How the Bible is the Manna of Our Time
What 40 Years in the Wilderness Taught the Israelites about Faith
By Drake Mariani, Founder, MemLok Bible Memory System | Monday, June 12, 2017
When the Israelites were thrown out of Egypt, God made them wander the desert and wilderness for 40 years.
Why 40 years? The average life expectancy then was about 40 years and God was angry with Israel.
So wandering in the wilderness for 40 years would assure the entire generation of people who had done evil in God’s sight had died.
Only then would God bring them into the promised land.
Biblical scholars estimate from passages in the Bible there were 2.5 million Israelites in the exodus from Egypt. That doesn’t even include the sympathetic Egyptians who joined them nor the cattle, sheep, and other livestock which walked with them during their escape.
Even though the Israelites endured God’s anger, they were not without His persistent nurturing.
It was during this 40 year period when God revealed Himself many times to the new generations of Israelites.
Stories such as the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14; Numbers. 33:8) and the revealing of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19-20) all occurred during this 40 year period.
One of the biggest problems with having 2.5 million people wandering the wilderness is how to feed everyone. And as the leader, this responsibility fell on Moses.
As the Israelites departed Elim on the Sinai Peninsula they were suffering from constant hunger. Food was in short supply and the masses of people were beginning to rise up against Moses.
God Appeared Before the Israelites
One day, while Moses’ younger brother Aaron spoke to the masses, everyone looked toward the desert and saw God appearing in a cloud.
The Lord then said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God." (Exodus 16:11-12)
"That evening quail came and covered the camp, and 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 said to each other, [“manna?”] For they did not know what it was." (Exodus 16:13-15)
Many Bible scholars tell us the word ‘manna’ actually meant “What is it?” in Hebrew. So when the children of Israel said to each other, “manna, manna” they were really asking, “What is it?”.
God's Special Instructions
Earlier, before the manna had fallen, the Lord had told 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. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” (Exodus 16:4-5)
Children Don’t Always Do as They’re Told
God tested them and many failed.
As the saying goes today, “Children don’t always do as they’re told.”
They were supposed to only take enough manna to eat for the day. But, against God’s instructions, some tried to save some until the next morning only to find that the excess had spoiled and was full of maggots.
God also said on the 6th day they should collect and make enough bread for 2 days. The 7th day was the Sabbath and God had instructed everyone to rest. Yet, some went out on the 7th day to collect manna only to discover there was none to collect.
If God gets angry, then it’s safe to say at this point many of the Israelites were frustrating Him.
Think about it...
In a cloud in the middle of the desert, God appeared before 2-½ million starving people and gave them quail and bread to eat, literally “from heaven”.
All they had to do was follow a few simple instructions.
But after all God had done, many of the Israelites still didn’t have the faith and trust that the Lord would provide for them.
The Bible is the Manna of our Day
During Jesus’ time, He explained the story of the Israelites in the wilderness as a real life demonstration of God providing us our daily bread.
However, many couldn’t understand (or believe) what he was saying. Jesus told them...
“Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father 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 6:32
And while God saved the Israelites from starvation, Jesus is here to save you from the starvation of your soul.
He has come for our salvation.
The Word of God - the Bible - is the manna of our day.
It feeds your soul.
Ready to Get Your Meal for the Day?
Ready to get your meal for the day?
God’s word – Jesus – IS our daily bread.
His presence is sweet as honey.
He unfolds mysteries to us.
In His presence we find real joy and peace.
The Word of God when studied deeply always brings fresh revelation even when you read the same verse a 1000th time.
Isn't this a miracle in itself?
It really is.
And to support you in receiving God's word -- the fresh manna daily, we bring the Memlok Mobile App.
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All you need is 5 to 10 minutes of your time with this app.
Sabita is a Christian copywriter who writes words inspired by the Holy Spirit. She has written for HuffPost, and helps entrepreneurs and business leaders better serve their readers while advancing God’s Kingdom.