4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.'”
10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.
11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.'”
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.'”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” Exodux 16:4-9
The people needed food. They cried out, and got it.
No small task feeding 1+ million people in a desert. Even on a good day, you could feed a few hundred with everything that crawls on a desert floor, but a million?
Certainly the Israelites would be satisfied with this new arrangement: fresh quail at night and bread in the morning. They couldn’t take any more was necessary. Then they take twice the amount on Friday. In fact, they didn’t have to work a bit for the food; they just had to collect it each day.
Plus they got to see the glory of God in the desert.
What more could they want?
The ruling came down. It wasn’t a difficult task at all, but they were given limits. They had to have boundaries because you just know that out of a million people, some would try to stretch those limits.
We will see in a few chapters the limitations that the Lord put on His people. This was a simple boundary, a simple rule as it were.
In verse 4, the Lord said, “In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” So it was a test. Would they be able to resist the temptation?