Part 8: Manna in the Wilderness
Angel food cake is gross and thus feels like a negligent way to use the terms "angel food," especially in light of my study on the word "bread" and "manna" in the Bible. Moses said manna was food for the angels, bread from heaven, sacred bread, bread worthy of the tabernacle (where God's people would encounter and commune with him), the bread of testimony, the bread of presence. So excuse me, Angle food cake, when I scoff at your inferiority.
Spiritual hunger can feel like we are in the wilderness and hangry with God, but thankfully God has a track record of making food for hungry wilderness wanderers like us.
Exodus 16:1 "The entire Israelite community departed from Elim and came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left the land of Egypt."
Yeah. It was really called the Wilderness of Sin. I'm already feeling exposed. The words "they left Egypt" really jumped out at me because the Exodus of God's people from Egypt meant escape from slavery, tyranny, oppression, torture, and ridicule. God rescued His people, split the Red Sea and brought them to the Promised Land, but not before 40 years in the wilderness. God brought them to the wilderness because He was going to see them through it. And yet we find them complaining about their freedom.
Exodus 16:2-3 "The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, 'If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!'"
Bah!!! They would rather DIE in Egypt than live in the wilderness because they miss meat and bread?!?! And then they accuse their leaders, the ones who risked their lives, in obedience to God, that helped gain their freedom, of bringing them into the wilderness so that they would die of hunger!
Timeout for a second. This is ridiculous. God is the one who brought them to the wilderness, remember? It was a test of their faith to see if they would obey God's commands, to humble them and show them they are dependent upon God for their very lives, and He sustains them with His words.
God is so gracious to them.
Exodus 16:4 "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow My instructions.'"
It's raining bread? Hallelujah, it's raining bread. Surely now they will remember God, His faithfulness to rescue them from Egypt, their dependence upon His grace, which now is raining from heaven daily through heavenly bread.
Exodus 16:31-35 "The house of Israel named the substance manna. It resembled coriander seed, was white, and tasted like wafers made with honey."
Where you at, reader? Are you in a wilderness of sin? Have you forgotten that God will make a way for your escape? Is God providing for you daily and you're treating your life like a death sentence? Snap out of it. God will send you manna.
Christian, take a moment to remember this is the God you serve...
Nehemiah 9:9-12 "You saw the oppression of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, all his officials, and all the people of his land, for You knew how arrogantly they treated our ancestors. You made a name for Yourself that endures to this day. You divided the sea before them, and they crossed through it on dry ground. You hurled their pursuers into the depths like a stone into churning waters. You led them with a pillar of cloud by day, and with a pillar of fire by night, to illuminate the way they should go."
Nehemiah 19-21 "You did not abandon them in the wilderness because of Your great compassion. During the day the pillar of cloud never turned away from them, guiding them on their journey. And during the night the pillar of fire illuminated the way they should go. You sent Your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold Your manna from their mouths, and You gave them water for their thirst. You provided for them in the wilderness 40 years and they lacked nothing."
We can throw tantrums, beg for death, accuse our leaders of wanting us to starve spiritually, and fail to remember God's faithfulness. But God in His great compassion will not forget us. He will send His Spirit to instruct us. He will not withhold good things from us, He will provide. We will lack nothing because God will send His presence. His presence is the new manna for this age.
And isn't that the nagging question of this study? Is God able to provide food for us in the wilderness? This is exactly the question the Isrealites were asking according to one of the Hebrew Psalmists...
Psalm 78:19 "Is God able to provide food in the wilderness?"
The answer is "yes." Yes, God IS able to provide food for you in your spiritual wilderness. Take a look for your hangry self.
Psalm 78:10-19; 24-25
They forgot what He had done,
the wonderful works He had shown them.
He worked wonders in the sight of their fathers
in the land of Egypt, the region of Zoan.
He split the sea and brought them across;
the water stood firm like a wall.
But they continued to sin against Him,
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
They deliberately tested God,
demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying,
“Is God able to provide food in the wilderness?
He rained manna for them to eat;
He gave them grain from heaven.
People ate the bread of angels.
He sent them an abundant supply of food.
And God will do that for you, too.
In a season of great spiritual hunger, I started to follow the breadcrumb trail through the sacred scriptures to find the most satisfying bread for our soul: Jesus.
This led to an obsession with the 300+ times “bread” is mentioned in the holy scriptures, and you’re reading the results, a 16 part bible study: I.Love.Carbs.
Let's break bread together. You could start from the beginning here & be sure to sign up to get the latest blog post delivered right to your inbox >>>>>