A small flame

A small flame

Forty years of 'what is it?!'


In Exodus 16, the Israelites were in the middle of the wilderness, hungry, and fearful - wishing themselves back in Egypt where at least they'd had food to eat. So, God began to send them manna (literally 'what is it?') every morning.

God himself describes it as 'raining bread from heaven' (this is important, so remember it :) happy) It just comes with the dew and everyone is told that they can gather 'as much as he can eat' which is defined as an omer (about 2 quarts) per person per day. God only allows them to have what they need for 1 day at a time (except right before the Sabbath) and if they gather more than they need for a day, it goes bad.

And manna is what they have to eat every day for 40 years (v35). The daily giving of manna-bread ended when they came to the border of the 'promised land' of Canaan - in fact, the day after they first were able to eat some of the produce of the land, 'there was no longer any manna and the Israelites ate the produce from Canaan that year.' (Joshua 5: 10-12)

SO. . . this seems to be a case of God providing fuel for their bodies, not delighting them with variety. I'm sure manna must have been nutritious, it tasted good (Exodus 16:31), and there was certainly enough of it. But it was the same thing year after year after year. . . for FORTY YEARS! I think I would have gotten really sick of eating it long before then!


I really like this passage in John 6 to tie it to the Gospel (remember the 'bread from heaven' thing?):

Jesus speaking here: "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (emphasis mine)

I don't think its an accident that I - or you? - use food in the place of God. The devil is a master counterfeiter. We were created to be satisfied with the Living Bread!


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