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The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, May 8, 2024, was written by Saralaveni Prabhakar of Andhra Pradesh, India



1 The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.” 9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’ ” 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12 “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ” 13 In the evening 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 lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.’ ” 17 The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed.

Exodus 16:1-18 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

I woke up one morning filled with anxiety about my finances. But I found great hope when I started reading The Upper Room. That day's meditation was about how God's promises shine in contrast to the clouds that overshadow us. When I finished my prayer and closed The Upper Room, I looked at the cover art - three women of different ages were collecting something white from above. I read the cover art interpretation and learned that women were gathering manna.

When the Israelites left Egypt, they faced many challenges, including what they would eat. God made food called manna rain down from the sky for them, but they could only collect the amount they needed for each day. The same God who met the needs of the Israelites will provide for us too, one day at a time. Perhaps this is why Jesus tought us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread," in Matthew 6:11 and why Paul wrote in Phillippians 4:19, "My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Cherist Jesus." Praise be to God!


Thought for the Day

God will faithfully provide for me each day.


Author's Prayer

Dear God, thank you for faithfully meeting our needs one day at a time. Amen.


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