Sometimes around the holidays, there are many who feel lonely and depressed, because they feel that no one cares for them. But thanks to our God there is no reason to feel that way. I can promise you that God has got your back. God has promised many, many times throughout His Word that He will care for you. He promises to deliver you from hardship. He will deliver you from trials. He is a God that delivers and provides. He knows when you need, what you need, where you need and promises to deliver it. He will take care of you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He is your nourishment, He is your health, and He is your provider. Let me show you an example from His word.
Let me set the scene for you from the Bible for this piece. The year is about 1441 BC. Israel had just been rescued from bondage and slavery. They had seen the hand of God in the plagues that He sent against Egypt and Pharaoh. They had witnessed the miracle of God parting the Red Sea so they could escape Pharaoh’s soldiers. You think they would be appreciative. You think they would be in awe of such a mighty God. But Israel was a lot like we are. Even though they knew how great, merciful and mighty God was, they took Him for granted and cared only about themselves, and selfishly only thought about their fleshly needs. After all that God had done for them, they still complained about being free, because like us, they found it easy not to trust God…
A lot of times when Jesus sets us free, we are tempted to look back when we were living in sin and say, “God why couldn’t you just leave things the way they were, it’s too hard being a Christian”. Sometimes we do not fully realize or appreciate the Great Gift we have from God in Christ Jesus. During this Christmas season, may I ask you to be aware and thankful of God’s gift to us as we share our gifts with others? Back to the story… That was much the attitude of Israel. God has just feed them from slavery and what is the first thing they say after being freed. Here let’s read about it.
1-3 On the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt, the whole company of Israel moved on from Elim to the Wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai. The whole company of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron there in the wilderness. The Israelites said, “Why didn’t God let us die in comfort in Egypt where we had lamb stew and all the bread we could eat? You’ve brought us out into this wilderness to starve us to death, the whole company of Israel!”
In spite of all that God had done for them, they were already wishing they remained slaves instead of trusting Jehovah-Jireh, our Lord who provides. Moses reminds them, “You haven’t been complaining against us, you know, but against God.” You ever complain to your pastor or a friend about how you think that God has failed you, or let you down in some way? You ever tell anyone, I don’t see why God would let this happen to me. Remember that is a direct complaint against God. But as he is merciful to you and me, He was merciful to Israel. So he provided food for them.
So God said to Moses, “I’m going to rain bread down from the skies for you. The people will go out and gather each day’s ration.
God spoke to Moses, “I’ve listened to the complaints of the Israelites. Now tell them: ‘At dusk you will eat meat and at dawn you’ll eat your fill of bread; and you’ll realize that I am God, your God.’”
13-15 That evening quail flew in and covered the camp and in the morning there was a layer of dew all over the camp. When the layer of dew had lifted, there on the wilderness ground was a fine flaky something, fine as frost on the ground. The Israelites took one look and said to one another, manna (What is it?). They had no idea what it was.
So here we have God providing food for Israel, telling them ahead of time what it was, when it was coming and where to get it, but when they see it, they say, “What is it?” They had no idea what it was. Moses had to tell them, “It’s the bread God has given you to eat.
They were clueless. I feel sometimes we become that way. We are praying asking God for something in our life. Sometimes we may be praying for something miraculous, or maybe praying for something small. But when God answers our prayer and the answer is sitting right in front of us, we ask “what is it?”
One lesson to be learned here is how Israel approached the problem. They always directed their problems toward their “spiritual leader” Moses instead of going to God directly. As a result God would tell Moses and Moses would relay the messages to Israel.
God has given us wonderful leaders and pastors to help us in our Christian walk. But instead of going to them all the time to hear from God, God expects us to get into direct communication with Him personally…. Pray…. Get resolution……Know what’s coming and receive it when it gets here. By being in direct communication with our Lord, and learning to recognize the sound of His voice, instead of asking, “what is it” when it arrives, we will be able to say “It is here, this is it, Hallelujah’.
Israel was given manna from Heaven and did not recognize the gift that they were receiving, because they were not listening to their God and they were following their flesh instead of following the Spirit of God. You and I have been given a greater manna from Heaven in the form of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us the true meaning and importance of manna. Jesus said…..
John 6:48-51……..I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
But now Jesus reveals to us the new meanings that these historical manna had been wrapped up in, and gives us one great new meaning. The true bread was not the unleavened bread of the Exodus, or the manna of the wilderness. The true bread of life is Jesus Christ!
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
Jesus tells us, “He who believes in me has already drunk of me.” This is what “eat” and “drink” mean — come and believe. What Jesus is telling us as we take of the Bread of Life, is come to me, think about me, realize that I am with you and I am able to work in you and through you and change your life right where you are. Then believe on me, change it, do it, and I’ll be there to make it work.”I will change your attitude, your outlook and your situation.
This is the most radical principle ever given to all mankind! This is what the love of God is all about, as He shared it with us in Christ Jesus. It will change your life. Start living that way — wherever you are today in life. You will be a different person as you partake of the “manna from heaven” in Jesus Christ. Come and believe, and this Bread of Life will change your world.
So let us recognize the”New Bread from Heaven” in the Body of our Lord and as we eat of this bread we will inherit eternal life…as He is the Bread of Life. We who are in Christ no longer call it “manna”, for we know what it is!