“Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”—Deuteronomy 8:3
What would happen if we only ate once a week? We’d be starving of course. (Unless you are fasting- then you’d be starving but for a greater purpose). But realistically speaking, we need food to survive and give us strength- and we need it every day.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they began to grumble and complain because they were hungry. And the Lord sent manna from Heaven each day so that they would know the He is the one that would provide for them. What exactly was manna? Manna was a sweet gum or resin type of bread that God supernaturally sent from Heaven to feed His people.
Exodus 16:4a- Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.
Exodus 16:13-18 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 (omer- used in the Bible as an ancient unit of volume for grains and dry commodities) 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.
The Lord specifically said in Exodus 16:4 to go out and gather enough for that day and in Exodus 16:19 He told them not to keep any of it until the morning. They listened about as well as a 3 year old in a candy store.
Exodus 16:19-2019 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.
Didn’t they trust God?
John 6:32-33 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
We were made for spiritual food. Jesus is the bread from Heaven and we need to receive Him (His Word) just like the Israelites received the physical bread (manna). When I haven’t eaten in a while, I start to manifest symptoms. When I’m hungry my stomach starts to make terribly loud rumbly noises. And if it’s really been a while since my last meal I get light headed and shaky, and even a little cranky. And I go directly to the kitchen for food.
Food for Thought:
1) Just like the Lord asked the Israelites specifically not to take manna for tomorrow, we also need to make sure we’re getting our spiritual food each day. I can’t rely on my time with the Lord over the past few years to carry me into today. I need fresh food. The old stuff starts to stink and rot. It needs to be spiritual manna for today- a fresh word. None of us can rely on last week’s sermon or that great time of Bible reading a few weeks ago or that wonderful prayer time we had a few months ago. He has something fresh and new for us each and every day. Otherwise, it just turns stale. There is a reason He refers to Himself as our daily bread.
2) Our spirit manifests symptoms (hunger pains) just like our stomach. We need to listen to those spiritual hunger pains. I can’t tell you how many times I start to feel anxious and wonder what’s wrong or why I’m feeling off. Spiritual ‘hunger’ pains. When I’m quick to respond to my husband or kids in anger or frustration before even thinking twice- hunger pains. I have moments where I’m feeling unsure of myself or insecure- yep, hungry again. Need food… spiritual food. Because when I start to have these symptoms of being ‘hungry’, nothing else satisfies. I know when I haven’t eaten in a while. His Word is meant to fill us up today. And then tomorrow, repeat.
Today, may we be sensitive to those hunger pains and choose to feed ourselves with that that will truly fill us up and give us life. May we choose to follow that prayer in Matthew 6:11, “Father give us this day our daily bread…”
The Word of God is the bread of life, the living water, that sustains and strengthens our spiritual life. The Word of God feeds that life, it nourishes that life. – Matthew 4:4