Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” (Exodus 16:25-26)
It is very likely that this was not the first time Israel had heard of Shabbat. The patriarchs were aware that God had created the world in six days and that He had rested on the seventh. It may be, however, that it was re-instituted at this time because, before now, they were unable to observe it due to slavery. To reinforce its importance and sanctity, God provided the double portion of manna on the sixth day so that Israel would forever associate with God’s expectations regarding the observance of Shabbat.
As we have said before, by giving the the double portion on Friday, He was affirming that the observance of Shabbat does not equate to lack. To the contrary, God will provide all that we need in order that we might keep His instructions. Think of it this way: He doesn’t tell us to do something unless He enables and empowers us to do it. True, there is little we can do in our own power to faithfully serve Him and that is why He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, more than just breath in his lungs, God gave him the ability to function in the purpose for which he had been created. Adam was told to “tend” and “keep” the garden — an impossible task unless God had empowered him to do it. Likewise, according to the prophet Ezekiel, God will give His people a heart of flesh and will put His Spirit within them and “cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them (Ezekiel 36:27). In other words, it would prove almost impossible to obey God in a way that pleases Him if He did not empower us with His Spirit.
We all need the Spirit of God to lead and direct us every day; we all know that. But we need the empowerment that comes from Him just to know how we are to faithfully obey His Word. Furthermore, when we come to that place when it seems that obeying Him will cost us more than we can imagine paying, remember the double portion of manna. He will always supply what we need that we may do as He has commanded us to do.
Blessings and Shalom,