Ann Farabee: What’s the manna?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2018

Hungry? That seems to be a recurring theme for all. Hunger can create crankiness, irritability, short tempers, and stomach growls. This has been proven scientifically, as well as by me personally.

Moses was leading two million Israelites out of Egypt to head to the Promised Land. Constant complaining about being hungry began to become a problem.

Food is really important. And traveling with that many people, combined with the hunger factor, could certainly promote complaining.

One morning, as the Israelites began to be awakened by their growling stomachs, they opened their tent doors and there it was — MANNA.

“What’s the manna?” they said. Moses answered them, “This is the bread which the Lord gave you to eat.”

They gathered the fresh white pearl sized grains, to which God had added some sweet honey flavor.

And so began their daily preparation of manna bread, manna casseroles, manna pies, manna everything. It was manna here, manna there, manna, manna everywhere.

But…they quickly discovered it was only sufficient for that day, and the leftovers began to stink.

So day after day, they opened up their tent doors and there it was again — a fresh supply.

Hmm. But they soon began to look to the past and remembered that their food choices back in Egypt had been fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onion, and garlic — not just manna. Apparently, instead of grabbing bowls and spoons to happily catch the manna God sent daily, it sounds as if they were beginning to put up umbrellas in order to avoid the manna.

Can you believe it? Those complaining Israelites!

God heard them. He was displeased. He was even angry. But … He blessed them anyway, by adding some quail to their daily menu. They still complained.

We wouldn’t do that, would we?

Of course we would.

What’s the manna with us?

God sends us daily provision even when we are in the wilderness.

God sends us daily provision even when we grumble.

God sends us daily provision even when we disobey.

Deuteronomy 8:3 says that He humbled us, caused us to hunger, and then fed us manna, to teach us that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Psalm 81:10 says that he is the Lord our God, Who brought us up from the land of Egypt, and if we open our mouth wide, He will fill it.

(Yes, this is one instance where we are instructed to open our mouth wide. We aren’t told that very often, so let’s take advantage of it!)

Are you hungry? Me, too.

Hunger happens.

Physical hunger — and spiritual hunger.

When we feel that spiritual hunger, we will recognize it, and realize that only the manna that God sends can satisfy our souls.

Let’s open our mouth wide and let God fill it.

And… I believe He will even add some sweet honey flavor.

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