Wednesday, February 05, 2020

What Can We Learn from Manna


In Exodus 16 we read about manna, God’s answer to the cries (and whines) of the people of Israel in the wilderness after all the miraculous ways God had delivered them from Egypt.   Manna was their morning food (quail came at night)

  1. It would only come once a day —as soon as the dew dried up on the grass each morning.
  2. People were only to gather it right away in the morning and not wait until later in the day.
  3. They were to gather only as much as they could eat in one day and not save it over night.
  4. The day before the Sabbath they could gather two days worth.

So of course there were people who obeyed those commands and their experience with manna was quite pleasant.  However, there were those who could not trust God enough for each day and left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank.  Ick.

While there are a bunch of lessons we can learn from manna, the one I want to emphasize today is the idea of trust and whether or not we view God’s provision through the lense of scarcity vs. abundance.   Contrast these two people’s stories:

  1. I wake up every day awed by the miracle that God has given us in providing for our needs.  The manna across the camp each day is more than enough for what I will possibly need.  Some days I confess to overeating, because God has said that we can take as much as we can eat.  I am beyond grateful that I serve a God who cares about me and every single day gives me more than enough to get through that day.

2)   Hmmm.   God has said that he’s going to give us enough manna for today, but what if he doesn’t? What if it doesn’t come tomorrow and I go hungry?  Certainly he isn’t serious when he provides unlimited manna during the day that we should only take enough for a day?  I’m going to save some of mine for tomorrow.  if I hold on to it I can be sure that if God fails me tomorrow I won’t go hungry.  …. 

Person one always had enough manna and remained grateful.   Person two work up to a stinky wormy mess.   And my guess is that person two was one of those who was consistently complaining that he wanted to go back to Egypt where there were leeks and onions.

What do you need for God, just for today?   Can you be content in knowing He is giving you everything you need to make it …. one day at a time.

For your listening pleasure, my dad’s favorite (sung at his memorial service)

Or, if you'd rather, here's Keith Green’s song about this story:

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