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[a] = summary lessons
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1 Corinthians 10:2-3 & Exodus 16:7 by Robert Dean
Series:1st Corinthians (2002)
Duration:1 hr 6 mins 15 secs

Doctrine of Manna; Priority of Doctrine. 1 Cor. 10:2-3

1 Corinthians 10:2 NASB "and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea." "Baptized is the Greek word BAPTIZO [baptizw] which means to dip, plunge or immerse, but it signified identification. Its significance isn't just immersion. The immersion was always to picture something and it did not always involve actually physical immersion. In Scripture there were three ritual baptisms and these involved getting a person wet. The other baptisms in Scripture are all dry baptisms. The Israelites were baptized "into Moses." That is expressed in the Greek by a particular kind of construction. It is indicated by the preposition EIS [e)ij] which always indicates the new state into which the person is identified. For example, with John the Baptist the person who was baptized was identified unto repentance—EIS METANOEO [e)ij metanoew]. In the church age we are identified and placed into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), but the means by which this is accomplished is not expressed through an EIS preposition, but through the preposition EN [e)n]. This expresses the instrument that is used. John the Baptist said that he baptized by means of water, but the one who came after him would baptize by means of the Holy Spirit and fire. So the Holy Spirit is then analogous to water as the means by which this identification is accomplished. In the Old Testament it was the cloud and the sea that were the means by which the Jews were identified with Moses. So when we come to 1 Corinthians chapter ten, verse 2, it is to indicate that as they crossed the Red Sea under the protection of the cloud, those two things are used to identify them with Moses and his deliverance. So from this point on they are a nation made up of believers.

After they cross the Red Sea they have a problem. They are no longer pressed from behind but now there are somewhere between two and three million Jews making their way through desert territory around the Sinai peninsula area. In Exodus 17:1 we see the introduction to the problem with water. In chapter 16 is the introduction to a substance called manna. Two things are going to be introduced in 1 Corinthians 10:3, 4, i.e. the bread and the water. Paul is already focusing on bread and water here and is using it subtly as foreshadowing where he is going. By the end of the chapter we are going to be into the communion table and by chapter 11 we are going to be into the communion table. But here in verse 3 we read that they "all ate the same spiritual food." The term "spiritual" as it is used in verse 3 just indicates that this has a supernatural origin. To understand this we have to go back again into the Old Testament to see how God supplied the logistical needs to these two and a half to three million Jews as they went through the desert.

Exodus 16:1 NASB "Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt… [3] The sons of Israel said to them, 'Would that we had died by the LORD'S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'" Food becomes a major testing point for the Jews. From the beginning to the end this generation complains about the food in the wilderness. In other words, they complained about God's ability to take care of them, they are never happy with God's grace provision. But God is going to give them a miraculous provision. [4] "Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.'" Here we have our first word to test, nasah, meaning to test or to try, evaluate. It does not mean to tempt which has the idea of enticing someone to sin. This word is roughly equivalent to the New Testament word DOKIMAZO [dokimazw] which means to evaluate. It is a positive thing in order to demonstrate their faith, to give them an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned and to trust in the Lord.

God is now going to provide them with a miracle bread. Exodus 16:7 NASB "and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the L ORD; and what are we, that you grumble against us?" This word "complain" is a word that is used over and over again in this section of Exodus and Numbers. It appears over 25 times and doesn't appear anywhere else in the Old Testament, and it is the Hebrew word lun which means to murmur against. They continuously murmured or griped or complained against God, or against Aaron or against Moses. This generation was never happy, they didn't have the capacity for happiness because they didn't have any doctrine in their souls. They rejected God's provision and this is illustrated through their rejection of His provision of physical sustenance in terms of manna.

To understand the significance of manna as a type or example we have to understand exactly what happened historically. Each morning God would bring with the dew this unique, supernatural bread. They were unhappy with that and so God also provided quail that flew up into the area. [12] "I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God.' [13] So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. [14] When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground."

There were certain rules and regulations regarding the manna. [16] "his is what the LORD has commanded, 'Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.' [17] The sons of Israel did so, and {some} gathered much and {some} little." They weren't just to go out and gorge because there would be a problem. If they took more than they would need for the day and left some over until the next morning it would be rotten and have worms in it, v. 20. But in terms of the need it was always sufficient. [18] "When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat." This is not talking about the person who was hoarding three or four days' supply, but some people who were taking a day's supply would take a little more than others, some would take a little less, but it was always enough. In the analogy the Word of God is always sufficient.

[19] "Moses said to them, 'Let no man leave any of it until morning.'" So they weren't to leave it there. It would come with the dew at the dawn but they weren't top leave it until the sun came up. Once the heat of the sun came then the manna would evaporate and it would be gone. However, if they went out at dawn and went out and gathered your manna and took it into your tent and went back to sleep, if you then woke up later you would still have manna. But if you left it out there and didn't get up and gather it at the right time it would be gone by the time you finally got out of bed. [21] "They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt."

The other principle with the manna was that they were to gather it every day but on the Sabbath. On the day before the Sabbath they would go out and gather twice as much, enough for Friday and Saturday. That was the only day that the extra manna would not rot or putrefy overnight. Then there was another amount of manna that was placed inside of a container and put inside the ark of the covenant, and that manna never putrefied or rotted. So it can be seen that there was a certain supernatural element involved in the principle of manna.

The application of manna for us is that this relates to the study of the Word of God. The manna provided the physical nourishment for Israel during the timer they were in the desert. For forty years they lived ion this manna. Day in and day out it was the same meal. The application of this for the church today is phenomenal.

1)  First of all we have to recognize that manna represents the Word of God, the spiritual nourishment that God provides. And it has a different reaction from people. To some people it tastes wonderful and to other people it does not taste as good. This leads to the basic problem that we find in Israel, and that is the problem of ingratitude and rebellion. Day after day it was the same thing, and they began to remember the wonderful food they had back in Egypt. They got bored with God's grace provision. This is exactly what happens to so many believers today. When believers go to a doctrinal church there is no dog and pony show, it is just teaching the Word day in and day out, because that is what provides spiritual growth. Many people in the Christian word claim that they love the Lord and they talk about it all the time and get all emotional about it, but they don't know the Bible. The level of ignorance in terms of basic biblical literacy that is around today is incredible, but the Scripture says that you can't love the Lord unless you know the Lord and the sign of loving the Lord is keeping His commandments. But you can't keep His commandments unless you know His commandments, and you can't know His commandments unless you make it a priority and make it a priority to discipline yourself to be in Bible class day in and day out, listen to audio lessons, so that your mind is being renewed and refreshed by the Word of God. Jesus said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" This is a quote from Matthew 4:4 which quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 which relates specifically to the manna incident: "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD." That man shall not live by bread alone gets your mind off of your physical stimulation, physical desires, and lust pattern, and puts your emphasis on the spiritual food that God provides.

2)  Manna spoiled over night, except in the ark. The manna in the ark represents positional truth, our eternal security. It is a memorial to God's sustenance and God's faithfulness and it was always the same; it was not subject to deterioration. But the manna that was gathered on a daily basis represents our ongoing sanctification. Just as the Jews had to get up every morning and take in physical nourishment for the day, so we are to get up every day and take in spiritual nourishment through the study of God's Word.

3)  God's provision of manna was sufficient. It met the need, whatever it was. If they didn't gather quite enough, it was sufficient. The Word of God is always sufficient. This is one of the most critical doctrines that is being rejected today. We want to go to sociology, to psychology, to all these other disciplines to try to figure out how to make life work when the Scripture says that God has given us everything necessary for life and godliness. We don't need anything else. The Bible claims that if we learn the Word of God and apply its principles consistently in our life then no matter what problems we may face in life, whether they are emotional problems, addictions, marriage problems, whatever they may be, the Word of God gives us the principles that we need to face and handle any adversity in life, and even if that adversity doesn't disappear the Bible gives us the resources so that we can live and stay under that pressure and still have happiness and stability because God sustains us in the midst of difficulties.

4)  The manna that was kept overnight was a sign of reliance on yesterday's success. So many of us as we grow as believers begin to live on yesterday's victories. We begin to think that because we had doctrine yesterday or the year before that somehow that will get us through in the future. People often get to a point where they just relax and rest on what they have already learned, and that is nothing more than arrogance and pride and it leads to disaster. Every day until the day that we go to be with the Lord we need to take in the Word   of God, we need to endure, we need to abide in Christ.

5)  The manna was provided every morning, except on the Sabbath. There were strict rules and regulations related to taking in the manna. In the same way there are strict rules and regulations related to the Word of God, that we are to take in the Word of God under the filling of the Holy Spirit and walking by means of the Holy Spirit. We are to apply the Word of God regularly in our lives as we learn it.

6)  The ungathered manna disappeared in the sun. The sun is a picture of the heat of adversity. The gathered manna sustained the individual in the tent; it provided nourishment. It was too late to collect which was left once the sun came up, and the principle is that it is too late to learn doctrine once the adversity hits in your life. You need to have that doctrine already in your soul so that you can use it. If you wait for the difficult times and the adversity to come it is too late. You have to have the Word of God there to strengthen your soul before you hit the adversity.

7)  The manna was provided for all. Everyone had equal opportunity to go out and to collect manna. In the same way, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit provided for all whether they are carnal believers or spiritual believers but unfortunately only a few really take advantage of the Word of God and appreciate the Word of God. Even though many of the Jews went out and collected the manna they complained and they griped the whole time about God's grace provision. As a result of that God would eventually discipline them.

Numbers chapter eleven provides the second example of God's provision of meat. Again this chapter focuses on God's faithful provision of manna in the first fifteen verses. Then we come down to God's provision of meat. God provided quail for them again, but as discipline. The people were out of fellowship, they were rejecting God's provision of manna, so God said: "You want something else, I am going to give it to you until it comes out your nostrils, until you are sick of it, until it destroys you."

Numbers 11:31 NASB "Now there went forth a wind from the LORD and it brought quail from the sea, and let {them} fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits {deep} on the surface of the ground." So in order to get to the quail they had to walk through God's grace provision of manna, which shows that they were ungrateful and they rejected God's grace provision from the beginning. [32] "The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread {them} out for themselves all around the camp." Ten homers was approximately 38 to 65, depending on how they weighed it, bushels of quail meat for each individual. This is just raw gluttony and lust. While they were eating it God disciplined them. [33] While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague. [34] So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy."

The lesson for this is a lesson for the Corinthians and to us that we are not to reject God's grace provision, we are to keep our focus on the Lord.