We sure had a winner last night for dinner
Flaming Manna Soufflé! – Keith Green [So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt]
In my morning devotional time I recently came across the story of how God provided for the Israelites in the desert after they had fled Egypt. It’s a really interesting commentary on human gratitude and greed.
The Israelites have just been freed from over 400 years of oppression under Pharaoh. It’s been about 2 and half months since they left their homes, the only home any of them had ever known, and set out in a bold step of faith based on nothing more than a vague promise of a better life in a land “flowing with milk and honey.” As they fled Egypt they saw first-hand the awesome power of their God on display, parting the Red Sea and drowning the entire Egyptian army pursuing them. But by now they’ve run out of food and are understandably getting a bit concerned that they may have been duped.
So what do they do? They complain saying they were better off in Egypt, at least there they had enough to eat.
It’s easy to sit here with the knowledge of thousands of years of biblical history and first-hand experience of God’s grace to “tut-tut” at the Israelite’s lack of faith but truthfully can we really blame them? They had very little first-hand experience and since being oppressed in Egypt for 400 years had likely lost touch with a lot of their history. My father once, tongue firmly planted in cheek, referred to the Israelites as notoriously slow learners, were they really? Or did they have simply no idea what God was like?
After the Israelites complain to Moses, no doubt very forcefully, perhaps even laced with a bit of profanity, some insults about his mother and some threats to his life, Moses prays to God for help. It’s interesting to note here that it was not the Israelites who prayed, or even asked Moses to pray for them. Again, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the Egyptian oppression had effectively destroyed their religion and sense of who God was. Not unlike what happened to the church in communist Europe in the last half of the twentieth century, they had no idea how prayer worked. But that’s a post for another time.
So, Moses prays to God and God answers him;
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. [Exodus 16:4]
There is something in that statement that leads to a clear commentary on how God views our needs. God’s provision for his people is a daily act of grace and our acceptance of it is a daily act of worship. God very clearly tells Moses that the people are to go out each day and gather only enough for that day. There is to be no attempt to store it up. Those that doubt God’s promise and disobey this charge quickly learn that it’s futile, manna spoils overnight.
This point here is simple. God’s provision for his people is immediate and ongoing. It is not something that needs to be managed. God knows exactly how much is needed and if it appears to be a short term solution to a long term problem rest assured that God will continue to provide for your needs.
I have personally been a recipient of “manna from heaven” on more than one occasion. The manna provided to me has always been just enough and when it seemed that it would run about before a longer term solution could be found more manna was always forth coming.
Have you ever experienced “bread from heaven”? Was it ever less than enough? Did God provide more when it ran out? Did to try to hoard it?