Have You Had Your “Manna” This Morning?
Think about it . . . . . .
Have You Had Your “Manna” This Morning?
Manna in the Morning
A devotional reading from the “Leather Journal” of Pastor Phil Newton of the South Woods Baptist Church of Memphis, Tn.
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“This is what the Lord has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent’” (Exodus 16:16).
Israel’s journey out of Egypt into the wilderness brought hardships along the journey, noted early in the wilderness narrative by the sparsity of food and water, as well as the attack by the Amalekites. The people grumbled at Moses over the food and water. Yet Moses had to keep reminding them, their complaint was not against him but against the Lord. He is the Provider.
For a people that had lived for hundreds of years in bondage to the Egyptians, now delivered by the power of the Lord, they had much to learn in this new relationship to the Lord God. They had depended on their Egyptian masters giving them straw to make bricks and meat to put in the cooking pots. But everything changed in the exodus. They were to learn to trust in the compassion and kindness of the Lord. Rather than the leeks, garlic, and flesh for the pots, they were to discover the Lord’s generosity for those living under His gracious care.
The Lord provided meat and bread in the wilderness. In the evening, quail would hover around the camp to gather for meals. In the morning as the dew dried, there remained a substance they had never seen. “What is it?” they asked. The Hebrew, “man hu,” gave it a name—manna. This bread from heaven came by the gracious hand of the Lord. Six days a week the manna remained on the ground for each day’s need. They were to gather all they could eat for each day, but they quickly learned that meant each day! For those who thought they could gather extra and not have to depend on the Lord each day were met with a shocking reality. The unused portion bred worms and rotted overnight! Daily they were to depend on the Lord. Daily they were to rely upon His graciousness and provision. Jesus’ model prayer bears out this daily dependence: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Each day we’re to hold our hands out to the generosity of the Lord for what we need, learning to trust Him, discovering new dimensions of His care for us.
The manna from God came six days a week so that on the sabbath none appeared, that the people might be reminded of how their rest was in Him. For the day before sabbath they were to gather double and find that overnight it stayed fresh, unlike other days. The Lord gave them this day of rest so that they would learn to live in dependence on the Lord. We head to the grocery store to stock up for what we need over the week. Yet even in that wonderful provision, we’re to acknowledge the generosity of the Lord. Instead of just taking for granted that the groceries will be at the store for our shopping, this story reminds us that dependence upon the Lord and gratitude to Him should mark the attitude of our hearts in all things—even the mundane.
In yet another way, this daily manna provides a helpful reminder, especially when we think of Jesus as the Bread of heaven (John 6). If we are to grow in the Lord, then we need to feed on Him. If growth is to be consistent then we must daily feed on Him. How do we feed on Him? Through the means of grace He provides: the Word and prayer. Jesus taught, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Then let us gather each day’s manna in grateful dependence upon the Lord who is the Bread of heaven. Let us delight in feeding on the Bread of heaven, our manna in the morning, each day.
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