EAT AND LIVE
Welcome back, friends. We come to a third object lesson in the Wilderness Experience of the Children of Israel. Last time I observed that such object lesson is what we call type: A type, as used in the bible, is a futuristic or predictive symbol, model or representation of something or someone. That which the type represents is the antitype. And so we saw last time the Passover Lamb was a type of Jesus Christ, the antitype.
The bronze fiery serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness was a type; and Jesus the antitype.
Today, we come to another type, the manna that God provided for the Children of Israel in their Wilderness Journey. And our text is taken from Exodus 16, reading at verse 1.
And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. 2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them,”Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.
Shall we pray
Father, we have come again to search the scriptures. May Your Spirit enlighten us…in Jesus Name. Amen!
In this story, we see a poor pattern in the way the Israelites handled their problems. They were in the habit of forgetting quickly the many miraculous things God had done for them in the past, instead of building on them to overcome present challenges. In Exodus 14, for example, in verse 10, we read:
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.
[That’s the right thing to do. But listen to this:]
11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”
That was the wrong thing to do, the wrong way to handle a problem. And in our text, which we just read now, Exodus 16, we find the same pattern. Listen again to verse 2.
2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
The Children of Israel preferred perpetual slavery to freedom with some inconveniences. They will rather remain well-fed slaves than be inconvenienced free men and women. They complained against Moses, against Aaron and God. In case you wonder why I included God in that complaint, listen to what Moses said,
7 And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord; for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”
Friend, how do you handle the unavoidable problems of life? Do you complain against people and complain against God instead of confessing your dependence on God?
I love what King Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20. In 2 Chronicles 20, when his nation was threatened by a confederate of forces, he and his people could not match. In verse 12 of 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat says to God in prayers, and I quote:
2 Chronicles 20:12
12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
Beautiful! There is no way God will not respond to such dependence. Jehoshaphat feared quite alright; but he did not allow fear to paralyze him. He did not allow his circumstance to make him bitter but rather better. His problem became a stepping stone for him instead of a stumbling block.
God did not only provide food for the Children of Israel – He did so abundantly. The abundance is expressed in the words: I will rain bread from heaven for you: verse 4 of Exodus 16. God’s supply of food for Israel was not in trickles. No wonder the bible says, God shall supply all the need of His people according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:19. But He does so in sufficient installments according to our text in Exodus 16:4b. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day. This agrees with the way Jesus taught His disciples to pray. In Matthew 6:11,
1 Give us this day our daily bread.
I have come to know that God meets my needs, not by an elaborate outlay of provisions but, by sufficient daily installments. Much of the anxiety and greed people have today, especially in this country, lie in the failure to trust God for their daily needs. They struggle to accumulate stuff by all means: fair and or fowl. Notice that the food God provide Israel was supernatural. I suspect that is why it is described as Angel’s Food – in Psalms 78:25.
25 Men ate angels’ food;
He, God, sent them food to the full, to satiation. God provides my needs naturally most of the time. But He does not hesitate to do so supernaturally when necessary. And this is not exclusive to me; It is true of the rest of His children.
In conclusion, the Manna, that is, Israel’s bread of food from heaven, was a type of Jesus Christ. The Jews, in their attempt to talk Jesus into providing them more miraculous sandwich, in John 6, said to him, verse 31:
31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”
To this, Jesus replied, in verse 32,
32 “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
Now we are coming closer to knowing the true bread from heaven really represented.
33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
In verse 35 – that John 6, Jesus said – one of His I AMs, one of His 7 I AMs in the Gospel of John,
35 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
That’s the true manna – Jesus, the bread from heaven: He gives spiritual and eternal life.
Friend, have you received Him? Why not do so now? Remember, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
OUR Father and our God, we are thankful to You for another session that I have had now with my friends. As many of them as are yielding their lives to You, as Your Spirit prompts them, I believe that You give them the assurance of salvation. And I’m praying also, Father, that You will take care of the needs in their lives. We believe that Jesus Christ died, not only to forgive us our sins, but also to heal our sicknesses and our diseases. So I pray that as many of them that are sick in body, in mind, or in their circumstance, I say that You will attend to them now, and heal them, in the Name of Jesus. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus Name I have prayed. Amen!