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What Came Before:
And now the people of Israel were no longer in a level land, with fields of grain, and abundance of food, and streams of water. They were in the great desert, with a rocky path under them, and mountains of rock rising all around, with only a few springs of water, and these far apart. Such a host of men, and women and children, with their flocks, would need much water, and they found very little...
"Give us this day our daily bread" Matthew 6:11
When Jesus told us the manner on which to pray, He said first that our Father knows all of what we need even before we ask Him. In verses that are foundational for many Christians, Jesus said:
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for the tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." br>Matthew 6:26-34
God wants us to live today and not worry about what will happen tomorrow. He gives us sufficient grace for today. When tomorrow comes, the bread ? provision and grace ? will be there. Today, let us thank Him for our daily bread.
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The Gathering of Manna
Musee de la Chartreuse, 1470
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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.?
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They saw in the distance some springs of water, and ran to drink of it, for they were very thirsty. But when they tasted, they found it bitter, so that they could not drink it. Then the people cried to Moses, and Moses cried to the Lord; and the Lord showed Moses a tree, and told him to cut it down and throw it into the water. Moses did so, and then the water became fresh, and pure, and good, so that the people could drink it. This place they named Marah, a word which means "bitterness," because of the water which they found there.
Miracle of the Manna
The Gathering of the Manna
James Jacques Joseph Tissot, 1896
After passing Marah, they came to another and more pleasant place, where they saw twelve springs of fresh water, and a grove of seventy palm-trees around them. And there they rested under the cool shade But soon they were in a hot
desert of sand, which lies between the waters of Elim and Mount Sinai; and again they were in great trouble, for there was no food for such an army of people.
Then Moses called upon God, and the Lord said, " I will rain bread from heaven upon you; and you shall go out and gather it every day."
The next morning, when the people looked out of their tents, they saw all around the camp, on the sand, little white flakes, like snow or frost. They had never seen anything like it before, and they said, just as anybody would say, "What is it?" In the language of the Israelites, the Hebrew language, "What is it?" is the word "Manhu," So the people said to one another "Manhu? Manhu?" And this gave a name afterward to what they saw, the name Manna.
And Moses said to them, "This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. Go out and gather it, as much as you need. But take only as much as you need for
to-day, for it will not keep; and God will give you more to-morrow."
So the people went out, and gathered the manna. They cooked it in various ways, baking it and boiling it; and the taste of it was like wafers flavored with honey. Some took more than they needed, not trusting God's word that there would be more on the next day. But that which was left over, after it was gathered, spoiled, and smelled badly, so that it was useless. This was to teach the people that each day they should trust God for their daily bread.
But the manna which was left on the ground did not spoil. When the sun came up, it melted away, just like frost or snow flakes. Before the sixth day of the week came, Moses said to the people:
"Tomorrow, on the sixth day of the week, take twice as much manna as usual; for the next day is the Lord's Sabbath, the day of rest, and the manna will not come on that day."
So the next morning, all the people went out as before to gather the manna. On
that day, they found that the manna which was not used did not spoil, but kept fresh until the next morning.
On the Sabbath-day, some of the people who had failed to hear Moses, and had not gathered the manna in advance for the Sabbath, went out, and they could find none. So that day, these people had nothing to eat; and all Israel learned the lesson, which we also should remember, that one day in each week belongs to God, and is to be kept holy to the Lord.
All the time that the Israelites lived in the wilderness, which was forty years, they ate the manna which God gave them day by day. Not until they entered the land of Canaan, did the manna cease to fall.
Do you remember, who it was, long after this, that said " I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me, shall never thirst?"
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