Friday, January 26
Scripture: Exodus 14-16, Acts 2
Lessons from the manna.
The manna was God’s daily provision of food. “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus taught us to pray. That’s what this was: daily bread, given one day at a time. God provides.
It lasted forty years, until the day they entered the promised land. Then they could provide for themselves by farming. God provided when they couldn’t; when they could, God expected them to provide for themselves. We do the possible, God does the impossible.
The manna was also a test. Exodus 16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.” Would they obey God and gather only enough for one day? Would they not gather on the Sabbath? It seems like our “daily bread” can be a test: will we trust God?
The manna was also meant to teach them to depend on God and His word. “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Jesus compared Himself to the manna in John 6 and said that He is the true Bread from heaven. When we eat Him, we will never be hungry again. Jesus satisfies.
I need to feed daily on Jesus. I need fresh manna, fresh bread from heaven, a fresh word from God each day. Jesus said that we don’t live on bread alone, but every word that comes from God’s mouth. (Matthew 4:4) Just like I need my daily bread for physical sustenance, I need a daily word from God for my spiritual growth and strength.
It didn’t work for the Israelites to gather manna for tomorrow—only today. The manna was “new every morning”, like God’s mercies (Lamentations 3:23). In that same way, I need to hear from God every day. I need fresh bread, a fresh word from God.
Honestly, I’ve been doing this (PBJ) so long and so steadily, that I sometimes struggle to get a fresh word. I can read a passage like today’s—so much great content, so much to think about—and nothing jumps out at me. It’s like a meal I’ve eaten so many times that I take it for granted—nothing new or exciting here. BTW, this happened to the Israelites, who soon grew weary of the manna and complained, “We never see anything but this manna.” (Numbers 11:6) This is my struggle…so here’s my prayer:
Prayer: Lord, each time I open your Word, please speak to me. Give me a fresh word, fresh manna for today. I need it!