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11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’ 13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’” 17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. 19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” 20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16: 11-20 NIV
34 As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved. 35 The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan. Exodus 16: 34-35 NIV
There are times when we feel like God is giving us only just enough to get by. Like there’s no surplus. No extra. We humans take special comfort in knowing that we have a little something just in case. Something for a rainy day. For those of us who follow Jesus, we are called to find all our hope, all our comfort, all our security in God alone. Regardless of our circumstance.
The Israelites were in the desert after going through the Red Sea. And they were hungry. So they complained. God heard their cries and provided them with bread and meat. Meat in the form of quail, and bread, which they called manna. There are times in our lives where we too will experience ‘Manna Seasons’. Seasons where we have just enough. Where things feel scary and strained because we do not have the surplus we grew accustomed to. Manna seasons can be tough. But these seasons even now, do for us what they did for the Israelites. They help us to know God. God told Moses this very thing. He said He would provide bread and meat for the Israelites. And He said, “Then you will know that I am the Lord your God”. The manna seasons help us to remember who God is. That He is our Source. That He is our Provider. That He will be faithful to care for us. During times of abundance and plenty, we can lose sight of where our hope truly lies. Where our provision really comes from. Where our sense of security should be. Sometimes when we have so much stored up for tomorrow, we forget to put our hope in the God who holds tomorrow. Manna seasons remind us to look to God in total dependence for all our needs.
The Israelites were instructed to only gather what they could use in a day. Some of them still tried to keep a little overnight. Even after experiencing mind-boggling deliverance at the Red Sea. Even after watching God provide the food they needed in the middle of the desert. Yet they still didn’t trust Him completely. They still wanted to reserve that last little shred of control. So the manna rotted when kept overnight. God uses manna seasons – seasons of just enough – to teach us to trust Him completely. To help us to step down from the thrones of our lives. To let him be God.
Many times when we can see the way ahead, we no longer depend on God to chart our course. We strive to find security and hope in everything but God until we come to a season where all we have is God. Then we remember. Then we realize. How faithful God has been all along. That there is no need to worry. No need to be afraid. Because God will be faithful to provide, as He always has. Exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.
The manna season had to come before the Israelites could enter the Promised Land. God in His wisdom and love, always prepares us for the season ahead. God has many good plans for each one of us. He says so in His Word. But as a Good Father, He uses manna seasons to prepare us to be able to handle the Promised Land. He knows that if we are allowed to enter a new season without knowing where our hope truly lies, we won’t make it. Entering the promise, the new season, requires us to be fully surrendered to our loving Father. It requires us to know God as our Source. To put out hope in no one and nothing above Him.
The manna seasons are difficult, but they are truly God’s love towards us. They bring us close to Him where He literally puts food in our mouths every day. Just the way a mother lovingly feeds an infant. The seasons of just enough are a wonderful chance to experience God’s hand of love and provision up close. Without any distractions. New seasons and promises lie ahead. But let’s embrace the times in the desert too. God is present in every season, wanting to be known and for His children to trust Him.
Love & Blessings,