"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Exodus 16:1-18 Commentary
by Beth L. Tanner
Much has happened in the biblical narrative between last Sunday and this one.
This people, a mixed group of rag-tag slaves, have witnessed God's great power over Pharaoh on their behalf. This is a revolutionary act. Slaves are ignored and irrelevant in the course of history. Gods do not act for slaves, but for kings and empires. This Yahweh has turned the world and its rules upside down. It was a dramatic exit from Egypt with a rush of activity and a run to the wilderness. This God sealed the way behind them with the destruction of a pursuing army. There is only one way to go, forward into the unknown world, and so they follow God and Moses.
Reading this part of the narrative, it is easy to dismiss these former slaves as ungrateful and faithless. God has saved them, and here they are complaining. Indeed, a form of the word "complain" appears six times in this narrative. Yet, the biblical text does not condemn the people; God hears them and responds to their needs. We should do likewise and not be too quick to label them as ungrateful.
What would we do in their place? ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 094: Manna
October 06, 2013
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers texts for Oct. 6, 2013: Exodus 16:1-18
(corresponding Gospel: John 6:51).