I was at a friend’s house for the weekend, and I could tell she had carefully planed each meal. For some reason, her husband (obviously bored at work) called a few hours before dinner to say, “How do you make rice pilaf?” We laughed at how suddenly he was up for a change of menu, having no idea the fluster it caused in the already organized kitchen.
It was then I realized how the Israelite women in the wilderness had one thing going for them. You never had to answer the question, “Hey mom, what’s for dinner?” Everyone already knew the answer. “Manna!” Manna for today. Manna for tomorrow. As a matter of fact, manna for 40 years!
Manna came every morning with the dew and needed to be collected before it melted from the heat of the Sun. Servings proabaly came to about ½ a pound per person, per day. And with over one million people in the entourage, can you imagine the amount God had to send daily – for four decades!
According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, manna is described as being white “like coriander seed”. And apparently raw manna tasted like wafers that had been made with honey. The Book of Numbers describes it as having the appearance of bdellium. The Israelites ground it up and pounded it into cakes, which were then baked, resulting in something that tasted like cakes baked with oil. (See wikipedia).
So here’s what we know: God in his loving kindness sent the manna everyday. Except on the Sabbath when no Manna could be found. The Hebrews were instructed to collect only enough manna for each day and no more. If they did, it bred worms overnight and stank to high heaven. (Talk about training your people to take only what they need and trust!) On the 6th day the rules changed. Here they could gather up enough for that day’s need and take extra that would be enough for the Sabbath as well. Ironically, manna for the Sabbath day didn’t spoil!
So the moral of the story might be this:
- We have a lot of options for eating these days. Full cupboards and refrigerators make the “What’s for dinner?” question very valid.
- God promises to meet our needs, so hoarding and fear of tomorrow may not be the most spiritual plan of action.
- Since the manna came daily until they reached the borders of Canaan, I bet we too can trust God to meet our needs until we cross over to the other side as well.
Just my thoughts on this sunny Sabbath.