During the wilderness wandering, God provided manna for the people to eat. It appeared every morning and melted in the sun. The Israelites gathered it fresh each day and they were not to save any—when they did out of disobedience, it spoiled—it was rancid and full of worms. The only exception was on the Sabbath. They gathered a double portion so they would have enough for the next day. And, the extra didn’t spoil. Manna became their daily food, provided, always fresh, never left over.
When the people got thirsty in the desert, God provided water for them to drink. With his staff, Moses struck a rock and fresh water flowed. But, even Moses needed to learn that God doesn’t always provide in the same way. The next time the people grumbled about thirst, God told Moses to speak to the rock—but Moses fell back on the tried and true, striking the rock twice, just in case. This cost Moses his right to enter the Promised Land. Even Moses needed to learn that God’s methods of provision were also fresh daily.
God was explicit in His directions so they would rely on what He said and find Him trustworthy. They were slaves for so long that they needed to retrain their thinking. God delivered them from their oppressors and promised to go with them, providing their needs along the way. It took a generation for this change to begin to sink in, one fresh manna-day at a time.
So, what does this mean for today?
For me, I can tell you that I am learning that manna is like His Word and I need to gather it daily—fresh, not left over from days past. His Word is living and active, able to speak to what I am going through today. But I need today’s manna for today’s situations. And, I think He wants me to follow His instructions carefully. Most likely He won’t meet my need or answer my prayer in the same way twice, or like He has for others. He is more creative than that. His fresh provision, fresh manna and fresh words speak to me and my situation.
Fresh manna and God's provision make for an intoxicating combination—one that only God can provide as we walk with Him day by day. It gives us a new perspective when we pray- Give us this day our daily bread.
What manna have you gathered today and how has it provided for your needs?