Ah, the manna chapter. I love this story. It’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I’m not exactly sure what it is that appeals to me so much, but I’m simply taken with it. I love the description in verse 17 of gathering the manna. God had apportioned an omer of manna for each person — but it’s not like there were any omer measuring cups! So, the text simply says that some gathered too much and some gathered too little, but in the end, everyone had their allotted omer.
And then I like the description about how people would try to keep some of it overnight (even though they were told not to), and it began to stink because it had sprouted maggots. But verything changed on Friday night... anything kept overnight on Friday didn’t spoil, and the people still had fresh manna for Sabbath without having to work to gather it.
I just love the seeming-oddities in this story, because it’s still such a wonderful example of how God wants to provide for us — even now! We may not find food on the ground in the morning anymore, but God wants to provide for us in just the same way.
He gives us just what we need for each day. His mercies — like the manna — are fresh every morning. Who knows how they come or how He gets them to us? But He does. Just as that layer of manna would "appear" every morning, God has strength, peace, and joy for us every day.
He gives us enough. With God, we are never left wanting. And — just like with the manna — it’s not about measurement, it’s about relationship. When we seek to gather in the blessings God has for us, He is faithful in His provisions. It doesn’t matter if we "gather" too much or too little, He makes it come out all right.
He wants to be our only Provider. I can emotionally identify with those Israelites that tried to "store up" today’s manna for tomorrow. It’s hard to trust — especially when you’re living in a desert without many food options! What if that layer of manna doesn’t appear the next morning? It would be very tempting to try to hang on to what you think you need. I’m the same way with other things in my life. I feel a certain amount of responsibility to look out for myself, to provide for myself, to make sure I’ve got it covered. But God is very capable of providing for my needs, and He wants to be the only one to do it! He knows better than me exactly what I need, and He’s got it covered. We can trust Him to give us just what we require — each and every day.
The Israelites ate that manna for forty years. That’s 14,600 meals. God didn’t let them down, not for one single day. And He won’t let us down, either. He is able to provide just what we need.
So, when was the last time you expected the morning manna?