The scripture for today is Exodus 16:2-15, NRSV.
2 The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but against the Lord.”
9 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’” 10 And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 The Lord spoke to Moses and said, 12 “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.
God had helped the Israelites escape from Egypt with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He even parted the Red Sea for their safe crossing. But now, just 2 weeks later, they are complaining to Moses and Aaron that they would have been better off dying in Egypt than starving in the wilderness. So, in these verses God supplied them with a mysterious food called manna. Psalm 78 describes it as “bread of heaven” and “angels’ food” which poured down from heaven’s windows.
This bread that came down from heaven to sustain the Israelites in the desert was a preview of Jesus. Jesus said “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). The manna came down to provide nutrition for the Israelites, but it was not capable of sustaining spiritual life. Jesus satisfies the ultimate needs of al people. As physical food is necessary for physical life, so spiritual food is necessary for spiritual life.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). We all need the word of God working every day in our lives, because “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3). Jesus is the only genuine source of spiritual nourishment.
LORD, as we take in Your word, let it nourish our spiritual needs today. Thank You that relationship with You is our greatest need today and You have gifted it to us.
Donna DeMauro firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern – Those who are hungry for God’s Word.