In Exodus 16 we find a story that displays God’s character and teaches us how we’re designed to relate to Him. He had delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and was personally guiding them. But the people began to complain about the lack of food in the wilderness; they forgot God’s deliverance and presence, and questioned His character and intentions. In response, God fed the Israelites with a daily supply of manna that He provided, sustaining them in the wilderness for 40 years.
DEPENDENCE & REST || The Israelites were utterly dependent on the Lord for their daily bread. They needed Him to provide what they could not produce for themselves; they couldn’t go even one day without Him. The Israelites were taught to rest, and to trust that God would provide a double portion to enable that Sabbath rest.
HUMILITY || The dependence on God’s daily provision was meant to produce humility in the Israelites. In Deuteronomy 8, Moses reflects this in his warning to the Israelites to not become proud. They were called to remember that it was God who delivered and sustained them and to respond in praise and thanksgiving.
TRUST || God’s character and faithfulness were on display as He sent the manna each day. Even though the manna itself was mysterious, something the Israelites had never seen before, they could trust God in the unknown.
OBEDIENCE || Part of the purpose of the manna was for God’s people to learn obedience, listening to His voice and following His instructions. His intentions toward them were pure, and His commands were for their good.
Just as God revealed Himself to the Israelites as He provided for them, so we too can learn these lessons as we draw near to Him. We are made to walk in humility, dependent on our Creator and overflowing with thanksgiving. He is always good, always trustworthy. And in Christ, God has offered provision for our deepest need—salvation and rescue from the bondage and penalty of sin. Jesus is the Bread of Life, given by God so that we might have life in Him:
“Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now He offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…. I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” — John 6:32-33, 35
In salvation, and in all of life, we are fully dependent on the Lord — for grace, strength, growth, joy, life. He knows our need, and He is faithful to provide. He is our rest.
Whatever you are experiencing today, remember this story of a God who sees, loves, teaches and provides… and look to Him for your daily bread.