Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of the Israelites enjoying bread from heaven – manna – when they were hungry and wandering in a desert.
I asked yesterday how this story was like an analogy for all of life. I think it is because we tend to trust God only in name, or only partially, and that impacts how we live and care for others. We can see this is what the Israelites were doing.
Look what happened. God gave them rescue from slavery, and they grumbled.
God led them through an unpassable obstacle, the Red Sea, and they still grumbled.
God led them with a pillar of fire, and a pillar of cloud, and when the food got low, they still grumbled that life was better in Egypt.
What alternatives did they have? They could trust God. They could pray to God, and ask for the food they needed to survive.
But instead, they grumbled and complained, telling Moses they wanted to go back to slavery.
God, in his grace, gave them miraculous food. There’s no way this story is desriving some accident, coincidence or trick. The description is too unusual – manna would appear in the morning, only an individual’s portion could be collected, and any leftovers disappeared.
When the manna appared, it’s no surprise that they started gathering as much as they could. Would there be more food? Or was this it for a while? Our tendency is to hoard in situations like this.
This is something that’s happening right now – as media discuss concerns about a recession, people are dialling back on their spending, trying to earn what they can and protect themselves. Ironically, this can actually help cause the recession to happen, as retailers and everyone else in the supply chain struggle with constrained spending by consumers. Instead of trusting and giving, everyone starts gathering and hoarding.
God wanted to prevent that, with some of the stranger sounding provisions in this story. He wanted to teach the Israelites something.
Question: Why do you think the manna “reset” to the same amount for each person, and any extra melted each night? What would the Israelites have learned?