Show me Your glory, I pray.
The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 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.” 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…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 bread that the LORD has given you to eat”… The Israelites ate manna for forty years, until they came to the habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
Exodus 16:2-4a, 15, 35
There are no Chick-fil-As in the Wilderness, no McDonald’s, or 7-Elevens. Siri can’t find you the nearest place to eat. In life’s Wilderness we find ourselves totally dependent on God. There are those times when there is no one else to turn to, no one else who can help us. The end of our rope is, admittedly, a difficult place to be, but a good place. The end of our rope means less of us, and more of God!
In the Wilderness wastelands the Israelites don’t even have the slave rations they had in Egypt. They must have looked at their children and wondered how they would feed them. Feeling the ache in their own stomachs, they must have hungered for their next meal. Hunger and need can do strange things to people; it can even make the Israelites think God has ambushed them in the wilderness. How quickly we see them going from praising God on the Red Sea’s shore to accusing Him. But before I start criticizing them, I do well to remember that Scripture says they are types of you and me making our journeys.
Yet, in the face of the Israelites blaming and complaining, we see God providing for His people. Each day He will give them bread from heaven; but just for that day. They are in the school of learning to rely on God for today.
But they do not recognize God’s provision for them when it comes. Today’s scripture notes: “When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’” In the Hebrew language their question ‘What is it?’ reads ‘mann-a’, which comes down to us as the English “manna”. “What is it?” they wonder, reminding us that, like the Israelites, we might not recognize God’s provision right before our eyes.
For as long as the Israelites were in the Wilderness, God daily provided them with manna: not for tomorrow, but only for that day. God promises and God keeps His promise. God’s promise to His people in the Wilderness stands, “as your days, so is your strength” (Deuteronomy 33:25b).
And so God promises to do for you and for me, today. Not for tomorrow, but for today and every day. So Jesus commands us to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” And give us eyes to recognize “What it is” when it comes!
- Can you think of a time when God ‘miraculously’ provided for you? When was it? What do you want to say to God about it? Who might you want to talk to about it?
- What might you need God to provide for you TODAY?