Worship is vital in Yahweh’s covenant with Israel. There is nothing more important than God. There is no being higher than God. There is no one more deserving of worship than the one true God. For these reasons, God surrounds all of Israel’s life in covenant community with the priority of worship. In Ex 23, we see how central worship is in God’s covenant with Israel. Israel is not a secular nation. She is a sacred nation, a kingdom of priests, and God demands not only her obedience, but her worship. This text from the old covenant teaches us how essential worship is for man.
Today, we consider the 4th commandment. In the NT era, this is one of the most controversial commands. Someone’s approach to the 4th commandment often indicates how he understands the relationship of the OT law to the church.
The rest of Exodus 16 deals with the institution of a pre-Sinai Sabbath and the people’s response to this. I believe that the same theme of first half of the chapter can be easily brought over and extended into the focus on the manna and Sabbath. That is, we still learn here that true saints believe that God alone can satisfy their greatest desires.