[From the authors book Gleanings in Exodus, pp.123-135. Photograph by C. R. Tindle.]
for long were
And they took their journey from Elim, and all the
congregation of the children of Israel came the Wilderness of Sin, which is
between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their
departing out of the land of Egypt (v. 1). Why, we may
ask, such particularly is noting the time-mark here? As a matter of mere history it seems of
little interest or importance. What
difference does it make to us to-day which month and what day of the
month it was when
In order for grace to shine forth there must first be the dark background of sin. Grace is unmerited favour, and to enhance its glory the demerits of man must be exhibited. It is where sin abounded that grace did much more abound (Rom. 5: 21). It was so here. The very next thing that we read of is, And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the Wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger (vv. 2, 3). A darker background could scarcely be imagined.
was the self-same people who had been divinely spared from the ten plagues of
Egypt, who had been brought forth from the land of bondage, miraculously
delivered at the Red Sea, Divinely guided by a Pillar of Cloud and Fire, day
and night, - now murmuring, complaining,
rebelling! And it was not a few of the
people who did so; the whole congregation
were guilty. It was not simply that they
muttered among themselves, but they murmured against their
Divine-chosen leader. Their sin, too,
was aggravated by an oath; they took the Divine name in vain would to God we had died by the hand of the
Lord in the
What, then, was the Lords response to this awful outbreak of rebellious unbelief? Verse 4 tells us: Behold, I will rain what: fire and brimstone that ye may be consumed? No: Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. Marvellous grace was this; sovereign, unmerited favour! The very first word here is designed to arrest our attention. In Scripture, behold is the Holy Spirits exclamation mark. Behold mark with worshipful wonder. Here, then, is the blessed force of the time-mark in verse 1. The raining (which speaks of a plentiful supply) of bread from Heaven for these murmuring Israelites was indeed a witness to the grace of God fully manifested!
which follows here in Exodus 16 is deeply
important. Every detail in it speaks
loudly to us, of only we have ears to hear.
The manna which Jehovah provided for
1. The manna was a supernatural gift.
Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread
from heaven for you (v. 4). This is the
first great lesson which the manna is designed to teach us. The manna was not a product of the earth; it
was not manufactured by man; it was not something which
Various attempts have been made to explain away the supernatural in connection with the manna. Some have declared that it grew on a certain tree found in the wilderness; but they fail to explain how it grew in winter as well as summer; how that it was obtainable in every part of the wilderness, no matter where Israels camp was pitched; or, how that sufficient was to hand to feed upwards to two million souls for almost forty years! How foolish is mans infidelity. The only possible explanation of the manna is to see in its continued supply a miracle. It was furnished by God Himself. So it is with that which the manna prefigured the written Word. The Scriptures are the spiritual manna for our souls, at the very point they manifest their supernatural origin. Many efforts have been made to account for the Bible, but on this point mans reasonings are as ridiculous as when he attempts to explain the manna on natural lines. The Bible is a miraculous production. It was given by Divine inspiration. It has come from heaven. It is the gift of God.
is striking to note how the supernatural is evidenced in connection with the
giving of the manna. In Ex. 16: 16 we read, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded; gather of it
every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to
the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. Now, a
conservative estimate of the total number of Israelites who came out of Egypt
would be two million, for they had six hundred thousand men able to go forth to
war (see Num. 1: 45, 46). An omer is the equivalent of six pints. There would be twelve million pints, or nine
million pounds gathered daily, which was four thousand five hundred tons. Hence, ten trains, each having thirty cars,
and each car having in it fifteen tons, would be needed for a single
days supply. Over a million
tons of manna were gathered annually by
2. The manna came right to where the people were.
And in the morning the dew lay round about the host; and when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing (vv. 13, 14). No long journey had to be taken in order to secure the manna. The Israelites did not have to cross the wilderness before they could secure their needed food. It was right to hand; before their eyes. There, just outside their tent door, lay the manna on the ground. So it is with the Word of God. It is blessed accessible to all of us. I often think that if it were harder to procure a Bible than it is some of us would prize it more than we do. If we had to cross the ocean and journey to the other side of the world to obtain a copy of the Holy Scriptures we would value them far more than we do now!
the very accessibility of the manna only added to the responsibility of
3. The manna was small in size.
And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground (v. 14). Who would have imagined that a complete and perfect revelation from God and of God could be comprised within the compass of a comparatively small volume? Think of it, the sum total of Gods revealed Truth in a book which can be carried in your pocket! All that is needed to make us wise unto salvation; all that is needed to sustain our souls throughout our earthly pilgrimage; all that is needed to make the man of God perfect (complete), within the compass of the Bible!
Observe that not only is the size but also the shape of the manna is given. It was a small round thing. It had no angles, and no rough edges. Continuing to regard the manna as a symbol and a type of the Word of God, what does this teach us? Why, surely, it prefigured the beautiful symmetry of Scripture. It tells us that the Bible is a perfect whole, complete and entire.
4. The manna was white in colour.
And the house of
Now white is the emblem of purity. Thus we have emphasised the absolute purity of the Word of God. Let us link together three Scriptures. The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times (Psl. 12: 6): they are pure morally and they are pure spiritually. They are like the pure river of the water of life which proceedeth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb they are clear as crystal (Rev. 22: 1). Again we read in Psl. 119: 140, Thy Word is very pure: therefore Thy servant loveth it. The Scriptures are termed the Holy Scriptures because they are separated off from all other writings by virtue of their exalted spirituality and Divine purity. Once more, in Prov. 30: 5, we read, Every word of God is pure. There is no admixture of error in Gods Word. In it there are no mistakes, no contradictions, no blemishes.
5. The manna was to be eaten.
brings us to the central and most important point in connection with our
type. The manna was not given simply to
look at, or admire; but to be eaten. It
was for food. It was Gods provision to
meet the bodily need of His people
Appropriation. This is a point so obvious that many may think it is unnecessary to develop it. And yet it is just here that so many of Gods children fail. When I sit down to a well-spread table it is apparent that I cannot begin to eat everything before me. Nor is that required. The first thing necessary is to appropriate to myself a portion of the food before me. No matter how excellent the quality of the food may be, or how tastily prepared, it will avail me nothing to sit and admire it. I need to have a certain portion of it placed upon my own palate, and then to eat it.
It is so with the spiritual manna. The Word of God is exhaustless in its contents. In it is stored sufficient for the people of God in all ages. There is far more in it than ever I can possible assimilate. What I must do is make an appropriation to my own souls needs. And this must be done just as definitely as the eating of my material food. We are anxious to be of real help here to all our readers, so let us be very simple.
Our first need is to appropriate. To appropriate means to take unto ourselves, to make our own. This was the initial lesson in connection with our salvation. The difference between an unbeliever and a believer is in the employment of the personal pronoun. An unbeliever may speak of the Saviour, but only the believer can truthfully say my Saviour. Faith personalises. When I read in Isa. 53 concerning Christ that He was wounded for my transgressions. This is what we mean by appropriation. We appropriated Christ when we took Him as our own personal Saviour.
Now, just as we appropriated the Saviour, so we need to appropriate the promises and the precepts of Gods Word. For example, when I read in Matt. 7: 7, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you, faith makes it personal, and applying to myself what I read there. I say, Ask, and it shall be given me; seek, and I shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto me. And again, I read in Rom. 8: 32, He that spared not His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things, and faith takes this to myself. I apply it to my own case, and read, How shall He not with Him also freely give me all things?
A Scottish pastor once called on an aged saint of God. At once she handed the minister the Bible and asked him to read some portion to her would that we had more like her today; many a pastors heart would be rejoiced if, when he called on his members, they desired him to read and pray with them instead of wanting him to discuss the gossip and scandal of the town. As the minister turned the pages he noticed that in the margin had been written the letters T. and TP., Tried and Proven. She had learned to feed on Gods Word. She had appropriated the promises unto herself. Have you learned this lesson yet, dear reader? Gods promises will afford you no comfort, and minister no strength to you until you make them your own. For example, I read in Phil. 4: 19, My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, and when I really appropriate this to myself I shall say, My God shall supply all Arthur Pinks need.
It must be the same with the precepts of Scripture. The commands, the exhortations, the admonitions of the Bible, are not so many abstractions. No; they are a revelation of Gods will for me. I must read the Scriptures as addressed to me personally. When I come to some word of God which condemns my ways, I must not pass it over, but be honest and take it unto myself. May God give all of us grace to daily appropriate both His promises and precepts.
Mastication. After a certain portion of the food spread before me had been placed on my own plate and in my mouth, the next thing is to chew it, to chew it slowly and thoroughly. But in this matter most of us are serious offenders. We bolt our food. We swallow it before it has been properly masticated. We eat too hurriedly. That is the chief reason why so many suffer from dyspepsia they give their stomachs the work to do which the teeth were intended to perform. A little food thoroughly masticated will supply far more nutrition to the system than a lot of food swallowed almost whole, and our general health would be much better, too.
This is equally true spiritually. Thousands of Gods children are grievous offenders here. They have never learned to use their spiritual teeth. The Bread of Life must be chewed if we are to derive from it the substance we so much need. What do I mean? This: meditation stands to reading as mastication does to eating. Re-read, and ponder this last sentence. Dear reader, you will derive far more benefit from a single verse of Scripture read slowly and prayerfully, and duly meditated upon, than you will from ten chapters read through hurriedly!
Meditation is well-nigh a lost art. And it is at the root of most of our troubles. How many complain that they find it so difficult to remember passages of Scripture, passages which they have read perhaps many times. But this is easily explained. It is because the passage was not turned over in the mind; it was not duly pondered (Luke 2: 19). Did you ever notice that the Blessed Man of Psl. 1 meditated in Gods Law day and night? Meditation is a wonderful aid to fixing in our minds verses and passages of Scripture.
Let us give an illustration of what we mean by meditation. We select one of the most familiar verses in all the Bible (Psl. 23: 4), Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will rear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Now, as I begin to meditate upon this I take each word or expression separately and then ask them questions. The first thing that strikes my attention is the way in which the verse opens. It does not say When I shall walk through the valley, but Yea, thought I walk. I ponder this over. I ask it a question; I say, why this indefinite language? Is it not certain that I shall be called on to walk through the valley of shadows? And then I remember that blessed word in 1 Cor. 15: 51, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. Then I see why the Holy Spirit caused this Psalm to open thus.
Next I turn to the central thing in this verse the valley of the shadow of death, through which the believer, who does die, passes. I ask, Why is dying likened to walking through a valley? What are the thoughts suggested by this figure? As I turn this question over in my mind it soon occurs to be (as it should to anyone who gives it a little thought). Why, a valley suggests peacefulness, fertility, beauty, and particularly, easy travel. A valley is the antithesis of a mountain, which is difficult and dangerous to climb. In contradistinction, then, from climbing a mountain which is arduous and hazardous, death is likened to walking through a valley which is delightful and safe!
I go back to the beginning of the verse, and note thoughtfully each single
word. As the believer comes to the end
of his earthly pilgrimage he learns that death is simply like passing through a
valley. Note he walks, not runs, as
though afraid. Then, observe, though I walk through. He does
in the valley, but walks through it.
Death is only a door through which the believer
passes from these scenes of sin and sorrow to the realm of [
[* See. Luke 23: 43. cf. 16: 23, 25, 30; Rev. 6: 9-11; Heb. 11: 35, 39, 40.]
Next I observe that this valley is called the shadow of death. Why is this? I must not hurry, or I shall be the loser. Let me continue pondering each word separately, so that I may extract its own particular sweetness. What is a shadow? Ah, how often it terrifies! How many of us, especially during childhood, were frightened by shadows! But if we had only walked right up to them we should have quickly discovered they were powerless to injure us. And how many a believer has filled the valley of death with terrifying phantoms! How fearfully has he contemplated these images of his own unbelief! O fellow-believer there is nothing, absolutely nothing, for thee to fear in death should it overtake you before the Lord Jesus returns. This valley is called the valley of the shadow of death because a shadow is the most harmless thing there is!
And now, as though at last the believer has fully grasped the blessedness of these beautiful figures, having discovered that Death is not a difficult and dangerous mountain to climb, but a valley peaceful and easy-going to pass through; having learned that in this valley there is nothing more terrifying than a shadow he now cries with exulting confidence, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.
Here, then, is an example of what we mean by feeding on Gods Word. Meditation stands to reading as mastication does to eating. Take a single verse of Scripture at the beginning of the day; write it out on a slip of paper, and carry it with you wherever you go. Refresh your memory as opportunity occurs by re-reading it. Pray over it, and ask God to give you a blessing out of this verse; to reveal to you its beauty and preciousness. Then ponder each word separately. Ask the verse questions and seek to discover its deeper meaning. Suppose you are meditating on Psl. 34: 7, The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them. Ask such questions as these: Why the angel? who is it? Encampeth; note the perfect tense (continuous) what is suggested by this figure? Round about what is meant by this? Them that fear Him am I one of them? And delivereth them from what? find answer from other Scriptures which speak of deliver and deliverance.
Assimilation. This is the result of appropriation and mastication, and the chief end in view. The food which I eat is to supply the waste of the body. The food which I have masticated and digested is now taken up into my system, and is transmuted into blood and tissue, thereby affording health and strength. The food thus assimilated appears in the vigour of my step, the strength of my arm, the glow on my face. And now equipped, my system is able to ward off the disease germs which attack my body. All of this has its counterpart in the spiritual man. The food which I have taken into my soul, if properly digested, will build up a new nature. It will nourish faith, and supply the needed strength for my daily walk and service. Moreover, it will be a safeguard against the germs of temptation which assail me Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee (Psl. 119: 11).
Here, then, is the grand end in view. Gods Word is given us to feed upon, and this feeding is for the purpose of translating the Scriptures into the terms of daily living. The principles and precepts of the Bible must be incorporated into my life. The Word has not been assimilated until it has become the regulator of my walk and the dynamo of my service.
6. The manna was gathered daily.
said the Lord unto Moses, Behold I will rain bread from Heaven for you; and the people
shall go out and gather a certain rate every day (v. 4). The manna which
7. The manna was gathered in the morning.
And in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing (vv. 13, 14). Here is a lesson which all of us need to seriously take to heart. It was in the early morning, before other things had time to occupy their attention, that Gods people of old gathered their daily supply of the manna. And this is recorded for our learning. The Divine Word must not be given a secondary place if we would have Gods blessing upon us. What a difference it would make in many a Christian life if each day was BEGUN in Gods presence! How many, now weak and sickly, would become strong in the Lord and in the power of His might if they formed the habit of feeding each morning on the Bread of Life! If the soul was fed at the same time as the dew, strength would be obtained and we should be equipped for the duties that lay before us and girded for the temptations which confronted us throughout the day!
no reader complain that he has not the time.
You may not have time for the careful study of a whole chapter each
morning, though even that is to be seriously questioned, but certain it is that
you have time to prayerfully select one verse of Scripture and write it out on
a piece of paper and attempt to commit it to memory, consulting it during your
spare minutes through the day, on the train, or the street-car, if needs be
the writer memorized the whole epistle of Ephesians on the street-car, a verse
at a time. Certain it is that you do
have time to meditate on this one verse throughout the day, and to ponder each
word separately. And after the labours
of the day are over you may sit down (if only for five minutes) and look up the
parallel passages, given in the marginal references. If you will do this daily you will be
surprised and delighted at the incalculable blessing it will bring to your
soul. Seek ye first the
8. The manna was obtained by labour.
We are reminded by the gathering of it, of the Lords words, Labour for the meat. They did not indeed labour to bring it from Heaven; their labour was to gather it when rained down to them fro thence. And here we find that they had to use diligence. It would not keep; they could not lay up a stock for the future; every day they had afresh to be employed with it. If they were not out early and the sun rose upon it, it melted. And here is where diligence on our part is so much needed. Would that we understood this, beloved brethren, better! Manna did not fall into their mouths, but around their tent. They had to use diligence to gather it. Do we understand the necessity of diligence in the apprehension of Divine things? Do we understand that the character of the Word of God is such, as that however plain in a sense it may be, yet it ministers in fact its fulness only to those who have earnestness of heart to seek it. Only if thou criest after knowledge says the wise man, and lifted up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. And yet He adds for the Lord givest wisdom. But He gives it according to the rules of His own holy government.
Labour is here, therefore, very specially needed; not that the labour simply by itself is anything; not that mans efforts only can ever here procure for himself what God alone supplies, but still God seeks from us that diligence which shows our apprehension of the treasure that His Word is. He does not give to carelessness or indolence of soul, nor is faith simply a receiver here but a worker with God. (Mr. Grant.) Before an omer could be gathered much labour was entailed, for them manna was a small round thing.
9. The manna was gathered by stooping.
It grew not upon the trees, but fell upon the ground. In order to obtain it the Israelites had to go down on their knees. How significant, and how accurate the type! Diligence on our part is required if we are to appropriate from the Word that which our souls need. But something more than diligence is necessary. There must be dependence upon God, the Author of the Word. There must be a seeking from Him. We must get down on our knees and cry, Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wonderous things out of Thy Law.
10. Some gathered more, some less.
And the children of
11. What was gathered must be used.
Let no man leave of it till morning (v. 19). Divine truth is not to be hoarded up, but turned to present profit. We are to use what God has given us. We are first to walk in the truth ourselves, and then to recommend it to others.
As the Lord gives us opportunities it is our happy privilege to pass on to others what He has given to us. It is in this way that Christian fellowship becomes most helpful when we spend an hour, or even a few minutes, with a fellow-believer and discuss together the things of God, instead of the things of the world.
12. The manna was incomprehensible to the natural man.
And when the children of
13. The manna was despised by the mixed multitude.
And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting
and the children of
The manna was preserved in the
And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full
of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord to be kept for your generations,
Heb. 9: 4 tells us that it was a golden pot. This is very striking. The manna was not to be stored up in the
tents of the Israelites for a single day; yet here we see it preserved for
almost forty years in the Tabernacle. It
was to be kept for the
The manna lasted until
And the children of
Here is the general secret of a healthy and vigorous spiritual life. It is by earnestly desiring the sincere (pure) milk of the Word, that we grow thereby. It is by daily feeding on the Bread of Life that we obtain the strength that we need. It is through having Gods Word in our hearts that we are kept from sinning against Him. And it is in this way that we should be able to say with Jeremiah, Thy words were found and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart. (15: 16).
* * *
MANNA A TYPE OF CHRIST
our last paper we considered the manna with
which Jehovah supplied the bodily need of
Beneath many a figure and behind innumerable shadows and symbols the anointed eye may discern the glories of our blessed Lord. It should be our chief delight as we read the Old Testament Scriptures to prayerfully search for that which foreshadows Him of whom Moses and the prophets did write. All doubt is removed as to whether or not the manna pointed to the incarnate Son by His own words in John 6: 32, 33. There we find the Saviour saying, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that Bread from Heaven. For the Bread of God is He which cometh down from Heaven and giveth life unto the world. May the [Holy] Spirit of God now condescend to open our sin-blinded eyes as we earnestly desire to behold wonderous things out of His perfect Law.
1. The occasions of the giving of the manna is both striking and solemn.
being the recipients of wonderous mercies from the Lord,
does this picture the condition of that world into which the Lord of Glory descended. For four
thousand years the temporal and governmental mercies of God had been showered
upon the human race, making His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, seeing
His rain on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5: 45). And what had been mans response? When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither
were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish
heart was darkened. Professing
themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the
incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and
to four-footed beasts, and creeping things (Rom.
1: 21-23). Little better was it with
2. The Place where the Manna fell
The place where the manna fell is also deeply significant. It was in the wilderness of Sin (16: 1) that the bread from Heaven first fell. Surely it were impossible to select a more fitting title to accurately describe the character of the world into which the Son of God descended. Verily, a wilderness of sin was this world to the Holy One of God! A wilderness! What is a wilderness? It is a homeless place. No one would think of building a house there. And a homeless place was this world to the Son of God. No room in the inn at His birth; not where to lay His head during the days of His public ministry; a borrowed grave for His crucified body, sums it all up. A wilderness of sin! Never was that more apparent than when the Sinless One was here. How the Light exposed the hidden things of darkness! How the murder of the Saviour demonstrated the sinfulness of Jew and Gentile alike!
3. The Glory of the Lord was linked with the giving of the Manna
And it came to pass as Aaron spake unto the whole
congregation of the children of
4. The manna came down from Heaven (1 Cor. 15: 48)
Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold I will rain bread from
Heaven for you. The manna was not a product of this
earth. It grew neither in the wilderness
5. The Manna was a free gift from God.
And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat (v. 15). No charge was made for this manna. It was neither a wage to be earned nor a prize to be won, but was a token of Gods grace and love. No payment was demanded for it. It was without money and without price. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3: 16). Let us join with the apostle in saying, Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift (2 Cor. 9: 15).
6. The Manna was sent to the Israelites.
Behold I will rain bread from Heaven for you; and the
people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day (v. 4). Two truths are here illustrated. First, the Manna was Gods provision for His
elect people, and for none others. We do
not read of God raining manna upon
second, this manna was also sent to a needy and foodless people. Whatever food
7. The Manna came right down to where the Israelites were.
The Israelites were in immediate danger of starving to death, but as we have seen, God graciously made provision to supply their need and now we would notice that no long journey had to be taken in order to secure that which would satisfy their hunger the manna fell all round the camp. And in the morning the dew lay round about the host; and when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing (vv. 13, 14). Here we have foreshadowed the blessed fact that, to the sinner conscious of his need and anxious to meet with the Saviour, God says, Say not in thine heart Who shall ascend into Heaven (that is to bring Christ down from above) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is to bring Christ again from the dead). But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee. And out of this very nearness springs the sinners responsibility. All around each tent door lay the manna. Something had to be done with it. It must either be gathered or trodden under foot! Sinner [and Christian], what are you doing with the Christ of God? Remember His searching words, He that is not with Me is against Me.
8. The Manna must be gathered by each individual.
This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating (v. 16). It is so spiritually. Receiving Christ (John 1: 12) is a personal matter. No one can believe for another. There is no salvation by proxy. The gospel of Christ is, the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Rom. 1: 16), and he that believeth shall not be damned (Mark 16:16). Saving faith is that act whereby each awakened sinner appropriates Christ unto himself. It is true that Christ loved the Church as a whole, and gave Himself for it (Eph. 5: 25), but it is also the happy privilege of each member of that Church to say with the Apostle Paul, Who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal. 2: 20). Have you, dear reader, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ?
9. The Manna met a daily need.
Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will reign bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day (v. 4). The manna which they gathered today would not suffice them for tomorrow. They needed to obtain a fresh supply each day. It is just here that so many of the Lords people fail. We, too, need to feed upon Christ every day. Just as in the physical realm the food which I ate yesterday will not nourish me today, so my past experiences and attainments will not meet the exigencies of the present. Christ must be kept constantly before the heart. Give us day by day our daily bread, should be the prayer of every child of God.
10. Appetite determined the amount gathered.
This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded. Gather of it every man according to his
eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons take ye
every man for them which are in his tents.
And the children of
11. The Manna was despised by those who were not the Lords people.
And the mixt multitude that was
among them fell a lusting, and the children of
12. The Manna fell upon the dew, not upon the dust of the ground.
And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it (Num. 11: 9). Everything in the Scriptures has a spiritual meaning and application. What, then, is the significance of the above? Gen. 3: 19 throws light on this passage dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return. These words were spoken to fallen man and called attention to the corruption which sin had worked in him. Dust, here, and onwards, speaks of fallen humanity. Now the manna fell not upon the dust, but upon the dew. How clearly this foreshadowed the uniqueness and incorruptibility of the Lords humanity! The Word became flesh, but in His humanity the Lord Jesus shared not our corrupt nature. He took upon Him the form of a servant, but the body which was prepared for Him (Heb. 10: 5) belonged not to the dust of this earth. Before He was born the angel announced unto His mother, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1: 35).
13. The Manna was white in colour.
read in Ex. 16: 31, And the house of
14. The Manna was sweet to the taste.
And the taste of it was like wafers of honey (v. 31). We need to go to the Song of Solomon for the interpretation of this. There we read, As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons. I sat down under His shadow with a great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste (2: 3). And again, His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet as flowers; His lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh His mouth is most sweet; yea, He is altogether lovely (5: 13, 16). The Lord grant that our meditation of Him shall be sweet (Psl. 104: 34).
15. The Manna was ground and baked.
And the people went about and gathered it, and ground
it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in and, and made cakes of
it (Num. 11: 8). How this
speaks to us of the sufferings of our blessed Lord!
Such expressions as He groaned for their hardness of heart, He sighed because
of their unbelief, He wept over
16. The Manna was preserved on the Sabbath.
And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, to-morrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord, bake that which ye will bake, and seeth that ye will seeth, and that which remaineth over, lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade; and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein (vv. 23, 24). On the Sabbath day the manna was preserved, and in this, too, it speaks to us of our blessed Lord. He is the only one who was preserved through death.* He lay in the tomb on the Sabbath day and was kept, for God had said, Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption (Psl. 16: 10).
[* Note. Messiahs flesh did not see corruption; but just as important is the scriptural testimony of His soul - that He (For the soul is the person) was not left in Hades, as the rest of the souls of all the dead are until the time of their resurrection: for David ascended not into the heavens, (Acts 2: 27, 31, 34; John 3: 13, R.V.. cf. John 13: 36-14: 3; 1 Thess. 4: 16; Rev. 6: 9-11; 20: 4, 5.)]
17. The Manna was laid up before the Lord.
And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Lord (v. 33). Concerning the anti-type, we read, For Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9: 24). The golden pot in which the manna was preserved tells of how God is glorified in Him whom it foreshadowed. Although the Son of Man it is that gives it to us; although it is humanity here that we know, and humanity in the form in which we shall not find it when we shall reach Him above, yet it is humanity in which God is glorified now, and so He will be glorified in it forever. We shall find in the One upon the Throne of Glory, though no longer with a face marred more than any mans, and a form more than the sons of men the very One whose face was marred the very One whose heart put Him into the sorrow in which we, of necessity there, learned to know Him thus. (Mr. Grant).
18. The Manna was called angels food.
read in Psl. 78: 25, man did eat angels food; He gave them meat
to the full; the reference here
is to the giving of the manna to
19. The Manna was given in the night.
It was during the hours of darkness that the manna was sent to the Israelites. It is while they were (picture of mans helplessness, for we are never so helpless as when we are asleep) that the bread was given from Heaven. So, too, it was when we were in darkness and unbelief, impotent, without strength, that Christ came to us. Moreover, it will be at the close of this worlds night, when the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, that the Bread of God shall return and give life to the world.
20. The Manna is now hidden.
In Rev 2: 17 we read, To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna. So, too, Christ, of who the manna continually speaks, is now hidden. Unseen by the eye of sense, He remains in Heaven till that day* when He shall be manifested before all the world. We shall not only see the Heavenly manna, but we shall eat of it again. Fresher than ever will be our realisation of His love and the perfection of the grace which is manifested toward us. It is then in fact, when we come to be there, that we shall have the full enjoyment; knowing as we are known, of all the experiences, which though they be experiences of the wilderness, yet, wait for the land to which we are hastening to find their full interpretation and blessing. The meat endures to everlasting life. The meat itself endures. We are enjoying that which shall be our joy for eternity. We are feeding on that which shall be our food for eternity (Mr. Grant).
[*Theday of the Lord will surely come, (2 Pet. 3: 8): let us wait for it with patience, looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Tit. 2: 13, R.V.): being actively employed in His service, and, as good and faithful servants, accounted worthy to eat and drink with Him at His table in His Kingdom, (Luke 22: 30). Let us press on, experiencing His grace and strength in our lives and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit through the Word of truth.]
We are conscious that our treatment of this wonderful and precious type is most inadequate and unworthy. But if it leads our fellow-believers to a more careful study of the written Word, and to a deeper longing to become better acquainted with the incarnate Word, our feeble efforts will be well repaid.