The Freedom of Manna Go to: www.SeniorARK.com
As described in Exodus 16, manna is the food that God provides from the heavens to feed the starving Israelites as they make their way through the Sinai Desert with Moses. The small white flakes, resembling coriander seed and tasting like "wafers made with honey," miraculously covered the ground after the first morning dew. The people could gather as much as they needed for one day and trust that more would appear the next morning. Those who were greedy found that their excess manna rotted and bred worms overnight.
The word supposedly derives from ma-nah, a Hebrew root with an Egyptian stem, meaning, "What is this?" Scholars, monks, and scientists have been trying to answer that question from as far back as the 4th century. There are many differing natural explanations for the mysterious food, the most popular coming from the Sinai, where small heath-like trees called tamarisks, found near oases, secrete a white resinous globule that, yes, tastes like honey.
Manna's natural origin is not nearly as important as its divine significance. The Jews who had escaped the bonds of the Pharaohs in Egypt, were lamenting that they were better off as slaves. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." Moses tells them that God will provide "manna" for them each day. Death and slavery were both better than this fix Moses, and by association - God, had gotten them into. As a sign of His love and faithfulness, God sustains the people on this mysterious substance for forty years. They were given enough for only one day at a time.
The manna is really a message about trusting in God. Today we are bombarded with messages that we need to hoard, save, accumulate, hedge against. "What will I do if..." You finish the sentence. Will I have enough to live on in retirement. How will I buy my medicine? What about the utility bills. As long as we fear and worry about circumstance, we are enslaved as surely as the Israelites had been enslaved. Declare your freedom, and trust that in the morning God will "rain down bread from heaven." Go out, as best you can, and collect it. Do what you can today, and totally leave the rest to God. Our freedom totally depends on the level of our trust in God. Remember, we do need to collect. We do our part. But trusting in our faithful and loving God is what gives us true freedom.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Summer and winter and
springtime and harvest,
Pardon for sin and a peace
PRAYER: Father, Free us from the cares and fears that would enslave us. Trust is sometimes hard for us, and we ask that you would show us your faithfulness today like a breath of clean, fresh air. Amen