Do you forget things quickly? The children of Israel sure seem to! About a month and a half (or about 45 days) after God performed all the miracles in Egypt they began to complain! They were complaining that there wasn’t enough food in the desert. They talked about all the food they had in Egypt. I guess they conveniently forgot that they had been slaves and had to work really hard for that food!!!
So when God heard them complaining, He told Moses He would feed them, but He was also testing them to see if they would follow His instructions. God gave them very specific instructions. He would rain down bread in the morning and they should collect just what they need for that day. Except on the sixth day of the week (Friday) they should collect enough for that day and the next day which was the Sabbath. They were supposed to rest on the Sabbath, so they needed to do the work the day before. God was very specific that they shouldn’t save any for the next day, except on the sixth day. He also sent quail in the evenings for them to eat. Now if God called down from heaven and gave you specific instructions about what to eat tomorrow, would you follow it to the letter? I’m pretty sure I would! God rarely gives us such specific instructions today so if He sent me a direct word on what to have for breakfast tomorrow, I think I would do it!
Do you think the Israelites listened? Well some did, but others didn’t. Some tried to gather a bunch (just in case) but their containers never had more than they were allotted. The others tried to save some for the next day, (I guess they were afraid God wouldn’t really give them more tomorrow) but when they got up it stunk and was full of bugs!! However God gave them fresh every day and the extra they collected on Fridays was always good to eat on Saturday! The Israelites called this bread Manna (which means “what is it?”) and God feed them manna six days a week for forty years. The entire time they were in the desert on the way to the Promised Land.
Why do you think God was so specific with His instructions, and why didn’t He let them get away with “fudging” the rules a little? I think for 2 reasons. Number 1 so they learned they could trust Him for all their needs. And number 2, He wanted them to learn to obey completely. If we follow the rules our way, we aren’t really following the rules with our whole hearts. And since God is most concerned with or heart and attitude, how we follow is just as important is if we follow.
Do you ever do your chores just to do them, not with a good attitude? Do you do as good a job, or is it usually sloppy? Next time try doing it with pride and with the intent to do your best to do it right. See if it comes out better!
Consider baking something like cookies and explain that if you don’t follow the instructions exactly they won’t be as good!