3/11/2023 0 Comments
Bread From Heaven
A month into their miraculous deliverance by the shores of the Red Sea, Exodus 16 records a mind-boggling event. The whole congregation of the children of Israel complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. Their grievance? “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.”
How quickly they have forgotten the unbearable oppression and impossible workloads of Egypt! One can only imagine what Moses said to God when he sought advice as to what to do with these insane complainers. Yet God responds with miraculous mercy intended to teach the rebellious people about His faithfulness. Will they respond accordingly? “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.”
Moses passes along God’s response to the grumblers: “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.” Moses makes sure to remind them that when they complain against him as God’s representative, they are really complaining against the Lord. We can only imagine what went through their minds when they heard that rebuke.
As instructed, the next morning they head out of the camp to gather the bread. But it wasn’t like any bread they knew. This bread from Heaven—manna—only stayed fresh for one day. Despite God’s instructions, some of the people gathered more than the specified amount and some left part of what they had gathered until morning. Once again, their disobedience has consequences. The heavenly food breeds worms and stinks. Needless to say, Moses is angry with them. They failed the test.
The Chronos Lesson. God had every right to withdraw His heavenly provision from His people. But by grace He still provided. That same grace would bring forth another miraculous bread from Heaven—the Savior of the world, the Bread of Life. The fallen nature of mankind brings a similar response as that of the children of Israel centuries earlier.
After feeding the 5,000 plus people besides the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the people pursue Jesus, but not for the right reason. They want more miracles. Jesus sees their hearts. “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Sadly, they are still focused on their works. Jesus responds, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Instead, they want a sign from Jesus, like the one with Moses and the manna. Seriously? The multiplication of the five loaves and fishes wasn’t enough of a sign? It seems mankind’s insatiable desires and emotional responses still get the better of them.
Jesus responds again, “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. For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.”
Much like the children of Israel in the wilderness, the people cry out for this bread always. They’re still not getting it. Jesus patiently responds again, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
Jesus is both the Bread of Life and the Word. When we partake of the Word, we are filled with the life-giving truths of Heaven. But like the manna, it needs to be gathered daily to sustain us!
Leave a Reply.