Manna from Heaven

We want God to provide more so we need Him less. –Mark Batterson, pastor and author

But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:18-20 (ESV)

The word manna can be loosely translated as: “what is it?” God’s people were simply trying to comprehend what He was doing. His provision of daily manna highlights an essential dimension of our heavenly Father’s interaction with His children: God ever seeks to develop faith in the hearts of His people. We, on the other hand, seek security apart from Him, to the point of despising a lifestyle that requires any type of meaningful dependence upon our Creator.

How many Christians pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” every Sunday in church, but give little thought to what they are asking? If any of us had penned that prayer, we would be asking for enough “daily” bread to last until we take our final breath. Let’s not delude ourselves; very few of us honestly believe that we can rely on God day by day for our provision.

Understand that this is not a clarion call for all who profess Christ to cancel their insurance policies, or give up their retirement plans in mindless obedience to a misappropriated concept. Some of these things may indeed be part of God’s plan to provide for us. It is, however, essential that we align ourselves with God’s kingdom paradigm in our day-to-day objectives. Otherwise we will find ourselves working against what our loving Father seeks to accomplish in our lives.

Honestly answer, if you will, this vital question: Where is my sense of security rooted? In my checking account balance? In my investments? In my family? In my friends? In my significant other? In my company? In my government? In myself? While none of these are bad within themselves, they become idolatrous—and offensive to God—when they replace Him as our primary source of security.

What in this world is truly secure? The stock market has about as much stability as a carnival ride. We have learned in recent years that an outwardly healthy business or investment company may be a total sham. We’ve witnessed real estate collapses followed by a glut of foreclosures. And government securities, it seems, aren’t nearly as secure as once thought. Even money hidden in the mattress can quickly become worthless under the burden of runaway inflation. Our most secure investment is probably gold, but even gold is subject to price fluctuations and theft.

As humans, we naturally attempt to establish a sense of security from earthly things. Rather than being generous givers in the image of our Father, we often err by holding tightly to that which has no value in the eyes of eternity. God’s agenda, on the other hand, involves training us to trust Him with childlike dependence. In this case, ignorance of God’s design is anything but bliss.

What Is It? I understand that manna is most often used as a metaphor to illustrate the importance of a daily time in the Bible as we feed on Christ as the bread of life—and I would never argue against such a use. But manna also paints a poignant picture of the importance of learning to trust God day by day.



This post is drawn from Chapter Fifteen of Bob’s devotional: Champions in the Wilderness—Fifty-Two Devotions to Guide and Strengthen Emerging Overcomers

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