First Lesson: Exodus 16:2-15:
2In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
9Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’”
10While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.
11The Lord said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.”
Psalm 145 on Page 119 in Christian Worship
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Gospel Lesson: John 6:24-35:
24Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, 11-13:
1For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
11These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
George Santayana once famously said: “Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is a philosophy that is a good one to keep in mind whenever it is time to make a big decision. It’s always good to look back on something similar that happened in the past and see what others did so we can see what worked and what didn’t worked. When we were facing Covid-19, that is something that scientists and medical professionals did. They looked back on other pandemics like H1N1 and the Spanish Flu and saw what people did to fight those diseases. They looked at what worked and what didn’t. I’m sure that some day in the future when people face another pandemic, they will be looking back on the things that we did during Covid. Paul was telling the Christians in Corinth the same thing as they were dealing with an issue.
Look to History and See…
I. Your advantages
II. Your weaknesses
III. Your gracious God
I. Your advantages
- Paul was dealing with the issue of the Corinthians eating meat sacrificed to idols
- This was something the pagans considered part of worshipping their false gods
- Some had no problem with it and others thought that it was a kind of idolatry
- Paul’s answer was: there was nothing wrong with it, but there should be caution
- As he made his argument, he pointed the people to what happened to the Israelites
- He pointed out all the advantages that they had: saw amazing miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, were miraculously fed by God, and had Moses’ teachings
- In doing this, he pointed out the advantages that the Corinthian Christians had
- They were baptized into Christ, they had the amazing communion meal, and Bible
- We can rejoice that we have those advantages in our lives as well. However…
- Your weaknesses
- Paul pointed out that they, despite their advantages, ended up largely excluded
- They thought that they could handle sinning against the Lord and still be safe
- Paul then mentions two events: the worshipping of the Gold Calf and adultery
- Christians in Corinth thought they could play footsie with idolatry in their lives
- Paul was telling them that they needed to be careful about what they were doing
- If they thought that they were standing strong, they should be careful, may fall
- What do we have in our lives that we think that we can handle with no problem?
- Is it a pet sin… skipping church… some form of entertainment or online stuff
- Paul’s message is that we can get used to sin, don’t seek forgiveness, and fall
III. Your gracious God
- Paul then went on to give a gracious promise from God that applies to us as well
- He told them God would not test them/allow temptation past our ability to stand
- He might have pointed out how God still worked among the children of Israel
- We also have a God who watches out for us in our times of temptation/testing
- We can be comforted in knowing that our God will assist us when we are tempted
- This means that we need to look to God for help and not trust our own strength