On Having More Than Enough: Reflections on Exodus 16:2-15

There are lessons aplenty to be had here for us 21st-century, first-world folks. The world is at the last YHWH's alone, and it is YHWH who provides what we need. However, in response to YHWH's provision we grab more than we need, reaching for what we want, and leave others to get what they need, if they can. However, in our world God is not inclined to stop our greed, and our more finite resources are divided unfairly among those of us who have full access to the goods and services of this world and those who do not. We luxuriate while so many of our human companions struggle for their daily bread, if they can find any at all. YHWH commands us to ration our needs, one day's need at a time, but we would rather store up, hoard, far more than that, while others search in vain for God's manna. Rather than gather twice for the next day, we gather a hundred times for all of our years to come, while others are left empty for today and tomorrow.

Yet, this mode of living, enough for today, "our daily bread," as a later prophet asked us to pray, is nothing less than YHWH's Torah. This command, YHWH says, is "a test for them whether or not they will follow my Torah" (Ex. 16:4). Well? What are your grades on this test? I fear I am at serious risk of failing this test, living as I do with great ease in the face of those who have none. Grade yourself honestly: just how much is too much?

12/2/2022 9:10:35 PM
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  • John Holbert
    About John Holbert
    John C. Holbert is the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.