Verse 36. "Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah." - About six pints, English. See note on "ver. 16". The true place of this verse seems to be immediately after ver. 18, for here it has no connection.
1. ON the miracle of the manna, which is the chief subject in this chapter, a good deal has already been said in the preceding notes. The sacred historian has given us the most circumstantial proofs that it was a supernatural and miraculous supply; that nothing of the kind had ever been seen before, and probably nothing like it had ever afterwards appeared. That it was a type of our blessed Redeemer, and of the salvation which he has provided for man, there can be no doubt, for in this way it is applied by Christ himself; and from it we may gather this general conclusion, that salvation is of the Lord. The Israelites must have perished in the wilderness, had not God fed them with bread from heaven; and every human soul must have perished, had not Jesus Christ come down from heaven, and given himself for the life of the world.
2. God would have the Israelites continually dependent on himself for all their supplies; but he would make them, in a certain way, workers with him. He provided the manna; they gathered and ate it. The first was God's work; the latter, their own. They could not produce the manna, and God would not gather it for them. Thus the providence of God appears in such a way as to secure the co-operation of man. Though man should plant and water, yet it is God who giveth the increase. But if man neither plant nor water, God will give no increase. We cannot do God's work, and he will not do ours. Let us, therefore, both in things spiritual and temporal, be workers together with HIM.
3. This daily supply of the manna probably gave rise to that petition, Give us to-day our daily bread. It is worthy of remark, 1. That what was left over night contrary to the command of God bred worms and stank; 2. That a double portion was gathered on the day preceding the Sabbath; 3. That this alone continued wholesome on the following day; and, 4. That none fell on the Sabbath! Hence we find that the Sabbath was considered a Divine institution previously to the giving of the Mosaic law; and that God continued to honour that day by permitting no manna to fall during its course. Whatever is earned on the Sabbath is a curse in a man's property.
They who WILL be rich, fall into temptation and into a snare, &c.; for, using illicit means to acquire lawful things, they bring God's curse upon themselves, and are drowned in destruction and perdition. Reader, dost thou work on the Sabbath to increase thy property? See thou do it not! Property acquired in this way will be a curse both to thee and to thy posterity.
4. To show their children and children's children what God had done for their fathers, a pot of manna was laid up before the testimony. We should remember our providential and gracious deliverances in such a way as to give God the praise of his own grace. An ungrateful heart is always associated with an unbelieving mind and an unholy life. Like Israel, we should consider with what bread God has fed our fathers, and see that we have the same; the same Christ-the bread of life, the same doctrines, the same ordinances, and the same religious experience. How little are we benefited by being Protestants, if we be not partakers of the Protestant faith! And how useless will even that faith be to us, if we hold the truth in unrighteousness. Our fathers had religion enough to enable them to burn gloriously for the truth of God! Reader, hast thou so much of the life of God in thy soul, that thou couldst burn to ashes at the stake rather than lose it? In a word, couldst thou be a martyr? Or hast thou so little grace to lose, that thy life would be more than an equivalent for thy loss? Where is the manna on which thy fathers fed?