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Manna Live!

Exodus 16


[read vv. 1-21; 31]


It’s a beautiful symbol of Jesus, come down from above.  Christ is the bread of life.  It’s how we live.  Man alive!  The following passage drives it all home...

John 6:32-35
32 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. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 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.

John 6:48-51
48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Where God guides, He provides.  He didn’t bring them this far to let them starve.  He has a plan for them just as He does for us, and all we must do is follow.  And whether the path lead over mountain or valley, or even thru a sea...desert, wilderness, whatever, He promises to meet the needs along the way if only we’ll follow.


But the people didn’t believe it, and again returned to their complaining.  And each time they gripe the glory of God appears and works a miracle.  Were they starting to take advantage of God?  Did they believe that the squeaky wheel would always get the oil?  The book of Numbers makes it clear that God was keeping track, and God said, “These 10 times have ye tempted me...”  Be careful little tongue what you say.  Nevertheless, you can’t receive unless you ask.  But could they have asked more nicely?


They awoke in the morning and found manna on the ground. 


If there were 2 million of them then what God provided was somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 box cars of manna every day, for 40 years!

Psalms 78:19
Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

He can and He did!  And still we ask, can God provide for this car repair, this medical expense...can God fill my tank w/ gas?!  [that last one is getting more questionable!]

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Not all our greeds, but all our needs.  Did manna get old?  Perhaps in terms of variety, but it always met the need. 

Ill.—like the high school cafeteria—on Monday we had tuna salad sandwiches, and on Tuesday it was tuna casserole made from the leftovers, Wednesday was ‘tuna surprise’ and Thursday was tuna and noodles...I brought my lunch a lot!


I’ve joked before that they had:  baked manna, fried manna, boiled/pickled/manna on the half shell/for dessert…pineapple upside-down manna or banana manna!  They could have raised money by selling the Mother Moses Cookbook of 1,001 ways to prepare manna!


But seriously, it could be prepared in a variety of ways.  Numbers 11 says they could grind it, beat it, or bake it in pans.  [boil it, mash it, put it in a stew!]  No doubt they came up w/ many ways to prepare it.


But it’s our nature to complain, esp. when we get in the habit of it.  Like the guy who got a $10 bill in the mail and complained because he needed two fives!


They said, would to God we were in Egypt where we had onions and garlic to the full!  [breath issues?]  But though they remembered the food of Egypt, they forgot about the sting of the taskmasters whip!


The Manna illustrates 3 things:

1.     Who Jesus is

It was small, which speaks of His humility.  He came as a small baby in a manger...what an act of humility!  He left heaven for this?  Not even for a palace...but a stable!  What was his first scene to look on?  First sounds He heard?  First smell?


His humility continued throughout his adult ministry, like when He washed the disciple’s feet, or consorted w/ the poor and diseased.


And it was round, which speaks of His deity.  A complete circle.  It had no end.  It was also white, which speaks of His purity.  He was sinless! 


And it was sweet.  And there’s no sweeter name than Jesus!


2.     How Jesus came.

The bread wasn’t brought from Egypt nor manufactured in the wilderness along the way.  It came from heaven!  Manna fell as a gift from heaven right where the people were…and you can come to Jesus today, and He’ll take you right where you are.  Jesus said it first, ‘come as you are, and you’ll leave changed!’ / fed / full!

John 6:33
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

This manna came at night, just as Jesus did.  Light came into darkness. 


Ill.—Dr. Robert Sumner tells of an unusual grave in west Texas, still there has a little window where you can see all the way down to the casket 6 feet under.  Sunlight makes its way each day down to it.  The individual had requested, “When I die, don’t leave me in the dark...promise me you won’t leave me in the dark!”

        But if you die outside of Christ, a window in your grave won’t help you.  The Bible says you are on your way to eternal darkness, chains of darkness, so black you can feel it!  You won’t know your rowdy friends are there!


The manna came on the dew.  [Num. 11:9]  It came first thing in the morning, 6 days a week, not on the Sabbath.  It was daily bread, not weekly bread.  Some people come to church and say, gas me up preacher, I’ve got a big week ahead.  May I say kindly, gas yourself up, daily.  On Monday, get w/ God and get what you need...Tuesday...etc.


The manna came where they came to a rebellious people.  God could have rained down fire and brimstone but instead He said, I’ll rain down manna upon them.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God didn’t send a Savior because we WANTED one, but because He knew we NEEDED one!


Who He was, How He came...


3.     What we must do in response.

Eat!  Are we spiritually hungry?  Will we avail ourselves of the feast set before us?  The prodigal son came to himself and said, my father’s house has bread enough and to spare, while I perish with hunger!


Only Jesus can satisfy us.


Notice that they had to stoop down to receive the manna.  It didn’t fall onto a table, nor did it grow on trees for them to climb.  Many people won’t get saved because they refuse to stoop and humble themselves before God.  Others miss salvation by believing it’s something to climb up for.


Each had to take for themselves.  They couldn’t be satisfied by watching another partake, and no one else could gather for them.  Each had to reach for their own!


They had to receive it early.  For when the sun came out it melted.

Ill.—Isaiah said, Seek ye the Lord while He may be found.  There is a coming day of judgment, and it’s coming soon.  This is also a good example of having morning devotions!


Manna is also a great example of God’s Word.  How do Christians grow spiritually?  By reading and meditating and studying God’s Word...and on a daily basis.  It cannot be horded ahead of time.  It needs to be fresh and new every day, every morning.


Too many Christians are still hungering for the carnal diet of this world.  Let’s ask God to make us hungry for spiritual manna.  Not just spoon fed by the pastor or a s.s. teacher, but digging in for yourself!


Every day the children of Israel had 2 choices when they woke up.  They could gather their manna and eat it, or if not, they had to walk upon it, or walk around it.

Hebrews 10:29
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God.... 

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