“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.’” –Exodus 16:4
I love it when God takes something small and makes it have a big and deep meaning! He did this with manna—His special bread for the Israelite people. I’ve been doing one of Beth Moore’s Bible studies, and she highlighted a few things that manna stands for in the Bible. Here are four of them:
- Exodus 16:14 describes manna as “a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.” Beth Moore wrote, “Isn’t it interesting that God let the Israelites see His glory through a small, almost indistinct object? How very much like Him!” Manna gave the people of Israel strength for that day and showed them that God provides. In the same way, Jesus gives us strength, joy, and peace. He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
- We read in Exodus 16:31 that manna was white, symbolizing purity. Psalm 119:140 says, “Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it.” God has given us His perfect, pure Word (the Bible) just as He gave the Israelites the pure and perfect white manna.
- Exodus 16:19-21 says that manna lasted only one day—if it was kept overnight, it smelled bad and got worms. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Notice that it says DAILY bread. Beth Moore wrote, “How deeply our Provider wants us to recognize that He is our daily provision. Our lives could never be sustained on a once-a-week meal; yet we often expect a hearty Sunday serving to be enough to sustain spiritual growth.” We are to rely on God daily for not only our physical needs, but also our spiritual needs.
- “…he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need” (Exodus 16:18b). Everyone had just the right amount of provision for that day. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Beth Moore explained that “Our ratio of mercy matches our present need. When the time arises and the need escalates, so does the grace required for us to make it!” Just like manna, God’s mercies and compassion are new every morning and He gives us just the right amount for our day.
So, to wrap it all up, just like manna, Jesus is our daily bread, our Bread of Life; God’s Word is pure; and God gives us our provisions daily and just the right amount for that day. He is so good to us!!
P.S. As a side note, the Hebrew word for manna is, in English, a “whatness” because the Israelites didn’t know what it was when they first saw it. Beth Moore calls it a “whatchamacallit.” 🙂