Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will 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 or not they will walk in My instruction. Exodus 16:4
I love the Old Testament story of how God fed His people in the wilderness with bread that came down from heaven. It was called manna, a Hebrew word that actually means "what is it?", because the people did not know what it was. Manna was provided faithfully and lovingly by God for forty years. It sustained God's people during their wilderness wanderings (note: the wilderness is the desert).
Without a doubt, manna was a daily miracle. It serves as a vivid picture of Jesus Christ who is "the bread that came down from heaven" (Jn. 6:41). Notice the symbolism:
- THE SWEETNESS - Manna was sweet to the taste. It was described in Numbers as "wafers with honey" (Num. 16:31). Jesus Christ is sweet. The Bible says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8). Don't ever get the idea that following Jesus is like taking bad medicine to get well. It is not. Walking with Jesus is sweet. It is a blessing, not a burden. It is a privilege, not a penalty. Jesus is not a joy stealer but a joy giver.
- THE LIFE - Manna was essential for life. If the people did not eat it, they would die. Jesus is essential to life. There is no life apart from Him. The Bible clearly tells us that "Christ is our life" (Col. 3:4). Too often we try to compartmentalize Jesus and make Him a part of our life. DON'T DO THAT! He is not just a part of life; He is the hub of the wheel, the chief cornerstone of all. Unless you and I build on Him, the rock of ages, we have no stability when the inevitable storms of life hit (Matt. 7:24-27). If you want to really enjoy life to the full, surrender everything in your life to His lordship.
- THE LONGING - Manna whetted the appetite for more. It was designed to satisfy and sustain until the people arrived in the Promised Land, that long awaited land that flowed with milk and honey. Jesus surely is sweet and wonderful, but knowing Christ in this life just whets the appetite for what lies ahead. God has so much prepared for those who love Him. Today, I know Jesus heart to heart. But there is coming a day when I will meet Him face to face. One day, faith will turn to sight, and I will enter into the joy of my Master. What a day that will be!! As John said, "Amen. Come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20).
WHAT ABOUT TODAY?
Are you feasting on your relationship with Jesus? Are you seeking Him early, like the people gathered the manna early in the day? He rewards those who seek Him, so take time TODAY to seek the Lord and call upon His name. He is closer to you than the shirt on your back, and He is waiting for you to look to Him.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.