Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Cloudy with a Chance of Bread

March 08, 2021 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 5 Episode 12
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Cloudy with a Chance of Bread
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Cloudy with a Chance of Bread
Mar 08, 2021 Season 5 Episode 12
Pastor Dave Tucker

"I wonder how many blessings do we miss out on for our lack of gratitude? How many blessings do we just flat out Miss because the manifestations of God are too small."

Based on Exodus 16:4-5
Originally presented March 7th 2021
St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford Texas 

Show Notes Transcript

"I wonder how many blessings do we miss out on for our lack of gratitude? How many blessings do we just flat out Miss because the manifestations of God are too small."

Based on Exodus 16:4-5
Originally presented March 7th 2021
St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford Texas 

Unknown:

We're in the middle of a sermon series called God in the ordinary. It's our Lenten serving sort of sermon series. And, as I've said before, and for those of you who are visiting today, and those may be watching for the first time, online, just a quick, quick synopsis of why we're doing this particular sermon series, we're looking for God in the ordinary, traditionally, we have encouraged people during Lent to fast, and to understand our mortality, which I don't know about you. But in the last year, because of COVID, we've been doing a lot of fasting, fasting from being with each other, fasting from being with family fasting from hugs, and loves and, and that kind of thing. So we've already been doing that. And of course, because of COVID, we also are keenly aware of our mortality, and the mortality of those we love. And so, my idea, my thought, in this sermon series is going to the essence of lead, why do we fast? Why do we do these things, and so that we can discover God. And so that's why we're doing the sermon series God in the ordinary because God doesn't always show God's self in a big flash of light. And God doesn't always show God's self in big ways. Most of the time, when God demonstrates God's self to us is in the small and in the ordinary. And I've assigned a book if you have it, I'm know you're enjoying it every moment holy. If you haven't gotten it, I would encourage you to get it, it helps you to their prayers for the ordinary in your life. So today, we're going to be looking at God's provision of sustenance to God's chosen people as they travel through the wilderness, from Egypt to the promised land, did you notice a sermon title today, I'm really proud of that. party with the chance of bread. Again, just like the stories we've studied up to this point, we tend to focus on the big, you know, in the story of the children of Israel, we see the sea parting as allowing the God's people to park on dry land, and consuming the enemy. We see the the the pillar of fire and the pillar of clay is a pillar of fire at night and the pillar of cloud during the day, we see that, and those are really big manifestations. And oftentimes, we stop right there, just like with all the other stories we've studied up to this point. And we miss God showing up in the ordinary. And we're going to look at that today. And actually, not only do we miss it in this story, but but to be fair, the children of Israel missed it too. And we're going to be looking at that sometimes things happen in our lives that are absolutely, divinely the God is in that the God has provided for us. And sometimes, we're still so busy looking for the big that we missed those little things that God does, and we were complaining. Sometimes God, why don't you show yourself in this way and God's like I'm showing myself to you. We'll look at that in a later in this message. But before we get started, please join me in the prayer for elimination as we invite the Holy Spirit to join us today. Holy God, we pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit this morning. So we can see that your wisdom is faithful. Your message is true. May the holy spirit guide us to listen for the message of wisdom and truth this morning? We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen. Our psalter lesson today is following the lectionary and it is found in Psalm 19. And I like it. It's a good passage. To the leader, a psalm of David. The heavens are telling the glory of God in the firmament proclaims his handiwork. day to day pours forth speech and night tonight declares knowledge. There is no speech there are nor are their words, their voices, their voice is not heard. Yet the voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens, he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom for his wedding canopy. And like a strong man runs its course with joy. It is rising from the end of the heavens is rising is from the end of the heavens. And it's circuit to the end of them and nothing is hid from us heat the law, the law It is perfect reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of God are right rejoicing in the heart. the commandment of the Lord is clear in lightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinance of the Lord is true and righteous all together. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold, sweeter also than honey in the drippings of a honeycomb. More over by them is your servant warned in keeping them there is great reward. But who can detect their errors, clear me from hidden faults, keep back your servant also, from the insolent, who do not let them dominion, do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and innocent. In the great transcript of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation on my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock, and my Redeemer. Our Old Testament lesson in the world we're going to be spending most of our time today is found in the book of Exodus. Exodus chapter 14, we're going to be looking at verses four through five. And, by the way, reading from the New Revised Standard Version, Exodus 16, four through five. Then the Lord said to Moses, I am going to rain read from heaven for you. And each day that people should go and gather enough for that day, in that day, in that way, I will test them whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days. This is the word of God for the people of God. Yes, the people of Israel missed it. God's chosen people were so focused on other things that they just flat out missed. God's provision of sustenance for them in the wilderness. It's a simple thing to miss. I mean, these people were not doing their five daily gratitudes they didn't have a pastor town write down five days of gratitude in their journal. You know, it's okay to laugh in the sermon. I almost we had an elder summit yesterday and I almost petitioned to the elders, maybe we put a laugh track to my sermon so that people will note acutal this is where you laugh. Sometimes when we do not demonstrate gratitude, we tend to focus on the things that are going bad. And there is a temptation to start complaining. And this is what was happening in our story for today. The people of God, were saying, God, we are so thirsty. The sun is so hot. The sand keeps getting or mows our hair, our sleeping bags, our feet hurt. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Our scripture today tells us that God provided bread in the wilderness for God's people. Scripture tells us that the people complained to Moses and Aaron. This was only two and a half months into their journey. Two and a half months into 40 years. They started complaining. And this is what they said. If only we had died by the hand of holy one. Why HWH the name to hold to be pronounced. If only we had died by the hand of Hollywood in the land of Egypt. When we sat by our flesh pots and ate our fill of bread y'all have brought us out of Egypt into this wilderness to kill us to kill us all. We're gonna die of hunger. You can look it up. It's right there in the Bible. This was what they were complaining about. God did these plagues and famine and these things to help the people of Israel leave Egypt he opened up the water so that they can pass along on dry land consumed the the Egyptian soldiers that were pursuing them All these things and now they're worried that God's not going to provide for their food. God's response was this. Okay? All right. What I'm going to do is I'm going to make it rain bread from heaven for you, in each day that people so go out and gather enough for that day, and that way, I will test them. This is kind of an interesting, and we'll kind of unpack that just a little bit, God is actually testing them, testing to see whether they will follow God's instruction or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare, what they bring in, there will be twice as much as I gather on other days. So let us real quickly unpack what's going on here, what this test is all about. God had made covenant with the people of Israel, the Hebrew people and the people of Israel, the covenant that God still makes us today. We studied this before, God doesn't replace covenants. God never replaces covenant, God never goes back on God's covenant to us. But God keeps remaking covenants to include more people. And so God had already said to Israel, I choose you. And as part of my covenant, there are certain things that I'd like for you to do on your behalf to show that you recognize and acknowledge this covenant that I made with you. That's where the 10 commandments came into play, which, you know, they're great principles to live by. And they were also a covenantal relationship, a sign of a covenant or relationship between God's people and God, you follow me so far. And the fourth commandment, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. So there was that understanding of God saying, I'm going to test them, I'm going to see if my people follow their end of the bargain, I'm never going to fail my end of the bargain to see how well they understand this covenant. And so on Friday, On the sixth day, I'm going to provide extra bread, so that you can collect extra, so you don't have to work on Sabbath. That's pretty good thing. And that's kind of neat. God's provision and also a test, I want to see if my people fully understand the covenant that I've made with them. So that's where we are today. And today, going back to the 10 commandments, we haven't thrown it out, we still keep it and we, and we understand Sabbath. And we've talked about this here before, too. We understand Sabbath as a spiritual practice, it is still salvation. Because if we don't take a day off, if we don't take a day where we just ground ourselves into God, we're in trouble. I encourage you to it doesn't, the day doesn't matter. Just pick one. And you say, this is the day I'm setting apart, where I'm not going to work, I'm not going to, you know, I'll spend time with my family, my kids, my grandkids, my great grandkids. This is the day where I knowledge, God, where I recognize God in my life. So just kind of fleshing that out just a little bit. So God says, Yeah, I'm going to test these people. I'm going to, I'm going to check to make sure that they understand my covenant with them. The Sabbath was a response to God's covenant with God's people of Israel. So, going back to the story, according to scriptures, that that evening, God did something a little extra. God did something unexpected. God provided quail, lots of quail. enough so that people God's people could have meat for dinner. It was designed to be a one time thing I'm gonna provide. This is a surprise. Hello, quail, you can have meat. And then the next morning, the Bible says with the do there was a covering of manna bread. Scripture also tells us in the Bible calls it a flaky substance. So it it might have looked like a little like snow in the sand, which is kind of cool. The Bible also tells us that God continued to provide for the children of Israel that manner until they entered into the promised land and that neat and when the Israelites saw that they looked at each other and they said, What is it? Again, direct quote from but what is that? This is interesting. And Moses commanded to God's people, to collect only what they needed. Except On the sixth day, as we already talked about it on that day there were to collect for two days were told in Scripture that the people of Israel called it manna. It was, it was like, it was described in Scripture as it was like coriander seed. White. And I had the tastes like wafers made and honey. I'm kind of jealous. You know, that sounds kind of yummy. Scripture also tells us that some people got a little greedy. And they took more than their share. Because they maybe didn't trust God, I don't know. And the next morning, it was rotten. It was bad. To the point at which worms came in to their tents and devoured it. It attracted worms. But that's pretty neat. And if God provided bread, and and it may seem like something simple, and oftentimes we gloss over that. And we spend more time on talking about the big manifestations of god of the time, when the people of Israel were were thirsty, and Moses struck a rock and water starts coming out of it. And we think about these big things, you know, manifestations of God. And yet God revealed Himself through bread, something seemingly simple. Fast forward to Leviticus 11. We read that the people of God grew weary of manna for every meal, if only they were doing their five daily gratitudes. They were tired. And the people started weeping at the entrances of their tents. How many of you heard of the Christian songwriter, singer Keith green part of the Jesus movement? In the 70s he sung a song he wrote a song and sing it about this. In the song he imagines the people of Israel complaining, saying they're tired of all the manna, manna waffles, manna burgers, manna, bagels, fillet of manna, manna, Patty, manicotti, these are Keith grains. Okay, don't blame me for this. And this may sound like dad jokes, but manna bread. That's my favorite. Actually, the people, the people were saying, Why did we ever leave Egypt? You know, it seems like they keep going back to Egypt. You know, they had it bad in Egypt. But But somehow they were like, well, we had it better in Egypt in some ways. Or at least we didn't have the sand in our hair. I don't know. But they kept wanting to go back to Egypt. And they said, it's better for us there at least we had meat. And Scripture tells us in Leviticus 19, that God actually became angry. You know, sometimes we we take a look at these words, God becoming angry, and we put our own human interpretation of that on God, who is spirit? And who can fully understand God, really? And what is the anger of God look like? And so I want us to be very careful, we don't put our human emotions on God. I do know that when I get angry on 121 somebody cuts me off. It's a different kind of anger than God had for the children of Israel. What kind of code there there's actually a prayer in this in the book every moment holy. For for I think, I seems like I read it. You're nodding on on road rage. So if your 10th don't pull the book out when you're in traffic, but maybe read it when you get home, so you have that prayer in your mind as somebody cuts you off anyway. So let's be careful, we don't attribute our human emotions to God because God is God and God refuses to be put in our little boxes. Okay? So God became angry. I just, I can't help but wonder how God feels when we show a lack of gratitude for what God has provided. When sometimes we miss God showing up in the ordinary, we're looking for the big and God's like, I hear I'm right here. Just look. I can see God begging us. Just look, I'm blessing you. And you're not seeing it because you're looking for something big. God blesses us in little ways. Every day, every minute As of every day, and we're looking for other things, we're looking in the other direction. And we're not looking for those gratitudes we are tempted to start complaining. And I want to be very clear, God blesses, far beyond because sometimes, and I don't want to I don't want to be put in this package of, oh, Pastor Dave is teaching prosperity doctrine about the blessings and all. That's what I'm talking about it all, sometimes it's money. But most of the time, it's not. God blesses us when I when I woke up one morning, I thank God for the blessing of my wife who put up with me for 28 years. bless her heart. Amen. Yeah, we we have bird feeders out on our on our porch, I think God for those, let's be aware of God's presence in our every day. So guys, response the children of Israel, have their complaints was relayed through Moses, and I quote, you have wailed in the hearing of the Holy One by HWH. saying, If only we had meat to eat, surely it was better for us to be in Egypt. Therefore holy one will give you meat, you will eat and you will eat not only for one day, for two days, or even 10 days or 20 days, you'll get quail for a month, 30 days. And then God says, until is coming out of your nostrils an entire month of quail. For the peoples in gratitude, God gave the people so much quail, that it literally became a curse to them. And in fact, people became gluttonous and started dying from too much quail. I wonder how many blessings do we miss out on for our lack of gratitude? How many blessings do we just flat out Miss because the manifestations of God are too small. In occur in the ordinary of our lives that we just don't see it. This cup in this bread. It seems so small then it comes prepackaged the cup is barely a swallow. I'm just gonna say it. The bread tastes like styrofoam. I'm looking forward to the day when we can have a communion where we can use the real bread. But guess what? all that to say this week again. I just complained about what the bread tastes like God is in the elements. See, I caught myself. I'm human. God is in the elements, however small whatever they taste like God, through this mystery of the Holy Spirit presents God's self to us to the bread into the wine. Let us not miss that even though it seems like and you know what some of us have been, have been raised as Christians and and this becomes a sort of a thing that we do. We've done in most of our lives. And we miss it because well it's routine now. It's my prayer as we enter into the Lord's table, that we see this again from fresh eyes, that we see the blessing that God provides to us for the bread and for the wine today.