“…And Moses said to them, "This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15)
Each morning when manna appeared, Israel would emerge from their tents. God’s instructions were clear: Gather one omer of manna or about two quarts per person per day, and no more. The exception came on the sixth day of the week when they would need to gather double, because no manna would fall on the seventh day of rest or Sabbath.
With these instructions, the Lord tested them. Would they truly walk in His law?
When you have gone days without food and there is finally a full supply, it’s just natural to want to store some for later. However, Israel was not to store manna nor keep leftovers. If they did, it would breed worms and stink. Except on the Sabbath, by another miracle of God the manna stayed fresh.
Reading this account does not allow us to experience the emotions Israel must have encountered with this test. Most of us live in a much different world and it is hard to put ourselves into their shoes. Weekly I shop so my cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator stay full. However, when I try to imagine living in my house with a kitchen devoid of food, or sleeping at night unsure of my next meal, I feel a sense of trepidation.
Israel needed to trust God daily for food.
It wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning. I think I now understand why some tried to keep leftovers and some went out to gather manna on the first Sabbath, grieving Almighty God and angering Moses. Still, God supplied bread – everyday for forty years.
He did this to sustain life, so they would know He is the Lord, but also as a picture and type of the One to come.
Daily Israel partook of the physical bread from heaven, but had no idea this miracle had such deep spiritual meaning. Sadly, over the centuries, Israel began ascribing this miracle to Moses rather than to God. In John 6:32-35 Jesus correctly explained, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven…”
Continuing, Jesus said speaking of Himself, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world...‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst’.”
The amazing miracle of manna was a mystery revealed in Jesus Christ.
If we have come to Jesus believing He is God and repenting, we have partaken of the True and Living Bread from heaven. However, just as we need food to survive, daily we need Jesus, for Christ in us is our only hope of glory.
See John 6, John 15:5 and Colossians 1:27 for more study or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and comments. Hope to hear from you soon.