Manna: what a picture of God’s care and blessing upon His people! For the multitude that found themselves in a wilderness that could not support their physical needs, manna was not just blessing–it meant the difference between life and death. When faced with the impossibility of meeting the needs of Israel in a barren land, God was effortlessly faithful.
Israel had been living the “world’s way” in Egypt for 430 years. Their diet and pursuits had been seasoned by a culture that was corrupted by idolatry and ideologies that opposed the One True God. Now they were desperate. They could not take care of themselves, so they had to trust God and adjust their way of life.
Through Moses, God gave very specific instructions for the gathering and use of this bread from Heaven (Exodus 16:1-21). The main purpose for doing this was that God was seeking to train His people to trust Him completely and to obey Him explicitly. God told Moses in Exodus 16:4, “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.”
Some of the people refused to live that way. They gathered more than they could use, hoping to hedge against tomorrow’s needs. Actually, without understand what they were doing, they were saying, “We would like to have a life of our own, we don’t want to have to trust God.” Their hearts had gone back to Egypt and the “world’s ways,” even though their bodies were still in the wilderness.
The result of this disobedience was a blessing tuned to a curse. When we hoard the blessings of God, we inherit a curse from God. Jesus called for daily trust in the model prayer (Luke 11:3). Blessing became blight because there was no trust.
God has blessed us as a people in America. How easy it would be for us to live the “world’s way” by hoarding for ourselves what God has provided. How can we avoid such a curse? Trust. As we have trusted God for our future (eternal life), we must trust him for our present (abundant life). Tell. We must tell others where to find the Bread from Heaven. Witnessing is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread! Take. In loving ministry, we must take God’s provision to others…we can’t keep it to ourselves or for ourselves.
The danger of stored blessing is the difference between sufficiency and stench. I don’t want my life to be characterized by stench but instead by sweetness. How about you?