD OF LIFE

Sermon synopsis: Nehemiah 9:15-21 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt, or when they committed awful blasphemies.
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The 7 tests of the “Wilderness Christian”.

The test of baptism. (The red sea)

The test of Bitterness. (The test of Marah and Elim)

The test of manna. (The bread of God)

The test of Massah and Meribah. (Quarreling)

The test of Amalek. (The flesh)

The test of Mt Sinai. (Hearing from God first-hand)

The Sabbath test.( The rest of God)

The 7 tests of the “Wilderness Christian”.

Nehemiah 9:15-21.

In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt, or when they committed awful blasphemies.

The 7 tests of the “Wilderness Christian”.

Nehemiah 9:15-21.

Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.

There is a great danger in becoming too familiar with the providence of God.

The test of Manna.

Exodus 16:1-4.

The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death. Then the LORD said to Moses, I will rain down bread from heaven for you.

The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

The test of Manna.

Exodus 16:13-15.

That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them,

“It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat”.

See NOTE 1

Psalm 78:13-39. The Test of Manna. He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand up like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High. They wilfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God; said, Can God really spread a table in the wilderness? True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people? When the LORD heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.

Psalm 78:13-39. The Test of Manna. He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand up like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High. They wilfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God; said, Can God really spread a table in the wilderness? True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people? When the LORD heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.

The test of Manna.

Psalm 78:13-39. Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat. He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow. He rained meat down on them like dust, birds like sand on the seashore. He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents. They ate till they were gorged, he had given them what they craved. But before they turned from what they craved, even while the food was still in their mouths, God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.

The test of Manna.

Psalm 78:13-39 (continued)

In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.

Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.

Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.

The test of Manna.

Matthew 4:1-4. Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

The tempter came to him and said, If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.

Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Hebrews 4:15-16.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

See NOTE 1

The test of Manna.

Matthew 4:1-4.

Jesus answered, It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Jesus passed this test and we too need to hear from God on a daily basis so that we follow God’s advice and not good advice.

(KJV) Matthew 4:1-4.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

NOTE: Proceedeth or proceeds, not past tense proceeded.

God wants to speak to us everyday and guide us in the decisions we make.

It would have been easy to think that this advice from Satan was a good idea, why should Jesus go hungry when he could have just turned the stones into bread.

The test of Manna.

Satan doesn’t only use our thought life to pass on his good advice, he uses people, even those close to us that we love.

Matthew 16:21-23.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Jesus knew God’s will and so he immediately recognized that Satan was trying to use Peter to turn him away from his divine purpose.

The test of Manna.

Deuteronomy 8:1-20.

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors.

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD..............

He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

The test of Manna.

Deuteronomy 8:3.

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

How does feeding on manna Humble us.

It takes humility to acknowledge a daily dependence on the Lord: That we can’t get through the day without a fresh encounter with Him and His life giving Word implanted in our spirit.

Even carnal Peter was enlightened in this area.

John 6:66-68.

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. You do not want to leave too, do you? Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

LET US LOOK AT THE CONTEXT IN WHICH PETER SAID THIS.

The test of Manna.

John 6:28-35.

Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires?

Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. So they asked him,

What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you?

What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Jesus said to them, Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Sir they said, always give us this bread. Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

The test of Manna.

In the light of this I want to ask you:

Do you consider Jesus to be the “Bread of Life”

Do you say with Peter, “Lord you have the words of life”

Or do you amble into each day with a hit and miss approach, relying on you own reasoning and some past knowledge and information to be sufficient to see you through whatever challenges come your way?

Proverbs 3:5-8.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

The test of Manna.

So much of our lives revolve around meeting the needs and desires of our physical bodies.

John 6:26-27.

Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

You may say that this is unrealistic, but remember that Jesus had just fed over 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 small fish.

Jesus said that our priorities should not be what are we going to eat or wear, but to seek first His Kingdom.

The test of Manna.

Matthew 6:25-34. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink?’ or What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Everyone had just what they needed.

The Lord knows what we need to see us through the day.

Exodus 16:13-18. That evening quail came and covered the camp and in the morning there was a layer of dew

around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, What is it? For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.This is what the LORD has commanded:

Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent. The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

Everyone had just what they needed.

Those who gathered little did not lack, and those who gathered much did not have any wasted.

In the same way, some days even just a verse or two carefully pondered is adequate to sustain us for that day. It could be exactly the thought we need. On the other hand, an intensive three-hour Bible study session does not leave us feeling we have overfed.

You cannot over-indulge on God's Word. Nor does a long session today eliminate the absolute need for fresh Bible study tomorrow! The Israelites could not store the manna over from day to day, as it would breed worms God made sure they went out every day for their manna to teach us we need to study the Bible fresh every day.

See NOTE 1

Fresh manna had to be gathered everyday.

You could not eat what you collected the previous day except on the Sabbath.

Exodus 16:19-20.

Then Moses said to them, No one is to keep any of it until morning. However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

Don’t try and get by on the coals of yesterday’s fire, you need to get rid of the ash or the fire will be suffocated and you need to add fresh wood.

If we do not chose each day to actively pursue God by partaking of His Word, we will slowly drift away from Him.

Hebrews 2:1.

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

Fresh manna had to be gathered everyday.

John 13:8.

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

Even though Jesus had said that all but one of his disciples were clean, they still needed him to wash their feet.

Ephesians 5:25-27.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Manna had to be gathered before the sun rose.

Exodus 16:21.

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.

The sun speaks of the influences and duties of the day. Our individual sunrises may differ, but before the business of the day comes upon us we must gather our manna.

Manna came with the dew.

Numbers 11:9.

When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

God’s Spirit is like the dew that settles on the dryness of our hearts to make them receptive to His Word.

John 14:26

But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you

Psalm 119:18.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalm 119:130.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

The Bible is God’s Revelation to man

The 3 things we need when it comes to the Word of God.

Revelation

Illumination

appropriation.

The greatest revelation of God to man is the Bible.

1Cor 6:1. Paul speaks of the Apostles as “Stewards of the mysteries of God.”

But Revelation is not enough, even Satan knows Scripture

When he tempted Jesus, Satan said “it is written” yet Satan was taken by surprise by what happened at Calvary.

1Cor 2:6-8.

We do however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature….

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

God’s Revelation to man.

Ephesians 3:8-10.

This grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

His intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.

Satan now knows the gospel

Revelation however is not enough

Illumination.

Beyond the pages of the Bible is God himself, this is not a rule book, but God revealing Himself.

1 Cor2:11-16.

…. we have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. ….. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned……

Mark 4:11-12.

The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding”

Illumination.

Mark 4:21-25.

Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead don’t you put it on it stand? For what is hidden is meant to be disclosed and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought into the open. If anyone has ears to hear , let him hear. Consider carefully what you hear, he continued. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ….

V6 For God who said “Let the light shine out of darkness,” has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Appropriation.

John 12:42,43. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the Synagogue for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

Romans 10:8-10. The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith we are proclaiming. That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Revelation: Jesus is “A Saviour.”

Illumination: Jesus is “The Saviour.”

Appropriation: Jesus is “My Saviour.”

The Israelites got tired of manna and craved other food.

Numbers 11:4-9.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost, also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna! The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar.

They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

Many modern day Christians want their ears tickled.

2 Timothy 4:2-4. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.

Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Many modern day Christians want their ears tickled.

Amos 8:11-12. The days are coming, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I will send a famine through the land not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.

I’ve been noticing a lot lately that more and more churches and religious organizations are getting further and further away from the Truth. It seems that preachers have been doing a lot more inspirational speaking and less about the Gospel of Jesus, repentance and salvation. Jacob Brown

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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