The Gracious Provision of God (Exodus 16:19–20) - Radical

The Gracious Provision of God (Exodus 16:19–20)

“And Moses said to them, ‘Let no one leave any of it over ’til the morning.’ But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it ’til the morning and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.”
(Exodus 16:19-20)

Get the scene here. God has heard His people’s cry for food in their travels. They can’t find food anywhere so they cry out to God. God answers with manna, bread from Heaven, such that every day when they wake up, God has provided food outside. He says, “I’m gonna provide for you every day, so don’t hold food over ’til the next day.” Now, the only exception to that is on the Sabbath when He says, “I’ll provide for you for a couple days, but every other day you trust in me, that at the end of the day when you don’t have any food left, the next morning when you wake up I’m gonna provide for you.” That’s what He did.

Might we pray to the end that God will help us to trust in His provision day by day.

The problem is the people, at least some of them, didn’t trust God in that way. They’re thinking, “Oh, we don’t know if it’s gonna be here tomorrow. Let’s keep some over for the next day.” They did. What they found is that food they kept over had some attachments to it the next day, worms, and it stank. God was teaching His people to trust in Him on a daily basis. This is why Jesus teaches us to pray like this.
Think about Matthew six. What does Jesus teach us? “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.” In other words, pray every day like you’re trusting in God for your needs today. He even says later in that same chapter in Matthew six, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tempted to worry about tomorrow. I’m tempted for my mind to wander. What am I gonna need tomorrow and start to worry about whether or not it’s gonna be there. God says, “Don’t live like that. Trust me with today. Trust me physically to provide for you, spiritually, relationally, emotionally, just in every way to be your provision on a daily basis.”

I wanna encourage you to let this transform your prayer life. When you rise in the morning, I would encourage you just to pray through your day, just to think through. This is something I do most every morning. I just walk through my schedule during the day, at least as it’s planned, and I just pray for His provision, for His guidance, for His leadership in every single detail that I know is coming and then, of course, just pray. “God, I know there’s all kinds of things that I don’t know are coming today, so I just pray for your provision in those things,” and to really focus on “God, I need your provision all day today,” and then to lie down at night and look back and think, “God, thank you for the way you led and guided, provided, all day long.” Then go to bed and wake up and the next day do the exact same thing. Just pray through your schedule the next day.

What this does, I know in my own life, is it helps keep me focused on my need for God’s provision today. It keeps me from worrying about what’s coming tomorrow, the next day, and the next day. Not that we don’t plan in our lives, not that we don’t think about things tomorrow, but that we trust God, that we live. The Christian life is day by day trusting in the provision of God for that day. Let’s pray now and think about your schedule. Think about what lies ahead. If you’re listening to this at night, think about, “Okay, once I wake up in the morning, God, I pray.”

God, we pray for your provision all day long. God, we pray that you would physically provide for us. We know that we don’t have food unless you provide it for us. We pray for physical sustenance. We pray for spiritual sustenance. We pray that you would help us to grow in faith today. We pray through everything on our calendar, every plan we have, every person we expect to interact with in our home, in our family, at work, with coworkers, in our neighborhood, in our community, in place where we’ll go. God, we pray for every one of those interactions to be honoring to you, for provision of your grace, strength, wisdom.

God, we pray that in all we do today, you would be glorified in a 1 Corinthians 10:31 kind of way. We need you all day long, O God. We need your provision every moment of this day. So help us, we pray. Lead us, we pray. Guide us, we pray. Give us our daily sustenance. Give us sustenance today, we pray, and in the middle of it help us to trust you with tomorrow. Help us not to worry about the future. Help us to trust in you today and to live our lives every day this way.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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