We find one of the most fundamental truths about the Christian life in how God provided manna for Israel during their forty-year journey through the wilderness.
Exodus 16:4-5 (NKJV) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”
The purpose of the manna was not just to provide food for God’s people but primarily to test them in their faith and obedience. To see if they would follow God’s commands.
God fed Israel supernaturally for forty years by raining down a fine bread-like substance from Heaven. It fell to the Earth every night for six days during the week. It fell in the form of tiny white specs and tasted like wafers with honey.
The Israelites were commanded to collect about half a gallon of manna per person daily. On the sixth day, they were to gather a double portion because no manna fell on the sabbath day. Any leftover manna would stink and breed worms, so they could not live off the manna from yesterday. It must be gathered daily according to God’s instructions and a double portion for the Sabbath.
What is this strange story telling us about our Christian life today? Every story, every interaction, and every encounter with God we see in the Old Testament is for our instruction in the New. Everything from Genesis to Revelation points to Christ and Christian living.
Romans 15:4 (NKJV) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
The word “manna” means; “What is it?” That is what the Israelites said when they first saw it lying on the ground. Manna is a type of the Word of God.
Israel didn’t understand God’s reason for the manna, much like the Church today does not understand the divine purpose and significance of the Word of God. Israel did not just disobey God’s instructions concerning the manna; they continually despised it and complained about it. They did not appreciate that God was demonstrating His daily love, care, and commitment to them through this bread-like substance that fell from Heaven.
Had Israel joyfully obeyed God’s instructions about the manna, they would not have wandered in the wilderness for forty years and died without ever reaching the promised land.
Christians behold God’s written word today and say the same thing in their hearts, “what is it? I don’t understand it. I have heard that before. It’s hard to swallow. Hard to understand. I’m tired of eating the same old manna every day.”
The written word is here to test us in the same way that manna tested the Israelites. To see if we will keep and obey His commands. Most Christians don’t honor God’s Word properly nor understand that this is the very thing that gives spiritual life and health to them.
It is essential to notice that God commanded them to gather manna daily. The manna provided daily fuel and sustenance for their physical bodies. The written word provides the fuel and nourishment for the spiritual part of our being.
Think about the time and effort it would take to gather a half-gallon of tiny white specks off the ground. It would undoubtedly take more than just a few minutes. God could have rained down manna the size of marbles or golf balls, but He didn’t. He chose to make it the size of a coriander seed so His people would have time to consider what they were doing and the significance of why they were doing it.
Think about the amount of time spent bowing down low in a position of humility to receive this precious manna? There is divine purpose and wisdom in how God does everything. The process of daily collecting bread from the ground is a prophetic example of how we are to approach God’s word.
Not properly appreciating the unleavened bread of the written word leads us to seek the leavened bread of entertaining teachers and preachers that make us feel good instead of transforming us into His image. Leavened teaching causes us to have itchy ears and perpetuates a self-deception that disqualifies us from the blessings of the kingdom of God. We must collect our own manna daily if we are to grow strong spiritually.
Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto
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