Day 20-- Omers and Ephahs--"Spiritual Direction"--Ex 15:22 - 18:27
January 20, 2021, 7:00 AM

Day 20 Exodus 15:22-18:27 Omers and Ephahs

“Spiritual Direction”

Pointless observation: Omer and Ephah would great names for a dog, don’t you think?? “Come here, Omer! Ephah—get out of there!!”  (See Exodus 16:36)


I’m often a rebel when I read this part of the story. I want to be really holy and I want to say what a woman wrote to me indignantly in an email several years ago when we first read through the bible: “What is wrong with these people? Don’t they understand that God just saved their lives?” God did save their people group, their legacy, their traditions and their place as the chosen people. She was right.

But every time I get to these passages, and I read about a million people in a nomadic camp who had been without water for three days, I understand their complaints, their crabbiness, their fear and their anger. They were walking in the desert. They had no water for three days. They were thirsty. REALLY thirsty. I’m not excusing them; I’m relating to them. I’m one of the strident voices, speaking on behalf of my own family and on behalf of others—“Hey Moses!! We are DYING of thirst here! How is this better than being tortured? Death is death, and I don’t want to die!!”

Then, after 15 days in the desert wilderness, they ran out of food. That must have been frightening because there was simply no way to reason through the feeding of this huge crowd of people in the wilderness. No grocery stores. No bodegas. No farm stands. No lakes full of fish. Nothing. So again they complained bitterly. Fear will do that. Fear will translate quickly to anger against a leader who has convinced them that this is the path that God has chosen for them, and they have arrived to find…nothing.

We know in both cases, with water and with food, that God provided and that God continues to provide for his people, but I wonder if we sometimes have to be near starvation and dying of thirst in order to see how God provides. I mean that both literally and figuratively because it is easy to ‘think’ of God as being present, easy to ‘imagine’ that God loves us—but do we know it?

How has God fed you today, literally or figuratively? Today I have read God’s word, and I have been fed. In about ten minutes, I get to eat my morning’s ration of peanut butter toast and to drink one giant thermal mug of coffee, kept at just the right temperature for me. I know that both of these are just the beginning. God will continue to thread his way through my day, whether I am paying attention or not. Today I want to be more aware.

So an extra activity today: Say grace before each meal you eat. Nothing fancy. Just be thankful. Even though some of us feel as though we ARE in a wilderness during Covid 19, God still provides.

And for those who are not getting what they need? Yell out in that strident voice of yours: “HEY Moses!”—in other words DO something to take care of someone else. Don’t wait for another solution. Moses heard and answered those who cried out, and God provided as a result.

In the meantime, I have a couple of crusts of toast left over and if I had a dog (or dogs) I could say “Here Omer! Come on, Ephah! Time to share some manna!!”

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