【Bible Study】Exodus 16: What Do You Live On?

Pastor Samuel Sharing

Brother William Sharing

Bible Study: Exodus


Good morning, everyone. Today we are looking at Exodus Chapter 16 and the topic we are going to discuss for this chapter is: "What do you live on?" Some people live on money, some people live on jobs, some people live on food, and some people live on the businesses. Worst of all, some people live on medical treatments.

One day I went to a place to visit elderly people because I wanted to do business with them. In my mind, I wanted to create a place for old-aged people so that they can gather together to sing, dance, play, and enjoy their lives. But when I went to the place, I saw a lot of people lying on the beds and had tubes in their noses or mouths, and nurses were looking after them. I am not sure if I went to the wrong place or not, but I said to myself: "I give up, this is not something I want to do. This is a miserable ending when people get older." I said: "Lord, I will only live for you." What you live on is determined by where your stress comes from, if you live for the word of God and God said you have enough food, then you don't have to worry about food.

Never Grumble, God will Provide

The Israelites had just experienced some miracles, the first miracle was crossing over the Red Sea and walking on the dry ground with two walls of water on their right and left. However, the Israelites easily forgot what God had done to them and immediately started to grumble when they were short of water. In the end, God gave them water. But for how long would the Israelites learn a lesson so they could live on the word of God and on the covenant with God, and follow God's instructions? Their ancestors, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all had lived on the covenant with God. We don't need to have any pressure if we live on the covenant with God.

If you look at the people who are facing problems in the workplace or in their business, they often feel stressed out. But if you live on the covenant with God, you will never live under any pressure because you know God will provide. The Israelites had experienced plenty of miracles performed by God in Egypt, and the miracles were more than any other generations could have seen. But the problem is that they still did not know to fear God. I don't understand what kind of people they are.

For you and I who have seen the miracles performed by God, we need to ask the questions: What do you live on? Do you live on the food? Do you live on the bread? Do you live on your study? Do you live on your work? Do you live on your business? Do you live on the money in the bank? If you live on these things, then you will have a problem when you are short of them. You will be murmuring and start to grumble: "Oh Lord, what happened? How could this be?" People will always say: "Oh my God." For what? For the things that they are living on. If you have been a Christian for over 10 years, 20 years, or even 30 years, how much have you studied the word of God? How much faith do you have in the word of God? That's a problem.

Would you grumble when you only bless a small number of people? No, people never grumble on blessing others. They only grumble about water, food, and medical treatments because these are the things they live on. If someone said something to you and you start to grumble, complain, and express your emotion as you are hurt by their words, these are the things you are living on and they are important to your life. If you have everything, then you will be happy. But if you are short of these things, you will start to grumble. If you are facing a risk of losing things, then you will start to be emotional and feel the pressure. That's why we need to set ourselves free because we are living on the covenant with God. After all, the word of God can never be shaken.

Live On the Word of God and the Covenant With God

We will never go short when we live on the word of God and the covenant with God. What kind of life will be happier? People will be happier if they live on the word of God and the covenant with God because we need to follow the instructions from God. For how long would you know our Lord is the one we live on? For how long would you know the covenant with God is the treasure of our life? if we emphasize this, we would know that our God is wealthy. He is so rich and He can bless us. He can satisfy all our needs if we live on the word of God and the covenant of God.

In the desert, the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! (Exodus 16:2-3)

If you are willing to die, do you need to grumble? If you understand thoroughly about life and death, you will think this way: "That's not a big deal." And you will not complain:

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 brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death. (Exodus 16:3-4)

How did the Israelites derive this conclusion? It was simply because the food was running out. The Israelites came out from Egypt a couple of months ago and the food they brought from Egypt had run out. They were in the desert. Even if they started to plant something, it would take a year to grow. The Israelites were thinking: "We don't have any tools to cultivate and that stupid Moses was leading us day after day. We have no other methods but just keep on walking in the desert." What do you see if you put yourself in a situation like this? Do you see the covenant with God? What do you live on? If I were to say: "I am sure if there are 100 Christians, 99 of 100 will start to grumble because people value their lives so much, people only see foods are going to be run out."

Imagine how much food is needed for 3 million people? For example, if one person needs 1 kilogram of food every day, for 3 million people the number will be 3,000,000 kilograms or 300,000 tons. If we put them into the containers, we would need a lot of containers to store the foods. But in fact, there were no containers in the desert. The Israelites grumbled: "Where can you get so much food, Moses? What are we going to do? We are going to die." Have you ever encountered a situation where money and food are going to run out? Fortunately, you and I have not gone through that kind of training and situation. If you and I are willing to die for the Lord, we don't need to grumble, that's why I kept telling people: What do you live on?

Everyone will die one day

This is called the Doctrine of Destiny, which is Ming Ding ("命定") in Chinese. What do you live on? If you live on your food and water, your stomach is your God. But one day you will still die. I'm sure you will die one day whether you have food or not. Certainly a person will die one day! Some people passed away as a result of traffic accidents. Some people passed away from an airplane crash. Some people passed away from cancer. There are many ways people pass away. Someone even died of a mosquito bite. Wow, the human body is so fragile. But one thing is sure: all people will pass away one day. Then what is your conclusion from this?

What We Need Is the Word of God When Facing Different Situations

Do you need confidence in God? Yes, I do. Do you need the word of God? Yes, I do. Because the word of God will never be shaken. The promises of God will never be shaken. God, our Lord will keep His covenant with us. It is time for us to make a decision. If you are facing a tough situation, let me tell you, miracles will happen. It is the same thing as Moses led the Israelites crossed over the Red Sea. Even if you are facing the Red Sea, you will be able to walk over. You don't need ships. You only need the Covenant of God. When there is no water, you need the word of God. You need the covenant with God. God will make water out for you because He loves you and me.

There have been a lot of wars in the world, be it the Iraq war in the past or the war in Ukraine now. What are they fighting for? They are fighting for the things they live on. If we live on the Covenant of God, live on the Word of God, live on the providing of God, do we need to fight? No! Just try to take resources as much as you can. God will provide these things for us.

Many years ago when I was young, I read an article that said, after another 30 to 40 years, the oil would run out and there will be no oil to be drilled. But after 40 years, you can see that we still have plenty of oil to use. Do you know why? People will say: oh, because we found new oil resources! No, it is not because of you. It is because God provides it. 20 to 30 years ago, some people drilled the place and found no oil. Then after 30 to 40 years, another group of people may find oil in the same place. Is it because they didn’t drill deep enough? No, it's not. It is not like that.

Many years ago, people said that the earth could only support 4 billion people. But we have 7 billion people on the earth now. They reached this conclusion based on their calculations. The world can actually support 20 billion or even 100 billion people without a problem. Do you think God cannot feed on us? God surely can feed us. Don't worry too much. By the time you are no longer there anymore, why should we worry so much?

We Will Grumble About What We Live On

The only problem is what do you live on? This is the root cause. What do you live on? A brother of mine complained about the medical treatment. Why? Because it took several months for a diagnosis, causing his surgery to be delayed. His condition got a little bit severe. Then he said: "The stupid doctor delayed my treatment!" No. It is not the delay of the medical treatment. It is the delay of God’s covenant. If you live on the doctor, live on medical treatment, you will surely grumble about that.

You can grumble about anything. You can grumble about the competitors in the business who take away your customers. You can grumble about your colleagues in your workplace who get the promotion chance. Whenever you don’t feel comfortable, you will start to grumble: "Oh, how come it is like this? Oh, my God, where are you?" You grumble because you live on the promotion. You are not living on the word of God. You think the promotion is very important to you. But you have to make a choice: either live on the covenant of God or live on the promotion.

We heard a lot of grumbles from students too. If they couldn't get a good result in an exam, or they couldn’t be admitted to the university they want, they start to grumble. Some even want to die because they thought their future was ruined. They don’t have hope anymore. Why? Because they live on their exam results. Exam results are not a big deal in the eyes of God. You do not need an exam to live on. You do not need the university to live on. You only need the covenant of God.

God will test you over and over again. Remember what I say. During the test, God will see your reaction. If your reaction is like the Israelites, who had gone through so many of God’s appearances and seen so many miracles, it is useless. Does your choice decide what you live on? For me, God is my Lord. I can boast about it. You may ask me what I live on. Yes, you can challenge me about it. I will tell you that I live on the Covenant of God. I'm willing to die for God. Are you willing?

If We Live On The Word of God, We Will Enjoy Our Life Every Day

That's why I have no pressure. Come on. I enjoyn my life every day. I enjoy my life every day and that is the evidence. If I am short of money, I don't worry. If I am short of food, I don't worry. I can eat one meal a day. If I don't have money, I can have one meal every two days, or every other day. It is not a problem at all. I'm not living on that. I have one meal a day and of course some snacks in between. Sometimes there is no snack, no meal a day at all. When I told this to people, they were shocked.

I save a lot of time because of eating one meal a day. If you save one meal, you save one hour. Save 3 meals, then 3 hours per day. If you sleep 8 hours, then after you do this and that, you will have very little time left. But I can easily squeeze out another two hours because of one meal a day. I'm not living on food. A normal human being lives on food. But our food is God.

Do you feel the heavy burden on your shoulders? Do you feel the pressure of the study? Do you feel the pressure in the workplace? Are you struggling to get promoted? Are you struggling with your business, trying to keep your customers? Are you struggling with what you see as very important? That is the root cause of your grumbling. If you grumble, then you will see, one day, you will die for what you grumble about. Sometimes, people curse themselves: "Oh, kill me! I want to die." Don’t say things like this.

You Have No Control Over Your Life

Many years ago, I had almost all the symptoms of nose cancer. My nose bled every day. Sometimes, a lot of blood came out from my nose and dripped into my bowl while I was taking a meal. One day I was driving from church to home, and a sister sat in my car. We were talking about this and she told me about her brother who suffered from nose cancer, about the diagnosis and the symptoms. Then I heard that I also had the same symptoms.

I never trusted the medical system since I was young. Of course, that is my personal choice. I'm not trying to convince you. I don’t trust the medical system. You can trust if you like. So I never went for medical treatment. There was no medical record in the hospital. But now let me tell you why I can do this. I know now matter at what age I die, 40 years old, 50 years old, or 60 years old, all the results are the same and have no difference for me. I live on the word of God.

One day, I attended a funeral of a friend who also suffered from nose cancer at about the same time as I did. He was lying in the coffin. I stood outside the coffin and shook a little bit: "Oh, come on, brother." I didn’t say that. I am just joking: now you're lying in the coffin, but I'm standing outside the coffin. I'm still alive. You went for medical treatment, and you wanted to keep your life, but you cannot keep it. I don't want to keep my life but I'm still alive.

I am joking. A lot of people asked me: How can you do this? A lot of people want to keep their life, but they can’t. There is a Chinese idiom: Tonight you lie down, but you do not know whether you will get up or not tomorrow. Tonight you take off your socks, but you do not know whether you can put them on or not tomorrow. Tonight you take off your shirt, but you do not know whether you can put it on again tomorrow. Are you with me?

You can't control that. Your life is in the hands of God. That's why I need eternal life. This life is not what I'm living on. I'm going to seek the glory of my God. I know my life is short, just 60 or 70 years, sometimes even only 50 years. Anyway, every day it's getting nearer to the end. One more day I live, my life will become one day shorter and I will get nearer to that day. But now, I know, in my life I have a destiny. My destiny is My God. I'm going to live on the word of God, on the covenant of God. That is exactly the driving force behind me. So I served the Lord and I minister tirelessly. If I can convince one person, I will convince one; If I can convince two people, then I will convince two. No matter what, I will keep on preaching the word of God.

Our God Is Real. He Is Almighty

Yesterday, a lady, who's a wife of a cancer patient, wrote to me on WhatsApp. She said: "My husband gets a lot more energetic after praying with you! Oh God, you are really God! God is really God. What you said is true: The spiritual world is very real!" Oh my God, only after 30 or 40 years of being a Christian can she suddenly realizes there is a God. What an "amazing" discovery!

I do not hope to see one day you will behave like that: "Oh yeah, there is a God!" Is there a God? Do you need to know? Do you really need to realize that there is a God? God Is there all the time! Come on! How long does it take you to know that? Do you have no food, right? God will send down the food from heaven. God will provide your food. Do you believe that? The problem is that God can do anything and God is our provider, But do you trust that?

What are you living on? If you're living on the covenant of God, if you value that, if you take God as the most valuable treasure, and keep it, always remember that, then you will have no pressure. You will enjoy your life because God wants you and me to enjoy our life. God wants you and I not just to live, but to live in the eternal.

We have a wonderful God. Our God is not an idol. Our God has eyes to see, ears to hear and a mouth able to speak. Whenever He speaks, things will happen. He spoke out, then the world was created. If you speak out, things will happen, too.

If you are trusting the Lord, do you need to grumble? Do you need to be that emotional? Do you really need to spend all your energy to keep your life? No. My life and your life are in the hand of the Almighty God. In this chapter, God created these little things called manna. The Israelites ate manna for 40 years but they were not satisfied. How much do you want? Enough for you! You don't have to cultivate. You don't have to sow the seed. You do not have to harvest. You don't have to work. All you need to do is just walk in the desert and gather the food provided by God. And you can eat that every day. But the strange thing is that today we eat the manna but tomorrow we will totally forget where the food comes from. What kind of people are they? You know, many people eat manna every day and yet go against God. God provides the food, but they still want to go back to Egypt. How much they are in love with the world!

As Christians, if we love the word, we will become enemies of God. There were 600,000 people, who ate the manna provided by God every day and yet were killed by God in the desert. Are you willing to die in the hand of the Lord? If yes, then you can be satisfied if you have this kind of requirement, Yeah, easy, that's very easy. But don't blame God.

Miracle. It was a miracle. Do you know what happened? God told the Israelites not to collect too much. They didn't have to work so hard to collect too much manna. Because God would provide every single day. On the sixth day before the sabbath day, they could even collect twice the amount of manna. Do you know what the Bible said? "The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little." (Exo 16:18) That's interesting, right? That is a miracle!

Live Not On Food, But On the Covenant With God

God wants to teach you a lesson: you don't need food to live. All you need is the covenant with God. During the Covid, some people were piling up toilet paper. Why toilet paper? They tried to keep as much as they could, so in the end, all the shelves in the supermarkets were empty. They created a kind of anxiety among the community.

I once met a pastor, who bought thousands of bottles of mineral water and canned food and put in their storeroom because they have a quite big place. They stored those things because they foresaw that in the Year 2000 the world was going to be over and the Lord was coming back. Then why are you keeping mineral water? Do you live on mineral water? Do You live on the toilet paper? Or do you live on canned food? How stupid can that be?

There is another group of pastors —— I don't know what kind of pastor they are —— They preached all over the place, claiming that they were going to build an ark. That's why they collected money all over the place. Many people were cheated. In the end, where is the ark? None. They were given the money but they never built the ark.

You want to preserve your life. Even the Pharaohs were also trying to preserve their lives. After they passed away, they would make their corpses like dry meat and they wanted to keep the body for 1000 years. After thousands of years, now they are put in the museum.

Don't keep your life, you can't keep it. You can only sacrifice your life for God. You can only gain eternal life by the covenant of God. How valuable can that be? How valuable can that be? Even today, a lot of people live on food. If you want to sacrifice your life for God, to lay down your life for God, to lay down everything for God, God will keep you alive and He will give you eternal life and crown you with the glory of Almighty God.

Walk Along The Way Lord Jesus Opened For Us

Now you understand why I serve the Lord tirelessly. I love God. Sometimes I sing a song and I will cry. I long to see Him face to face. I long to see my God one day. And on that day I will bring along my good working result because I trust in him. I believe that whatever He promised shall be fulfilled. In my life, that's my dream. That is my vision. That is what I hope for.

Brothers and sisters, in Verse 28 the Lord said to Moses: "How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?" How long? If you live on the food, you live on the work, you live on the money, you live on the business, you live on the water you drink, you live on the rest, you can't keep the command and the instruction from God. There is only one way. It Is the way opened by our Lord Jesus Christ, who sacrificed his body on the cross to become our salvation.

Are you with me? No more fear of death. No more fear of shortage of food. No more fear of the business. No more fear of the work. No more fear of the study. No more fear of the promotion. Only fear God. Fear God and fear God alone. If there's no food, God will create food for you. You don't have to keep it in your storeroom. If there's no job, God will create a job for you. If there's no business, God will create a business for you. God provides everything, and God alone is my God.

Even if I'm short of food for one day or two, what a big deal? Yeah? I still see it's good. You know, we cannot find a time for fasting, and then this is a time of fasting. Are you with me?

The manna was to be kept with the tablet of the covenant law so that the Israelites would know that it was God who provided food wilderness. Even the future generation to come could also know that. They would know that the food was given to them not by their work, but by the mercy, by the grace of Almighty God.

Now let me tell you, Lord Jesus Christ is our manna. Lord Jesus Christ is our bread. The word of God is our bread for life, for eternal life.

May the Lord bless you. Thank you very much for being with me.

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