After God saved and redeemed Yisrael out of Egypt they found themselves in the middle of the desert with no food or drink. And they complained to God that it would have been better to have been left to die in Egypt than to be brought out into the wilderness to starve to death.
At this point God says something that should stick out to you. Instead of rebuking them for their lack of faith in God’s powerful hand over them in all things, God hears Yisrael’s complaints and feeds them bread from heaven.
He says; Exodus 16:1-4
Exodus 16:4 I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.
He goes on and gives detailed instructions on how to receive this bread. It will appear every morning, only pick what you need for the day, on the sixth day there will be enough to pick for 2 days, only this day will it last for the second day.
He doesn’t just rain it down and say “here you go, feast”. He tested his children with a certain way to collect it.
Some failed and collected more than enough, and it rotted. Some failed and looked for it on the 7th day, and there was none. After being redeemed out of the bodage of slavery in Egypt they were given a test of faith. God said he would rain down bread from heaven for each person, and all they had to do was follow the instructions on how to gather it.
Today, as children of God we find ourselves in a very similar situation. We have been redeemed out of the world, yet find ourselves still in the world. We have been forgiven of our sins, yet find ourselves living in a world full of sin. We are redeemed out of the bondage of slavery to sin, and are given a test of faith. Believe the words of the One who was sent from heaven. And like the children of Yisrael who complained: Why didn’t you just leave us in Egypt to die! We sometimes find ourselves complaining: Why didn’t God simply leave me to my sin, instead of leading me into this spiritual wilderness to worship him? As a lot of times our spiritual walk seems like it’s through the wilderness.
The Good New is, God has heard our complaining as we are being called and led to the mountain of his presence. He has again given us bread from heaven after redeeming us from the world of sin.
Today our test of faith is in the Living Manna from God. He has rained down the bread from heaven for us to eat. And it is not like the bread he gave our Hebrew fathers in that this food is Yeshua, the very Word of God. The words He spoke were the food of eternal life. Yet, as we see from the story, some didn’t understand the instructions on how to attain this bread. They fail the test, they did not walk in (obey) the words of Yeshua.
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”
32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. .”
64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
You see, the disciples complained too! They grumbled about how the manna from heaven was given. How can this man give us his flesh to eat? But this is not about flesh and blood, but about faith in the words Yeshua has spoken. And even after hearing them many failed the test.
Like in the wilderness God has given his children bread from heaven. But this bread is the very words spoken by Yeshua. They are food to our soul. They are eternal life to all who believe them.
Just like God tested his children Yisrael he tests us with the bread from heaven. He gives us only what we need for the day. If we overfill our heads up with his word – the heart can not process it, the body can not use it, and it becomes rotten and useless. A waste of mental space. And a waste of time better spent helping and serving others. But, if we take only was is needed our souls are fed daily on his Words. And His Words are not a burden. They are delicious to the taste and easy to store for the days journey. We are commanded to store only what is needed to fill our hearts daily and no more. Everyday God will water each person with the exact amount of life one needs to exist.
A good example of someone who takes more than is needed, because they think they need to store up the bread from God ‘not’ according to his will, were the Pharisees. They attempted to store up all the words of God, more than one could can handle, and then think they are feeding others with it. All the while ignoring the instructions (test) God gave for the bread. God called them bad shepherds. They think they can become the storehouse of manna for the world. But all that happens is that which is not used for the day is rotting in their heads. Then they try and feed the sheep with it, at the wrong time, in the wrong way. Rotten words, fed in a ruthless manner. The M.O. of the legalistic.
We are not to gorge ourselves as pigs thinking God has not limited us in our eating. He tests us in our table manners. He tests us in our faith daily. Every one of us are given a daily portion of food. God’s word placed and written softly spoken to our hearts. He speaks to us everyday and gives us just what we need to live. It’s his promise!
Yeshua’s Words are our food. Our faith in them produces life. Faith……. waiting for the daily fresh words of God as they rain down from heaven into your heart. This is the true living manna from heaven!
Use what he gives you in the day. Store not what you can not use. And freely give what has freely been given to you. And he will supply more as needed. Every day. In every way. Our Faith is in the Living Manna from heaven. In all things, Messiah is everything!
"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Jewish adventures in the diaspora.
Scripture, ethics and spiritual formation