MANNA–What Is It?

(Originally posted June 22, 2023)
Exactly. What is it indeed. In fact, I believe that’s what the word “Manna” actually means “what is it?”
Exodus 16:13b-15 (NIV) “…in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they asked each other, “What is it?! For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.”
The scriptures go on to say that each person was to gather Manna each day and they would get a specific amount (regardless of whether they gathered much or little, they would each end up with the same amount). They were to gather it for six days each week, and on the day before the Sabbath, they were to gather twice as much, and that amount would sustain them for the Sabbath, when they were not to gather any. If they left it overnight on any other day of the week, it would go rancid by morning. Exodus 16:31 (NIV) says “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”
This was the “bread” with which the Lord sustained His people when they were wandering in the desert on their way to the Promised Land.
Psalm 78, speaks of how they had tested the LORD, and that He was angry due to their unbelief, yet His mercy is shown in verses 23-25 (NIV) “Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens; he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven. Men ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.”
Man Does Not Live on Bread Alone
Regarding Jesus, during the temptation in the desert, being hungry after fasting forty days and nights:
“The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread’.
Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”‘” (Matthew 4:3-4 NIV)
It’s almost as if the evil one was taunting Him to create some physical Manna. Jesus knew that the “true” Manna was “every word that comes from the mouth of God”.
In John 6, after feeding the five thousand, later walking on water, crossing the lake and now, with people coming to Him looking for more, He said “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” (John 6:26b-27 NIV)
When asking Him to perform miracles and meet their needs, like providing the Manna as Moses had done, He said “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:32b-33 NIV)
The Bread of Life
Then, He outright tells them: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35b NIV)
About the unleavened bread, as Jesus was sharing the Passover meal with the apostles right before being betrayed and then crucified the next day, He said “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19b NIV)
When we take Communion, among other things, we remember that we need HIM to be our true FOOD. He is the Bread, He is the Manna, He is the LIFE that we need to gather every day or we will die of starvation just as we would if we refused to eat. In fact, His words to our accuser in the desert imply that we need HIM as our food even MORE than we need physical food.
I seek to feed on Him every day as I read the Word of God, as I pray, as I wait on Him. Do you do that? I hope you do, and if not, that you’ll realize that you NEED Him like the very food you eat, like the water you drink, like the air you breathe.
So, here in this blog, I desire to share a bit of the Manna that He provides me from His gracious hand, whether sharing a good word from scripture or a word picture He has planted in my heart, etc. Perhaps it will help to provide what you may have lacked as you gathered your own Manna today. And perhaps if YOU have gathered an abundant amount of Manna from His hand this morning, you can share it with those around you who may have not gathered quite enough today…. He will feed us all graciously and abundantly, for HE IS more than enough, every day.

Manna From My Father's Hand

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