Tuesday, October 25, 2005
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, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.
Exodus 16:14-15 niv
I awoke early this morning. When I opened my back door to let the dogs out, I saw my geraniums drooping, their leaves folded up as if trying to shield themselves from the cold. The top of the glass top table looked opaque instead of clear, etched instead of smooth. Tiny crystals of frost formed a thin covering of icy feathers, each sparkling in the morning light.
Can you imagine how the children of Israel felt that first morning when they threw back the flaps of their tents, and saw manna covering the ground? The word ‘manna’ means, “What is it?” In Exodus 16:31, the Bible says, “It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.”
The ‘bread from heaven’ represented God’s daily provision. He rained manna down from Heaven – evidence of His presence and provision, but they were only permitted to gather one day’s worth, and two day’s worth the night before the Sabbath. Wouldn’t that be a test of your faith in God?
How many times have you talked to someone who said, “I know the Lord is going to give me a better job,” then in the course of the conversation, you find out this person is not filling out applications, has not typed up his resume, or tried to educate himself. Or how about the person who wants to minister? Has she been studying the Word of God, praying, and preparing for the ministry?
God could have caused the manna to appear in the tents. Or He could have even caused the people to be supernaturally nourished. But He didn’t. Every day they picked their food up from the ground. The manna came directly from the hand of God, but they had to use their hands to gather it.
Do you know your purpose? How are you preparing to minister when called upon? When it’s time to witness of Jesus, are you at a loss because you don’t know what to say? Just as the manna did not jump into the Israelite’s hands, the knowledge of the Word of God will not jump into your brain. You must ‘gather’ and digest it.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, 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 he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
The Israelites ate manna that sustained life for forty years. Jesus is the ‘bread of God’ Who gives us eternal life. The next time you see a blanket of frost, think of manna, God’s provision, and ask yourself, “Am I doing all I can to ‘gather’ souls for the kingdom of God?”
Prayer: Lord, I pray I remain faithful to Your purpose for my life. Help me to trust You daily to provide for me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.