The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

About Manna and the Word of God (PDF) PDF version

About Manna and the Word of God

As I was reading the book of Exodus again I was surprised to find more about the manna than I noticed before. I would like to share some thoughts with you:

The first occurrence of the heavenly bread is in Exodus 16:4: “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”

God promised to meet the need of food in the wilderness. The bread that God supplied was not something processed, a product from a bakery in the wilderness, it came straight from heaven, right to where the people were. Also it could be eaten the way it came, yet they could also cook or bake it. God makes clear that He supplies their daily need for food, but they would have to go out and gather their bread every day. This Manna was a supernatural gift from God. Daily He rained about 4500 tons of it down for them, for 40 years!

Jesus instructs us the same way when He directs His disciples to pray, give us this day our daily bread. Sometimes we might find ourselves in wilderness situations where everything seems to be too hot, dried up, without life or growth and we think we are going in the opposite direction of our dreams. We may feel unloved and even ignored. God appears to be miles away and His promises even farther. He is, however, close for He has promised never to leave of forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). So we do not need to be discouraged because even in the wilderness the Lord keeps His promises and meets our need for bread from heaven, sufficient bread, everybody according to his eating (Exodus 16:18). All we have to do is go out and get it. That applies to all of us! It speaks about “daily bread” and not about the “abundance of things”. It’s about what we need and not about what we want. And God wants us to trust Him concerning our needs. At times the going out to gather the bread seems to be the main struggle because it requires action and often effort. We can get it daily from the Supreme Supplier, the Source, not from a can (e.g. tapes, DVDs, TV, books about the Bible). Daily does not mean that once per week, maybe Sunday, is enough.

Remember what Satan tempted Jesus with (also in the wilderness!) and what Jesus replied in Matthew 4:4: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” I like the way The Message puts the reply of our Lord: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth." It’s not about the manifestation but about the presence of God. God’s Word in an ultimate sense is Jesus Christ,

John 5:39
“Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

John 6:32-35
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Do you see the analogy between the manna of the wilderness, the bread from heaven and Jesus Christ as the bread of life? Manna was white, suggesting purity and holiness, and sweet like honey. Interestingly the manna fell in the night upon dew, not dust (Numbers 11:9). Jesus Christ is a gift from God, freely given, for us. There is a daily need, a daily provision and it is to be gathered and eaten by everybody individually.

I pray that we discern our wants from our needs so that we can focus on the heart of God. That we will do whatever it costs to go out every day to gather our daily bread that God provides for each one of us. May we enjoy it, for it tastes like wafers with honey (Exodus 16:31b), and eat as much as we need, so that it strengthens our bodies and we may be saturated and purified. Amen

Jeremiah 15:16
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.”

Andrea Kioulachoglou