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.

Paul writes in Philippians 4:18: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Every Christian needs to grasp the principle that the Lord will supply all our needs. This doesn’t give us license to be lazy. Neither does it absolve us of the responsibility to give as we are able. (Paul wrote his words in the context of a congregation sending gifts to help him). We should do what we can to supply our own needs, using the health and strength and abilities God has given us in order to make a living. But where, after doing all we can, there is still a gap to be made up, we can trust the God who knows us individually and who recognises the differences between different people’s needs. (Remember, this is about ‘needs’ not ‘greeds’).

The arrival of the quail was a one-time event (see verse 12), not a daily provision. Later on, God would provide quail once more, but under different circumstances (Nu.11:31-34). However, throughout the long pilgrimage of the Israelites, God really did provide a “table in the wilderness” (Ps.78:19), and He still can.

In the New Testament, Paul taught the principle of equality and referred to this passage (2 Cor.8:13-15) when encouraging the wealthier Gentile Christians to contribute to an offering for their poorer brethren who were suffering in Jerusalem at the time.