What is manna? The Israelites asked the very same question when it started falling from the sky! On their way from Egypt to the Promised Land, the Israelites faced harsh conditions and were desperate for food. God then miraculously provided them with “bread from heaven”, called “manna”. The manna appeared fresh each morning.
It could be collected each day, but only for that day alone, and only as much as could be consumed in one day. Out of fear of lack, the Israelites began storing one day’s manna for their future needs. This strategy didn’t go as they planned however! The manna would grow wormy and foul if left for a single day!
Why would God provide manna, only to have it turn stale when people tried to collect and store it for later on? Why couldn’t they live off of yesterday’s manna? The answer is simple – God wanted them to be in a position where they had to seek daily dependence on Him, and source out fresh hope from Him. In the manna going off after a day, it was impossible for the Israelites to not seek total dependence on God. They had to relinquish their effort to become self-sufficient. They had to trust God daily.
In John 6:32-35, Jesus says, ‘Very truly I tell you, 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 the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”’.
The ultimate bread of life is Jesus. Like the manna from heaven, we cannot solely live off of our past experiences and encounters with Him. We need daily, fresh sustenance, grace and dependence. God wants us to be needy for Him. In a day and age where self-sufficiency and independence is celebrated, God requires us to desperately want Him. If you need God today, this is exactly where he wants you and you are where you should be!
Perhaps you are still living off of yesterday’s revelation of God, or last year’s miracle, or last Sunday’s connection with Him and you are waiting for the next church meeting before you collect the next lot of manna. Mature Christians know how to eat of the bread daily. They can cultivate intimacy with Christ throughout the week. They keep things fresh and don’t grow stagnant.
Be encouraged that God has all your needs for this very day. See what provisions and spiritual sustenance He has for you right now. Don’t live off of old bread!
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
A daily devotion for a better way of living.