Sunday, July 21, 2013

Put to the Test

Put to the Test
July 22, 2013
Exodus 16:4  "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.'"

No one likes tests. A test is an opportunity to fail so we avoid them at all costs.  Unfortunately, though, we do not get the option when it comes to being tested by the Lord.  Whether you want to admit it or not, the Lord will test you in your lifetime, probably more than once or twice.  You may not realize it at the time, but you if think long and hard over past periods of your life, you will realize the Lord was testing you.  The Lord WILL test you, trust me.  He tested the Israelites and was extremely open and honest about it.  He told them what the test was and what it would take to pass the test.  One particular test was in the gathering of the manna that fell from Heaven.

The Israelites were in the desert and did not have an available food source.  The Lord decided to provide them with manna from Heaven to sustain them.  A daily provision was on the ground for them in the morning and they were to gather the exact amount needed for that day.  There was an exception, however, and that was on the day before the Sabbath.  It was permitted to gather two days worth of manna so they would not need to work on the Sabbath.  If they gathered too much, however, and held it over until the next day, the manna became full of maggots.  For some reason, the Lord allowed the manna collected on the day before the Sabbath to stay fresh for one extra day only.  In this way, the Lord told them He was going to test them.  He wanted to see if they would follow His instructions; He wanted to see if they would follow His instructions and trust Him in His daily provision for them.

The Israelites were just like you and me, they were tempted to collect a little more and store it away like a squirrel.  The selfish and greedy tendency kicked in and they tested the Lord's requirements, gathering more than they were instructed.  They discovered that the manna became full of maggots when they did not follow the Lord's instructions, not trusting in His daily provisions for their sustenance.  It was such a simply and easy thing to do, but they failed at it just like you and I fail at it each and every day, not listening or trusting in the Lord.  He gave them an easy assignment, one day's worth, one to practice with on a daily basis to build their trust in Him.  It was an opportunity for Him to see what they were made of and for them to see His daily provision, teaching them they could depend upon Him.

You've experienced the Lord's instruction and provision in the past, is it enough for you to trust Him in your future?  Did you learn; did you pass the test?  Like the Israelites, the Lord is testing you, giving you the opportunity to learn His character and know that you can trust Him if and only if you follow His instructions to the letter.  You know what His instructions are for your life, but maybe you haven't been following them.  It is time to prove to the Lord that you can follow His instructions and give Him the opportunity to prove His faithfulness to you in return.  You will never be void of His testing.  He tested Abraham, the Israelites, the Apostle Peter, and even Jesus.  If you successfully pass the test, proving to the Lord your knowledge of Him, then life will be so much easier with one less test to re-take.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 22:1-3, Ex 16, Deut 8:2-16, Lk 4:1-3, 2 Cor 13:4-6, James 1:3-12, 1 Peter 4:11-14, Rev 2:10

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