An omer is defined as a measure for grain – or more specifically, a measure for manna. In Hebrew, this word occurs six times in two different forms in the Old Testament. For your reference, below are the six instances where the word occurs.

“This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.” – Exodus 16:16 (KJV)

“And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” – Exodus 16:18 (KJV)

“And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.” – Exodus 16:22 (KJV)

“And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 16:32 (KJV)

“And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.” – Exodus 16:33 (KJV)

“Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.” – Exodus 16:36 (KJV)

I’d like to spend a bit of time discussing the spiritual lessons we can derive from the first three with respect to God’s Provision throughout the life of the believer (and his family).

 

“This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.” – Exodus 16:16 (KJV)

 

Here we see that ‘every man’ was to take an omer of the manna from Heaven for two purposes:

  1. ‘according to his eating’

We can see this command (to gather) is predicated on an implied promise: that there will be something to gather! Truly, our Heavenly Father knows what we have need of. Another instance of a nearly identical promise echoed in the New Testament by Our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:31-6:33.

2. ‘according to the number of your persons;’

This command is wonderful indeed. We are called not only to gather for ourselves, but for others also. By God’s grace, provision would not only be made for yourself, but also ‘for them which are in his tents’. If provision would be made not only for yourself, but also for them which are in your tents.

Can you see the shadow cast by the failure to obey this command in 1 Timothy 5:8?

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” – 1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV)

“And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” – Exodus 16:18 (KJV)

 

There are so many wonderful pastoral and spiritual lessons to draw from this deep well, I can scarcely cover it in a single post. We see here that when the men of Israel ‘did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack’. The command here is not predicated on a promise of excess or of gluttony, but of provision. God in His sovereign grace will provide abundantly, but He will not necessarily provide abundance. This kind of misunderstanding can leave so many heartbroken within the prosperity gospel movement. Are we even called to desire prosperity? Would it be a stretch for me to submit to you that worldly or temporal prosperity might be likened to wanting great things for yourselves? Having too much ought to be avoided in the same manner we avoid having too little.

Can you see the shadow cast by the failure to avoid having too much in Mark 10:25?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25 (KJV)

 

What about 1 John 2:15?

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15 (KJV)

 

Or Matthew 6:19-21?

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)

When comparing seemingly unrelated verses between the Old and New Testaments, let us not fall victim to the New Evangelical hermeneutic, which you can hear more about below.

The New Evangelical hermeneutic can not help us wrangle with and understand even the most basic of texts or prophecies in God’s Word. It would have us treat God’s Word as if it were any other text, leaving us with little more than thumbnails of history, anthropology and word studies.

We should keep verses such as Acts 17:11 and 2 Timothy 3:16 at the very front of our minds when it comes to God’s Word. In His sovereignty, the LORD knew we would have it, cherish it and read it. Surely there are some spiritual or pastoral lessons for us today.  Let’s continue by looking at the third verse of the six verses in Exodus which mention the omer in the context of a rich symbol or figure for God’s provision for His people.

 

“And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.” – Exodus 16:22 (KJV)

 

As surely as Jehovah Jireh would provide for a man and for those of a man’s tent, He will provide for us to keep His Sabbath holy. Regarding the Sabbath, we know from this GotQuestions article:

“If there was a day that Christians met regularly, it was the first day of the week (our Sunday), not the Sabbath day (our Saturday) (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). In honor of Christ’s resurrection on Sunday, the early Christians observed Sunday not as the “Christian Sabbath” but as a day to especially worship Jesus Christ.”

Have you endeavored to keep the Sabbath holy?

If not, in accordance with Romans 14:5, let each one be fully convinced in their own mind.

May the Holy Spirit bless these passages of God’s Word to our understanding and bring them to our remembrance.

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